Weekend Roundtable: “You’re Dead to Me”

When a relationship sours, sometimes you just need to be done with a person. For this week’s Roundtable, we’d like to know what celebrities (from any sphere of pop culture) have crossed a line that you can no longer stand to watch/read/listen to them anymore?

Your choices here can be actors, directors, authors, musicians, or any public figures. Except politicians. No politics, please.

The key here is that these should be people you used to like in the past, but that did something (personal scandal, declining quality of work) to sour you against them.

Good example: Mel Gibson. Perhaps you can’t stand to look at him anymore knowing that he’s a crazy bigot.

Bad example: Kim Kardashian. She was always annoying and useless and hateful. If you’ve always hated the person, he or she doesn’t count.

Shannon Nutt

My answer to this week’s Roundtable may surprise you. It’s Anne Hathaway.

I became a fan of hers way back in the beginning, the first time I saw her in ‘The Princess Diaries’. I thought she was extremely talented, and – let me be honest here – easy on the eyes. I both enjoyed and followed her career all the way up to ‘Les Miserables’, when things took a dramatic change for the worse.

Now, I have no problem with Anne’s performance in that movie. I think it’s quite good, though certainly not worthy of the Oscar she obtained. My issue with Ms. Hathaway has nothing to do with the Academy, and everything to do with the self-promotion tour she went on during that particular awards season. With every public appearance and/or winning speech she gave at other awards shows, Hathaway became more and more pretentious, to the point where this fan couldn’t bear to hear the next phrase to come out of her mouth. By the time she finally won her Oscar (with yet another self-important speech), I’d had my fill of Anne Hathaway… and haven’t been a fan since.

Mike Attebery

When Jimmy Fallon started hosting ‘The Tonight Show’ this year, I tuned in for a few weeks, and was actually impressed with how he had developed from the guy who cracked up in every ‘SNL’ skit to a semi-entertaining solo act. Since then, I’ve made several more attempts at keeping up with the show (I’m a late night talk show fan), but he seems to have lost traction and gotten worse and worse.

Every episode is just an assortment of viral video attempts. I saw the same dancing panda bit night after night for weeks. Lame races with celebrities were just pale imitations of old Letterman ‘Late Night’ gags. Jimmy does some impression. Jimmy turns an interview into a discussion about his own experiences. He’ll have fascinating people on, and yet the spotlight will slowly move from them to Jimmy, where he’ll talk about some audition or party or other stupid thing HE did.

The worst part is that the day after these stupid gags air, the stories and segments are sprinkled everywhere around the internet. “Morgan Freeman sucks helium during interview!” “Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (Fallon) reunite on The Tonight Show!” It’s just gotten boring. Contrast this with a recent Colbert episode, where that host, despite being in character, was genuinely fascinated by what his guest Elon Musk had to say. If that had been Fallon, he’d have challenged Musk to a race in two battery operated Tesla golf carts.

Luke Hickman

I’m pretty good at distancing myself from filmmakers’ and actors’ personal lives and opinions. I still love Mel Gibson’s and Tom Cruise’s movies, but there’s one actor whose career took a 180-degree turn at the same time that he made some sad personal decisions, so I can’t help but believe that two are connected. Do you remember when Harrison Ford used to exclusively make amazing movies? The guy used to be very picky in choosing his projects. He didn’t do “paycheck” movies, but that changed in the late ’90s just about the same time that he ditched his wife and kids for ‘Ally McBeal’ actress Calista Flockhart and a silly earring.

Who knows if those things are connected, but it was around this time that I lost all faith in the actor whose ‘The Fugitive’ is still one of my all-time favorite films. ‘Air Force One’ wasn’t bad, but that’s the last movie of his that I truly didn’t mind. Since then, it’s been one turd after the other, including the only movie that I’ve walked out of as an adult: ‘Hollywood Homicide’.

As an editor of my university’s newspaper, in 2006 I participated in an over-the-phone interview roundtable with “Mr. Ford” (we were asked to not call him by his first name) for the stinker ‘Firewall’. I sat there in the queue waiting for my chance to ask him a question about that terrible movie, when I heard another interviewer ask him a not-so-great question. Harrison’s response was, “That’s a bad question, so let’s move along. Next interviewer.” I thought, “What a dick,” and pushed a button on my phone that withdrew me from the queue. Since then, in every performance, all I see is the high-and-mighty Mr. Ford. When news broke of his breaking his leg on the set of the new ‘Star Wars’, I couldn’t help but think that he got what he deserved, that perhaps even the Millennium Falcon knew how much of an arrogant fool he’d become.

