Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Salma As Obama

Perhaps Salma Hayek will one day play Obama in a biopic? Although the movie wasn't actually that great, the idea behind the movie 'Simone' was pretty cool. That a movie star could be freed from physical form. In Simone's case, the character was completely computer generated but through Andy Serkis' Gollum and the young Brad Pitt in Benjamin Button, we are clearly freeing actors from flesh and bone reality.

I really enjoyed Salma Hayek in Frida. I think she is a fantastic actress, but it must be frustrating that the number of roles that are available to her must be limited to roles written for characters that remind casters of her. It would be wonderful if for any role, every actor and actress was eligible. It would certainly make for interesting method acting. I recently saw an interview with Julianne Moore where she spoke of the research she did into Alzheimer's for her movie 'Still Alice'. They showed a clip where she was describing what it was like to live with the disease. It was powerful, apart from her talented performance, because she had spent hours talking to real people who are struggling through real challenges. One of the great things of being human is that we can communicate what it is like to experience what we are going through. We can communicate lessons from mistakes. We can communicate emotional growth. Artists can share life lessons for us without direct experience of the pain. Our ability to share means we learn together.

You can't ever completely silence your perspective. You can't ever empathise fully. But you can try. Acting must be one of the most powerful ways to dive into someone elses experience, and be able to come back better. If technology can free women to play men's roles, young to play the role's of the old, old to play the roles of the young - I think we will open up a massive treasure chest of emotional intelligence. Imagine Helen Mirren or Judi Dench winning the Best Actor award. Morgan Freeman winning Best Actress.

Bigots have heroes too. It would be great if the face behind a heroic character of theirs turned out to be someone they despised. The human experience is a shared one.

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