If you read Jodie Foster‘s essay about Kristen Stewart on TheDailyBeast.com today, we’re sure you were alternately shaking and nodding your head. She is so eloquent as she describes how she’s survived her 46 years as an actress with a private life intact: “I have neurotically adapted to the gladiator sport of celebrity culture, the cruelty of a life lived as a moving target.” And admits that if she were a young actor in today’s climate, she’d probably just up and quit. Then she laments how the happy-go-lucky 11-year-old Kristen Stewart she knew while making Panic Room now has to dodge paparazzi at every turn. “The young woman doesn’t cry. F— no. She doesn’t look up. She’s learned. She keeps her head down, her shades on, fists in her pockets. Don’t speak. Don’t look. Don’t cry.” God, how sad is that image! We agree with you, Jodie! We can’t wait until she can hold her head high again, and “spin in wild abandon.”
But hold on a second. Is that really what we want. Putting aside for a second the fact that celebrity gossip is my living, I just want to think about what entertainment would be like if we knew absolutely nothing about our stars besides their names and what other movies they’re in. Would a heartwrenching scene be just as moving without the knowledge of what kind of joy or sorrow the actor is drawing from in real life? On one level, yes. I’ve enjoyed plenty of foreign movies, for instance, about whose stars I’m completely ignorant.
But there is one thing definitely missing from that experience: When I don’t feel connected to a performer on a personal level of some kind, I don’t feel driven to seek out the next projects — or whatever came before the first thing that caught my attention. In short, I appreciate their talent without becoming a fan. I’m not suggesting that every star needs to let me into their bedrooms and diaries, to let us throw stones at them when they sin, mind you. But when we get to know them as people, there’s a deeper connection that lives on after the credits roll. Do you agree?