Tag: Actors

When the Star Gets Fired


There’s an influential Hollywood website called The Ankler. It gets its name from “ankling”, a word coined by Variety, the ancient Bible of the business side of show business. Someone who “ankles” a studio is laid off, but leaves under their own power; a normal, unemotional job separation. The opposite, in Variety-ese, is getting “axed”—flat out fired, and escorted off the studio lot by security, with dueling lawyers sure to follow. It doesn’t often happen to the stars, but when it does, it’s a big, public, messy deal. This is particularly true when an entire show is shaped around them: Charlie Sheen, Jeremy Clarkson, and Roseanne Barr are recent examples. We’ll get to them.

Some actors are fired because of problems they caused on the set. Others, simply because they were miscast to begin with, or couldn’t seem to give the performance that the film or TV show needed. And with many others it simply came down to money.

Great Character Actors: Jack Carson


A couple of years ago, I wrote a post here about one of my favorite character actors, Ward Bond. I think it’s time to write a little about another of the great character actors that being Jack Carson. Like Bond, I don’t know much more about Carson’s life than that presented in his Wikipedia biography.

Carson was born in the province of Manitoba in Canada in 1910. His father was a successful insurance executive and the family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin when he was three or four years old. As such, he always considered Milwaukee his hometown and he was eventually naturalized as a U.S. citizen as an adult. His older brother, Robert, also pursued an acting career although with much less success.

Rob explains why there’s one standard for hackneyed dialogue in movies and TV, and a very different one for real life. And why an old song by Prince created a personal RomCom moment for him.


The worst thing you can tell anyone who nevertheless probably needs to hear it is, “Calm down.”

This is going to sound crazy, but the truth is, I don’t really know any celebrities. I mean, I know a few well-known people, I guess…

Actors on Actors: Learn to Like ’em


Variety has a series on YouTube where they pair actors and have them interview each other. It’s good viewing and the results are sometimes surprising. It does one other thing, I think: shines a light on their professionalism and how serious they are about what they do.

More often than not we view Hollywood with disdain, and it is certainly true that few of the people in these videos would feel politically at home here. None of this is about politics, it’s entertainment; or to them, it’s about craft and art. I enjoyed seeing their commitment to the work.

10/11/18: First the Zeal, Then We Heal


Exactly thirty years ago this week, I was living with my grandparents for a while in the Florida panhandle, not far from the area that just got pounded by Hurricane Michael. Despite having two jobs at the time, I’d taken on a challenging role with the local community theater, playing Annie Oakley, in Annie Get Your Gun. My grandmother would regularly “tut-tut” her two cents over the pace and schedule that I was keeping but I waved her off and blithely assured her that I was fine. Until that Monday halfway through the run on our one night off, when suddenly, I wasn’t.

I woke up feeling a bit woozy but I figured it would pass and went on in to work, where I lasted about 2 hours before my boss told me I looked like hell and ordered me to go home. Thank goodness for meddling grandparents because mine dragged me off the couch, packed me into the car and rushed me to their doctor who diagnosed a severe case of gastroenteritis.

Member Post


I just saw this fun article about one of the most iconic (and perhaps polarizing) characters of 50s Television. I certainly enjoyed watching Leave it to Beaver in syndication as a young lad in the 70s and 80s and identified more with The Beaver than Wally or Eddie, but knew my fair share of Eddie […]

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Connecting Actors and Soldiers


Here’s a surprise that popped up in YouTube’s recommended videos: Adam Driver (aka Kylo Ren) talking about his transition from United States Marine to Hollywood actor. Driver’s speech is only 9 minutes (half the video) and impressive in more ways than one. In a rapid-fire presentation, he touches on differences between military life and civilian life while also noting similarities between soldiering and acting.