By Kevin Glancy
It could have been a tome based on those Hollywood days when film stars were mysterious and had private lives but it isn’t and that’s a shame. There was a lot going on behind the scenes back in those romantic fifties and sixties. It was a time when few of us knew that Rock Hudson was gay or that Marilyn Monroe was jigging with JFK, the President of the USA.
For those who can remember, there’s much to be said about those matinee days when the magic of the big screen beckoned. When the cost of a movie ticket gave us the chance to escape for ninety minutes or so from our ordinary lives. Beyond a prurient curiosity, we knew little of a film star’s private life and for the most part the studios managed to keep a lid on those distant Hollywood scandals.
Back then the big studios had the right idea. Box office takings could not be put at risk. Knowing too much about the people that they employed to simply act would have taken the gloss away. Mere flawed humans they might have been but as long as we could believe in the characters they were playing on the big screen, they could take our money.
Watching a dashing Rock Hudson in an intimate embrace with Doris Day would have lacked a certain credibility knowing that he preferred the company of blokes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Seinfeld would say. Hang on, Jerry! A gay man playing a straight man. Isn’t that against the new PC rated, cultural appropriation rules?
Not to worry. Back then, there were plenty of good gay actors and there were no rules. No political correctness. Ignorance was bliss and the box office was the winner.
Had this real life drama been about anyone of those secret Hollywood scandals it might have been more entertaining but it’s not. It’s an up close and personal look into the private lives of two well-known actors who still ply their trade.
The result? A disturbing revelation that reveals who these actors really are behind the scenes and it’s not a pretty sight.
Starring Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep, these icons of the screen give it all they’ve got and I wish they hadn’t. There’s a huge supporting cast too but they add little to the drama. It’s just more of the same from the likes of Susan Sarandon, Johnny Depp, Will Smith and Amanda Seyfried. There’s a sprinkling of cameo roles featuring Matt Damon, George Clooney and others but surprisingly, some of the most memorable lines are delivered by little Miley Cyrus. (Spoiler alert: Some of the best lines are featured below.)
But this warts an’ all reality show exposes too much information about how these Hollywood folk think and act. In this no-holds barred drama revealing their ‘should have been kept private moments’, their arrogance knows no bounds. They tell us how to live; who to vote for and what to believe in. Of course, they’re entitled to their opinions like everyone else but when voiced publicly by these actors, you usually find an angry clown underneath the make-up.
You can’t look past it and the illusion that they attempt to create on the big screen will be forever tainted by this piece of work. Not because of the opinions they hold but in the manner by which they express them. Much like a bunch of rowdy school kids on a bus trip, they scream their abuse. A facts based critique of the people they dislike would go a long way but in this real life exposé, these showbiz folk indulge in untruths and exaggerations, supported by violent rhetoric.
They reveal an uncivilised dark side. Often vile, spiteful, hateful, intolerant and with a complete lack of respect for the views of their audience. If they’re not happy about something they let you know. As to who is right or wrong? They don’t mince words and use a simple wartime strategy; if you’re not on their side, you’re wrong.
In this bitter drama without mirrors, the actors accuse others of hate and division when it is they themselves who are the real haters. As a collective, these real life, nasty characters are now typecast in stone.
Robert De Niro is confusing in the starring role as he appears to live large, much like two of his famous character roles. We’re never sure whether he’s the unhinged, Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver or the violent, Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull.
We first see De Niro in 2016 during the election for the US President and it’s here that he gives us a hint of what’s to come. He refers to one of the candidates, Donald Trump as being “totally nuts”. It’s fairly mild but he’s just warming up.
We then watch the actor in a home-made video in which De Niro draws on his Raging Bull character and expresses his innermost violent desire. “I’d like to punch Trump in the face…”
The camera then moves in for a close-up as De Niro’s facial expression twists and turns. He instantly reverts to Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver and screams at the camera. It’s method acting at its best as De Niro reveals that he has a slight reservation about Donald Trump. “He’s an idiot, a national disaster, an embarrassment to this country … this fool, this bozo…He’s so blatantly stupid. He’s a punk, he’s a dog, he’s a pig, he’s a con, a bullshit artist!”
