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.
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.
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.
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.
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.