The End of Movie Stars

THE ANKLER:

“One of the great skill sets of being a star in Hollywood is having a thick skin. And $20 million a movie should buy you a lot of armor to have a very thick skin,” said Bragman.

The veteran publicist also weighed in on why Rock’s joke should have been addressed by Jada Pinkett Smith, the intended target and not her husband. “Jada has her own talk show,” Bragman continued. “She’s a very powerful, intelligent, respected woman. Couldn’t she have stood up for herself or given him the finger, something? She gave him a bit of a sneer. Could she have not given him the finger and made her point.”

The hosts also discuss what the victory of Apple TV+’s CODA over Power of the Dog and Don’t Look Up (with Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio) says about stardom in Hollywood today.

“Last night also seemed like the death of the movie star,” said Min. “You had Netflix pay…for Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence for Don’t Look Up and Power of the Dog certainly had like a top flight cast with Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, and Jane Campion as the director. And here comes this cast with CODA…not what people equate with A-list Hollywood, right?” Siegel concurred: “Last night seemed to be the death of the movie star, the movie business and maybe comedy as we know it in the future.”

Siegel also discussed the Twitter threads speculating about Will Smith and Scientology, citing a thread about “a Scientology course that involves slapping physically humiliating fellow Scientologists in a group setting as a means of exerting superiority.”

Speaking of which, Bragman was asked if The Slap is Smith’s career equivalent of Tom Cruise’s couch-jumping, a moment that will define a career before and after. Said Bragman: “It kind of is. But Tom got his shit back together because Tom got his shit back together. We’ll see where it will takes this. Now, this could be a wake up call.”

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