Monday, December 27, 2010

Being Travolted!


Being Travolted in the kiss of death to actors and especially to actress's. What exactly is being Travolted? Well, not just working with Travolta, many great actors have lived to talk about sharing the screen with him but... Being his leading lady or leading man means your career is about to hit a wall.

Travolta's career can be broken down into three sections. First the beginning (pre Pulp Fiction). This section includes Welcome Back Kotter and the years of Travolta trying his best to be a romantic lead. Countless women, many immensely talented took turns as his leading lady. Almost all found the experience not really helpful to building a resume.

The second part of Travolta's career I will call The Men Years, this time covers the time just before and just after Pulp Fiction. Pulp Fiction served a number of purposes for Travolta, not just reinventing his career but it was the time he seemed to see that being the romantic lead (dance with Uma aside) was not working and he was better off with his leading lady being a man (in this case Samuel L. Jackson). For the next several years Travolta's co-stars were usually men and he left his romantic roles behind for action films.

The third, and hopefully last version of Travolta's career is post Battlefield Earth. About this time Travolta seems to realize that not only is he ruining the careers of almost every leading man or leading woman he worked with most of his work since 1980 was shit. Since then Travolta has for the most part abandoned having any leading lady or man and is sticking to mostly ensemble pieces where can no not be solely blamed for ruining the career of another actor or the success of failure of the film. I think this is a safe choice for Travolta. He has not made a decent movie since, yet at the same time has not added to his previous list of high profile flops.

Of course with any rule there are exceptions but I stand by my theory that 'Being Travolted' is the Acting Kiss of Death.

Take a look....

The Men:
The Sweathogs:

Except for Robert Hegyes and his time on Cagney & Lacey, none of the gang from Buchanan High really maintained their fame after the show went off the air. Ron Palillo mostly disappeared, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs has worked steadily, mostly on tv but without IMDB I dare you to compile any sort of list of his credits.



Nicolas Cage
Pre being Travolated: Must see actor in Peggy Sue Got Married, Moonstruck, Birdy, The Cotton Club, Rumble Fish, Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas.
Travolted in Face/Off (1997)
After Being Travolted: Hollywood joke still making big boring blockbusters no body really wants to see.


Christian Slater
Pre being Travolted: Hot edgy leading man in films like Name of the Rose (below), Heathers, Pump Up The Volume, Untamed Heart, True Romance.
Travolted in Broken Arrow (1996).
After Being Travolted: Movie Career fizzles out, numerous attempts to get a tv series off the ground.



The Leading Ladies:
Pre-Pulp Fiction

Kirstie Alley
Really what is there to say here.... Pre 1993's Look Who's Talking (and it's two pointless sequals) Kirstie Alley was a sexy Emmy award winning actress. After...



Jamie Lee Curtis
1985's Perfect did not end the career of Jamie Lee Curtis but it certainly did not help it. Arguably her chance to show she could do more than scream and run, this film was another one of those movies Travolta seems drawn to without really thinking it through. Like the much better Saturday Night Fever, Perfect is about a trend, in this case aerobics which was all the rage at that time (Richard Simmons anyone). Following trends in movies is a tricky thing and most generally fall flat. Curtis had an ok movie career pre Perfect and continued to have an ok movie career after.



Finola Hughes & Cynthia Rhodes
1983's Stayin Alive is one of those films that is so bad it is almost fun to watch for a laugh. Travolta's co-stars Finola Hughes (below) and Cynthia Rhodes both found their respective film careers come to a crashing death after alive. Rhodes went on to Dirty Dancing and not much else. Hughes continued a healthy television career but that face of hers was meant for the big screen, but after Travolting herself it was not to be.



Debra Winger
One of my favorite actress's Debra Winger shared the screen with Travolta in 1980's Urban Cowboy. Now Urban Cowboy certainly did not end Winger's movie career with two of her biggest hits, Terms of Endearment and An Officer And A Gentleman both coming out within a few years of Cowboy but... Like many of Travolta's leading ladies, one of the 80's biggest female stars career certainly hit some bumpy roads from the late 80's all the way to the present. Winger began rebuilding her resume in 2000 and was seen most recently on tv in In Treatment. If you have not seen 2002's Searching For Debra Winger it is a great documentary!



Lily Tomlin
1978's Moment By Moment remains one of those 'Why Did They Do That?' questions in motion pictures. (Travolta has a few of those Battlefield Earth anyone?)Lily and John as a romantic couple is almost laughable and laughing is just what many did. Tomlin's acting career certainly continued with 9 to 5 just two years later but any hope of a Tomlin being seen as a leading lady in a drama were dashed permanently. Tomlin's movie career pretty much petered out after Big Business in 1988 but she continues to be a force on television most recently in a great turn on Damages.



Olivia Newton-John
Now working with Travolta certainly did not end Olivia's singing career but it in no way helped her acting one. Granted Newton-John was not an actress to begin with but between Grease and the horrid Two Of A Kind, except for a couple of tv appearances and a cameo or two in the movies, Newton-John's acting career ended about the same time it began. In 2000 she did show she had a bit more to offer than previously thought with a fun turn in 'Sordid Lives'.


