Movie Stars: Actors on the Merits and Price of Being Movie Stars

Actors Subjective Attitudes towards Movie Stardom

Rainer, Luise:

Rainer’s first film role in Hollywood was in Escapade (1935), a remake of one of her Austrian films, co-starring William Powell. She received the part after Myrna Loy gave up her role halfway through filming. After seeing the preview, Rainer ran out of the cinema displeased with how she appeared: “On the screen, I looked so big and full of face, it was awful.” The film generated immense publicity for Rainer, who was hailed as “Hollywood’s next sensation.”

However, she did not like giving interviews: “Stars are not important, only what they do as a part of their work is important. Artists need quiet in which to grow. It seems Hollywood does not like to give them this quiet. Stardom is bad because Hollywood makes too much of it, there is too much ‘bowing down’ before stars. Stardom is weight pressing down over the head — and one must grow upward or not at all.”

Woodward, Joanne: 

She said: “Initially, I probably had a real movie-star dream. It faded somewhere in my mid-30s, when I realized I wasn’t going to be that kind of actor. It was painful. Also, I curtailed my career because of my children. Quite a bit. I resented it at the time, which was not a good way to be around the children. Paul was away on location a lot. I wouldn’t go on location because of the children. I did once, and felt overwhelmed with guilt.”