Whining while they work
By Donna Freydkin, USA TODAY
It’s not like they’re digging ditches or slogging away in salt mines. But that hasn’t stopped some of Hollywood’s best-known and, in some cases, highest-paid actors from whining about their work, an antic that rankled the late, great Katharine Hepburn. In Kate Remembered by A. Scott Berg, she lashed out at “actors who complain in interviews about 12-hour days.”
Let’s take a look at who in Hollywood hates their gigs the most.
Complainer: Hugh Grant
His grievance: Britain’s foppish romantic-comedy king moaned in the May 2003 issue of Vanity Fair that acting is just torture, baby. “I kind of hate it. In fact, I hate it quite a lot ó all acting, but especially movie acting,” said Grant. “I’m rich and my life’s luxurious. But, above all, I feel a nervous exhaustion.”
Current status: Grant hasn’t switched careers quite yet. His latest amorous outing, Love Actually, opens in select markets today. Plus, he’s now shooting Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason in London with Renee Zellweger ó after telling the BBC last April that he’s not “particularly keen” about starring in the sequel.
Complainer: Denzel Washington
His grievance: The two-time Oscar winner says that acting isn’t quite lighting his fire anymore. “I’m getting bored,” he told the Calgary Sun in January. “I’ve done more than 25 films. I’ve been blessed to do a lot of good stuff, and I’ve got my nominations and awards, but I was starting to get stale.” Plus, he told Extra last November at the premiere of his directorial debut, Antwone Fisher, “I really enjoyed the directing. I enjoy it more than acting. I’ve been bored with acting for a while.”
Current status: Jaded thespian Washington just played yet another cop in the thriller Out of Time and portrays a bitter ex-Marine in the thriller Man on Fire, out next spring.
Complainer: Sean Penn
His grievance: The fiercely outspoken star of Mystic River told The New York Times Magazine back in December 1998 that he was done with acting for good. Seriously. “This is it. I’m not going to act in movies again.” In May 2001, he told Britain’s Observer that he disliked acting because “it doesn’t fill any kind of need to work; it certainly hasn’t filled my bank account.”
Current status: Judging from the delirious reviews he earned in River, Penn’s dramatic days aren’t numbered yet. He plays a math professor in 21 Grams, opening in New York and L.A. on Nov. 21, but would rather work behind the camera again. “I don’t know a sane man who’s directed and acted who will tell you he doesn’t just want to be directing,” Penn said last month.
Whining while they work