What the Hell Happened to Kim Basinger?


She’s been a Bond girl, Batman’s girlfriend and a corpse in a Tom Petty video.  Most recently, she played Zach Effron’s mom.  What the hell happened?  The easy answer is that Kim Basinger was a sex symbol who got old.  But the story of Basinger’s career is far more interesting than the easy answer would lead you to believe.

Like a lot of the actresses, Basinger got her start as a model.  She then transitioned on to TV shows like Starskey and Hutch and Charlie’s Angels.  Following that, she broke into films with films like Hard Country and Mother Lode.

basinger - never say never

Basinger’s breakout role was opposite Sean Connery in Never Say Never Again.

After Diamonds are Forever, Connery had vowed never to play James Bond again.  However, he reconsidered.  And in 1983 he returned to the role.  The title is a winking nod to Connery’s earlier comments.

Never Say Never Again is an odd entry in the Bond franchise.  It was not produced by Eon Productions like most of the Bond films.  Instead, it was a remake of Thunderball based on a settlement deal surrounding Fleming’s original novel.

In the summer of 1983, Connery and Roger Moore had dueling James Bond films as a result.

As it turns out, there was room for two James Bond movies that summer.  Although Roger Moore’s Octopussy outperformed Never Say Never Again, both films were hits.

To promote Never Say Never Again, Basinger posed nude for Playboy.  Basinger actually credits the Playboy shoot with helping her land the role in Barry Levinson’s baseball film, The Natural.

But first, let me make a passing mention that in 1983 Basinger also appeared in the Blake Edwards comedy, The Man Who Loved Women starring Burt Reynolds.

the natura;

Never Say Never Again, the Playboy shoot (and maybe even the Burt Reynolds movie) caught the attention of Barry Levinson.  When he was looking for a femme fatale to seduce Robert Redford in The Natural, he called upon Basinger.

Basinger was perfect for the role conveying the glamor of the era as well as the necessary sex appeal.  She was rewarded with her first Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

basinger - fool for love

Up to this point, Basinger has worked with an impressive collection of directors.  Never Say Never Again was directed by Irvin Kirshner (director of The Empire Strikes Back), The Man Who Loves Women was directed by Blake Edwards and The Natural was directed by Barry Levinson.  But her next film, Fool for Love, was directed by none other than Robert Altman!

I haven’t done the research, but I venture to guess that no other actress has gone from Bond and Playboy to Altman in three films or less.

Fool For Love was not a box office hit.  But it got very positive reviews and helped to legitimize Basinger as an actress and not just a pretty face.

basinger - 912 weeks

In 1986, Basinger worked with another visionary director, Adrian Lyne, in the erotic drama, 9 1/2 Weeks.  Basinger and co-star Mickey Rourke played a couple who push their sexual boundaries until Basinger’s character reaches her limit.  The sex scenes were artfully done, but the film was scandalous at the time.

Reviews for 9 1/2 Weeks were mixed.  Some critics considered it borderline soft core porn.  But most praised the genuine performances by Rourke and Basinger.

At the time of its release, 9 1/2 Weeks bombed at the box office.  But it became very popular overseas and eventually developed a cult following.  A direct to video sequel and prequel were both eventually produced.

basinger - no mercy

Later that year, Basinger starred opposite Richard Gere in the would-be erotic thriller, No Mercy.

Basinger played a sexy swamp girl who helps Gere’s Chicago cop get vengeance on the man who killed his partner.

The Bayou-based crime drama was panned by critics and bombed at the box office.

Next: Blind Date and My Stepmother is an Alien

Posted on February 5, 2012, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 226 Comments.

  1. Basinger’s career does make for fun reading. I never considered her more than a mediocre actress, though. She was fortunate to have ‘classic’ Hollywood good looks and to do so much work with strong directors. “L.A. Confidential” did seem to be a perfect fit of a role for her, but it was puzzling how she failed to capitalize on the industry buzz/goodwill that an Oscar win often brings.

    I can’t think of her with Prince without recalling the dress she wore to the Oscars cremony that year. She visibly appeared to have joined his entourage. As for Prince being dangerous to women, I do recall Sinead O’Connor claiming to have fled his home or office in a panic.


    • http://cityrag.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/kim_basinger.jpg

      Is this the dress you’re referring to? I have no doubt Prince hit on Sinead O’Connor. At that point, being a pig was a big part of Prince’s image. But I think Sinead O’Connor probably fled a lot of places in a panic. She’s never been especially stable.

