Wednesday, September 26, 2007

gotta love British candor

While I have little desire to relocate to The Land of Fried Bread and Lager, their understatement and lack of pretense can be very refreshing. Take these selections from bios on the British Film Institute site:

Julie Andrews:
"It seems a shame that she, quintessentially English, has wasted herself on many feeble American films when she could have found feeble films at home - and 'home' needed her more."

Tom Baker:

Stardom made him proprietorial, and he berated directors, producers and 'ordinary' scripts. He was ill for much of his record-breaking seventh year as the Doctor and, when faced with a new producer, incoming 'juvenile' assistants and a ratings slump, he announced his retirement in October 1980. Before leaving the programme Baker wed his assistant Romana - actress Lalla Ward - although the marriage lasted just 18 months.

Baker's final Doctor Who was shown in March 1981 and he subsequently struggled with typecasting, retreating to the theatre and runs of Treasure Island, Educating Rita, Hedda Gabler and She Stoops to Conquer...

The typecasting receded in the 1990s - he was now physically heavier and the famous curls had begun to grey, while directors who had grown up watching Doctor Who began to cast him...

Compare these to the typical American writing on celebrities, which either treats them as maincured, PR-vetted High Priests of Culture or seedy scandal sheet fodder.

P.S. Eek! The above-mentioned Lalla Ward is now telegenic wife and illustrator to Current Pop Science Atheist Rockstar Richard Dawkins (well, "current" given the death of Carl Sagan and Stephen Jay Gould and limited mobility of Stephen Hawking) who is perhaps one of the most arrogant people on the planet. Check out his latest offer (sorry no link): damn your soul to Hell and get a free DVD!

Small world.

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