Satisfied that his video is Oscar worthy, we see De Niro in a quieter, after the wrap moment, as he reveals that he doesn’t think much of those who pay good money to see him act either. Critical of the lack of intelligence shown by those moviegoers who elected Donald Trump he whines. “It’s crazy that people like Donald Trump . . . he shouldn’t even be where he is, so God help us.
Many of these people who are tied to Trump are going to be tainted for the rest of their lives. They think they want to be with him and it’s going to make them something, but they are paying such a price making a deal with the devil — it’s scary.”
The devil indeed. Hmm… This is where Robert De Niro’s performance suffers due to a complete lack of credibility. In this reality role he’s ham-fisted and his performance lacks nuance. It’s all or nothing for him, there’s no light or shade. You don’t have to like Trump’s persona or his constant twittering or even his hairstyle but as a President, he’s not all bad.
Two years into his presidency Trump is presiding over a jobless rate that has now dropped to 3.7 percent and it’s the lowest since Nixon was President way back in 1969. (October 2018 figures – US Bureau of Labor Statistics.) Interestingly, De Niro and his Democrats should take note; those healthy job figures both occurred under conservative Republican Presidents.
It’s not simply luck on Trump’s part either. By putting America first in trade agreements; by reducing business taxes and energy costs; by removing red tape and leaving the Paris Agreement, at the very least, Trump has created a positive entrepreneurial environment and it shows. This record jobless rate is mirrored by plunging levels of female unemployment at 3.7%. and still they say he’s a misogynist.
It’s an achievement that suggests that being ‘totally nuts’ is a stretch and the ‘devil’ he certainly aint. Nor is it an achievement that De Niro’s mate Obama could have bragged about during his eight years in the top job. Apparently, these realities escaped the scriptwriter’s attention.
In his role, De Niro as a method actor should have known better. His researchers could have told him that beyond symbolism, Barack ‘yes we can, oops! No we can’t’ Obama did very little for black people. It should also be remembered that it was conservatives who ended slavery and not those of the left. But Barack, as the Democrats have always done, preferred to bundle black Americans into compliant voters. To pretend to be their friend while forcing them into the patronising victim corner, ensuring that they remain reliant on welfare.
Yet, contrary to being ‘a bullshit artist!’ as De Niro would have it, under Trump’s leadership things have dramatically improved for black US moviegoers. They’re now enjoying the lowest unemployment rate since 1972 and as for a ‘national disaster’? Hardly.
Such a racist, divisive figure is Trump that Hispanic US moviegoers are also revelling in record low unemployment rates. They can now afford a ticket to see De Niro’s latest movie. Labor Department data revealed that the jobless rate among Hispanics dipped to 4.8 percent, in 2018, matching the lowest on record.
But in this virtual reality, truth is a casualty and so on it goes. We then see De Niro presenting Meryl Streep with a Best Actress award during the National Board of Review gala. Here, De Niro morphs into Vito Corleone from the Godfather. With a mouth seemingly crammed with cotton wool balls, he refers to his country’s elected President as both America’s “baby-in-chief” and “jerk-off-in-chief.”
De Niro then shifts up a gear and begins to ad lib. Some in the audience think he’s playing an actor who suffers from Tourette Syndrome and cheer madly when De Niro suddenly erupts, spewing out random expletives. “This f***king idiot is the president! The guy is a f***king fool.”
The camera is De Niro’s friend and he can’t resist it. We see him next as he presents the Friars Club Entertainment Icon Award to his friend Billy Crystal. In an encore performance he doesn’t disappoint. Still obsessed with Trump, he reprises ‘Mister Tourette’ and De Niro can’t help but deliver. Without warning he suddenly shouts. “Down with this motherf**cker!”
However, there is one redeeming moment in this reality pic when De Niro appears on stage at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. It’s the Tony awards and no better place to display his sheer acting talent. It’s here that he finally gives little Miley Cyrus a run for her money. The young actress had already delivered a similar line but not to be out done, De Niro reclaims it with all the acting venom he can muster. “I’m gonna say one thing. F**k Trump!”
It’s a masterpiece as De Niro proves to be a legend in his own underpants and claiming once and for all, that despite his age, a gay sex role is not beyond his physical capabilities.
