Last year The Hollywood Reporter announced that it would no longer be publishing the list of 100 Most Powerful Women in Hollywood because, as editor Janice Min explained, the magazine did not want to be pitting women against each other in competition. I disagreed. In short, why shouldn’t women compete when it’s about the work? And why does competition have to negate friendship? Who says women can’t be competitive and supportive at the same time? Click here if you missed that post.
Yesterday I read about Ethan Hawke’s appearance at Vulture Festival this weekend. He’s written a children’s book called Rules For A Knight. He also discussed his acting career and the people who’ve inspired him, including River Phoenix. Ethan’s been very candid over the years about his relationship with River. How he always looked at River as motivation. How he misses River, how he wishes River was still in the race, as a talent benchmark, as a way to measure the standard of work. At Vulture Festival he brought that up once again:
“I loved and admired (River). And was extremely jealous. I would venture to say My Own Private Idaho was the first performance of my generation, where somebody of my era did something, something original. The world since then wonderfully changed, but to be 23 and to play an openly gay character in a mainstream film was very daring, very brave. And he didn’t think twice about it. … And I was so jealous. And all of a sudden he has passed and I am missing him. Missing the challenge of him. And how often do we see ourselves in competition with people around us and don’t understand what we're doing?”
To my knowledge, Ethan’s never been criticised for this perspective. Because men are allowed to compete with each other without it being called ugly and petty. But would a woman in the business feel comfortable saying the same? Like could Cate Blanchett say in an interview that every time she watches Meryl Streep that bitch is just so good it drives her to throw down an even better performance because she wants to match it?
One of my favourite reads from this weekend was the ESPN profile of the friendship between LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. They’re described as the platonic Romeo and Juliet of the NBA because no one wants them to get along. Everyone, from the league to the owners to ex-players to fans, wants the two greatest players of their generation to hate each other because they think that that’s the only way they’ll bring out their best. LeBron and D-Wade know this. They defiantly continue competing and friending each other in spite of the efforts to pull them apart. But as Duana pointed out, we assume that they can check their competition at the door. And when one bests the other on a certain night, we accept that they can and will shrug it off and go back to intricately handshaking each other. Would we make the same assumptions about women? Or would we go with the narrative that there must be a grudge?
By the way, my favourite part of this article is when Dwyane reveals that if he’s late for dinner, LeBron knows what to order for him better than his wife. Click here to read it. I need someone to make a documentary about their friendship. They’re like the Ben Affleck and Matt Damon of sports.
Yours in gossip,