CELEB INSIDER: Isaacs' Distate for Hollywood

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CELEB INSIDER: Isaacs' Distate for Hollywood

Post by Gillian » Wed Dec 20, 2006 2:36 pm

From Netscape Celebrity ...

One of "Harry Potter's" biggest stars, Jason Isaacs, doesn't have a lot to hide when it comes to his feelings about the happenings of Hollywood. It's quite obvious that Tinseltown's way of doing things is not exactly his cup of tea.

In fact, the British actor tells us, "I think it's weird that everybody all over America knows what the weekend box office is. Now, for some reason, everybody is a profit and loss expert. They decide to see a movie based on whether or not it will be profitable. Who cares? But, when you're in Los Angeles, everybody knows if a film has profited or not.

"Films live or die based on their opening weekend," he points out. "So many of the things I love to watch have been terrible failures financially."

This is part of the reason Isaacs has no desire to live in Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world. "It's very healthy for me not to be there. I don't judge anyone else, though, because I become the same thing. It doesn't take long before I've embodied the same value system that everyone else has there."

Just don't expect him to conform to all of Hollywood's ways of doing things. "I have a terrible confession to make, and this is not going to make me popular with people who hire me, but I don't really care how many people watch the things I do." Well, this certainly has never been much of a problem for Isaacs, who's starred in such flicks as "The Patriot" and "Peter Pan."

He continues, "I care about whether I think I've done a really good job or whether I've chosen an interesting, worthwhile story to tell. My job is over with. For instance, I had a very exhilarating time making 'Brotherhood.' Whether or not they get audiences has nothing to do with me. It has to do how well they are or aren't marketed, or whether some big sports game is on that weekend, or whatever. I only care about whether I get the chance to do my job again. I'm not invested in how many people watch it. I just want to have a good time filming it."

Emily Feimster

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Helen8
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Post by Helen8 » Wed Dec 20, 2006 4:06 pm

So, . . . how about them Houston Astros?

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Post by Hilary the Touched » Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:42 pm

::rofl

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Marie
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Post by Marie » Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:36 am

It is interesting that he should say that ... and yet he is so gracious and very enthusiastic about the marketing end of the film/TV. At least he has always done tons of positive interviews - he always has something good to say. He might not like that end of it (and who would blame him!) - but he does a great job!

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Post by Helen8 » Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:07 am

It is okay to have an unexpressed thought. That said, to thine own self be true. And we wouldn't want it any other way. But still . . . :shock:

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Post by Malfoy Grandma » Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:26 am

:D Very nice commentary, even if it seems that one must conform to such crap as the Hollywood bigwigs demand! Too bad for us and JI that there are not enough filmmakers outside the range of that publicity fist. Thanks for posting this. Makers me an even greater fan!

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Post by catloveyes » Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:24 am

Jason's honesty has always been one of his qualities that has drawn me to him....cheers for his nonconformity!!! :D

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Post by kjshd05 » Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:18 pm

Kudos to Mr Jason for keeping his individualism in Hollywood...He cares about what he does, but he's not in it for the profit, but for his craft and sounds like he doesnt care if his career is brilliant or not, as long as he can say "I did the best that I could"...I agree, makes me more of a fan that I already was, and his honesty is refreshing in todays world..
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Post by Bellatrix » Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:36 pm

I am in complete agreement with Jason. I wasn't that keen on Hollywoodland when I was there either.

And I found it uber-weird that people just don't walk anywhere. Honestly, the stares I got because I was using my feet!

Ummm...I should point out that I wasn't working in the film industry when I was there - I was in PR!

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Post by Moira » Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:17 am

It's very interesting that what Mr. Isaacs says is what all my friends who are professional writers say: That quality is far superior to quantity. And I agree.

If one values only fame and a huge paycheck, then one's emphasis will be on numbers. Numbers of fans, numbers in the bank account. Since the lowest common denominator puts the most butts in seats or creates the highest TV ratings, projects aimmed at that audience rarely if ever have any depth, substance or quality of performance.

