Fame and celebrity stardom are fleeting.
Some are lucky to hold onto it for the better portion of their working lives, but the vast majority of celebs are a couple box office bombs away from returning to the real world. You know, the one where you go out and work a job that often pays less than livable wages.
Cameron Diaz was smart with her career. She worked herself up the actress totem pole, cleverly taking roles that mostly advanced her career and star power only to wisely leave the industry while she was at or near the top to leave acting and celebrity behind to build a business and be with her family.
Ellen Pompeo was 33 when she landed a main role in the hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy and she didn’t leave the show like several of her co-stars to act in “big movies” and other creative projects, instead choosing a more consistent, stable existence on a TV show she could depend on.
Whether to work or not to work while parenting is a very personal decision many women face, and often both factors are pitted one against the other, as if the same woman can’t want both things—to raise a family and to earn money. And yet, both Pompeo and Diaz appear to have felt compelled to offer plenty of justification for their decisions, which have received what’s probably an overabundance of media attention, given the amount of “real” news to be had these days.What Cameron Diaz doesn’t have to explain (opinion) – CNN
One might argue that both Diaz and Pompeo are still celebrities, still stars, even if they haven’t been in any major box office movies in a long time. Pompeo still plays Meredith Grey and the show is approaching 20 seasons. Despite so many casting changes, it doesn’t appear to be nearing cancellation. Pompeo is still in the limelight, she’s just opted not to leave for the big movie roles. Good for her.
Would I like to see Cameron Diaz in another film? Sure, if she wants to act in one again. She was never a huge draw for me in films. Not saying she isn’t a good actress, but I never felt like I absolutely must see anything she starred in. The Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz Charlie’s Angels is the last set of movies I remember Diaz in and, while they were a big improvement over the Elizabeth Banks helmed reboot, they were not amazing movies.
As for Ellen Pompeo? I can’t imagine anybody else playing Meredith Grey. I greatly enjoyed that show the first five seasons or so and then just kind of lost interest in all the casting changes and storylines which didn’t feel as fresh to me any more. As for her acting in a films and being a draw? Not really
I’m glad for these women finding a niche in the business, exploiting it for their own family and personal lives. If only every “star” did this, Hollywood would be a better place.
Big budget movies often create more problems and pressure than they deserve. I hope one byproduct of this pandemic is that studios can and will be forced into making fewer $100+ million budget movies. Go back to the days of $10+ million being a “big budget” film. Try to make more sub $10 million budget films. This takes so much pressure off directors, actors and actresses and the focus can be telling a great story, not having the most amazing and expensive visual effects. Sure, I want to see those kind of movies from time to time, but would prefer that number to be much smaller than it currently is.
Also, I don’t believe a bigger budget, more expensive marketing and branding guarantee bigger financial success. Great stories — of which there are many in books waiting to be adapted — coupled with solid directors and actors and a fiscally responsible budget without all these strained “it must make $200+ million at the box office to break even” expectations. When a movie like Dolittle is considered a flop having made over $300 million dollars at the box office, there is something wrong in Hollywood.
Some might say Diaz and Pompeo have been selfish. I think in this case that’s a compliment. It’s extremely rare I’d ever say this about any one actor, much less two, but more should follow their examples.