Morals: The Dirty Word in Hollywood?

21 Mar

Last Article in our Bringing Spirituality Back to Hollywood series. Please Welcome Guest Writer!

By Jess

Ever since I was a little girl, one of my biggest dreams was to become an actress. Of course this dream was just an unrealistic inside joke with family and friends. My need to entertain people became apparent at a young age. I put on shows in my backyard for my grandparents, to filming a series of sketch shows and movies with my best friend. Even being in plays in Drama class for most of my high school career.

I craved that wonderful rush of people watching me on stage. Of being someone else and my personality coming out in characters I would make up on the spot. Of course when I truly did tell my family about maybe pursuing a career right out High school they would look at me and give me two reasons it would never work. One being I would have to move to Hollywood to try and make it. Everyone knows how hard it is to pursue something that isn’t even a sure thing.

Second being that I myself coming from a very religious family at the time, my Grandma would tell me I could never be a faithful Christian and work in an industry that in and of itself had become so sinful. I always wondered about these things. My first point of course, I knew moving to Hollywood was a given, either that or New York to make it big.

Since then things have drastically changed in the movie industry. Like in the 1920’s & 1930’s with the starlets of the black and white screen gracing the world with their beauty. I honestly believe that anything in the business was really easy to get into then. You needed to have some experience with any type of entertainment genre. Not only acting, and you made it in. Not saying it wasn’t a struggle. But I truly think standards were not so high. As in now where everything is determined by how you look and how much PR you receive more then your ability to act.

There is no denying that Hollywood does seem to be the base for all entertainment needs. But what exactly is the real reason? A Hollywood acting coach Bernard Hiller explains it in the simplest terms.

  • You have to understand that LA is the ‘Olympics of acting. The best actors in the world come here and make their careers. To come here without preparation isn’t very smart.  You need to have a plan of action. They say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. [1]

With LA/Hollywood being the main place to make it, it’s no wonder so many young aspiring artist venture out to lala land to try and be the new “IT” person. The familiar stories of many actors recounting “how they first started out with nothing.” Working oddball jobs trying to survive while trying to get an agent and headshots with your resume to hopefully land an audition. And far too often people just give up after years of trying. The business really is harder than they would have you believe and it would look to be a stroke of luck when someone finally makes it through the gate.

Hiller goes on to say:

  • There are some people who move to LA to start an acting career and they end up forgetting why they came here. They get sidetracked and get trapped into working for a regular job so they can pay the rent and they end up working all the time and then don’t have time to study or work on their acting career. Or they get so involved with their personal lives and lose sight of their acting careers altogether.”

Everyone usually see’s the glamorous side to Hollywood. They don’t pay attention to the “nitty gritty” of working your way to the top. Yes! I have heard Hollywood is hard. However, people in the business seem almost plastic far from what the general public can identify with. It is all about money. Bottom line. I look at Hollywood as the popular kids from school. On the outside it makes you want to have that power and beauty. Once inside you see cracks in the foundation, Jealously, backstabbing to get something you realize maybe you didn’t want in the first place. Is all of Hollywood like this?

Believe it or not, there are some stars that manage to stay grounded. For example two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks. He seems like a genuinely gracious person, a beautiful family and seems to have great morals. With the Hollywood of today, morals almost seem like a dirty word. With the Paris Hiltons, Charlie Sheens and the Lindsay Lohans of the city running around with drugs and sex trailing not too far behind. In our day and age Religion sadly is fading out slowly but surely. But can stars actually stay grounded by having religion in their lives? Are they the example new actors who venture out to Hollywood want to emulate or become?

No matter what you believe there is no doubt everyone aspires to find some goodness in an otherwise dark world. However, with the world that Hollywood creates religion seems to be used as another PR stunt. For example, Madonna making Kabala a trend or Tom Cruise taking Scientology to another level and making it the most talked about subject when nobody had ever really heard of it. Do these people really practice loving their God or is it for show?

With everything in Hollywood it seems trends take more precedence then any real spiritual manifestation. And with the new faces coming out in the movie industry morals seem to have ceased. Where is the line going to be drawn?

