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Uma Thurman's Face: She Keeps It Real. Really Real

Uma my dear,

I LOVE IT! Thank you for bucking the trend. Why get in to a cat fight with the ladies who botox and implant and burn off the layers of wear and tear on their faces? In fact, why even smile for God's sake? Why fake it? When you've lived the full life that you have, why not just, as Harold Arlen and Jonny Mercer advised in their very popular 1944 hit, "accentuate the positive"? When the Swedish, depression-face comes as naturally as it apparently does to you, I say, mazeltov for running with it.

The tone here may sound snarky, but I assure you, I am very much not kidding.

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When I was 21, I came to New York to carry coffee, I mean assist, a Broadway director. I did a lot of note-taking in meetings. I managed his kids' schedules too. But it was totally worth it to be able to sit in on auditions. I would fold myself in to a ball in the corner in the basement of Lincoln Center Theater, with my down jacket still on and a clipboard on my lap, as actor after actor would come in do their stuff.

Maybe once or twice I threw out an opinion that anyone heard. Mostly, I sat there admiring the attractiveness of these aspiring thespians, their brooding sensitivity and their courage. One morning, a nearly 6-foot-tall, coltish young woman came in. She was not on the schedule.

"I was nearby and I heard you were seeing people, and I'm perfect for this play," she said, dropping her suede fringed bag on the floor and planting her mile long legs in front of us with the unspoken proclamation, "Just try to say I'm not!"

"This is a comedy," the director responded. "Have you done comedy before?" he asked.

"No," she said, placing a hand on her hip, "but I'm very good at Shakespeare so it won't be a problem."

I'm pretty sure she was 19. Younger than me and with all that confidence, I remember thinking.

I looked around the room at the various casting people and producers all rendered speechless by this audacious beauty. A long minute later the director spoke again, "Okay, then, let's get you a script. Take a look at the role of ..." I forget the character's name. In fact, I don't remember anything else from that day except how much I wanted to be Uma Thurman.

Twenty-five years later, I gotta say, the gal still has guts. This new "look" of hers (which, let's be honest, is an anti-look) is riveting. I am only sorry Ingmar Bergman isn't alive to do something with it. Or Strindberg. It's just so unbelievably Swedish, and, I don't know how else to say this, sad. Brazenly so. Maybe it's just this picture floating around the Internet, but it is such a brilliant physical realization of pain, like seeing someone's insides on the outside.

Interesting to watch Ms. Thurman emerge in this way the year that Ethan Hawke is once again in the public eye. As if to say, "Yes, I was married to him, and he really is like that guy in " Boyhood" and it was very, very disappointing."

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Could it just be an abandonment of mascara and the addition of blood red lipstick? I don't know. But as depressed as she looks — and I am genuinely sorry to see this and hope it is some kind of performance art choice like when Joaquin Phoenix went he went mad on Letterman back in 2009 and not real — it's actually completely refreshing and inspiring. It makes me consider getting back to my Russian shetl roots, letting my hair go crazy curly, filling up on chicken fat sandwiches and proudly surrendering to my inner Yenta.

Image via WireImage

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