So — if we can believe that — even the prettiest pretty boy may still fall within the shadow of the old adage "You're only pretty as you feel."
Now, after years of recognition as incredibly good-looking — he's 77 — he says:
"And I guess the nice thing about getting older is that you don’t have that [beauty] quite so much anymore. I never had a problem with my face on screen. I thought it is what it is, and I was turned off by actors and actresses that tried to keep themselves young."That face is the only face we get to see in his new movie — "All Is Lost" — in which he's (apparently) the only actor. I've seen the trailer. He's lost at sea. Tom Hanks is also having lonesome, though not that lonesome, trouble at sea in a big movie this fall, and Sandra Bullock is alone in a space suit, bereft even of gravity in a grave situation in "Gravity."
It must say something about us that we're being presented with tales of rugged individualists far adrift from any foundation. Did we ask for that? It's what Hollywood decided, back when this fall's movies were given the go, that we'd need in the Fall of 2013. There's no reason to give much credence to Hollywood's notion of who we are right now. Hollywood thought we were the Lone Ranger and Tonto last summer, and the people said no. Perhaps the Lone Ranger isn't lone enough for our alienated psyches. He had Tonto. Where's my sidekick? the public that shunned "The Lone Ranger" might have thought. How can we identify with his loneliness when he has Johnny Depp?
Robert Redford famously had a sidekick, Paul Newman, in the 2 movies that made him seem to be even more handsome than the already-impossibly-handsome Paul Newman — "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Sting." And Redford did have another movie in the works with Newman — a movie version of Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" (my second-most-listened-to audiobook). Newman died 5 years ago, but now the news is that it will be made with the not-always-completely-cute Nick Nolte. If you know the book, you may agree with me that Nolte seems more like Bryson's "Walk in the Woods" sidekick Stephen Katz than does Paul Newman.
You might think Newman was more like Katz because he was (half) Jewish. ("Newman had no religion as an adult, but described himself as a Jew, saying, 'it's more of a challenge.'") Nolte, on the other hand, is (apparently) a man disconnected from any particular religion. ("'Where’s God?' You’re gonna kill yourself with that. You’ll never be able to answer that.")
But Bryson's Katz — despite the distinctively Jewish name — is not Jewish, as Bryson reveals in his memoir of childhood, "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" (my most-listened-to audiobook):
Some years ago when I came to apply a pseudonym to one of my boyhood friends, I chose the name Stephen Katz partly in honor of a Des Moines drugstore called Katz’s, which was something of a local institution in my childhood, and partly because I wanted a short name that was easy to type. Never did it occur to me that the name was Semitic. I never thought of anybody in Des Moines as being Jewish. I don’t believe anyone did. Even when they had names like Wasserstein and Liebowitz, it was always a surprise to learn they were Jewish. Des Moines wasn’t a very ethnic place.You've come to the end of this longish first-post-of-the-day, and maybe you're wondering, What are we supposed to talk about now? The issues are: beauty, aging, loneliness, sidekicks, floating adrift without foundation, the extent to which Hollywood may know who we really are, and Where's God?
Anyway, Katz wasn’t Jewish. He was Catholic.