Bob Waliszewski a director of Media and Culture for Focus on the Family, talks about what values Celebrities really need.

  • I think it’s important for parents to teach their children that any human being is just that, a human being,” he stressed. “There are even Christian leaders that have fallen very publicly. When it comes to Christians in the media, it’s even harder to live out their faith. For young people in the media to be able to put their foot down, that’s really tough.” [2]

Especially with society today being more open to seeing sex and drugs and stars getting preferential treatment when the “general public” get years in prison. It brings me back to my grandma saying, “How it is impossible to have faith and be a celebrity?” Grandma was always the extreme conservative Christian, so while I think she has a bit of a point. I do believe there are some stars that actually don’t give into the Hollywood game. Kirk Cameron is one of them. He is a devout Christian and even goes as far to have his wife fill in for the actress in his movie for the love scenes or kissing.

Extreme yes. But it is possible to do. So yes I do believe a star can stay grounded with “faith.” With the crazy that surrounds Hollywood these days? Some stars taking that road of faith is uplifting and refreshing and in my mind I wonder, “How would Old Hollywood look at the way things have turned out?” I am sure they had their own troubles and believe they did it right.

However, with all the fresh new actors migrating into Hollywood as we speak will they remember where they came from if they do make it? Will they stay the same humble person that was not jaded by the PR machine? It is a hopeful thought to wish them the best. So in my dream of becoming an actress I have become jaded with the way acting and the word “celebrity” has become more important than substance. I still think about acting from time to time because I genuinely love movies, acting and writing. However to be consumed with celebrity? I choose to have morals, peace and happiness in my life instead.

Please join our discussion Thursday 3/22/2012@7pmE/12UTC.

——————————————————————————————

[1] http://www.actingcareerstartup.com/start-an-acting-career.html

[2] http://www.christianpost.com/news/staying-grounded-in-faith-when-christian-teen-idols-fall-47513/

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76 Responses to “Morals: The Dirty Word in Hollywood?”

  1. littlebells March 21, 2012 at 11:06 AM #

    FANTASTIC Jess! Such a great topic and article! So many wonderful points to discuss. 🙂

    As far as religious trends, I always side eye. Now I know human beings are human beings and we are all flawed, but I think those that really follow their beliefs are the truly spiritually connected. I don’t know what Tom Hanks religious affiliation is or if he has one, but his darkest character was in Road to Perdition. The majority of his roles are NOT sleazy, sleeping around characters who have no moral compass. Then you take Ashton Kutcher, who I believe practices Kabbalah (and no I don’t know what they preach), and his resume is nothing like Hanks. His characters get high, sleep around, get drunk, blah, blah, blah. His I do believe there is a correlation between roles one chooses and staying spiritually grounded.

    Ok, I am having a hard time finding the right words, so I will come back to finish this comment. 🙂 haha!

    • 4string March 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM #

      I totally get what you’re saying. Most of Ashton’s roles are not sympathetic characters and is that because it’s something he can easily channel into and because he chooses roles that are not far off from his personality? You have to wonder that if an actor/actress chooses the same type of part over and over if it’s an extension of their personality. I wouldn’t put Ashton in the category of the mega talented thespian who can really go with a role so far off of who they are and sell it believably. He’s also not an actor who does a lot of varied roles.

  2. Jess March 21, 2012 at 4:26 PM #

    Yes LB! That is exactly what I was getting at. I side eye most stars who claim they are these religious faithful people. then go out on a drinking binge, or flip off the camera’s or has roles that show extreme nudity. That is called someone using the “faith” angle as a PR move. It gives them and sadly the religion attention.

    The stars that actually practice any type of faith and the prove it by living a non exploitation type of life, and don’t use the religion as a name drop while also showing it in their roles are truly living a faithful life whatever that may be.

    Not to sound preachy but in the bible in this verse Matthew 6:1-34

    “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward” .

    This is still the verse I think of when seeing some stars and their talks about what they believe in… Because most of them seem to be for show. JMO.

    • littlebells March 21, 2012 at 5:37 PM #

      I am applauding you! It comes down to practicing what you preach.

      Pretty much everything you just said.

      • Open Book March 22, 2012 at 8:15 PM #

        I believe people who have addictions have to replace negative behavior with healthy ones. Hmm! The film, A Dangerous Method comes to mind. Great film and very relevant to what we are discussing today. Has anyone seen this film?

        None the less, ITA Jess words are cheap u need to back it up with actions.

        • littlebells March 22, 2012 at 8:29 PM #

          Not yet but I plan too.

        • Jess March 22, 2012 at 9:06 PM #

          I have seen the movie. Very good choice to think about that topic.

          People seem to use those facades to hide behind. Yes talk is cheap. But imo I have heard and sometimes seen that lies get you ahead in the industry as well. Such as rumors to get you in the news. Sad but true. I think there are alot of secrets obviously not known but some are and it is for show in some cases. Again jmo but one of the reasons I see HW as being fake. Yes some people are genuine. But what do we as humans think about first? We become more interested in the bad and rarely remember the good. So I agree OB.

    • crelief March 22, 2012 at 10:49 AM #

      Wow, Jess so many feelings, ideas, and observations about Hollywood.

      Because I lived in the town for many years, yet had no association with that industry, I know many of the seedier aspects of town are indeed present. Yet those aspects are not the acting endeavor in itself. So please, if necessary reassess your drive to be involved in the business, and hopefully push forward with your dream.

      If you were obsessed with medicine there are cities in the world where the industry is often in competition against litigious lawyers, drug peddling doctors, and ungifted and passion less practitioners. Certainly there are many corrupt police departments that promote faddish political trends and compete against the working police officers to empower criminals. Certainly there are more than enough schools that are warehousing children and are not dedicated to education at all.

      I honestly believe most have to define their own compass, regardless of what those beliefs might entail.

      Thanks for being so honest.

      • Jess March 22, 2012 at 8:03 PM #

        OH I completely agree. My thought was just that yes some in Hollywood are lacking some morals. But again just because my Grandma said those things when I was younger I had a different perspective on the industry then I do now. I have changed drastically and would still love to pursue a career in acting or even Screenplay writing since i have a few.. However I have lived in LA and in my personal opinion i didn’t much care for it. I did like NY though and if I had to would start there first.
        But knowing me now who is MUCH different then the kid my Grandma talked to about you can’t be a Christian and be a actor, I would have certain limitations IF I did act in a movie. Such as a nudity clause like LB and 4 string said.
        I have some problems with seeing a movie with a lot of woman naked or extreme sex sex scenes. I just do. If it is maybe one time and subtle then ok or like the Notebook love scene ok. I can ignore it. But when it makes ME uncomfortable which is hard to do I am out! A movie shouldn’t need to hold peoples attention by showing nudity constantly Or love scenes that could be porn. Less is more! And I wonder with those really heavy sex scenes, when people take their families to watch the movie how uncomfortable is THAT? Anyways The screenplay should be good enough without it to hold interest!
        But I digress because that is a issue I will keep talking about lol.
        Now I have alot of tolerance for such things I mean ALOT. So certain things don’t usually bother me. Which is why If I were a actor I wouldn’t go as far as Kirk Cameron. But I would play some of the game and know my limit. Just no nudity. Which Halle Berry has that same clause so It can be done. I just think it makes you look more respectful. LOL I am rambling now.

        • littlebells March 22, 2012 at 8:21 PM #

          So great Jess…will come back to this VIA computer. 🙂

        • Open Book March 22, 2012 at 8:34 PM #

          Hi Jess,

          Paris can help me out here. I think actors and many costume designers often adopt a very clinical attitude towards nudity and sex scenes. For example a Dr. can separate personal feelings from the work that needs to get done and treat the problem. In other words it becomes about finding a solution and not the act itself. However, I believe the amount of graphic sex scenes u see in a film depends on the graphic nature of the material. Meaning the sex scene has to compliment the graphic style/narrative for it to be believable. So although sex scenes can be uncomfortable to watch u have to balance it out with the narrative, sub-plots etc… Sex and violence are often used as a needle for the real medicine/message being delivered. We need to be careful not to get uncomfortable/distracted by the big needle. Does that make sense?

          • Open Book March 22, 2012 at 9:10 PM #

            Jess-

            LOL! I like NY too. People are a lot easier to read. However, CA is a different culture that takes some time to get use too. People need to adopt stealth like tactical skills to succeed in LA.

            • Jess March 22, 2012 at 9:20 PM #

              LOL I was born and raised in CA. And Ever since i was little I knew I just didn’t belong. I am nothing like it. It is great for some people but for me.. I am more of a free spirit to begin with so really I don’t know if ONE place is me. I like to go everywhere all the time with no ties. But there are some places I would stay at for months at a time. NY was one. I enjoyed the culture and different people. Not to mention the amazing plays and shows I would see. there is so much a young actor can try to get into. It seems almost endless. Where as imo HW is pretty straight and narrow with the way actors start out. I hope I am making sense. I am sleepless at the moment LOL

              • Open Book March 22, 2012 at 9:31 PM #

                Jess!

                LOL! O.k. I can’t resist answering u. Hahahahaha! Love your answer. U and me both. My family nicknamed me tumbleweed. I hate to be tied down for long I need to change my environment to wake up to gain greater clarity etc… Otherwise, I fear getting stuck in a rut mentally as well as physically. Does that make sense?

                • Jess March 22, 2012 at 10:08 PM #

                  Very much so! I am exactly like that. I call it getting antsy.. When I have been to a place for maybe 6 months to a year that antsyness sets in and I gotta get moving. To where ever. Just a change. LOL

  3. littlebells March 21, 2012 at 5:40 PM #

    This question is for everyone:

    Is there a difference between choosing a character (who deals with addictions/major flaws) when it comes to the type of story being told? For example, if an actor doesn’t believe in adultery, but chooses a character in a film that commits the act, is their a difference between a storyline where it is showing the reality of the consequences or where it’s glossed over/found comical/ignored?

    • crelief March 22, 2012 at 10:52 AM #

      LB,

      I’m not a theatrical or dramatic actor yet I don’t think actors should judge their characters. Most of us can’t live our lives by script, so many of us find ourselves occupying the villain role in our own lives (and many times we do not know that nor do we intend for it to happen).

      A script that defines the villain up front might not be a very good script in the first place. Certainly in this scenario, the audience isn’t given a chance to come to their own conclusions.

    • 4string March 22, 2012 at 12:19 PM #

      Like Jess, I’m also a Christian so if I was an actress, I guess it would depend on how it’s portrayed. For example, if I were to play someone who did drugs or cheated on her spouse, is it a movie/role that glorifies it or is it a role that shows it as a tragic choice? I wouldn’t have a prob playing the role (generally speaking) if it wasn’t shown flippantly. I’d also be one of those actors with a nudity clause. 🙂

      • littlebells March 22, 2012 at 4:17 PM #

        I agree! Flippant behavior is not cool. 🙂 And yes, I would need a nudity clause too. I would have no problem having a body double. haha!!!

  4. littlebells March 21, 2012 at 5:43 PM #

    Another question for everyone:

    Do you think actors are afraid to have morals because it may lessen and restrict the amount of jobs they get? Do you think they should have more trust in knowing that having a higher standard of living may actually benefit them more with better scripts and characters?

    I have no idea, so OB and Paris help me out, but do you think

    • littlebells March 21, 2012 at 5:46 PM #

      sorry!!!!

      I pressed enter too soon and now I’m having a tough time forming my thought again. Will be back.

    • Open Book March 22, 2012 at 4:09 PM #

      First let me say Jess great job and we are truly happy to have u write for us again.

      LB- I believe the general movie going audience look at things to literal when it comes to judging films. An actor is a vessel and should NOT judge a character IMO! People are flawed and complex. What makes a character realistic is when u can see all those flaws & complexities brought to life by an actor/filmmaker. What unnerves me about so many adult mainstream films today is how campy they have become. They are often single plot structures. They fail to dive deep into complex issues with multiple sub plots for fear of challenging audiences to think.

