GG Worst Happy Face: Claire Danes

Duana Posted by Duana at January 16, 2012 19:39:15 January 16, 2012 19:39:15

Behold, a thesis in two parts:   

Point the first ΓÇô the physical.

Danes and I are of a similar age.  ButΓǪflatter myself, sure...I think she looks SO much older than me.   Part of that can be attributed to the razor-thin demands that we know in Hollywood ΓÇô the body-or-face choice comes early.  But she doesnΓÇÖt look drawn and tired, exactly ΓÇô she looks tight and shiny.   Could she stop doing whatever it is sheΓÇÖs doing to her face and live to tell the tale?  Of course she could.  Claire, stop   Stop trying to bring back Angela ChaseΓÇÖs perfect, puckered brow and just be you, now, today.  Yes?

Point the second ΓÇô the Meta.

I asked tonight when it was that Claire Danes got to be so unhappy-seeming.  She looks ...not pissed off, but anxious all the time.  Never at full relaxation.  I mean, girl has the kind of career anyone would be thrilled with ΓÇô critically acclaimed, great films mixed with the ΓÇÿrightΓÇÖ kind of TV.   

So whatΓÇÖs the problem?  Everyone has an idea.  The marriage.  The career slowdown in the late ΓÇÿ00s.   Maybe even a case of ΓÇÿI donΓÇÖt know who I am exactlyΓÇÖ?   Something has made her tough and hard, and yes, the obvious answer here is Billy Crudup (and itΓÇÖs worth noting that Mary Louise Parker does have some of DanesΓÇÖ same brittle traits) but who knows?  She seems to be atoning, internally, for some long gone sins.  Or holding herself in check reallysupertightly so that she doesnΓÇÖt make some sort of mistake again.  ThereΓÇÖs very little freedom about her ΓÇô as a person, if not as a performer.

But I donΓÇÖt know what the dire rigidity is all about.  YouΓÇÖre 32!  You have so much time to change and adjust whatΓÇÖs bothering you and what you donΓÇÖt like or what you think you should have achieved by now.   YouΓÇÖre not all used up!  Have a little optimism!

She might just be a self-flagellator.  I listened to her talking about how she forgot to thank her parents when she won at 15, and my heart broke a little.  Because sheΓÇÖs been carrying that around for 17 years.   More than half her life!  Girl could stand to give herself a real break.  And I get the feeling she really doesnΓÇÖt, often.  

I sound like someoneΓÇÖs mother.  But itΓÇÖs worth remembering that whateverΓÇÖs gone before ΓÇô even if it was last week ΓÇô is old news.  Never has a woman with such a built-in fanbase been so disquieted.  And none of the usual successes seem to have penetrated her wall of anxiety.  And I really would like to see her smile.

Now I sound like a construction worker.  Fantastic.

(Lainey - whatΓÇÖs interesting about the wound up tight-ness of Danes is how she behaves when sheΓÇÖs had a little help relaxing. Last year, on the Temple Grandin award circuit, I hear she was out of control after a few drinks. Like messy. We all have a friend like that right? PS. There was nothing smutty about why Hugh Dancy wasnΓÇÖt with her at the Globes. He had an important family event.)

Frazer Harrison/Jason Merritt/Getty

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