Monday, March 12, 2007

Forest Whittaker is not allowed in the house

Based entirely (not to say unfairly) on their performances, I have over the years decided that numerous musical and theatrical stars are not allowed in the house. I'm adding Forest Whittaker to the list after having watched The Last King of Scotland this weekend.

Obviously, I don't know Mr. Whittaker. He's clearly an intelligent and gifted actor, and I presume that he's not entirely miserable to work with (he's not famous enough to behave that badly). I also wasn't so entirely taken with his performance as Idi Amin that I gave in completely to the suspension of disbelief and was actually afraid. It's more a matter of the kinds of role Mr. Whittaker seems to choose, and in which he seems to excel. They bespeak, to me, a deep inner wellspring of violent emotion.

Forest Whittaker is under the total ban, along with many others. There is also a short list of famous people who are only allowed in subject to certain conditions, usually for our own protection. With that, let's revisit the list, accrued over time.

* Bjørk. Would she sit demuring in the corner, or dive for the liquor cabinet? Would she spend hours reading the titles of all the books in the place? Or break all the furniture just for the percussion? Would she steal the cat? Too unpredictable.

* Fred Willard. Actually, Fred is allowed in, but only in leg irons.

* Jeff Buckley. On a recent walk home, "So Real" came on my iPod, and as I entered I announced, "Jeff Buckley is not allowed in the house." Lauren's quick reply was to point out that, "Jeff Buckley is dead." "All the more reason," I said. He was weird enough alive.

* Robert Downey, Jr. This just makes good sense.

* Amy Sedaris. This was a controversial decision, because Lauren thinks Amy Sedaris is just about the cutest thing ever. But I know that's just another way she's incredibly dangerous.

* Alan Cumming. Actually, Alan Cumming is allowed in the house, but only on a short leash. Yes, I do mean that literally.

* Bruce McCulloch. This is probably an over-reaction, but especially in drag, Bruce was always the creepiest of the Kids in the Hall, and I've never fully recovered.

* Tim Curry. Clue almost restored his visa. Almost.

There are of course a number of other people not allowed in the house, and not all of them were born in either 1961 or 1965 (recurring dates in the list for some reason). Most of the others are less famous, with some exceptions. And then there are other people not officially on the list whom I would never consider letting in, some living, some dead (Augusto Pinochet springs to mind). I think it's good to maintain a list of this sort just in case.

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