Looking at Actors in a Different Light

Alexis Hansen, Artist

“Math is a wonderful thing. Math is a really cool thing. Let’s do some math. Math, math, math, math, math”.

Jack Black, how you’ve taught the world, so. You have so many wonderful lessons. “Skadoosh!”; such wisdom. But wait, is that you or your character speaking? You know what, I don’t think I can tell the difference anymore. Thomas Jacob Black is Dewey Finn.

Or, at least, that’s what I had thought. Right now, we have slightly begun to see how he has changed. The roles that he’s gotten in movies recently has made him move away from him being the jokester to some loner guy . I used to look up to him as the man that would do anything to get a laugh from the crowd. But now, with him playing parts like Bernie and R.L. Stine, I don’t know what to think anymore. I had judged the real Thomas Jacob Black to be School of Rock’s king even though it is just the persona that he puts on when in movies. This led me to realize that we don’t look at actors as real people but we look at them as just a character played in a movie.

Jack Black had always told me that disregarding rules and putting together a band was great, whereas Thomas Black wasn’t cool with it anymore. In a Guardian article, Black had said, “I was getting tired of the frat-guy comedies”. Who’s here to judge him, though? (me, sadly). He didn’t want to play that same guy over and over again. People may change, but characters do not. We feel as though how we connect with actors is through characters, and while that is somewhat true, there is more to it than that.

The idolization of celebrities has gone too far. 2014’s Academy Awards tried to pull the wool over our eyes when it came to the recipients. Apparently, the “Heroes of Hollywood” are Frodo Baggins, Terminator, and Indiana Jones; not Elijah Wood, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Harrison Ford. It’s hard to see characters as just roles played by real people. What matters most is the way that actors feel. Elijah Wood was grateful for the part but, does not find himself in any way similar to Frodo Baggins. When all we do is congratulate those on the smallest aspects of their life, it seems like that’s all we care about. The role they played in a movie. Black, Wood, Schwarzenegger, and Ford still go on living as regular human beings but, we can’t see past the curtain to realize this.

We may never be able to look at celebrities as real people. After all, we see them as a form of entertainment. No matter who they are or what they’ve done in real life it seems like we’ll never be able to see actors in a different light. That is, unless we start right now to be better in how we judge actors. But oh well, I already pledged my allegiance to the band, Jack Black.