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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Are there “new rules” for movie stars?

Legendary Variety editor Peter Bart has some advice for movie stars in this year’s special movie issue of Vanity Fair, on newsstands now. Among his “rules” for creating and maintaining stardom:

• A star must be willing to navigate the treacherous waters of both art and commerce in order to sustain a vital career…

• Stars who regard themselves as “serious actors” must search for roles that reveal empathy as well as histrionics…

• Identification as a “hunk” can prove to be a career ender….

These don’t sound particularly groundbreaking — we might have heard the same thing in 1950 — or even less than commonsensical. But maybe there are some tips that Bart missed.

Are there “new rules” for movie stars? And if so, what are they?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)



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  • RogerBW

    There are no film stars any more. There are celebrities who happen to act, and there are actors, but I don’t think there’s anyone who fits the classical definition. (The star system was really dependent on the studio system anyway…)

  • Sassi

    ‘Tis a fair point RogerBW makes. We just know too much about actors these days for them to be stars. So with that in mind:

    • Don’t ever leave your house unless you’re going to the studio. And when you do, drive a big swoopy 1930s car with the roof down and your scarf billowing behind you in the wind. Driving a Toyota Prius doesn’t fool anyone.

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