      I agree with you that she was never a great actress. And I must confess, I have always been a little mystified by her Oscar win. I think she was mostly just really fortunate to have been so well cast in such a well-written and directed movie. But her contribution consisted mostly of matching the look of the character in my opinion.

      As to why she failed to capitalize on the good will, I can only speculate. But according to Baldwin, it was after Basinger’s Oscar win that their marriage fell apart. He said that after that, she “had no use for him”. I am guessing that the messy divorce kind of side tracked any momentum she had gained.


    • The Natural (1984) : Is Kim Basinger Always This Terrible?


      I’ve seen Kim Basinger in a few things over the years, and she never really stood out for me acting-wise, one way or the other. But I thought she was absolutely, world-class horrible in this movie. Is she always this bad an actress, or was she just off her game here? She was pretty bad in all of her scenes, but in the scene where she’s in the hospital room with Roy trying to convince him to throw the game, she’s so bad that they really should have just cut out the scene entirely.


  2. Sounds like everything happened to her!


    • What made me think of Basinger as a candidate was Batman. I have profiled so many actors from the Bat-films but I always forget Basinger was in the first one. When I remembered that, little things started coming back to me. The fights between Baldwin and Basinger on the set of the Marrying Man with Disney. The divorce and the tapes. Then I dug in a little and remembered Prince, the town and Boxing Helena. She bought a freaking town! Once I remembered that, I fast-tracked the Basinger article. There was just too much good stuff to hold off any longer.


  3. I must have been more of a Basinger fan than I thought because as I was reading your excellent article I was quite surprised at how many of her films I’ve seen, I think the fact that I was an impressionable teenager when she rose to prominence might explain that.

    I was tempted to bracket Kim with Daryl Hannah and Melanie Griffith as gorgeous blonde actresses whose stars burned brightly for a period in the 80′s and early 90′s and then faded away. But as you point out Basinger’s story is far more interesting because she came back , whether by luck or good judgement, to secure that Oscar win for L.A. Confidential. It’s a shame she couldn’t build on that.

    One last thing I would say about Kim Basinger is that I’ve never forgotten sitting in a theatre in the late 80′s waiting for a movie to start and being blown away by the trailer for My Stepmom Was An Alien!
    She may not have been the greatest actress but at her peak she was an incredibly sexy screen presence.


    • As a teen, I saw a lot of Basinger movies. But I don’t think I would have ever classified myself as a fan. But, I did shell out to see Cool World. And Basinger was the only draw there (although I was curious about the long term prospects of that guy from Thelma and Louise – I thought he just might have a future). So if I was being honest, I would have to say I was a fan of Basinger. Just not necessarily for her acting.

      I have never been a big fan of Daryl Hannah or Melanie Griffith although of the two I put Griffith heads and shoulders above Hannah. I kind of agree with Oliver Stone that Hannah just can’t act. Whereas Griffith and Basinger are somewhat limited in range, Hannah really is just a pretty face.

      The comeback is a big part of the appeal of Basinger’s story. Although in retrospect, it’s kind of anti-climactic since she never managed to build on it. But for me, what sets Basinger’s story apart is the train wreck factor. I’m usually happy if one of my subjects has one or two crazy stories for me to tell. Basinger has a good half a dozen!


    • Basinger didn’t just come back, she always had a better career than those two. For one thing, she played it smart from the beginning by paying her dues on TV and not getting into movies until she was established. She went straight into movies as a leading lady, no bit parts for her.


      • I think Batman alone puts Basinger in another category. And not just because it was a huge hit. Basinger was part of a pop culture phenom that Hannah and Griffith couldn’t touch. Add in the Oscar for LA Confidential and she is in rarified air.


  4. Like most people, probably the best thing I’ve seen her in was LA Conf. It was an entertaining movie and hers was a minor role though she got decent screen time. I rewatch it once a year or so because I like the 1940′s, noir feel of it.

    Anyway I read somewhere once that Bassinger suffers from almost paralyzing shyness to the point of being a phobia or something. I took that to be code for mental illness of some sort. Maybe that’s part of her problem. Who knows? She’s always been a bit player in my mind…never Hollywood A list. Nearly all those movies you mentioned were flops so she just never had “it”. As for thinking she no longer needed Baldwin, that would have been a major miscalculation on her part. From a purely business stand point (which so many Hollywood pairings seem to be), he was/is definitely the bigger player. He’s still out there being seen, working, doing…while she has faded away. Interesting topic to cover, but I think when the history of Hollywood is written 100 years from now she will be but a footnote.


