Usually the combination of “Hollywood” and “Oscars” is enough to scare me off a story, but this short examination of how good actors become movie stars was pretty interesting. Of his sudden stardom, Jack Nicholson said:
I remember when that happened to me. I’d been working for 12 years, and then the part in “Easy Rider” changed my life. Very few people have ever had the experience where they sit back and say, “I am a movie star.” I knew it at the first showing of “Easy Rider” at the Cannes Film Festival by how the audience reacted to the movie. A lot of people would say, “I know I’m a movie star, but, oh, I wonder what’s going to happen…” I knew it then: I was a movie star. And it was great.
The story is part of the recent NY Times Magazine package on the breakthrough movie stars of 2008. The photographs of the chosen stars by Ryan McGinley are notable as well for “their attempt to wrestle the Hollywood photoshoot beast away from its recent hyper-produced overwrought incarnation”.