Josh Zyber

I’m not going to pretend that I was ever a huge Charlie Sheen fan, but I thought he was an appealing young actor in his early work. ‘Platoon’ and ‘Wall Street’ are both genuinely great movies, ‘Major League’ is hilarious, and he did a decent job filling in for Michael J. Fox in the later seasons of ‘Spin City’. Then came the drugs, and more drugs, and more drugs on top of those, and the Denise Richards marriage and divorce, and 32 seasons of the godawful ‘Two and a Half Men’, and the strippers and whores and the tiger blood and “Winning!” He’s just insufferable now. I can’t even look at him.

Likewise, I remember back to a time when the world thought that Lindsay Lohan was a promising child star. As she got older and her life turned into a massive train wreck, a constant refrain from all the media covering her repeated meltdowns has been to bemoan the way that Lohan has squandered her talent – as if she’d be a really great actress if only she could give up the drugs.

The thing is, though, that Lindsay Lohan was never a particularly good actress, not even in her career prime of the ‘Freaky Friday’ remake and ‘Mean Girls’. Those movies would have been enjoyable with just about anyone of the appropriate age in the leads. Early on, you could overlook Lohan’s stiltedness and chalk it up to the charms of youth and inexperience. The older she gets, however, her lack of talent has only grown more and more glaring. She’s delivered nothing but terrible performances as an adult. Linsday Lohan doesn’t need to clean up her act. She just needs to disappear out of the media spotlight so that we can forget about her completely.

Use the Comments section below to tell us which celebrities are dead to you.

24 comments

  1. OMG Josh stole BOTH of mine.
    Sheen is just plain arrogant and an a-hole.
    LiLo – How many chances does one deserve? How much special treatment should she get with the courts? She does not show much talent and execs keep feeling sorry for her. Stop, she’s insignificant. I’m done.
    I also want to nominate the cast of FRIENDS – their show albeit successful was never overly entertaining to me, then when they started behaving like they all wanted $1 Million per episode. Get out of here, you’re not that good! The same thing happened to Charlie Sheen, wow.

    And I strongly agree with Mike – I have tried to watch The Tonight Show, I want to like this show but I just cannot. He was very good on SNL.

    A few people I absolutely hate just for their diva attitudes. Nice on camera but a total douche off the camera:
    Ellen Degeneres, JLO and Sandra Bullock. Some of the stories I have heard, he he.

  2. Mike

    I used to think Hathaway was talented, but once her “rich” former fiancée was unmasked as a financial fraud, she started working CONSTANTLY, and I realized how unlikable she is. I couldn’t handle how much she seemed to adore herself starting with Love and Other Drugs. She mugs and grins and cranks the Meryl Streep PR persona up to 20. It bugs the hell out of me.

    Someone who is in danger of the same thing is Jennifer Lawrence. I don’t want to hear another word about her being just one of the guys, a beer drinking, Cheeto eating, down to earth hometown girl. It starts to sound like the PR folks need to plant some different stories.

  3. Oh man, Harrison Ford…I still remember seeing Hollywood Homicide very excited to see my childhood hero and leaving the theater devastated. I couldn’t bear to hear “Mr. Ford’s” sluggish speech and watch his terrible acting. Since then I have never enjoyed a single movie he has been in. In fact, the only good movie he’d been in for the last 10+ years was 500 Days of Summer…

    • In Harrison’s defense, he was fantastic (Oscar-worthy, in my opinion) in ’42’ and did a really nice job in ‘Ender’s Game’ as well. He and Gary Oldman were the best two things about ‘Paranoia’, although that’s not a very good movie. So the idea that he’s been ‘phoning it in’ lately should be taken with a grain of salt.

  4. Sean Penn – Although I think he’s a very talented actor and director, something seems really rotten about him. I know he’s an activist and everything but it just doesn’t seem sincere. I feel like he does it to make up for him being a bad person. I also feel like mostly every movie he acts in for the past few years is Oscar bait. I hated his Academy award speech for Milk just because it didn’t seem genuine to me.
    Lady Gaga also irritates me.

