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.
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.
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.
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
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.