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Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student

Method to acting mad

No one can question Gary Oldman’s talent as an actor. But they have been ?questioning his tact.

In a revealing interview with Playboy magazine, Oldman made a lot of controversial statements. He defended Alec Baldwin and Mel Gibson’s past outbursts, citing the hypocrisy of political correctness. He called out comedians for hiding behind satire. He said he felt if you didn’t vote for “12 Years a Slave” at the Oscars, you were racist.

Unsurprisingly, everyone got mad, and he then made the rounds, apologizing for his insensitive statements and asking for forgiveness.

This isn’t a rare occurrence for celebrities. Our insatiable thirst for gossip combined with our praise of dramatic flair creates a ?powder keg.

We love to read about a famous face doing something crazy or stupid. And then we love to complain about it.

Should Oldman have said these things? No, but I believe some of his points were valid, even if they weren’t explained with finesse.

Still, because he was a renowned actor, he had to go on talk shows and rebuke himself for the public.

This dialogue happens for a reason. We treat fame in a very specific way, and it corrodes the famous.

First there’s the data that suggests we can mistake psychopathy for talent and confidence and will promote those who have it.

Studies have shown that corporate executives exhibit psychopathic traits more regularly than the general public. It would not surprise me if many other fields were similar and some actors had ?psychopathic traits.

But more than that, the spotlight we cast on ?celebrities can harm them.

Celebrities aren’t blameless. It’s no surprise that when you become famous, you lose much of your private life. Some give this up more than others.

Kevin Spacey has done a good job throughout his career at keeping his personal life personal, and you don’t see a lot of scandalous ?headlines about him.

Conversely, you can’t really feel sorry for the casts of reality shows when they complain about their lack of privacy.

Still, we get it into our heads that these famous people are something more than the rest of us, and they’re not. Some are genuinely good people. Some are jerks. Most are average and make mistakes when they’ve had a long day.

Should they know better and try to be upstanding models for the rest of society? Sure, but they can still mess up like the rest of us.

And when we don’t allow any mistakes, when we scrutinize them under a microscope for years, some of them are bound to get a little crazy.

When we treat celebrities like they’re not human, we can’t really be surprised when they stop acting ?human.

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