Meryl Streep, obviously disturbed by this revelation, steps into camera view and she clearly doesn’t share Bobby’s passion for a bit of the Donald. Drawing on her time at the Bold and Beautiful acting school, Streep fights back with constant repetition.
We see her hogging the stage at the Golden Globes as she delivers her top ten Trump moments in a six and a half minute soliloquy. Anxious to quell De Niro’s desires, she addresses the failings of the US President like the lover she lost. Trouble is; Meryl much like Bobby, couldn’t resist ridiculing a large chunk of her audience and as for a superiority complex, you be the judge.
“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. And if we kick them all out you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”
Oh! I do beg your royal pardon. I love the UFC it’s like going to the ballet; a pas de deux with skimpy gloves. Talk about multicultural diversity. Highly skilled fighters from all over the world hugging each other after the dance is over. Truth is Ms Streep, there is an art to everything even washing the dishes, which the actress has claimed to be one of her favourite past times.
No one would question De Niro’s or Streep’s acting ability and that’s what we pay to see but in this real life exposé they lost me for good. I can’t look at them anymore without seeing who they really are behind the characters they’re meant to be. Sure! My pocket money won’t be missed by them or by the list of actors and musicians who have also lost my patronage.
You can chuck in Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett who popped into the pulpit from time to time. Their global warming rants left me cold. Lecturing us poor moviegoers while they fly around the world leaving a huge carbon footprint and choosing which big house to live in, doesn’t endear me to them either. A movie featuring a cast of hypocrites holds no appeal.
Above all, it’s a dumb marketing ploy when they and other show biz folk insist on ramming their unwanted opinions down our throats off-screen. Why insult half of your audience?
It’s a bit like the footballer stopping in mid game to tell us what he thinks about God. He’s paid to perform on the field and not to tell us what he thinks. Just kick the football will you! That’s what you’re charging money for me to see. By all means, express your opinions amongst your friends but keep me out of it.
As for De Niro and Streep? I wanted the movie magic to last and in this reality show, they blew it. I now know who they really are and I’ve seen too much of their reality to want to see any more of them, ever.
The fifties and sixties were so much more fun when the Hollywood folk kept their opinions to themselves.
The best bites:
Here’s some of the reality performances from the stars you might have missed. When you’ve seen what they have to say you might ask yourself; who is really indulging in hate speech, motivating violence and trying to divide America?
Note: Many of them promised to leave the country permanently if the Donald got elected. But consistent with their words of fiction, none of them have to date.
Jennifer Lawrence (in the role of a transgender Nostradamus)
“If Donald Trump becomes president, that will be the end of the world.”
Miley Cyrus: (Refusing to accept that she’s been trumped by De Niro)
“Donald Trump is a f***king nightmare.”
Responding to why she wasn’t leaving the US after promising she would.
“I’m not f*cking leaving the country, that’s some ignorant sh*t, that’s dumb. Because that’s me abandoning my country when I think I’ve got a good thing to say to my country. And trust me, I hear every day on my Instagram, ‘Just leave already! When are you going to leave?’
Well, that’s not going to be any good. Does it really matter where I am? Because wherever I am, my f*cking voice is gonna be heard, and I’ll make sure of it.” (No doubt about that, she is very loud)
Elizabeth Banks: (likes a bit of fat shaming and prefers ripe fruit does Elizabeth)
“Let’s give it back to him ladies. The Donald is a minus 4. Fat old orange.”
Amanda Seyfried: (Showing the director, ‘I really can do dramatic’ and a hint of drug use during her audition)
“Didn’t think I was capable of feeling hatred like this. The biggest insult to our country is this snorting piece of garbage.”
Gabrielle Union: (expressing her love of cats)
“Soooooo let’s elect a pussy grabbing racist bigot… that’ll fix everything. Gotcha.”
Alec Baldwin: (In a classic lefty manoeuvre, he accuses Trump of being guilty of something he’s guilty of himself)
“Everywhere he’s gone, he’s abused power and people who are less powerful than him.”