    • Yeah, I read she also claims to be agoraphobic. I left that out as it didn’t seem all that impactful to her career. But she seems to have a pretty serious case of the crazies.

      I do think you’re selling her star-profile a little short. Basinger was definitely A-list for a while there. In the 80s, if you wanted a sex kitten for your movie, Basinger was your number one choice. Post Batman, she was in a pretty powerful position. That changed quickly when she got a toxic reputation on The Marrying Man.

      From a “strictly business” point of view, Basigner miscalculated. If the only reason she ditched Baldwain was because she thought he wasn’t bringing anything to the table, she made a mistake. But at the time, I could definitely see where she was coming from.

      From Marrying Man until LA Confidential, I agree that Baldwin would be considered the bigger star. But for a short time, Baldwin looked washed up and Basinger was a come-back kid. Then, her comeback fell apart and it was Baldwin’s turn. Today, no queston Baldwin is the bigger star. But if he weren’t on 30 Rock, I’d be writing about him right now. His day is definitely coming.

      100 years from now, yes, she will be a footnote. But that’s true of a lot of actors. I would be surprised if ANY of the actors I have written about will be well known 100 years later. How many actors from the silent movie era can the average person name?

      I do agree with your point though that Basinger’s contribution to cinema is pretty limited. But man, what a story!


      • Fatty Arbuckle (sorry)


        • I knew someone would respond!

          I can think of a few of the top of my head. Valentino, Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Chaney. But I doubt many people can anme too many stars from 100 years ago. The ones that people do remember transcend the “A-list” and are truly legendary.


    • All I can say is your post is %#*!shit! You are obviously pretty shallow person like rest of Hollywood. Who the hell cares about Alec Baldwins notoriety, it’s mostly from his spoiled brat attitude and arrogance. So what if Bassinger suffered shyness it’s pretty inhuman and ignorant to think that it’s mental illness when most actors suffer from this, just some are better at hiding it. I think she is an amazing talented actress and a complex sensitive human being who turned out to be a great mother. Where is the credit for that. Maybe if she were a selfish narcissist like Baldwin seeking constant fame, attention, vanity and ignoring her daughter, she would be more worthy of your praise.


      • Hold your horses, jbella. I’m not picking sides in Basinger vs. Baldwin.

        I don’t know the first thing about Basinger’s parenting. And I don’t really care. If she’s a great mom, good for her. The article isn’t about her parenting. It’s about her career.

        Why mention her shyness? Because it was a factor in her career. To a large degree, she learned to overcome it as she rose to fame. So good for her.

        Personally, I think the article was pretty even handed giving Basinger credit for her success while pointing out the things that caused her career to slow down. That is the purpose of the series.

        If you find something in the article that you consider unfair or inaccurate, let me know and I will look into any adjustments that may need to be made. As it turns out, I am in the process of updating this article anyway.

        But you seem to be taking the article personally. Dropping in here and insulting me isn’t going to get us anywhere. If you want to discuss Basinger’s career, I’m happy to do so. But let’s bring it down to a civil level, okay?


    • LA Confidential:

      Basinger works so well because (at least from what I’ve seen) despite her ridiculous beauty she comes across in interviews as pathologically shy and insecure. Someone like Angelina Jolie in that role would have been a disaster.

      by: Anonymous reply 15 01/03/2011 @ 03:32AM


      • Re: Most undeserved acting Oscar ever.


        Kim Basinger basically won so they could give an award to LA Confidential, but it’s the worst performance in the movie. It’s all about hair and looking like Veronica Lake.

        by: Anonymous reply 57 02/06/2014 @ 05:21AM


        • Did Kim Basinger deserve her Oscar?


          12 years ago, Kim Basinger was awarded the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of a mysterious prostitute in L.A Confidential. She had managed to win a Golden Globe and an SAG award (tied with Gloria Stuart) and after some odd career choices Hollywood was happy to welcome her back with open arms. Her strongest competition came from Gloria Stuart who had tied with Basinger for the SAG award and was starring in the biggest box office hit and Best Picture front-runner Titanic and was an actress from the first golden age of Hollywood. But voters probably didn’t feel the need to give her the Oscar since Titanic was bound to get it’s moment in other categories . Julianne Moore (whose performance I haven’t seen) had gotten a lot of acclaim for her performance as a porn star in Boogie Nights, but the film was most likely too dark and controversial for the Academy. Joan Cusack delivered a great comic performance in In & Out and had won the critic’s choice choice award but Oscar’s bias against comic performances kept her from a win. And Minnie Driver had to be happy for a nomination since the nomination itself was probably a result of Miramax’s heated campaign for Good Will Hunting. So readers, do you feel Basinger still deserves her Oscar over Cusack, Driver, Moore, and Stuart?


