I have long thought that many people really don’t understand why a star is a star and why they get the big paycheck. It’s not that they just got lucky and now get $25M a movie — they are providing value to the audience. While we can all speculate about what makes aspiring performers breakthrough and into stardom, there really is no question that once they have cracked the code and their brand is on the public radar, they provide “a valuable something,” and it is the Brand that that star has become that people come to trust and like. Kinda of like how I drink Diet Pepsi, for better or worse in its own quality, because I know the brand and I trust it.
Looking at what that “valuable something” is that the star provides, Mark Harris of Entertainment Weekly wrote: “A movie star is someone whose past work enriches your experience of, and deepens your pleasure in, his or her present work.” And as mystery blogger Stogie Joe noted, we watch as they grow up.
Identifying and relating to these stars as we do documents our own history in a way — even more readily seen with musicians. I was a Donny Osmond fan as a child. When I see him now, I remember what I myself was doing on my 13th birthday. We do the same with the movies and movie stars.
I believe that Movie Stars should get every penny that they possibly can. When actors or writers complain about their salary, I just shake my head, because if the star doesn’t get the money — the STUDIO will, not the other actors and writers who also “deserve” more money, too.
I love that we have Movie Stars. They also represent the possibility of transcendence. Something bigger than our mundane experience of life. They represent magic. While they are still individual human beings, for the rest of us, they seem to be a conduit to the magic that we wish for in our lives. Something bigger than life.
I completely agree with Stogie Joe that stars are going nowhere — we needs our Stars more than ever. It’s just a question of which direction the money heads.
Almost everybody knows we need them, meaning the studio people and producers. It’s just a matter of making sure that the team of people on the star side of the deal never buy the propaganda that the studios put out about them being overpaid.
Long live movie stardom and may they continue to get their $25M a movie.