Vanity Fair roped Variety editor Peter Bart into writing a “state of the industry” feature for its March 2009 Hollywood issue. The whole thing’s worth reading, but we liked Peter’s survival guide for top stars best.
- “A star must be willing to navigate the treacherous waters of both art and commerce in order to sustain a vital career.” Bart’s ideal: Robert Downey Jr., who balancesThe Soloist with Iron Man sequels.
- “Stars who regard themselves as “serious actors” must search for roles that reveal empathy as well as histrionics.” Bart’s ideal: Sean Penn’s who took “a step toward career suicide,” playing Huey Long, but saved himself portraying Harvey Milk.
- “Identification as a “hunk” can prove to be a career ender.” Bart’s ideal: He doesn’t say, but warns Zac Efron might have a hard time after High School Musical.
- “Stars must mobilize more than simple disdain in dealing with the press.” Bart’s ideal: Clint Eastwood the stateman and George Clooney the entertainer.
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