Karen Lynn Gorney
Actress Karen Lynn Gorney is really the perfect example of what Travolting an acting career can actually result in. Pre 1977 Gorney had a few small guest star roles on tv but was known mostly for her time as Tara Martin on All My Children. 1977 brought Gorney brief fame starring along Travolta in the iconic disco movie Saturday Night Fever. Despite huge box office and great reviews Gorney's career basically came to a screeching halt. In fact Gorney was unable to get any professional work of note for the next 15 years. In the 90's she showed up in guest spots and small roles but still has not recovered for her time as Travolta's leading lady.

Favorite Pic of the Day for December 27th


One last shot of Ryan Scott by Michael Puff whose work together I profiled yesterday.

Happy Birthday Today December 27th to:


Above: Craig by one of my favorite photographers David Arnot.

Happy Birthday today to Craig Malozzi who turns 23.
Check out more of Craig and birthday boys Logan Bailly, Wilson Cruz and Gerard Depardieu at last years birthday post HERE:

Model Search 2011



Have you voted yet?

I know models and their supporters have been voting but FH gets thousands of hits a day so if you are one of those readers who has yet to vote in MODEL SEARCH 2011 why not take a second or two today to cast a vote!

Here are some more shots of model Matt Eldracher.

Check out more of Matt on ModelMayhem HERE:

Don't worry, each of the top 10 will be featured individually over the next week!


Just Because: Ben Barnes



There has been a tradition in my family that Christmas night after the meal is done and the clean up complete we head to the movies. Although it does not always occur this year one of my brothers, my sister in law and a cousin headed out to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Like many of you I am sure, the Narnia books were an important part of my childhood. I never found that the first movie however lived up to the magic of the book and really had little interest in seeing this one. The movie was ok, but the movie going experience was saved by the beautiful face of Ben Barnes. The is something special about Ben and his face lights up the screen whenever he is on it. Although I cannot fully recommend Narnia, if you want to experience what I am talking about make sure to watch Ben in Dorian Gray. Ben is mesmerizing and director Oliver Parker brings exactly the right feel to the story.




Ryan Scott by Michael Puff

-Private Moments Made Public-


It has been interesting over the years to hear the many different perspectives that artists have to explain their work. What I used to believe 'makes a great shot' I could have stated simply as the use of light, space and mood. After getting a glimpse into what inspires some of the photographers and artists I most admire, that once limited description would now take a couple of pages to fully describe.

When model and photographer Ryan Scott responded to my questions about his shoot with photographer Michael Puff he included a brief bio that said;

'I studied fine Art, Literature, and French. I'm obsessed with with white walls, little dogs, Paris, and private moments made public.'

From some reason his last four words 'Private Moments made Public' jumped out at me. (I also loved his inclusion of white walls). Now maybe to some making what is usually private, public might be a 'duh' when the photographing the male form, but I am not sure that I looked at it that way until spending time staring at Michael Puff's shots along with Ryan's quote floating around in my head.



All you have to do is scroll through a few pages of FH to see that not all photographers have this floating in their heads when snapping their lens. Many photographers have their models interact with the camera, making it clear they are posing for a picture, and have the viewer and model interacting, the photographer, almost acting as the liaison.

For most of us (well some of us...) being naked, especially indoors, is usually something private, shared generally with one other, or with oneself. What Michael does so well is to find these moments and then to capture them. In order to keep the illusion of privacy though, Michael's true skill is to capture the moment as if he was not even in the room. In again viewing the shots of Michael's I have profiled (Ryan and previously with Damon Mahoney) there were countless private moments his lens turned public yet...they remain amazingly private.





'I met Ryan when he sent an introductory email because we had both been invited to contribute images to Try State Magazine Issue 3 and we are both located in the SF Bay Area. I went to take a look at Ryan's Direct Desire blog and was intrigued by his accomplished nude self-portraits. His concepts and poses are a delightful artistic mix. After an exchange of several emails, I told Ryan that if he'd ever consider shooting with another photographer that I'd be delighted to work with him.

I loved the natural light images I saw on Ryan's blog and we agreed to shoot at his location. The day of our shoot arrived. It was foggy, overcast, and rainy. The natural light was soft, yet dramatic as it dropped off quickly inside his windows. I think it gave a very moody look to our shoot.

Ryan was a first for me on two counts. First, I'd never shot another photographer as model. Ryan easily understood the light and played to it so very well. Second, when I asked about what wardrobe Ryan wanted to use to start, he said none. He was only interested in nudes and ready to go to work.'

Michael Puff

Check out more of Michael's work at his website HERE:



Ryan says that Michael was fantastic to work with.

'It can be very difficult as a photographer to give up creative control to another person, but Michael was very inclusive. He took the time to explain his process and created an atmosphere that was very comfortable.'

As I stated Ryan is also a photographer and I love that he describes himself as an eternal voyeur. It is fascinating to me to that while most voyeurs seem look 'out', Ryan's focus is on 'in'. The thinking of 'self' is an ignored field of study. Thinking out oneself is often seen as vain or selfish but thinking 'self' is not about running through your mind how great you are. Thinking 'self' is simply knowing yourself and spending time figuring out why you feel and act the way you do. Ultimately self is one of the most unselfish things to focus on as those without a sense of self usually end up inflicting their pain and confusion on those around them.

Be sure to spend some time on Ryan's blog Direct Desire HERE: I love 'reversal of lens' and my favorite shots are his Window sequence in Paris, his shots by and on the stairs and the shot 'Eucalyptus' used as pic of the day. Ryan also has a blog about public nudity SFNude found HERE:

Thanks as always to the wonderful Michael Puff and to Ryan Scott for sharing their shoot with FH!