  5. Bill

    Going way out to left field, I’m going to pick on Rod Steiger. I used to admire his intense visceral portrayals in movie after movie from Harder They Fall and On The Waterfront to Doctor Zhivago. Then I heard his contributions to the audio commentary on Zhivago. What a twit! He could barely complete a sentence and he had hardly a coherent thought about the movie. Since then I find my liking for him has gone downhill and along with it my liking for the thoughts of any actor. In commentary after commentary they show themselves to be nothing more than shells of the characters they portray. They have no insights and often no memories of the productions they were in that are worth sharing. It is as if they read the script, do the part and then forget about it. That makes him dead to me.

  6. Paul J Anderson

    Nobody has mentioned George Lucas yet? I don’t even have to say anything about this. It’s pretty self explanatory.

      • Seriously?

        Refusal to release the unaltered OT in anything other than crappy low res unrestored format because according to him “they don’t exist anymore”.

        Insisting on Directing All three Star Wars prequels himself, when he is a barely adequate director at best and awful at his worst. To date he has only Directed three good movies “THX 1138, American Graffiti and Star Wars”. The first is because he was young and Francis Ford Coppola was producing, American Graffiti probably had more to do with the massive amount of Talent he was blessed with in the Actors he was lucky to get. And Star Wars was before he became the George lucas that would go on to…

        The Star Wars Prequels… There are so many reasons as a Star Wars fan to despise what was done to the Franchise with EP1 alone, but I will contain myself.

        1. The Mysterious “Force” so eloquently described by Alec Guinness in the first movie, is reduced to a Virus that can be measured in two seconds.

        2. The Wooden acting by people who were and are some of the best actors today. Only Liam neeson seemed to ignore Lucas’ direction at times.

        3. Digitally manipulating actors performance to get something that was not caught by the Camera.

        4. Insisting on using Digital cameras that were still in it’s infancy at the time, thus forever trapping the first movie at 1920×1080. While films that have been shot on film can be rescanned with improved clarity as technology improves, ie 4K or 8K.

        5. Jar Jar Binks

        6. Jar Jar Binks

        Finally his “production” of the latest Indiana Jones movie led to several scenes that could only have come from Georges inability to recognize what is funny and what is “childish”. Thus helping to tarnish not one great Franchise but two.

        And that is the short version.

  7. William Henley

    Some of my answers may surprise you.

    Piers Morgan. I liked him on Britain’s Got Talent (wasn’t he also on America? I actually never cared much for the American version of the show). He was fun – he made Simon Cowell seem tame. However, he then got a show on CNN where he talks about politics and such. I’m sorry, but I really don’t want to listen to a Brit comment on American politics.

    Jim Carrey (sp?) – I really don’t care about your personal feelings on stuff. And now you are just annoying.

    George Takai (SP?) – he got real political a year or two ago. I can’t stand it when celebrities start talking about politics. He got to be a prick about it.

    Rick Steves – Yes, the travel guy. I am not sure if it is him or his staff, but whoever answers e-mail is a real prick. I’ve written there a couple of times over the years, and finally just gave up – they are right, history and geography is wrong, and how dare you ask us a question. Buy our material or get on one of our tours, otherwise leave us alone. Yeah, bunch of pricks over there.

    Christopher Nolan – his movies used to be great, but each movie is worse than the last. I don’t think I will see any future movies with his name on them.

    Tim Burton – it now seems that he tries too hard to make Tim Burton movies.

    Steven Speilburg – I am trying to think of something good that he has done since Jurassic Park, and the only thing I can think of is Saving Private Ryan. Bunch of mediocore movies.

    • For the record, George Takei has been political a lot longer than the past few years.

      He was a delegate to the Democratic National convention back in the early 70s, served on the mayor of Los Angeles’ staff from the late 70s to the mid-1980s (he was part of the team that designed LA’s subway system), and has been pretty politically active ever since.

      • William Henley

        I meant more in the social media sphere. Most of his Facebook posts are really funny. A couple of years back, though, he went on a political rampage. It’s one thing to be involved and passionate about something, it is another to slam anyone who does not agree with your point of view. Now, if you are a political editorial columnists, I would expect that. But I followed him because he was funny, not because I wanted to hear his political views. It finally got to the point where I had enough of it, unfollowed him, and have had nothing to do with him since. Its one thing for somoene to be passionate about something, its asomehting else to go shooting your mouth off at anyone who does not agree with you.

    • ‘Catch Me If You Can’, ‘Minority Report’ and ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ are all excellent, though. But no disrespect to your opinion, William.

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