Getting famous these days is pretty easy. Go get yourself arrested or pop a video up on YouTube and your fifteen minutes are just around the corner. But for those that have fame as a career, accolades and acclaim are as sought after as gold and oil. The calculated measures stars will go to in order to gain the glory — and sustain it — are aplenty. Popeater breaks down some of the ways stars grab for the proverbial gold.
Nothing screams Oscar like attractive people uglying themselves up for a role. Charlize Theron has done it twice (‘Monster,’ ‘North Country’) and nabbed a golden statue for making herself unrecognizable to play Aileen Wournos.
This season, Mariah Carey continues to try and erase ‘Glitter’ from everyone’s minds and by dressing down for her role in ‘Precious,’ joining Monique in a possible career-changing role. Halle Berry won an Oscar for attempting to get ugly in ‘Monster’s Ball,’ but there was no denying she was still pretty hot. Sometimes just going light (or heavy, for that matter) on the makeup doesn’t quite do the trick, so extra face gadgets are needed. Like Nicole Kidman’s schnauze in ‘The Hours.’ That thing was about the size of the statue she went home with on Oscar night.
Clean It Up
Fans of Bob Saget’s stand-up routine back in the 80’s were likely floored when he surfaced as squeaky-clean Danny Tanner on “Full House”. That gig then turned into another family-friendly job when Saget hosted “America’s Funniest Home Videos” for like a gazillion years. The surprise was Saget’s 180 from his usual NC17 rated sense of humor. It made him a rich, rich man, something Andrew Dice Clay was gunning for when he dropped the “Dice” from his name and signed up for his own sitcom (“Bless This House”) a few years ago. But no dice (lame pun intended). The show was cancelled before it even made it through an entire season and Clay went back to his potty humor ways without the wealth Saget had scored. Not to worry, he still earns a decent living.
Talented? Check. But talent doesn’t always allow for a strong and prosperous career in the pop music game. Young, hot, and talented pop singers are a dime a dozen these days, which makes for quite the log jam on the Billboard charts. Jessica Simpson — or someone around her — recently got wise to this and Jess headed over to a genre with greener pastures: Country. Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood made names for themselves on “American Idol” and could have gone on to decent careers in the pop world. But both decided that country was the best way to go, giving Carrie some ACM domination and Taylor a cross-over career she wouldn’t have had with pop music as her main genre. Maybe Britney will be the next female Travis Tritt.
Getting pudgy is all the rage to grab some accolades for actors. Renee Zellweger did it twice for the Birdget Jones movies. Robert De Niro grabbed the top prize for his doughnut diet in Raging Bull and Jared Leto recently packed on the pounds inChapter 27 to play John Lennon’s killer. Russell Crowe has done the fat thing more than once, too, first for The Insider and recently for Body of Lies. Just a few weeks ago, Matt Damon tried this tactic for ‘The Informant’ and stated that he “just ate everything I could see.” Who doesn’t love eating? And if you can pull in some critical acclaim while doing it…cheers to you.
Those of you who have seen ‘The Machinist’ likely had to look away a few times when Christian Bale took his shirt off. He reportedly only had one cup of coffee and an apple a day in order to drop 1/3 of his body weight. and the result was a skeleton-like human who looked nothing like the normally-beefy Bale. Tom Hanks didn’t quite go to that extreme, but he dropped some serious L.B.’s while pretending to be marooned on a deserted island in ‘Cast Away.’ It helped that Tom put on some belly fat before he started the film, then production shut down in order for him to shed the weight. Hanks got an Oscar nom, while most people have never even heard of Bale’s great performance.
American actors pulling off an English accent is not always done successfully — we shall let some remain nameless — but those who do pull it off get a career-boosting tip ‘o the hat. Gwyneth Paltrow has gotten English on us a few times (‘Emma,’ ‘Sliding Doors’), but she finally nabbed a golden dude when she switched to Brit for ‘Shakespeare in Love.’ Renee Zellweger combined her eating prowess (see above) with her knack for a British accent and won worldwide acclaim for her portrayal of the desperately-seeking-love Bridget Jones. Perhaps the most famous example of this is Johnny Depp’s sorta’-English accent for ‘The Pirates of the Carribean’ series. While Johnny had been around forever, he had never been a box office draw. Then became one in his 40’s. Sure the accent helped, but his performance was nothing short of brilliant.