Wednesday, July 12, 2017

On Underdogs

The valiant underdog is played by a strikingly charming, funny, good-looking, often well-dressed actor who gets paid more than anyone else in the cast. The rich bully is played by an actor who makes less money and often has less charisma, who is good-looking, but not too good-looking. The plain girl love interest is played by a supermodel. All three actors survive on a miserable diet and exercise regimen. In the movie, they eat Doritos. In interviews the actors who play the valiant underdog and the plain girl talk about how they were once victims of bullying and had a hard time getting dates in high school. The actor who plays the bully tells everyone that he's a nice guy in real life. Two years later, the Internet has stories about how all three actors are jerks. The valiant underdog slept with prostitutes while shooting a movie on location in Thailand.

You have drinks with a young Los Angeleno in Bulgaria, where a lot of movies are shot because of the tax breaks. He is the assistant to a woman who performs weight-loss wrap therapy for stars. He came to Los Angeles to make it as an actor, and he spends a lot of time looking at his skin. He's staying at one of the nicer hotels in Sofia. The two suites for his boss and for him are being paid for by the star they are serving while they are in town. You ask if the star, who is best-known for playing a valiant underdog in an '80s comedy, is a nice guy? You ask if another star, who is one of the most popular actors of his generation, and who they are meeting in London next week for his therapy session, is a nice guy? And you already know the answers. You think, well, in real life there are plenty of underdogs who are total jerks too.

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