Partying like a rock star has been shown to age a person beyond their years.
It's probably a chicken/egg argument, but am I the only who makes the connection between Charlie Sheen's hedonistic lifestyle and the fact that he played a hedonistic bachelor in Two and a Half Men (aka "the worst comedy series ever to last so long")?
I'm taking the view that he couldn't play such an incorrigible role without it bleeding into his real life. What a miserable guy. I actually feel bad for what an unhappy man he appears to be. I think he thinks he covers it up with his aggressive interview tactics, but it's fairly transparent, isn't it?
Ok, and what about David Duchovny in that HBO show (which I never saw, but heard about) Californication? So he plays a guy with a sexual addiction (amongst other addictions). Several years later, his marriage is falling apart because . . . why? He's got a sexual addiction.
Apparently even birth-control glasses couldn't prevent continued infidelity.
Y'ello? Is there a trend here? Could it be impossible to portray a character with such troubling demons for a long period of time without those attributes seeping into that actor's reality? It doesn't seem out of the question to me, but perhaps I'm superstitious or something.
I often wonder how actors act in films that reek of evil without feeling like they're treading into hell. I guess it comes down to what you call evil. I think the current trend in our culture is that there is no evil. It's just a bunch of people being human. And, you know, that's not evil, man. That's just people, having a human experience, man, which is good, you know?
But, in my opinion, that's just a candy-coated lie. Evil is obviously selfishness. What's more evil than putting your own needs over the needs of others? Even the tribes of American Indians believed in evil, and selfishness was what evil was generally thought to be. This is true, at least, of the Navajo. If someone in your tribe or clan was becoming wealthier than everyone else, that person was obviously practicing witch-craft. They manipulate the wheel of fortune to bring fortune to themselves at the expense of the rest of the tribe.
There are two kinds of evil: selfishness (no illustration necessary); and primordial evil, like Cthulhu. There's no way back from Cthulhu, once you're caught: madness. Selfishness allows for repentance. Here that, Charlie?
Not a bad definition of evil. But, I'm not trying to espouse communism or socialism, because I don't believe that's the answer to the problems of the world (at least, not government forced charity). I'm just making the case that it's not totally old-fashioned to believe in evil. There are lots of forms of it. I'm sure many people would agree that exploiting or hurting children is evil.
So then, why can't I say that Hollywood makes evil movies and wonder how the actors reconcile themselves to participating in such graphic and uncomfortable portrayals of evil? Because I really do wonder. They must have absolutely no conscience. Which is sad, because that's the only way to navigate the often troubling waters of our lives, you know, with Jiminy Cricket right there, guiding us.
I'm personally not comfortable with portrayals of extreme evil on television or film. Shows like Criminal Minds really disturb me. And I'd have to say, in fact, that it's refreshing to me to find out that others are likewise uncomfortable with certain subject matters. For example, Mandy Patinkin, who played one of the profilers on Criminal Minds, left the show after two seasons because he loathed violence on television and was uncomfortable with certain scenes in the show (source).
Mandy sought a six-fingered man as Inigo. As Jason Gideon, he sought criminals who might eat human fingers for breakfast. Which do YOU want to see? The Spaniard on a quest of vengeance? Same with Mandy.
So some people do have consciences! It's really a revelation to me that there are people in show business who have morals. So, thanks Mandy. I honestly wish Hollywood was better at producing fiction that could give me hope, rather than just making me laugh or feel utterly depressed. I must be in the minority, however, otherwise I'm sure the ratings would have shown as much.
At some point, I fully expect to bow out of consuming television and film. I'm almost there. Charlie Sheen's tantrums and embarrassing displays don't help me feel encouraged about what's happening in the entertainment industry. In fact, I'd sort of be happy if the whole system imploded. But I'm sure the executives would only blame piracy, rather than taking a microscope to the trash they're producing and try to fix it.