Tuesday, February 21, 2012
There comes a point in every actor's life when they cross a line. It's kind of like a rite of passage that they aspire to reach. A few members of this club include Tim Allen, Greg Kinnear, Joan Cusack, John Cusack, Ben Stiller, Sandra Bullock and Eddie Murphey. I'd also like to take this moment to recognize and congratulate the two most recent additions: Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. The exclusive society these people belong to is none other than the MDAGA-otherwise known as the Mom and Dad Actors' Guild of America. Some see entering this association as a bad thing. Like being at that point of your career is a sign that you're a washed-up, has-been, but I disagree.
There are actors that society never tires of watching on the screen. Every movie they make draws crowds, film after film, year after year. However, similar to real life, different periods of time demand different lifestyles and activities. Your whole life can't be lived climbing trees, drawing with sidewalk chalk, and asking your mom if you can call Jimmy to come over and play. At some point you have to grow up and take on grown-up responsibilities. Likewise, an actor can't spend their whole career being the super hott guy/girl, or the hard core action junkie. At some point your six pack becomes less attractive, and it's not realistic for a fifty-five year old man to do parkour all over *insert any large city here*. It's just not a viable path.
With this in mind, actors, if the're smart will take on roles that are more realistic given their stage of life. If you think about it, it's a complement and a blessing to be able to belong to MDAGA. Many actors aren't lucky enough to stick around in Hollywood that long. For example, Hannah Montana most likely will not have the opportunity to be a mom in MDAGA. It would be unrealistic for a forty year old woman play a pouty teenager, therefore the industry will move on to another Disney Channel starlet and Hannah Montana will end up on Celebrity Apprentice. On the other hand, Ryan Gosling will get the chance to be one of our favorite Dad actors because he's a good actor now and he will be twenty years from now too. His roles will just change from hunky heart throb to attractive father figure.
I will admit though, there are some actors who refuse to apply for membership in MDAGA. Nicholas Cage, for example. Although I wish he would because I can't bear a third Ghost Rider installment. On the other side of the coin though, Denzel Washington, Juleah Roberts, George Clooney and Helen Mirren, to name a few, are some who haven't made a mom/dad movie yet. And as of now it seems never will, nor do we want them to, because they just keep getting better.
So while we mourn the end of Matt Damon's Jason Bourne and Private James Ryan days as well as Brad Pitt's era of Achilles, Rusty Ryan, and Mr. Smith, we get to watch them for twenty-thirty more years as they beautifully master more characters that are suited for their age.