      However, I do believe American films often show the cause but not the effect of immoral behavior. To me that’s doing a disservice to the movie going audience.

      • littlebells March 22, 2012 at 4:16 PM #

        OB,

        Thank you. You and 4string helped me clarify my thoughts. I think making light of serious issues and flaws of human nature (and not showing the consequences of one’s actions) is detrimental. It’s telling the young, sponge minds that it’s ok to do these things.

        I too being a Christian (and no I am not discriminating any other religion that upholds moral values), am more appreciative of films that show the very real, serious, complex flaws of a character. It may be harder to swallow than laughing at someone sleeping around and everything is hunky dory swell.

        And yes, I agree, there are actors who do take on complex roles but have morals in their personal lives.

        • Open Book March 22, 2012 at 8:03 PM #

          Yes! Yes! LB & 4string

          Perfectly, put. ITA most actors who show up and give these one dimensional performances are really only relying on their charisma. Which is fine for TV because so many shows on TV are one dimensional anyway. However, it takes real skill and ability to dive deep and give a three dimensional performance. Why? Because u need to do so much research/preparation to really transform and embody a character IMO!

  5. Open Book March 22, 2012 at 4:18 PM #

    I go back to a statement I made some time ago. The TRUTH is often ugly. We as humans often want to cover up the TRUTH with LIES. The lies are often PC IMO! The lies are often public. The TRUTH is often locked away in the closet.

    • littlebells March 22, 2012 at 4:38 PM #

      *snort* last sentence.

      But yes, I agree with everything you are saying. I think if a movie can make you look within yourself to do some evaluation, the film has been worth it.

      • Open Book March 22, 2012 at 7:00 PM #

        Sorry! I’m just trying to keep it real here!!

        IMO! God is the only one who truly knows who we are inside. Public speaking is the #1 fear among people. So we are taught at a young age to hide what we feel and think in favor of adopting PC behavior. I mean as we get older we realize not everyone has our best interest in mind. So we learn to weigh our thoughts, learn to be proactive instead of reactive to every feeling/thought we have inside. The truth is we are not perfect. So its imperative as adults we engage in regular dialogue with each other so we can learn and grow. Where am I going with this?

        What u should want as adult moviegoers is for a film/performance to provoke that dialogue. What u want to see are actors who can distinguish/separate the acting craft from who they really are. I think truly great actors have a completely different everyday (off set) persona then the characters they portray on screen.

        I’m less impressed by actors who have the same persona on and off screen. Are they really acting? To me they have more in common with reality TV/tabloid personalities then those who completely transforms themselves. Does that make sense?

        • littlebells March 22, 2012 at 7:03 PM #

          Yes. It’s just like 4string said about Kutcher. He picks roles that are carbon copies of one another in personality. He’s not the finest actor by any means.

          • Open Book March 22, 2012 at 7:25 PM #

            In regards to morals & Hollywood? I may offend some people but I have to be honest. As a Christian and artist I’m fearful of those who claim to be Christians yet, are afraid to be tested. Meaning true relationship with God does not mean u hide away from the world because your afraid u might fail? The world is hell IMO. We should always be striving to be better but that won’t happen if u don’t challenge yourself? Sure Hollywood is corrupt but so is Wallstreet, Washington etc… Does that make sense?

            • Open Book March 22, 2012 at 7:50 PM #

              Let me add.

              Jess-U are constantly challenging yourself. I have had the pleasure of witnessing your impressive critical analysis of narratives on PTSS which can only come from rich cultural appreciation and involvement IMO. I just wanted to clarify. I’m talking about those who refuse to acknowledge or open themselves up to new ideas for fear of change.

  6. littlebells March 22, 2012 at 7:15 PM #

    OB,

    What advice would you give an unsuspecting/even slightly knowing young actor headed out to make it big in HW?

    • Open Book March 22, 2012 at 7:34 PM #

      I think young actors should have and develop relationship with people outside of the entertainment industry. Meaning I found having friends in other fields helps u stay grounded and know there’s a world outside of HW. The truth is artist need to be socially/globally aware of whats happening around them. This is the only way to be a true visionary.