The performers I respect are those whose careers may include mainstream work in order to pay the bills and raise the kids, but who also seek out work with quality writing. Derek Jacobi, Emma Thompson, Judy Dench, Helen Mirren, Philip Quast, Jason Isaacs...notice how all of them aren't American? Hell, if Dench, Mirren and Thompson had been born in America, they wouldn't have been able to find roles after age 35. Who wants to see those wrinkly old women? icky! bleck!

With writing or acting, it comes down to, do you like who you see in the mirror? Have you created work that may never have been published, or was published by a tiny press, or which has just a few loyal fans, but you can say to yourself, "I enjoyed the creative process, and I'm proud of the final work?" Or can you only say, "Entertainment Tonight always greets me on the red carpet and compliments my hair/dress/shoes?"

I'm impressed that Mr. Isaacs has the right priorities, in my opinion.

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Post by Marie » Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:56 am

Hell, if Dench, Mirren and Thompson had been born in America, they wouldn't have been able to find roles after age 35. Who wants to see those wrinkly old women? icky! bleck!
Playing Devil's Advocate - which at times I am very fond of doing - I'd resond with - Katherine Hepbern and Meryl Streep. Both fine actresses who found roles as older women. There are other American actresses of course but those two come to mind quickly.

In addition - our Independent film industry is thriving right now. Many terrific movies and roles that the normal Hollywood Movie Machine would never put out.

;-)

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Post by Moira » Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:31 pm

Marie wrote: Playing Devil's Advocate - which at times I am very fond of doing - I'd resond with - Katherine Hepbern and Meryl Streep.
Katherine Hepburn was a star at a time when women over 30 found a lot of roles: Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, etc. Meryl Streep is America's best known actress over 30 because she's almost the only one. There are a few who are tossed an occasional lead role (Diane Keaton, for example), but a very few.

If you get a chance, watch the documentary Searching for Debra Winger. It has a lot of interesting discussions from older women performers, including Frances McDormand, who was in Friends with Money with Isaacs.

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Post by Gillian » Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:39 pm

Hell, if Dench, Mirren and Thompson had been born in America, they wouldn't have been able to find roles after age 35.
That's because the British aren't as hung up with youth as North Americans are. It's an abysmal state of affairs really - programming over here is absolutely saturated with pretty, young people who simply don't have the depth, experience or training to produce quality work. Which is why I think overseas productions tend to do well here. People are getting tired of the unrealistic dreck being forced down their throats and are turning to projects which feature a more realistic cross-section of the populace. Quality writing isn't being sacrificed to cater to a particular demographic in the name of ticket sales, yet there they are, bringing in the audiences and garnering nominations, defying Hollywood's insistence that movies should be aimed at those with only a grade 10 education.

You would think Hollywood would've figured it out by now (although I do think perceptions are changing -- slowly).

Since we're mentioning older film stars I thought it worth mentioning that fifty some odd years ago the reverse was true. Back then you had a lot of older actors playing young characters. In a strange way today's trends might actually be a backlash in response to that.

Like a pendulum though, we could things swing again, and perhaps in a positive way with all cross-sections being represented equally.

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Post by Helen8 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:47 pm

Moira, I think you're my long, lost soul mate or we're twins of a different mother and father . . . Alan Rickman, Derek Jacobi, and Jason Isaacs. If you're old enough to include Guy Williams in that list, then you've hit my all-time faves. [cue Twilight Zone theme]

Helen

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Post by Moira » Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:33 pm

Helen8 wrote:Moira, I think you're my long, lost soul mate or we're twins of a different mother and father . . . Alan Rickman, Derek Jacobi, and Jason Isaacs. If you're old enough to include Guy Williams in that list, then you've hit my all-time faves. [cue Twilight Zone theme]

Helen
I remember Guy Williams! But my family didn't watch Zorro much. I think at the time I had a crush on Ross Martin (remember him? I always preferred him over Robert Conrad).

Hello, Twilight Zone sister!

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