This Week You Will Learn:
- Which Succession cast member is probably the biggest pain in the ass
- Which New Zealand director is the harshest businessman
- Which Good Omens cast member is probably the most generous
- How you should maybe think about work if you follow the way of the third person
- Which pansexual stage show has the most oh it’s Rocky Horror of course
Thanks to Casper, Rosy Fingers, and Drunk Napoleon for contributing this week. Send articles throughout the next week to ploughmanplods [at] gmail, share articles from the past week below for discussion and Have a Happy Friday!
The Spinoff‘s Madeleine Chapman goes in depth on the steep cost of film subsidies to New Zealand, and Peter Jackson’s massive influence on not just the arts but how business is conducted in country:
When LOTR became a global phenomenon, the barefooted Jackson became a local hero. His apparent lack of interest in Hollywood and its glamour only magnified his public image as an affable nerd who just wants to make cool movies. In a sense, Jackson is still that nerd wanting to make cool movies, but in two decades he has accumulated a lot of power and isn’t shy about using it. “He’s not a political character and that makes him a political character,” says Mulheron. “He’s only interested in what he’s interested in and he’s blind to everything else.”
At The New Yorker, Michael Schulman talks about Succession star Jeremy Strong and his frankly exhausting acting methods and lifestyle:
When I asked Strong about the rap that Kendall performs in Season 2, at a gala for his father—a top contender for Kendall’s most cringeworthy moment—he gave an unsmiling answer about Raskolnikov, referencing Kendall’s “monstrous pain.” Kieran Culkin told me, “After the first season, he said something to me like, ‘I’m worried that people might think that the show is a comedy.’ And I said, ‘I think the show is a comedy.’ He thought I was kidding.” Part of the appeal of “Succession” is its amalgam of drama and bone-dry satire. When I told Strong that I, too, thought of the show as a dark comedy, he looked at me with incomprehension and asked, “In the sense that, like, Chekhov is comedy?” No, I said, in the sense that it’s funny. “That’s exactly why we cast Jeremy in that role,” McKay told me. “Because he’s not playing it like a comedy. He’s playing it like he’s Hamlet.”
In a slightly different approach to life by an actor, Michael Sheen tells The Big Issue he has decided after selling his houses to bail out a homeless benefit event that he’s done earning money for himself:
So I put all my money into keeping it going. I had a house in America and a house here [in London] and I put those up and just did whatever it took. It was scary and incredibly stressful. And I’ll be paying for it for a long time. But when I came out the other side I realised I could do this kind of thing and, if I can keep earning money it’s not going to ruin me. There was something quite liberating about going, alright, I’ll put large amounts of money into this or that, because I’ll be able to earn it back again. I’ve essentially turned myself into a social enterprise, a not-for-profit actor.
Writing for Memory Palace, Paul McNally reflects on Rocky Horror, its place in the culture at large and his own history with the show:
It went like this: as a very young person, if a peer were to expose me as weird or even (gasp!) queer, my panicked response was usually a shame-filled sort of inwardly directed violence or some, hopefully, diffusive self-ridicule. However, after absorbing Frank in The Rocky Horror Picture Show in increasingly frequent doses administered by video tape, criticisms of any perceived unconventionality in my appearance or behavior were parried with The Arched Eyebrow.
The meaning of The Arched Eyebrow is this:
“O! You who would ridicule the different,
You who would attempt to confirm your own
limitations of imagination and personal daring
by questioning My Peccadilloes,
you have no idea how thrilling are the worlds that I contain,
you have not the slightest inkling of the glorious universe
of weirdly queer and queerly weird that I represent.
I should pity you, were I not so very busy Being.”
At The Atlantic Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen talk about rethinking the idea of hard work:
Societally, we are taught to revere and strive for hard work, even as we internalize that we’re never quite doing it. You might be working excessive hours, or you might feel as if you are suffocating under the weight of demands on your time and body, but that labor will always fall short of the venerated hard work of someone else. Many of our preconceptions of hard work are still rooted in an agrarian or industrial mindset, and they strengthen as the percentage of the American workforce laboring in those fields has declined. To labor outdoors, or in a factory, or in any way that taxes the body, is considered good, noble, even patriotic work. If you work indoors, at a computer—even if it affects the body in ways that don’t leave calluses—it is distinctly less venerable.