Gong Hei Fat Choi – Happy Chinese New Year.
Sorry it has been a while since I last decided to put some of my nonsensical thoughts to paper/ screen. But you know how it is at the start of the New Year; new plans, new regimes and new life = busy, busy, busy.
Anyway I was inspired to write a brief post today having read an article on the recently deceased Philip Seymour Hoffman. The article reads “surprise that Hoffman, who seemed so calm and erudite in public was a drug addict, yet this shows an ignorance of how socially acceptable drug taking is in the film industry.”
What the hell? What the hell? ……I have to break this down.
So the fact that Hoffman was “calm and erudite in public” means that it is highly unlikely that he could be a drug addict?! I may be looking into things a bit too much but it seems to me that this is what the statement suggests and what the full article kind of implies. This as a result shows the ignorance of the toff nose journalist who associates drug addicts with unintelligent, wild individuals. Maybe a character like ‘Gator’ in Jungle Fever* is what this journalist assumes to be the acceptable representation of a drug addict. The truth of the matter is, everyone in some way is addicted to something. Right?
In some shape or form we all seek something that makes us feel a lot better at times, be it chocolate, retail therapy, sex etc. We have all been in a position where we want to instantly change our emotions at the flip of a switch.
Now a drug addict is no different and comes in all different shapes, sizes, races and ages, but what may push an individual into taking drugs is the sense that one feels lonely, distant and unsupported. To carry this feeling, this burden on your shoulder day in and day out, would make anyone want to hide within themselves and not face reality. People self-medicate because they want to escape. You do not have to be an unintelligent individual to want to escape!
In the case of Hoffman, some may say “but he had a family, he had kids, he was making movies….he won an Oscar, he was so intelligent, people loved him.” As outsiders – normal civilians we assume his life was great. However you can be surrounded by so many people; friends and family, have the perfect relationship but still feel very alone.
Most people are not living the lives they want to live, most people are living a life that other people want them to live. Some us choose to ignore this fact but a part of us dies and eventually we have a mid-life crisis. Others choose to find a way to escape this labyrinth in the form of drugs, being as high as a kite is a savior, because they believe it is the only way to kill the numbness of the life they are living.
Hoffman had a long battle with drugs, which he never concealed. He openly talked about his journey. He was not young, he was not beautiful and not a regular feature in the magazines or on the Hollywood party circuit, but he was a victim to drugs just like Lindsay Lohan. So, am I surprised that Hoffman died by a drugs overdose? No I am not. Neither do I judge his actions, neither do I condone it. But I do understand why.
Next point – The journalists also states that the death of Hoffman “shows an ignorance of how socially acceptable drug taking is in the film industry.” Really?!
There is the old view of an actor’s life being hedonistic wild party. An actor is out partying all night, comes on set/ stage says a few lines and then back to partying. Okay there is some truth in that scenario. The same way that there is some truth that Bankers are misogynists that regularly visit strip clubs, whilst their trophy girlfriends/wife’s are at home cooking dinner. But we do not dispute the fact that a majority of Bankers work from 7am – 10pm five days a week. The film industry also operates in a similar way; long hours, constant changes, hardly spending time with family.
Time is Money and Money is Time.
Producers/ directors/ actors like to work with people who are reliable, who show up on time, know their lines and are talented! No one wants to take a risk on an individual who is unable to produce the results that are needed.
Time is Money and Money is time.
There are some actors that are masters at concealing their addiction, they turn up on set and do a flawless performance whilst on drugs and no one is none the wiser. However I am sure that if directors /producers are made aware of the fact that an actor is addicted to drugs they would either do everything they can to keep the actor clean or just walk away from them. I mean, look at the whole Lindsay Lohan’s situation, when was the last time she had a hit movie?
The film industry knows that there are many creatives that seek solace in drugs, but the industry does not accept drug taking. It is a financial matter. If you have been fundraising for xxxx amount of years to make the film of the century and your lead actor has a drug problem, you would not accept their drug taking and carry on with the film would you? Especially when they are a high risk factor and may f*@k up years of fundraising and hard work.
Time is money and money is time!
So in conclusion, taking drugs it is not “socially acceptable” in the entertainment industry or in any industry for that matter.
We all have our demons, some people have mastered the art of smiling in the face of despair, others hold up their hands admit that they are no saint. The latter is easier said than done. But there are always going to be mirrors on the ceiling and the reflection is not always clear. Philip Seymour Hoffman admitted to the world that he was an addict.
It’s just unfortunate that he did not win his battle.
“Well, I think everyone struggles with self-love.” Philip Seymour Hoffman
* Gator- drug addict, character from Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever played by Samuel L Jackson – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSidQZzJfcc
I am not a writer, just a blabber, a girl that asks many questions but never knows how to collate the answers. Just a normal girl with nothing more to say, than words that mean nothing but say something.