The Morning Show

The thing people don’t realize is that there is a cost to success and fame. There’s a story by Hans Christian Anderson. A young woman becomes enamored with these fabulous red shoes that are more attention-grabbing and exciting than the humble brown shoes she wears. In a moment of bad judgment, she succumbs to their charms and wears them to church. And lo and behold, her feet start moving and she is dancing, and she can’t stop. And she dances for hours and days and weeks until she is bloody and bruised from dancing like a whirling dervish through the countryside and towns unable to stop. She finally dances so much and so hard, faster and faster, that you know she’s going to bleed to death. So in a desperate attempt to stave off death, she finally implores a woodcutter to cut off her feet. And he does. Then she dies. Times were different back then. And I’m sure there’s some patriarchal message in this to women who wanted to step out of their role. However, I always took away from it as a kid — and it probably says something about me as a kid — is the idea that the world might have you running so hard that rather than running one step more, you would cut off your own feet. Never… And I never — I never forgot that image. I think success in the modern world demands a similar dance — soul sucking, grueling, never-ending. And I just wanted it to end. I wanted it to end so I could begin to live. I’ll let you know how it goes.

— Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston), The Morning Show (S2:E1). “My Least Favorite Year.”


Notes:

Photo: Hello Magazine – Jennifer Aniston Wows In First Look at Series Two of the Morning Show

give away the mirrors in your house, one with every birthday

A couple of decades ago, she had soured on celebrity, once and for all, so it seemed. “It wants to name you and diagnose you and keep you as a comfort animal,” Ms. Winger said the other day before quietly changing her tune. “Celebrity is not my favorite part of the gig,” she confided. “But it’s the price you pay for doing what you want.”…

True, she feuded viciously with former co-stars and directors. She once called John Malkovich …“nothing more than a catwalk model.” She endlessly needled Shirley MacLaine during the filming of the 1983 movie “Terms of Endearment,” tonguing her thigh during off-camera moments and teasing her crudely about her attire, her psychosexual antics causing Ms. MacLaine to flee the set … Has she mellowed over time? Could be… At 61, Ms. Winger is offering no excuses. “Sometimes I have less tact than other times,” she said.

“If I have an intention I’m going to try to stick with it and not be taken by someone else’s energy. “I’m on a quest; aren’t we all? With humans, it’s always a dance. If somebody’s moving slower than you are, you’ve got to get them out of your way.” Her truculence did not sit well with her long-ago peers or her studio bosses. “People said I’m too intense,” she acknowledged. “People can’t handle that.”  These days she is reserving that surfeit of passion mostly for her work…In many ways, she has never really stopped. What seemed like a hiatus in the mid-1990s was in fact a fertile time. Ms. Winger taught at Harvard, married the actor Arliss Howard, brought up three sons in Sullivan County, N.Y., and worked on memorable indie projects…

“It’s hard to accept your aging face,” she said. “You’ve got to be tough.” Still, you can hope to ease the pain. “You just give away the mirrors in your house, one with every birthday,” Ms. Winger said. “By the time you reach the right age, you have just one little mirror over your bathroom sink to make sure you don’t have any green in your teeth.”…

“It’s all about finding your groove at every age.”…“It’s all about chi, your life energy,” she said with Yoda-like serenity. “Like everything else, it goes through iterations. If it’s alive it changes.”…Till when? She fixed her companion with a sphinxlike gaze and grinned. “Can I get back to you on that?” she said.

~ Ruth La Ferla, excerpts from Debra Winger Comes to Terms With Fame and Age (NY Times, May 5, 2017)

%d bloggers like this: