I have a healthy ego. (I also have a very fragile ego. I’m a lot like everyone else in that respect. Catch me at the right moment and I am my biggest fan. Catch me at the wrong moment and I hate myself more than anyone would ever freely admit they hate anything. Ever. I’m no different than anyone else, in that respect.)
But most of the time, I think I’m a freakin’ rockstar. I know I don’t save lives, inspire people to be their best selves, or provide shelter for the homeless, but sometimes I give good advice to actors, cast great movies, and bring a little laughter to those around me. That’s gotta be worth something. And I choose to decide it means I’m a pretty damn cool chick. I could be worse. I have been worse.
So, on Saturday, Babes McPhee mentioned something about my healthy ego. I was like, “Huh?” And she said (referring to my MySpace profile), “Hell! You list yourself as one of your HEROES!” And I stopped and said, “Well, yeah! I mean, if I don’t think I rock, how can I expect anyone else to do so?”
And then I thought about how, when listing my favorite authors, I always list myself. Why? Well, if I don’t LOVE my writing, how can I expect anyone else to do so? (And seriously, I love reading my writing. I read EVERYTHING I write. Yes, I get lots of email from actors who say they’ve read everything I’ve ever written and I always think, “Nah… you haven’t. Only I have.” But only I know how much I’ve truly written — and I’ve read it all. That makes me my biggest fan.)
So, what’s wrong with that? (Except that it’s totally not socially acceptable to SAY you love yourself.) Not a damn thing.
Of the various lies that actors tell — there are no small parts, it’s a privilege just to be nominated, working with Woody is a dream come true — there’s one that Samuel L. Jackson simply cannot abide. “Everybody thinks it’s cool to say ‘I hate watching myself onscreen,'” says Jackson. “Well, that’s b_______. We’re in a narcissistic business. Everybody likes watching themselves.” Jackson, 57, proudly sees every one of his movies in a theater with paying customers. If he’s channel surfing and spots an old performance, he puts down the remote. “Even during my theater years, I wished I could watch the plays I was in — while I was in them! I dig watching myself work.”
True, that. But here’s the great part.
If watching oneself is, as Jackson claims, all actors’ secret pleasure, Jackson distinguishes himself from his peers in two ways: he cops to vanity, and his vanity has a track record for dovetailing with popular taste.
So, here I am… “copping to vanity.” And there’s not a gawtdamn thing you can do about it. Sssssssss! (7pm, Beanery. Yo.)