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Entries in Atonement (7)

Saturday
Nov 12 2011

Q&A Special Pt.2: Briony,Nashville,Early Onset Actressexuality

Back again.So losing track of time lately.Fridays as Mondays.Thursdays as Fridays.When am I?Saturday AM?What?But here's the promised second part of theQ&A column.I loved the James Dean question and the Spice Girl question but I'll have to give them their own post or something later because my brain can't deal with their enormity tonight.

Here are a few more questions I wanted to / could answer.As always,I love to hear your answers to the same questions or your responses to mine in the comments.

MATTHEW: Choose three Oscar-nom'ed/winning actresses from the Aughts whose careers are most in need of redirecting and explain how you would help get them back on track.

I would've said Charlize Theron a year ago but -- yay --totally back on track these days.

I want to start withEllen Page.She gets work regularly butWhip It,her last vital role,will soon be three years old and it seems like we should be hearing her name more often in the 'who is up for what part' sweepstakes.I worry that Hollywood doesn't think she's "sexy"-- maybe it's the somewhat butch energy?-- and therefore doesn't consider her for the parts that they keep divvying up between Evan Rachel Wood,Carey Mulligan,Abbie Cornish,and the like.I think she should embrace the androgyny and do something harder-edged with a confrontationalorcasual sexiness.The Girl With the Dragon Tattoowould've been a great move for her.But alas...

Hilary Swank.I know I've been rough on her over the years...but it's not like she's without talent (though her line readings in theNew Year's Evetrailer are truly lumber yard ready.Yikes!).I think the extraordinary early success misdirected her career and she ended up playing all these Movie Star roles she wasn't suited for and doing all these genres she's terrible at.She needs to stick with contemporary drama and maybe look for a challenging memorable character in a strong ensemble piece.The only way she's getting a third Oscar nominations is a vivid supporting part.

Mo'Nique.The only problem with her career is that she doesn't work enough.When you can do what she did inPreciousyou kind of owe it to the world,if you ask me.(You'll notice I didn't even mention the vanishing act that is Joan Allen's career.I can't even talk about that lest I burst into tears.)

Sir Ian His AwesomenessSMG: Who are your favorite real-life gay actors?gay characters?

Y'all have to start narrowing down your questions!Characters?This sounds like a top 100 list waiting to happen so I can't do it in this format.As for gay actors,I have total organic fondness for any public figure brave enough to come out of the closet.People are always saying "oh,it's personal.leave them alone.etcetera"but basic sexual orientation is not a private matter -- sexual preferences in the bedroom,sure,but not orientation.Look around you and you will see evidence of sexual orientation EVERYWHERE.The "stay in the closet if it's what's best for you"is just heteronormative societal pressure and the thing people are always telling actors "don't come out because it'll kill your chance to become an A List movie star like ____"is sick.As if people should lie about their life for their whole lives for the sake of a lottery ticket!That's just the dark side of our capitalistic 'every man for himself' / 'dog-eat-dog' thinking.Notice how each year it gets easier for gay actors and actresses and it's becoming less of an issue.Why?Because people before them were altruistic and brave enough to come out and have opened the doors.The world is a better place post Ellen Degeneres and post Ian McKellen and post everyone-else.We can pretend we all live in bubbles but we don't.Our actions affect other people;we live in a continuum.

Politics aside,some workign gay actors I'm extra fond of in that I usually love their work and always perk up when I see them (no offscreen / offstage kinship required): Lily Tomlin,Sir Ian McKellen,Cheyenne Jackson,Miriam Margolyes,Fiona Shaw,John Benjamin Hickey,Jonathon Groff,Udo Kier (I'm still giggling remembering his bit inMelancholia),and Alan Cumming.That's off the top of my head.

Lily Tomlin in Nashville's "I'm Easy"Sequence

JOE K: Pick three performances inNashvillewhich you think are the most impressive that aren't Lily Tomlin and Ronee Blakley.

Nashville!One of the best topics in all of cinema.I'll name my choices and answer a drama/musical question and a first actress crush diaryafter the jump.

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