Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Owen Wilson--why he might be where he is now.

Having been out of state recently, I'm only now getting to write about the attempted suicide of Owen Wilson--which, as irony would have it--propelled his visage onto various celeb magazine and tabloid covers 4-5 days after the Incident occurred.

To me, Owen Wilson is another in the line of people who go to Hollywood hoping for some degree of control over career (remember Owen made his name as a screenwriter/actor in quirky Wes Anderson films) and found that Hollywood was only interested in a minor portion of his prodiguous talents (i.e. amiable leading man in broad, mass-appeal comedies, with maximum star wattage only when paired with Ben Stiller, Jackie Chan, Vince Vaughn, etc. etc.).

An educated guess: when Show Business only wants you to be a profitable one-trick pony and not "fuck with the formula" (in the immortal words of Beach Boy Mike Love), a cocktail of depression and creative inertia sets in (see also the last decade of Billy Joel's career---where the only real productivity was the FANTASIES AND DELUSIONS classical album and allowing Twyla Tharp to use his old music to create the dance show MOVIN' OUT).

It would have been good if Owen avoided alleged heroin and cocaine use and spent time writing plays, novels and more screenplays.  But perhaps he strolled along the Third Street Promenade in his hometown and wandered into, say, the Barnes and Noble or Borders Bookstores.  There, he would have discovered that novels by film directors as diverse as Gus Van Sant, Oliver Stone and Barry Levinson were being outsold by more "popular" fare---and soon to be bound for the dreaded "remainder" section.

Shallow showbiz writers have bleated the "why would a happy-go-lucky guy who had it all do such a thing" groupthink about Owen Wilson.

But the real question is this:

Can you get up each morning and live with yourself if you're not able to achieve everything you've dreamed for as an artist and a human being?

Hopefully, Owen Wilson can find away to live with himself and combat depression with help of family and friends before he climbs back inside the hamster wheel to crank out the entertaining-but-unchallenging movies that Hollywood execs and most of the public only want to see him in.

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