I’m starting to think celebrities should just stop talking altogether, because no matter how many publicists they have whispering in their ear or how many cautionary tales they witness in Hollywood every day, they still seem to put their feet in their mouths. It’s particularly frustrating when actors feel the need to publicly diss their past work. Last week Penn Badgley pulled a classic Lonely Boy move by suggesting that he wasn’t proud of Gossip Girl. But James Franco doesn’t necessarily like being subtle, so recently he just came right out and admitted he thought Annapolis was “a really bad movie” and he “ended up not liking the experience and not liking the movie.”
The problem with comments like this is that, while I don’t think Annapolis necessarily launched James Franco’s career like Gossip Girl did Penn’s, there are still people out there who worked hard on the project. Like the film’s director, Justin Lin, who just so happens to be promoting his new film Fast and Furious 6 and told The Huffington Post he was hurt by Franco’s comments.
“Well, it is very hurtful. And it’s actually not very respectful because I know a lot of the crew worked really hard on that.”
Lin also made some pretty spot-on comments about Hollywood etiquette and viewing your past projects as shaping your future career, saying the following:
“I’m really proud to be here now, but I’m just as equally proud as when that movie opened and nobody would take my call. Because that makes me who I am. And that experience made me who I am. And I would hope it’s the same for him as opposed to him judging the rest of us.”
That sums it up pretty well. Even if you’re not necessarily proud of a project, there are other people’s feelings to take into consideration. And I think celebrities tend to make those comments thinking they’re being self-deprecating or even separating themselves from their past decisions in order to move forward in their career. But what they forget is that they weren’t the only person involved in the project their badmouthing. As Lin also points out, there were people who worked on Annapolis for whom that was their only film. They didn’t get the opportunity to snooze their way through an Oscar hosting gig.
And honestly, Annapolis isn’t that bad. I watched it in my James Franco phase a few years ago. Although my crush has waned since then, that phase contributed to who I am today, and I am very proud of it. See what I did there?