Consider Robert Evans. I know I do. I consider him all the time. He is the kind of power player I would want to be if I wanted to be a power player, which sometimes I do and then other times I’m like, “Good leadership is about delegations, so Imma delegate the leadership over to someone else and just kind of hang out over heeeeere.” But other times, Robert Evans.
This man made a documentary about himself. He made a documentary about himself.
He made a documentary about himself.
People don’t know how to wear arrogance anymore. Except for maybe Kanye West, who will always be @kanyewest in my heart, come back to Twitter, Kanye, oh please come back to Twitter, I knew who I was when you were on Twitter. Arrogance nowadays is always tempered by insincere humility. Witness the Humblebrag. “I don’t deserve this.” “Is this my life?” How can you respect anyone who talks like that? You feel like a king, you damn well say it.
Women especially have this problem and even more so now that Tina Fey has solidified self-deprecation as the sole medium of female comedic expression. She is this generation’s Woody Allen, and I mean that as both a compliment and an insult. It can be refreshing to see women being able to admit to being neurotic and that it takes a lot of work to look pretty and sometimes you aren’t up to it and sometimes instead you have potato chips for breakfast, but that is too often as much a pose as anything else. This is why Nicki Minaj is so refreshing and why Joan Rivers is making a comeback—sometimes it’s a relief to see talented people be openly self-aggrandizing.
There is so much pressure for celebrities to be down-to-earth. Being down-to-earth is great if you are. But when every celebrity profile starts with how “warm and relaxed and unfussy” the multimillionaire of the week is, that starts to lose all meaning. Wealthy people pretending not to enjoy their wealth, but quietly unwilling to part with it. I paid for Kanye’s last album pretty much because I think he’s good at being rich and out of touch. He thinks an abortion costs $15,000, much like Lucille Bluth thinks a banana costs $10. Rich, famous people need to stop pretending that they aren’t out of touch. I’m not going to support Gwyneth Paltrow until she does something ridiculous like buy a herd of zebras or commission a sculpture of herself made out of marzipan and then proceed to eat it.
Robert Evans made a documentary about himself. I am reminded of this because the Netflix Instant Twitter teased me that it was coming to Instant, and it hasn’t yet, so instead I have been watching the interviews he did for the Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown DVDs, which are remarkable, if only because his chair is facing away from the camera, so he does the entire (LONG) interview OVER HIS SHOULDER wearing a white turtleneck. What has the world come to when such glaring affectation suddenly seems endearing and charismatic.
I sometimes wish men would start wearing turtlenecks again. Don’t you want to look like spies, men of the world?
Robert Evans made a documentary about himself wherein he admits the whole reason he wanted to become a producer was to be able to say “The kid stays in the picture.” He promised Mia Farrow that Rosemary’s Baby’s box office take would crush that of her recent ex Frank Sinatra’s movie opening at the same time and doesn’t the fact that I can’t even remember the name of it say everything? Is Mia Farrow the worst at getting married or what?
Arrogance can be deeply unappealing, but it is nothing, nothing compared to being disingenuous. I have no patience for Aaron Sorkin because he espouses extremely liberal views in his work but lives and talks like Ayn Rand’s lapdog. I bet if you told him that he’d be mad, too. Do you guys remember when he compared himself to Paddy Chayefsky at the Oscars this year BECAUSE I SURE DO. This habit of trying to strong-arm a flattering comparison into the public’s narrative for you is as unattractive as it is culturally pervasive. If doppelganger week on Facebook proved anything, it’s that only chumps are taken in by that.
Being honest about who you are is the only shot in hell you have of writing your own narrative. Robert Evans didn’t want to be an artist; he wanted to say “The kid stays in the picture” while wearing a white turtleneck. Of course he can make a documentary about himself.