This was said before the actor was arrested on November 2nd this year for allegedly punching a motorist over a parking spot. Baldwin must have a serious memory problem. Obviously, forgetting how he was arrested in 2014 for disorderly conduct, when he rode his bike the wrong way down a one-way street.
‘He’s abused power and people’ he says of Trump. Sounds to me much like Baldwin did in 2011 when he behaved badly on an American Airlines flight. Baldwin became belligerent when told to put away his ‘electronic device’ and had to be forcibly removed from the plane.
Seth MacFarlane: (Talking to his optician)
“I truly cannot visualize the rambling, incoherent creature I saw at the debates now addressing the nation from the Oval Office.”
Jessica Chastain: (On the way to the toilet bowl)
“I actually feel sick listening to [Trump] speak. The way I used to feel when a kid was having a tantrum when babysitting.”
Chris Evans: (Having won the secret election to speak on behalf of everyone who voted for Trump)
“This is an embarrassing night for America. We’ve let a hatemonger lead our great nation. We’ve let a bully set our course. I’m devastated.”
Robert Redford: (in a more thoughtful moment)
“You can’t blame him (Trump) for being who he is, He’s always been like that. He’s our fault — that’s how I see it. We let him come to where he is. I’m not so interested in blaming him; that’s being done enough by others.”
Will Smith: (An emotional Will, who has never said a mean word out of place…ever!)
“For a man to be able to publicly refer to a woman as a fat pig, that makes me teary . . . that was the one that was such an absolute illustration of a darkness of his soul. I just cannot figure out how people can clap for that.”
Johnny Depp: (being helpful at the Glastonbury Music Festival in his role as a tourist guide)
“I think he needs help and there are a lot of wonderful dark, dark places he could go…”
He then considers his next real life role.
“When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”
He did apologise for that remark later but the damage was already done. Some drop-out from acting school could be planning a hit right now, thanks to our Johnny.
Kathy Griffin: (A typically charming and well-spoken Kathy pops up as she tends to do. Having posed, clutching a look-a-like decapitated head of Donald Trump, she has some kind words of remorse for the First Lady.)
“F*ck you, Melanie, You know damn well your husband can end this immediately … you feckless complicit piece of sh*t.”
Madonna (reveals how she yearns for another act of terror.)
Madonna tells a crowd following Trump’s election win; “I’ve thought about blowing up the White House…”
She then sings her 1989 single ‘Express Yourself,’ but expressing the end of the song in a much more civilised and ladylike way. “Donald Trump, go suck a d**k.” (For NZ readers, I think she means ‘duck’)
Kate Walsh: (Despite saying, “I have no words”)
“This is a national disaster. An illiterate, bigoted, misogynistic, racist, rapist has become president. I have no words.”
John Legend: (Obviously a big fan of Trump’s ability to project)
“When he is criticizing something, he is usually projecting. So, he calls people liars because he is a liar. He talks about the entertainment business because he rose through the entertainment business. He talks about people being corrupt, because he is corrupt. He talks about people being violent because he encourages violence. So, he’s usually projecting when he criticizes someone.”
Chrissy Teigen: (In a disguised cry for help in dealing with her addiction)
“I’ve actually been a big Donald Trump hater (for a long time). I’ve been trolling him for about five to seven years now. I’ve been doing this forever, and I take pride in that. I can’t believe that somebody could actually do this all day every day and be president. If I mysteriously go missing in the next four years, that is what happened.” (Nope! Still here. Time for rehab, Chrissy)
Chelsea Handler: (has obviously not seen Donald’s red hat or the slogan on it.)
“He doesn’t have a value system. He’s a big bully. He’s not interested in the American people, he lies constantly.”
Olivia Wilde: (Impresses with her manners and her command of the English language at the audition)
“Hi good morning,
I despise Donald Trump with all my guts and his speech last night only confirmed what a pathetic, petulant, dishonest pig he is, and you may now proceed to tell me why I’m an old, ugly, wretched communist and I will give precisely zero f*cks.”
J.K. Rowling: (Promoting a new Harry Potter book with Trump as the villain.)
“Voldemort was nowhere near as bad.”
Neil Young (trying to outdo Robert De Niro and Miley Cyrus during a concert)
‘“F*ck you Donald Trump!” – You can’t beat the original version Neil, don’t even try.
