Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Matt Damon makes "controversial" comments about actors today on Ellen (should they "come out" when gay?)

Matt Damon appeared on the syndicated Ellen show today (with Ellen DeGeneres) and created controversy when he suggested that actors should keep their private lives mysterious.  That got interpreted as meaning gay actors shouldn’t disclose sexual orientation.

But Damon says he meant that actors are more effective if audiences know less about them. But in the days of social media, some actors (especially 35 and younger) are quite open to interacting with “ordinary” people about a variety of things.  But, true, audiences who feel bonded to actor persona tends to see underlying similarities in every movie, rather than the character portrayed.  (Who would want to imagine the Johnny Depp in the "Pirates" movies as really a mobster?) 

The link for the Ellen clip is here. The Guardian has a story about Damon’s comments here. There were some comments about the Project Greenlight screenwriting and movie direciton contests of 2002 and 2004;  perhaps this suggests there could be another contest in the reasonably near future (2016?) -- for me, this bears watching. 
Also, today, a 17-year-old male college freshman at Stanford appeared on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.  He seemed to have a background in both software development and physics.  He certainly reminded me of both Andraka brothers (Jack has just started at Stanford).

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