Fame and fortune isn’t worth the price tag
Fame and fortune comes at a price: celebrity couples forfeit their right to a normal life and a significant degree of privacy because being together propels their career.
Well that’s what I used to think. Until I read Jodie Foster’s elegant and compelling defence of the modern actor’s right to privacy in the celebrity obsessed age for The Daily Beast and she changed my mind.
Here’s a particularly great paragraph: “In my era, through discipline and force of will, you could still manage to reach for a star-powered career and have the authenticity of a private life. Sure, you’d have to lose your spontaneity in the elaborate architecture. You’d have to learn to submerge beneath the foul air and breathe through a straw. But at least you could stand up and say, I will not wilfully participate in my own exploitation. Not anymore.”
But here’s her main point: “Just to set the record straight, a salary for a given on-screen performance does not include the right to invade anyone’s privacy, to destroy someone’s sense of self.”
Foster is writing in defence of Kristen Stewart, a fellow actress, who if you didn’t know has been embroiled in a relationship breakdown scandal with her Twilight co-star, Robert Pattinson.
It’s been an annoying and frankly boring series of reports about the couple with the most annoying of all portmanteaus. That’s a fancy French word for the act of combining two related words into one. Apparently it’s the correct term to use when describing the grating modern habit of combining the names of the hottest celebrity couples, like, TomKat, Bennifer and Brangelina.
Foster’s piece however, has managed to make the whole affair less irritating. Partly because she’s known Stewart since she was a little girl (aged 11 on the set of Panic Room, where they both appeared). But mostly because Foster, as evidenced by her beautifully written paragraph above, has been in Hollywood forever and knows what it means to have your whole life documented:
“I have been an actress since I was 3 years old, 46 years to date. I have no memories of a childhood outside the public eye,” she wrote.
This is the clincher. It makes you stop and think just what it would be like to live in a fishbowl. It makes you take another look at Jodie Foster’s photograph and wonder: what would it be like to have one of the most recognisable faces in the world? To have always thought before walking out your front door: will anyone follow me?
Not to mention how stressful it must be to navigate the complexities of a relationship and relationship breakdowns in the public eye, and not give into the temptation to write yourself off every night. Yep, it’s pretty possible that Jodie Foster will even make you feel sorry KPatz.