Why can’t Fantine be like Bella?

March 30, 2012 18:02:08 Posted at March 30, 2012 18:02:08
Lainey Posted by Lainey
Photos:
WENN

Sorry. Did you just choke?

There wasn’t much to recommend about Twilight 4 except for when Kristen Stewart’s Bella is all emaciated and sickly because she’s carrying the baby made out of dead sperm. What is the consistency of vampire ejaculate? I bet you JK Rowling could tell you the consistency of Hippogriff ejaculate is all I’m saying.

Anyway, I thought the CGI and the makeup and whatever other special effect they used on Stewart to make her look like the child was sucking the life out of her was pretty good and convincing. So why can’t they do the same for Anne Hathaway if, of course, the British tabloids aren’t full of sh-t which...you know.

According to one of the UK papers, Anne has to lose something like 15 pounds in less than a month as she plays Fantine in Tom Hooper’s adaptation of Les Miserables. Apparently she’s working with a dietician monitoring her daily calorie intake. Right. So in other words, she’s mainlining coffee and cigarettes.

Anne is already pretty lean. And she’s an accomplished actor. If she looked the way she normally does and performs the sh-t out of the role, would you complain if her body looked too... big?

I go back to Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games. Most of you who’ve seen it will note that, while fit, she certainly does not look hungry. And did such a great job of conveying Katniss’s emotional psyche that it really didn’t matter if she’d lost weight or not.

But, to be fair, some roles do require a noticeable transformation. Christian Bale’s The Machinist for example certainly would not have been the same if he didn’t look the way he did. Are we more accepting of parts that ask actresses specifically to gain weight instead of drop it? If you’re down with Anne Hathaway in her current form without significant reduction so long as she can deliver on performance, would you have been just as easy about Renee Zellweger not sizing up as Bridget Jones? Or is it that “destitute” is an attribute that can be convincingly “acted” whereas “curvy” was an attribute so significant to the Bridget character that it needed to be seen?

Some people felt that Michelle Williams should have relied on more than just padding to portray Marilyn Monroe, that she could have used an extra 10. If you’ve seen the movie though, her Marilyn was excellent even without the pounds. On the other side you have Charlize Theron for Monster. Had she not let herself get soft around the middle for that part, I don’t know that I would have believed it as much as I did. And that’s a biopic too.

I don’t know. I’ve been sitting here for an hour trying to decide if it’s a predisposition bias or if there’s artistic support in each case, to say nothing of the artist himself/herself and what they need as “motivation” to get into the role. Of course I understand the inclination to be all huffy about the implications that can result from an actress like Anne Hathaway, slender to begin with, going for full starvation and being rewarded for it. But I also see how the argument can be made for creative process and interpretation. I’m not sure we can generalise on the issue rather than examine it case by case. Something for the Faculty of Celebrity Studies then.

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