Mad Monday: Mean Celebrities and Hollywood Security

I really hate to do this to some of you . . . to let this secret out of the bag. I’m sure some of you will be crushed. Dazed and hurt, wandering listlessly around your house for days. But, well, I’m gonna write it anyway.

Some celebrities are jerks.

I’ll give you a moment to let that settle.

That’s right, you heard me. Some celebrities are a real pain to humanity . . . or at least the other humans that they work with. And although most of you would like to believe that you’d LOVE to have a celebrity as a neighbor, or work with one, or befriend one, or sometimes you even wish you WERE a celebrity, to this I say: careful what you wish for. This is the way one celebrity treats people (warning: Christian Bale drops the F-bomb like 7 times every micro-second):

Yeah, so . . . *awkward silence.*

*deep breath* Begin rant: Now I could maybe, possibly understanding treating another human being like that if you had been performing brain surgery and a muddy stranger runs into the operating room singing “Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush,” and jostles your hand holding a scalpel and your patient dies. But really, Christian. You are an actor. A bloody actor. No one’s going to die if you are “distracted” from this scene. And if your whole life is wrapped up in this movie then, well . . . you’ve got a very small life. Or a very small something.

No one should treat another human that way. Which is why I don’t want to be him, or anyone he works with. And I’d never ever go out to coffee with Christian Bale. Even if he paid. And I’d rather not be his neighbor.

Other celebrities who I wouldn’t want to be neighbors with:

“I’m so embarrassed that I smacked that hotel employee with a telephone, that I’ve started multiple public fights, had so many verbal outbursts, seriously I’m so sorry.” Um . . . if this guy was poor, and/or a different race, he would’ve been jailed. Celebrities and politicians, American Justice’s blind spots.

“My opinion is so important I may have to interrupt you on live TV to spout it.”

Naomi Campbell likes to hit and verbally abuse people, specifically her assistants and maids. Has been sued multiple times for it. Perhaps she’s in the wrong gig: she should have been a boxer or martial artist. Then she could get paid for hitting people.

Something you’d yell at your pet pig after he ate all your cereal:

“A sad, jobless pig who is sad and talentless and sad and jobless and evil and a bad mom, so go (expletive) yourself, sad jobless pig.” Was Charlie Sheen writing to his pet pig? No. He was writing to his wife. Yeesh.

No one will deny he’s one of the best ball players ever. No one will deny he’s also the biggest jerk ever. Whether he’s a rapist or not (2003 sexual assault case)? Only God and that poor girl knows. But I’d certainly never let anyone I loved alone with him.

So really, I’m saying that all of us (fans, consumers, investors, marketers, judges, policemen, maids, managers) should treat celebrities the same as we treat everyone else. Don’t worship them, don’t envy them. Money and fame doesn’t bring happiness, and it’s not the missing puzzle piece to your soul. For some, it brings the exact opposite.

But don’t just take my word for it. I have an interview with RJ, who ran a security team on Hollywood sets for fifteen years. He’s seen these celebrities up close and person. Sometimes TOO close, as you’ll see.

He just came out with a book called Life After Wrap about his experiences. So if you’ve ever wondered what happens on a movie set, you’ll love this true account about what RJ’s seen. He’s a great guy, fun and easy to talk to. A good friend! He has a Security Files blog. Go check him out on twitter ( @securityfiles ) and ‘like’ his page on Facebook!

Now I’ll let the man speak for himself.

Okay, hard questions first. Describe yourself in three words. 
RJ: Creative, hard headed, determined.
Describe Hollywood in one word. 
RJ: Evil!
You were a security guard on movie sets. Tell me about the most exciting five minutes of your career and the most boring set you were ever on. 
RJ: The most exciting times working as a security officer on a movie set is the ability to have access to places you never thought you would see. Walking around the baseball field of Dodger stadium, to being in the coliseum, to walking around different sound stages on Universal studios, Sony, Paramount, Disney, CBS, etc . . . just awesome seeing the behind the scenes magic.
Most boring job ever was watching a tree which was a prop for the movie Nutty Professor starring Eddie Murphy. I had to watch the tree for 3 weeks. The 12 hour shifts would drag so badly I would entertain myself by tossing cones on top of each other from a distance.
Guard this tree with your life
What are some movie sets your security team worked on? 
RJ: I’ve worked on Crow, City of Angels, Space Jam, Nutty Professor, Halloween h20, The Net, Black Sheep, Secretary, Minus Man, Scorched, Independence Day, Godzilla, Trojan Wars, Anna and the King, plus tons of TV shows and music videos.
Sweetest actor? 
RJ: Sandra Bullock
Not-So-Sweetest actor?
RJ: Too many to list, lol.
What’s your favorite movie? 
RJ: Limitless
What movie have you seen the most times? 
RJ: Matrix
What under-appreciated actor do you think deserves an Oscar? 
RJ: Wow, there are so many. One of the reasons why I don’t watch the Oscars is because it’s too political. Certain people win to boost sales that studios need help with. It’s a numbers game, not because they have talent. I’ve been around so many conversations and read letters to producers from high ends about this stuff. If the public only knew.
When did you decide to become a writer? 
RJ: I wanted to be a writer when I was a kid. The first TV show that really got me into writing short stories was “Amazing Stories.” That show totally inspired me.
What are some things that go into making a movie that nobody thinks about? 
RJ: The many long hours we spend a day just to get a shot off.
What is your dream movie set to work on? 
RJ: A Michael Bay movie, only because I know he’s going to be blowing a lot of shit up. I know it will never happen cause I know Bay is someone you don’t want to work with. He’s an asshole on set.
Tell me about paparazzi and your experiences with them? 
RJ: They are very sneaky and malicious with their doings. They can either make you or break you.
What do you like to do for fun?
RJ: I’m a huge gamer and you can find me on Xbox a lot, but I do like to read and watch too many movies, lol. I’m good at entertaining myself. Give me a comic book, bean and cheese burrito, and cherry/blueberry slurpee and I’m a happy camper.
Where are you completely at peace?
RJ: When I write, cause no one can destroy my world but me.
If you had to swim over an ocean of any beverage, what would it be? 
RJ: It would be Dr. Pepper one of my favorite drinks of all time. This is one drink they never really have at craft service on a film set. They should.
Did you ever have to punch an actor in the face, per director’s orders?
RJ: Not really on a director’s order but did have to punch quite a few celebs at parties. Not because I was told to, but because they were jerks. But I had to escort a few celebs off of set on producers orders.
What’s on your horizon?
RJ: Right now I’m working on my 2nd part to my security book. Also working on the 2nd book for my childrens book series I came out with last year. I have a couple of scripts that I want to send out and possibly a comic book by the end of the year. I think my other security book I come out with will be a fiction book but with real stories that happened on set. The ones I can’t really say. Well, I can but no one is going to believe me.