  7. littlebells March 22, 2012 at 8:14 PM #

    Testing testing

    • littlebells March 22, 2012 at 8:15 PM #

      Hallelujiah I am back! Getting caught up.

  8. littlebells March 22, 2012 at 8:25 PM #

    You two are really stimulating my brain!

    Jess and OB
    What actors/actresses do u have a high regard for in how they conduct themselves on screen and off? Why?

    • Jess March 22, 2012 at 8:38 PM #

      I really admire Liv Tyler. Tom Hanks, Elijah Woo. Really for me Actors who take their acting seriously and don’t feed into the media crap. Like Fame seekers who are famous just to be famous. You know who mean. It is their work we look for and seek to watch. Not them feeding the masses with stupid stints just to be noticed.

      • Jess March 22, 2012 at 8:39 PM #

        Sorry Not Elijah Woo.. LOL Wood!

      • Open Book March 22, 2012 at 8:58 PM #

        Unfortunately, young actors today have to compete with reality TV personalities. So many PR/studios believe to get noticed and unknown actor has to play the current oversaturation game. Its sad but true. However, once an actor has proven themselves critically/financially at the BO then can they afford to stop the stunts. We should really not blame young actors who engage in these shenanigans the real ones to blame are consumers who flood gossip sites looking for the stuff. Its all about supply and demand.

    • Open Book March 22, 2012 at 8:49 PM #

      I like actors who’s work is vast and wide ranging in terms of characters, complex narratives etc… I like Daniel Day Lewis, Don Cheadle, Cate Blanchett. I prefer actors who challenge themselves on screen instead of challenging my nerves and patience off screen with stunts and drama. In other words keep the drama on screen. LOL!!

      • Jess March 22, 2012 at 8:57 PM #

        OB

        I also love Cate Blanchett. Also Toni Colette and Kate Winslet. Strong actresses that can be a different character every time. I like actors who are effortless. Who make me forget I am watching a movie. Very few can do that. But there are a few. Ian Mckellen is one.

        • Open Book March 22, 2012 at 9:02 PM #

          Ahh! Great choices Jess!

          Anyway, I have to go now but this was a great, great article, topic and discussion. I have more to say but will have to come back later.

          Take Care!

      • littlebells March 23, 2012 at 12:55 AM #

        I love DDL! He is fantastic in my eyes. My favorite role was his in There Will Be Blood. Greedy, miserable, murdering man and yet he is the most reserved, quiet family man! he seems to be able to disconnect job from life.

  9. littlebells March 22, 2012 at 9:08 PM #

    Ladies,

    I apologize for being “in and out” this discussion. I will comment later tonight. 🙂

    Thank you for a terrific article Jess!

    🙂

  10. parisienne March 22, 2012 at 10:51 PM #

    Jess,

    Excellent article!

    ITA with Open Book’s previous comment about the “needle”. As an actress myself, I will do whatever the script tells me to do. Actors/Actress know what’s in the script when they sign on and their pay is broken into thirds to keep them from walking off set. They get the first third in the beginning, the second third in the middle and the last third at the end of filming to keep them from walking off set. They can also dialogue with the director if they feel uncomfortable about things so its wise to have an excellent relationship with the director so that he/she can look out for the actor while still keeping true to the script. Plus it just helps the set run smoothly.

  11. parisienne March 22, 2012 at 10:57 PM #

    Have you ever read Audition by Michael Shurtleff? Its a really good book and very eye opening about the business. One of the stories that is told in the book is about an actor auditioning for a play (I forget which one) and the scene that he read for the audition was a cursing out scene. He had to say some pretty mean nasty things to the other actor.

    It went something like this:

    Actor: I would never use these words in my personal life.
    Director: Yes I understand but I’m not auditioning you as yourself. I’m auditioning you as your character
    Actor: I don’t feel comfortable saying these lines.
    Director: Then why are you here? What is the point of your audition?.

    • Open Book March 23, 2012 at 12:44 AM #

      LOL! LOL! That is so true.

