For all the best laid plans in Hollywood, sometimes real life just happens. So with the breaking of the Twilight fantasy, i.e. the “cheating” scandal of actress Kristin Stewart, with no-name director Rupert Sanders (who prior to directing Stewart in “Snow White and the Huntsman” had only video game commercials under his belt). A billion Twitard voices cried out, and were silent:
But such are the dangers of catering to hypergamous fantasies among the female audience. Real life sometimes happens. Given that these fantasies afflict millions of young women around the globe with idiotic ideas about men and life, it is interesting to see how the shattering of their illusions will play out. The woman in the video, is really unhappy about her own fantasies being destroyed. Not any personal decision made by a famous actress that will undoubtedly hurt her career.
I don’t think the whole thing was a ploy. While longstanding rumors about the true orientation of both Robert Pattinson, and ex-girlfriend Kristin Stewart, have swirled around, for both the affair by Stewart with married and forty something director Rupert Sanders has been a career disaster of unmitigated proportions. Coming shortly before the release of the final Twilight movie. Box office will be worse for the affair, not better. After all, the movie sells the fantasy that ordinary girls can get the aloof, alpha male asshole of their dreams. If they just hold out.
No one dreams of adultery with a married, two kids director nearly twice their age, with all the sexiness of a burnt piece of toast, and with no real power or fame himself. Sanders is a first time movie director. Not only is Robert Pattinson a bigger player in Hollywood, heck Kellan Lutz is a bigger player. Who? You ask? Exactly.
Shattering that fantasy will cost Stewart dearly. Gone, the movie roles as the young ingenue fantasy figure for young women. Gone the starring roles as the heroine. Gone, the power of big paydays coming off a big finish to the Twilight movies. Now, she’s Ashley Greene. Who? You Ask? Exactly. Kristin Stewart, for the unspeakable crime of showing up the illusion of snagging that Alpha ahole in “true love” fashion and making the Twilight series a mockery even to its own fans, will occupy a role in the hearts of American women somewhere between Snooki and the seventh marriage of Kim Kardashian.
Angelina Jolie at least “accomplished” something by “stealing” Brad Pitt from “good-girl” Jennifer Aniston. Pitt at least was/is a prize, Jolie that glamorous figure of bad-girl charm mixed with Third World kid adoption, that women love. An eternal love triangle with the figures that women love to read about in the Supermarket gossip mags at the checkout counters. The good girl done wrong (Will She Find Another Man!), the bad girl gone good (Does Brad Plan to Leave!) the headlines shout. Excitement and glamor in humdrum lives. Stewart by contrast shot herself in the foot, killing the glamor for what amounts to adultery with a used car salesman.
And if rumors abounded about Pattinson before the whole affair, they’ll be doubled now. He too is damaged goods, no longer the hunky but commitment bound Edward Cullen, he looks a loser. And there is nothing the female audience despises more than a loser. He’ll get plenty of hate, too, from his former fans, as he gets blamed for “not being man enough” to keep their beloved fantasy alive. He too will suffer, in his career. Fewer leading roles, certainly not the romantic kind. Women don’t swoon to cuckolds. They find them contemptible for even existing. He too will suffer as the final Twilight film tanks, predictably, in the box office.
Right about now, Stephanie Meyer must be plotting her revenge. Her next novel no doubt will feature a spoiled, Hollywood actress who screws around with married men. And comes to a bad end. There go all her plans to build an empire rivaling JK Rowlings, all built on sparkly vampires and “true love.”
Pattinson’s handlers will have to go the George Clooney route. After being divorced twice, Clooney made it a point to be the dumper, not the dumpee. Better for his career as a leading man, after all. The female audience is unforgiving in that area in a way that the male audience doesn’t care. Stallone being a good example, Bruce Willis another. Willis audiences don’t care that say, Demi Moore dumped Bruce for Ashton Kutcher. That is not true for Clooney, he plays another kind of guy that appeals to a female not a male audience.
In some ways it is easier being an action star. The male audience only cares about how effectively you can portray an ass-kicker on screen that is not a bully (Stallone not Dennehy in First Blood). Your personal life, they’re just not that interested. And guys will forgive a lot if the action star stays in reasonably good shape, memories will allow some considerable slack for older action stars to kick ass in non physical ways. Edward Woodward as the Equalizer is a good example. Of course, you need to be able to play menace effectively. Some guys just can’t do it. But some have noticed the difference Joseph Gordon-Levitt is trying hard to become an action star. He’ll probably fail, a fine actor, with great comic timing, I have not seen him play menace. Like Woodward could:
Set up for the scene: to break a corrupt cop, Woodward’s character on the Equalizer intimidates him in various ways with psychological warfare and then shoots him with a drug that induces fear and hallucinations.
You can be a portly guy in your fifties, and still play action roles effectively. If you can produce menace.
A guy whose entire appeal is based on being that not so obscure object of desire, that glittery Alpha vampire, well he’s toast when his real life girlfriend who played his in the movie figures a no name forty something married director with kids is a better option. His stock is damaged too. I don’t think for that reason the whole thing was a publicity stunt. Too damaging for their careers.
Sometime real life happens. And shatters illusions based on lies.
Can anything positive come out of the shattering of the Twilight illusion, or will the female audience cling ever deeper to lies about men, women, alpha males, and the comforting belief that for every woman, no matter how low her sexual marketplace value is, God and Hollywood have sent an Alpha male? Certainly the message to every guy is, if the number one drooled over actor in Hollywood can get cheated on by his girlfriend (of limited Hollywood beauty — she’s no young Catherine Deneueve or Raquel Welch though she is Hollywood pretty — swing around and you’ll spot a dozen like her) … with a guy who directed advertisements for video games, no less? Well then young man, its time to Game Up, Asshole Up, and instill fear and dread in your lady friend. If YOU want to keep her from the local tattooed bicycle messenger. Or indie musician. Perhaps for young women, an object lesson in thinking with your head before following urges found lower.
People do not treat prophets kindly. Because they fundamentally prefer lies, particularly the pretty ones, to the truth. The wise however, seek the truth because knowing gives a first mover advantage. And prevents you from doing stupid things. Buying Facebook at the IPO price. Screwing a first-time no-name director and destroying your “true romance” based career. Putting any faith in your Hollywood girlfriend’s fidelity. Or buying the romance Hollywood peddles.
I’ll take the action movies. No one really believed that Edward Woodward, as a man, was anything but an exceptionally skilled actor. That should be enough.