I work in an industry where I get to be around some pretty awesome folks. It's never dull, that's for sure.
I had the wonderful privilege of meeting the beautiful and uber talented Queen of the Screen Nicole Kidman today. She was at Barnes and Noble, reading Paddington The Bear (and did an astounding job). She's playing Millicent in the soon to be released film.
Besides the fact that I respect this woman greatly, and the fact that I'm an enormous fan of her body of work, there's a reason that I'm writing this blog today.
When someone becomes a celebrity, they give up a part of themselves. They are always under a microscope. Everything they do is scrutinized. Some of them can handle it. Some of them can't. We all can think of a handful of celebrities who we've all witnessed crash and burn, tragically. For some, the celebrity status goes to their heads and suddenly they become monsters. Who hasn't heard the story (and the audio) of a certain male celeb screaming at the DP on a set? Or another now almost completely blacklisted actor putting out a cigarette on a DP's face? I bet when I say hard to work with celebrities you already have a couple in mind. That's a sad thing. These people have forgotten where they've come from, and who makes them successful.
But not Nicole.
From the moment she entered the area, she was quickly taken with all of the children. She cooed and ahhed over them, even letting them crawl into her lap as she read. When she was done, she hugged them, and took pictures with every single child for the parent. She took a picture with me. She answered questions. She was positively genuine and delightful.
There was never an air of snobbiness. There was never any looks to her handlers as if to say, "Can I get out of here?" and yes, I've seen that look from celebrities before.
She is a genuine person who has NOT forgotten where she's come from. She's polite. She differs to the other person. Even with her handlers telling her she needs to leave, she squeezed in as many photos as she could because she knew the parents wanted them. She has a giving soul. She was thrilled to be a part of the event, to read to children, and it showed. And that's so refreshing. People clamor to work with her, and that's totally the reason why.
So, actors that read this blog: when you make it, don't change who you are. And don't compromise who you are to get there. You'll find that more doors open to you, more fans follow you, more people love you. Be gracious. Be kind.
Remember where you came from.