      • littlebells March 23, 2012 at 12:58 AM #

        it is very true! That’s why actors need to know who they are and what they are willing to compromise. If it’s a big deal not to swear, then don’t pick roles that do. If it’s not, there you go!

  12. parisienne March 22, 2012 at 11:08 PM #

    I also just want to say that i am not a religous person. I am a spiritual person. I have my absolute unbreakable faith in God and that sometimes he calls on people to do things that they may not necessarily do in their personal lives in order to wake up humanity. IMO, that’s what God is trying to do. Wake up humanity, how does he do that? Through movies and television. Why? Its the fastest way to get his message out there. Its like Star Wars. I believe that God gave George Lucas the ideas for Star Wars. If you pay close attention to Star Wars, there are many underlying spiritual beliefs within the films which is why it resonates so profoundly with audiences. IMO.

    • parisienne March 22, 2012 at 11:15 PM #

      For example, The saying “The Force be with you.” What Force? Its the force of God. That saying is trying to tell people that the only person they need to listen to is themselves and therefore God. God is within each of us. God is our light. Have you ever heard the song “This little light of mine”? That song is taught to children to teach them to let God shine within them.

      I don’t think that HW is as corrupt as some other places. It is corrupt and screenwriters and studios only show what will benefit them. They do not care what messages people take away from their films.

      If anyone gets a chance to see Act of Valor go see it. Its an excellent film.

      • parisienne March 22, 2012 at 11:17 PM #

        Spiritual themes not beliefs. I misspoke about SW.

        • littlebells March 23, 2012 at 12:16 AM #

          OMG!!! I am over the moon that you brought up SW because it is a great example of a spiritual film! Good vs Evil and all that! Another great film…oh wait, I think we may have an article on this, so I’m going to save my comments for later.

          But thank you for bringing this up!

          • parisienne March 23, 2012 at 12:33 AM #

            its my pleasure. 🙂

      • Open Book March 23, 2012 at 12:45 AM #

        Wonderfully said!

  13. parisienne March 23, 2012 at 12:11 AM #

    For example, Rob seems to be somewhat old fashioned in his views. In the Eclipse commentary he said that he found the kissing in meadow “a little raunchy” so I wonder what he thinks on a personal of the scenes in Cosmo. I would like to know how Rob chooses his roles. Whether he chooses them because its something different to play or if he chooses them because they somehow resonate with him on a spiritual level.

    • littlebells March 23, 2012 at 12:41 AM #

      That’s what I wonder about all great actors. Seriously, are you living in my brain???? 🙂

      I often wonder if they pick a particular role so completely different from themselves because it is a safe way to “experiment”. You know, allowing you to do something you have often wondered about but without having to really experience it. It’s definitely a better way to gain knowledge of a darker lifestyle.

      OMG, is this making any sense? Paris, you can probably word this better.

    • littlebells March 23, 2012 at 12:42 AM #

      Ok, as for Rob’s comment, I have my own theory behind that comment.

      • Open Book March 23, 2012 at 12:48 AM #

        U know u have to explain your theory right?

        • littlebells March 23, 2012 at 12:52 AM #

          Ugh, yes…:)

          So completely off topic, but here it is:

          In Twilight, when Edward kisses Bella in the bedroom it was sooo awkward in the commentary and Rob makes some random comment about how he thinks his head looks like it’s twisted inside out or something. There was nothing comfortable about that moment. No funny banter between him and Kristen.

          Then in Eclipse the kissing scene Paris is talking about is NOTHING. Seriously, it’s a kiss and he makes that comment.

          Maybe he is uncomfortable talking about his kissing/sex scene moments, but I just got the impression that it’s so awkward to do that with her (jumps behind couch) he just says random stuff to fill that long quiet moment on screen.

          ?????????????????????

          • Open Book March 23, 2012 at 1:09 AM #

            Thank U! Now people can go to sleep. LOL!!