Don Cheadle: (Showing his support for the clothing industry)
“A racist, abusive coward who could permanently damage the fabric of our society.”
Richard Gere: (Having called Trump; ‘Mussolini’, Rick expresses his concern about the lack of optional extras in Donald’s SUV)
“he is ‘totally ill-equipped … It’s kind of everyone’s nightmare that it might happen.”
Bryan Cranston: (When talking about Trump, he impresses the director with his vast knowledge of aliens and ships)
“He’s an anomaly to the human race…an empty…huge…cargo ship with a wake that leaves tremendous problems”
Matt Damon: (Thought he was auditioning for another Jason Bourne role)
“[Trump] makes me nervous… There’s no way we can let this guy be the [president]. To let that dude have the nuclear football, are you kidding me? That’s dangerous. He’s impulsive and rash and doesn’t seem to think deeply about too many things.”
Susan Sarandon: (Having assured her relatives that it’s not Uncle Brian she’s talking about.)
“He reminds me of a drunk uncle at a wedding, who gets up and starts talking and just loves the crowd and just goes on and on and on and says whatever he can to get a reaction. He’s like a figure from a Kurt Vonnegut novel; I can’t even address him seriously.”
Just frown Susan and say, “Brian!…BRIAN!
Footnote: Despite the cruel rhetoric used by these showbiz folk from Oprah Winfrey down, it appears that their influence has little effect on American elections.
Despite pleading for voters to hand back both houses of Congress to the Democrats, their emotive and deranged calls did not impress voters in the midterm elections. In fact in the more influential Senate, Trump increased his majority.
His losses in the House of Representatives were much less than the historical average and paled in comparison to Obama’s previous midterm disasters. Barack Obama lost 63 House seats in 2010 and Bill Clinton lost 52 in 1994. When the counting’s over it’s anticipated that Trump will lose around 30 House seats. Not a bad result for the man the showbiz crowd and most in the media want you to hate.
In the history of midterm elections Donald Trump is only one of seven Presidents to have gained seats in the Senate. As for the House of Reps?
Those who think that Trump is now in trouble should reflect on this fact. The Democrats have already instigated 86 criminal investigations. They’ve done that without any evidence whatsoever that any crime had actually been committed. (As is normally the case to warrant any investigation) This includes the failed Mueller ‘Russian Collusion’ investigation. The FBI conceded that they had no evidence that a crime of collusion had been committed by Trump but only after Mueller had actually commenced his investigation.
But the FBI did have some evidence about Russian collusion which they preferred not to address. It wasn’t about Trump but about Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t just her emails either but evidence about Hillary’s campaign paying money to the Russians for a fictitious dossier on Trump. Emails also revealed that recruiting people to commit acts of violence at Trump’s rallies was a common practice during her election campaign.
To date, almost two years on, Mueller has unearthed not one shred of evidence of Russian collusion on Trump’s part. Any indictments that have been issued are obviously a means to keep the unjustified investigation alive. They’ve usually been for non-related low level crimes such as being untruthful during an interview or about some obscure matter or other.
It’s about time that these prima donnas accepted and respected the fact that Donald Trump is the President of their country. To understand that he’s not a politician and that’s a good thing. We’ve had enough of them.
At times Trump probably says more than he should and I wish he wouldn’t tweet so much. But then again, who could blame him. How else can he communicate when the dominant left-wing media has nothing good to say about the man. Very few in the media will give him a fair go, even in Australia the closest they come to not insulting him, is to sneer when Trump’s done something worthy of merit.
Say what you like about Trump’s tweets but they and his increased sanctions brought North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un to the table. A feat never achieved before by an American President. Only time will tell how that works out but it’s a start and better than a punch in the face as De Niro might put it. Donald’s aggressive tweets have also resulted in a range of new trade deals that now favour and benefit workers in America, unlike those previous unfair deals agreed to by Obama, Clinton and Bush.
Importantly, Donald Trump has achieved far more for the American people in the two years since his election, than Obama did in his eight years in the White House and for all the deranged haters out there, the world hasn’t ended and the American economy is booming.
And that’s the reality show you’ll never hear about.