Here's the buzz on Hollywood types: some of them still scream at subordinates

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The August issue of Buzz assures that "Screaming at 'D subordinates is one of the archetypal behaviors that defines Hollywood."

Perhaps, the monthly suggests, show-biz ranting began sneaking into the 21st century at about the time a "snack-loving producer," Scott ("The Addams Family," "The Firm") Rudin, "programmed the digital readout on his office phone system to in form his assistant, 'String Cheese NOW!' at the push of a single button."

The magazine is not totally convincing that corporate downsizing and less money for perks such as cocaine have had the effect of softening many screams. It contends that if your staff is small, it's a bigger pain in the neck to humiliate somebody and then see them quit, while a lack of cocaine means fewer off-the-wall tantrums.

That's why reporter Catherine Seipp's best evidence is of a distinctly old-fashioned variety of wackiness, especially when she cites the purported "10 Biggest Screamers in Hollywood," including director Oliver Stone, actor James Woods, producer Stanley Jaffe, actress Whoopi Goldberg and producer Joel Silver.

Mr. Stone is characterized as a "schoolyard bully" who is adroit at "playing his I-saw-action-in-Nam-so-don't-mess-with-me trump card," while Ms. Goldberg is associated with "public-humiliation-style-screaming at colleagues."

Then there is Mr. Silver, whose tantrums are legendary in the industry and have inspired caricatures in three movies. A typical Silver scream: "I'm going to bury you -- and your husband -- ten feet underground! In Burbank! And you'll never be heard from again!"

Are there ways to deal with such nuttiness? Well, it's possible that suave actor Roger Moore proves there is.

Ms. Seipp notes that "screaming actors are not famous for their brains" and can be squelched. Once, Mr. Moore was confronted with a young screamer on a movie set and suggested he shush.

"I'm not in this business to win a popularity contest," the screamer supposedly screamed. "I just want to be a good actor!"

Replied Mr. Moore: "Well, you've failed at being a good actor. Why not try for the popularity contest?"

Ripken underwater

The Aug. 7 Sports Illustrated has an awful cover photo of Cal Ripken Jr. underwater, but it also has a nice piece by Donald Katz on the platitudinous junk, better known as "motivational" speeches, peddled by jocks for upward of $45,000 a shot.

Mike Ditka, whose rap extols the virtues of ACE (Attitude, Character and Enthusiasm), is said to haul in $2 million a year.

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