            • littlebells March 23, 2012 at 1:36 AM #

              HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

          • parisienne March 23, 2012 at 1:32 AM #

            What? you mean that’s not true love?????????????? where’s the cyanide capsule?????? (I’m just joking) *joins LB behind couch with popcorn* There were so many long quiet moments in the E commentary that i spit up my drink when he starts talking again.

            • littlebells March 23, 2012 at 1:37 AM #

              Shhhhh! Maybe no one will notice we are here.

            • Open Book March 23, 2012 at 7:09 PM #

              U two???? I’m going to have to enforce some discipline I see. Hmmm! What shall it be?

              • parisienne March 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM #

                you can tie us to a couch and make us watch Kristen’s films on a continous loop while taping our eyes open.

                Better yet just shove bamboo shoots under our nails.

                • littlebells March 23, 2012 at 11:22 PM #

                  No No!!! Anything but that!

                  Just take away my diet Pepsi. That’s punishment enough. 🙂

                  • parisienne March 24, 2012 at 3:39 PM #

                    yes caffeine withdrawl would work nicely. why didn’t i think of that in the first place?

                    • Open Book March 24, 2012 at 8:52 PM #

                      LOL!! Caffeine withdrawal headaches are the worst.

                      Hmm! U have given much to choose from. Hahahahaha!

  14. littlebells March 23, 2012 at 12:14 AM #

    Ok! Here goes!

    Taking what Jess and OB have said, I want to say I completely agree with all your recent points.

    And Paris, I’m glad you mentioned spirituality in the sense that you don’t have to have a formal religion or any religion at all. Whether believing in God or a Higher Power, being in tune to the good things of the world and aspiring to be the best person you can be is the most important thing.

    When it comes to people, yes we are all human and flawed. We are all at different spiritual levels. As an actor one might be at a level where choosing roles that are completely opposite of them or behave in an immoral way won’t affect their spirituality or how they choose to live in private. Then there are those that may have to be very careful about what they choose to do because their spirit is easily influenced. It’s up to each individual to decide ultimately.

    • Open Book March 23, 2012 at 12:59 AM #

      LB-Love this statement u made. “As an actor one might be at a level where choosing roles that are completely opposite of them or behave in an immoral way won’t affect their spirituality or how they choose to live in private. Then there are those that may have to be very careful about what they choose to do because their spirit is easily influenced. It’s up to each individual to decide ultimately.”

      Take a bow!

      Now the same holds true in watching films with a lot of graphic sex/violence/language. IMO! Some people can watch and it not affect their spirituality or how they choose to live. Far too often mainstream films are way too formulaic and the content is forgettable and don’t really provoke discussions. I like directors and actors who are more like scientist because they are constantly trying create new formulas for awakening our spirit and mind. Love it!

      • littlebells March 23, 2012 at 1:09 AM #

        Thank you OB. 🙂

        I do like no brainer movies now and then, but more and more I have become a fan of films that really make you stop and think. It’s sort of like a muscle too. The more you think and reflect on a message that easier it is to pick out messages in films. Shoot I swear I can find something spiritual about any movie! That’s why as a studio, director, actor, designer, what you focus and dwell on is extremely important. What’s that phrase? Something about how your thoughts become words which become actions. yeah, I totally butchered it.

        • parisienne March 23, 2012 at 1:22 AM #

          your thoughts become your deeds. I think that’s the saying. That’s why one should think only positive thoughts. Read Wishes Fulfilled by Dr. Wayne Dyer. Its truly inspiring.

          • Open Book March 23, 2012 at 1:28 AM #

            Hi Paris-Ahh! Love it!

        • Open Book March 23, 2012 at 1:26 AM #

          Yep! I know what u mean. People sometimes are afraid of new concepts because it might require them to take action. So many people want to tune out from life and make other people responsible for their predicament. When the truth is they want to play it safe, stay in control and not be challenged.

  15. Open Book March 23, 2012 at 1:32 AM #

    Paris/LB-

    I have to go for the night. What great additional thoughts from u both. I learn so much from u each time. Always, very spiritually enriching discussions.

    TC!

    • littlebells March 23, 2012 at 2:10 AM #

      Good night OB!

      You take care too. 🙂

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