Thursday, March 20, 2014

Beyond the costume

Who's your favorite "superhero" among the crime-fighting crusaders that pop culture has entrenched into the consciousness of pop culture-watchers? You know, among those who fly, don form-fitting costumes (usually caped and usually made of spandex), and have super-strength? Mine isn't Ironman, though I do find the character's wit funny. I suppose it's because my idea of a superhero since being a child involves clearer demonstrations of virtue than what this Marvel hero normally shows in the movies.

But in the short video below, I don't see Ironman in the actor who plays him. Witty he definitely continues to be, but Robert Downey, Jr. does much, much more here than spice up a speech with his humor. The event happened several years ago and, thanks to a friend who posted the video on Facebook, I got to see it and thus acquired a new perspective on the actor, on the other actor (the subject of his words), and on the twists and turns that life puts us through.

Below the video is another piece of material that I found myself reading voraciously till the end. Yet another source of points and discoveries to ponder.

Here's an excerpt from the article A Journalist's Plea on the 10th Anniversary of 'The Passion of the Christ': Hollywood, Take Mel Gibson Off Your Blacklist --

It might sound na├»ve after 20 years writing about celebrities, but my friendship with Gibson made me reconsider other celebrities whose public images became tarnished by the media’s rush to judge and marginalize the rich and famous. Whether it’s Gibson, Tom Cruise or Alec Baldwin, the descent from media darling to pariah can happen quickly after they do something dumb. I was part of that pack of journalists paid to pounce, so I know. I consider myself intelligent, someone who makes up her own mind, but just like readers do, I have accepted some reports at face value. The press said that based on Gibson’s statements, he was a homophobe, a misogynist, a bully, an ant-Semite, so he must be. What he was, I discovered, was an alcoholic whose first outburst was captured after he fell off the wagon. What the later release of audiotapes showed was a man with a frightening temper, capable of saying whatever will most offend the target of his anger.

* Illustration by Andy Fairhurst

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