Now I’m intrigued! Can’t wait to hear those unbelievable tales, RJ. There are lots of great things on your horizon and I wish you the best! Thanks for being here.

Ever been disappointed by a celeb?

Should we treat them differently than others?

Spirit Saturday: Great Burning Balls of Gas

I wanted to be an astronaut as a kid . . . until I realized that I was afraid of heights and afraid of the dark and being an astronaut meant being higher than everything and staring the darkest of dark in the face. So I did what Sesame Street taught me: I gave up my dreams because of my fears (ha!). But I still love astronomy, and the stars.

Just ask me where to find Orion. Go ahead, ask!

Orion’s right here:

And NO, I did not google that image. Ok, maybe I did. But I knew what Orion looked like before I googled it.

Now ask me what the stars on Orion’s belt are named. Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka. Boo-ya. I totally knew that. Actually, I had to google that one. But I DO know that Betelgeuse and Rigel are a part of that constellation and I did not google that it was off the top of my head I swear.

That’s one of the things I love about astronomy. The names. The astronomers and astrologers gave quite beautiful names to the stars, they have romantic names … as fitting to their beauty.

I’ve never been around anyone who looked at the stars and sniffed and said, “they’re looking rather drab tonight.”

Everyone looks up at the stars and awe washes over their features. Sometimes they say, “Wow,” or “That’s beautiful.” But no one really has to say that while looking at the stars. Everyone feels it.

This is what I feel when I look up at the stars:

I feel both eternal and transient.

Eternal because I am a part of this universe. I am made up of the same atoms as those stars. I am connected to them. They have a life cycle just like I have a life cycle. Stars are so old, and so beautiful. In fact, a star’s death is the most beautifully climactic times of its life. It bursts out such an explosion of radiation that it can outshine an entire GALAXY! Wow. That’s quite a way to die. And that’s when I feel like my life is so temporary. Death comes to us all. It’s always sad, but sometimes it can be beautiful.

But just as my toddlers remind me daily, you shouldn’t just take my word for it. Here’s what some other people felt about the stars:

For every one, as I think, must see that astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.

— Glaucon, the older brother of Plato, in Plato’s The Republic, c. 380 BCE

If there is anything that can bind the heavenly mind of man to this dreary exile of our earthly home and can reconcile us with our fate so that one can enjoy living—then it is verily the enjoyment of the mathematical sciences and astronomy.

— Johannes Kepler

The outstanding feature, however, is the possibility that the velocity-distance relation may represent the de Sitter effect, and hence that numerical data may be introduced into discussions of the general curvature of space.

— Edwin Hubble

Pumbaa: Oh, gee. I always thought they were balls of gas burning billions of miles away.

Timon: Pumbaa, with you, everything’s gas.

When you look at the stars and the galaxy, you feel you are not just from any particular piece of land, but from the solar system.

— Laurel Clark

Astronomy, as nothing else can do, teaches men humility.

— Arthur C. Clarke

A somewhat star-related story: My parents let me study astronomy for a whole semester during school, because they saw I had an interest in it. I think I was in 8th grade. Anyway,  one Sunday my dad preached for this tiny country church and when he introduced us kids (he made us stand because he liked to torture us that way) he said, “My eldest is Aanna, she plays piano. My second eldest is Ellie, she’s studying astrology.” And then all the little old ladies gasped and were probably shocked that such a good little Christian girl would  try to find her fate in the stars instead of in God’s holy book. I still like to tease my dad about that moment.

What do you feel when you look up at the great burning balls of gas?


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