10+ Questions with Seth of Defamer
Nathaniel: How often do you go to the movies ...and what gets you there?
Seth: About 2 to 4 times a month, depending on the time of the year. I'll usually make the trip if 1) it features Ryan Gosling (though not always, as I didn't bother to see Fracture) 2) it's playing at the Vista, the world's greatest movie theater in the heart of beautiful Los Feliz, or 3) it features 300 naked, chiseled Spartans on an IMAX screen.
Nathaniel: Yeah that last was a draw for a lotta folks. Maybe they'll figure that out and bless us with more "dudeity" in the future? We can hope.
Seth: I hope they spin off Xerxes into his own movie instead of just going the 301 route with the sequel. Maybe he decides being a Dionysian pleasure god isn't his thing, and he goes to an Ivy League school to get the law degree he's always dreamed about, and learns something about the power of hard work and positive thinking along the way.
Nathaniel: Wow. Let's hope Rodrigo can pull it off.
As to draw #1... what do you think is going on with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams? Do they even want to be famous? They're seem so low profile for the amount of love people seem to be ready to shower them with.
Seth: R+M, I have no idea. They're on a break? That was last I checked. They seemed like the rare Hollywood couple that didn't make you want to puke, so I wish them the best. (Plus they're Canadian, like me.) Ryan is regularly spotted around Downtown LA in places successful actors aren't supposed to be caught dead in: The library, the YMCA... someone told me he still pinch-hits at the deli he used to wait tables at at 4th and Main. This dude is of the people! Except, you know, he was nominated for an Oscar and used to be on the Disney channel.
Nathaniel: Watching him sing on that Mickey Mouse show is one of those things that will be forever burned in my memory. It was just so... wrong. He wasn't meant for the boy band life. Thank god he found his calling.
Ryan is obviously famous for his work. Since you get a lot of celebwatching time in at Defamer, which movie star strikes you as the most underserving of their fame? All fame and no actual contribution worth a toss at the movies...
Seth: We're already at the hardballs, eh? Just one? I'm sure most people would say Lindsay Lohan or Ashton Kutcher, and they'd be right! But I gotta go with Kate Bosworth. She seems to me the classic person plucked from the multitudes and groomed for stardom, mainly because she kind of looks like Grace Kelly. Did you see Superman Returns? That movie kind of did her in. Suddenly, in a mousy perm and a mediocre movie, you were like, who is this person? What exactly does she bring to the table? It really made you long for Margot Kidder.
Nathaniel: Which is a sentence you don't hear very often. "It really made you long for Margot Kidder" Speaking of women in franchise action flicks. Stay with me here... Let's say a celeb is after you for something you posted on Defamer... who do you hire as a bodyguard: Ripley (Aliens), The Bride (Kill Bill) or Sarah Connor (Terminator)?
Seth: Ripley, hands down. She already has experience battling Queen Aliens who hatch drooling, razor-toothed Xenomorphlings, so taking care of a Dina Lohan or Kathy Hilton on the warpath seems a natural fit for her skillset.
Nathaniel: I can't tell you how thrilling it is to imagine Sigourney in exoskeleton removing Dina from Lindsay's side. Hee
On the other side of the spectrum now: who are the movie personalities you, yourself, feel protective of... who do you love and wish only the best for?
Seth: Right now, my favorite working actors are Ryan Gosling and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who both devastated me in Half Nelson and Mysterious Skin, respectively. (JGL was also amazing in Brick.) I'd also add Gael Garcia Bernal to that list, who's been pretty much astonishingly good in anything I've ever seen him in, including Science of Sleep, which for some reason I opted out of seeing in the theater and of course completely charmed my socks off when I finally rented it on DVD. I guess they are similar in type/role choices--i.e. characters who are their own worst enemies, characters confined and defined by their masculinity. Let's throw Matt Damon onto the pile, who is so compulsively watchable in everything he does, and I'm not sure why. It's all that that pent-up earnestness. Or maybe I just think he's hot.
Women-- I mean, I know it's a cliche, but watching Judi Dench is a real guilty pleasure, although there's really nothing to be guilty about, is there? --even with borderline exploitation material like Notes on a Scandal . Cate Blanchett was the perfect foil in that one too, though I kind of wish she'd play something besides whiney, weak shrews, like in Babel or Notes. Come on--where's the hardasses like Elizabeth I or Katharine Hepburn? Actually I think she's playing Elizabeth I again in The Golden Age. In any case, neither of these broads needs my endorsement. I'll drop Natalie Portman a nod, nice Jewish girl with the chops--I thought she carried V for Vendetta, which could have buckled under a lesser actress.
There you are, I love you all and wish you the best. Keep up the good work!
Nathaniel: What's your favorite movie ever?
Nathaniel: You gotta love Gus Van Sant (kidding!) Hitchcock's Psycho is way up there for me, too.
Awkward segueway alert! Let's talk about "recreations" for a minute since the oft imitated Psycho was cited. Movies are always repeating themselves even when they're not remakes. Sometimes I get the sense that Hollywood is exactly the same at all times: only the faces/names change. The meal ticket child star crashing and burning as an adult is there. The supernova marriage of two ginormous stars is there. The sloppy final film in a big trilogy has just opened. The just-another-pretty-face actress who won an Oscar for a "gritty" stretch only to follow it with a string of bad movies is there. Jack Nicholson is there.
What's with all the endless cycling?
Seth: What is it they always tell us in those interminable presentations at the (repeatedly overlong and disappointing) Oscars? How Hollywood holds a mirror to the world at large? Well life is cyclical, too. War, famine, genocide, and frozen yogurt chains seem to keep rearing their ugly heads, so why should Hollywood get off any easier with its own domestic tragedies? They get Darfur and AIDS, we get Catwoman and Sarah Michelle Gellar-Prinze Jr. And AIDS.
Nathaniel: What do you think those of us outside of LA don't really get about your city?
Seth: I don't attempt to defend LA. The criticisms are all valid. But I don't for a second regret moving here. I'm both a creature of habit and a newness addict. LA feeds both those sides. This town suits me, even though I'm told I bring an East Coast sensibility to the proceedings.
Nathaniel: Describe the following stars in 5 words or less: Reese Witherspoon, Harrison Ford, Angelina Jolie, Shia LaBeouf and Sally Kirkland.
Seth: Reese: Barking up the wrong tree.
Harrison: Can you really blame him?
Angelina: A solid B-movie actress.
Shia LaBeouf: Fastest backlash in recent history.
Sally Kirkland: The name sounds very familiar....
Nathaniel: Sally will be horrified that that's all the fame her fantasmogorically hideous Oscar fashions have afforded her!
OK last question. They make a movie of your life. Who plays you? Directs? What's the MPAA rating? what's the tagline?
Seth: Star: Fellow Canadian Jewbear Seth, Seth Rogen. Director: Zach Snyder Rating: R Tagline: PREPARE FOR GLORYHOLES!
Nathaniel: No title? How avant garde.
Seth: You didn't ask for a title! How about Seth Abramovitch? It's boring, but so was Erin Brockovich. "I'm smart, I'm hard working, and I'll do anything. And I'm not leaving here without a job."
Like this interview? There's more in the series including chats with FourFour, Gallery of the Absurd, The Gilded Moose and more...