  5. She is an interesting biopic for sure. I still maintain she never quite broke through but that’s a matter of opinion I suppose. She did wield some power briefly I think, but it was not for very long and not sustained. I’m obviously no insider but it seems to me Baldwin has sustained his status in HW. He has had his share of nutty scandals and incidents for sure, but he seems to have weathered those storms. Today he makes all the talk show circuits, 30 Rock is a big success, he hosts various ceremonies and awards shows. There appears to still be some power behind his name. Whether or not they were compatible or good as a couple wasn’t really my point; I was only making an observation of the business relationship between the two. Basinger is a very sexy woman who is nice to look at, but I’m not sure she ever captivated audiences or was a major draw for a film. Not for me anyway. I guess I’m just underwhelmed by her. Others will disagree I’m sure. Makes for good debate though. ;)


    • I don’t think you’re wrong. As I was researching this, I was amused to think how Baldwin has become so beloved by the Hollywood establishment. Because back in the early 90s, they vilified him.

      Basinger had some power during the 9 1/2 Weeks phase of her career. I think she officially hit the A-list with Batman. But she quickly squandered that status with her antics. She became a laughing stock, but actually reached A-list status for a second time with LA Confidential. Which she failed to follow up on. So, in a way, it’s like she never had it.

      Even when she had power, she never knew what to do with it. She was not a power player. Baldwin at this point in his career, is.


      • I wonder if Kim kind of “shot herself in the foot” so to speak by not more immediately capitalizing off of the momentum of her Oscar win (rather than waiting three years to come out w/ another movie)?

        Maybe Kim should try her hand at comedy again as a way of reinventing herself (a la Alec Baldwin w/ “30 Rock”). I don’t understand why she can’t do more roles like “Wayne’s World 2″, which essentially, pokes fun of her sex symbol image. She even “reprised” her “Wayne’s World 2″ role in one of those DirecTV commercials, where the actors break the fourth wall.


      • Actually, Basinger didn’t wait three years after the Oscar to do another film. “I Dreamed of Africa” started shooting in August 1998, just a few months after the Oscar. But, like a lot of her films, its release was delayed. People had the impression she took another three years off but really it was just a few months.

        About the 3-year-hiatus before L.A. Confidential, Basinger said she “didn’t want to waste any more time.” This is a woman who didn’t leave her house for a month when she had a panic attack in the grocery store in 1980. She’s got a few screws loose.


        • That’s for sure. Even with the stories I included in the article, I feel like I barely touched the surface of Basinger’s “crazy”.


          • I mean she bought a friggin town, and here folks blamed Prince (sadly I think that might have been sadly been another reason for her folks getting involved) and Alec, yeah they might have not helped her but she was kinda already gone fishin…


        • Regardless of the shooting and release points of “I Dreamed of Africa”, the bottom-line is that Kim not releasing a film after her Oscar winning role I feel, really hurt her career from at least, a momentum and buzz standpoint. As the old saying goes, you “Have to strike while the iron is hot”. I also wonder if part of Kim’s problem is that she when you get right down to it, isn’t strong enough of an actress (at least in terms of presence outside of her looks of course) to truly carry a movie by herself.


      • It’s stuff like this that immediately makes me believe that Kim was the “sane one” in the relationship:

        Baldwin is being accused of hurling racial epithets at a NY Post photographer.



        • Why does Alec Baldwin always avoid consequences for his repeated bad behavior?


          Is there a double standard because of his liberal politics?


          • I think it’s cause he’s so damn handsome. Who can stay mad at him with those piercing blue eyes?

            Honestly, I wondered the same thing after reading his latest tirade. I hope he thanks Tina Fey for 30 Rock every day.


            • I really don’t know for sure if Kim being married to Alec Baldwin ultimately had a very detrimental effect on her career or vice versa. I have noticed that during their marriage, it seemed like Kim’s work load seemed to slow down (maybe because she was too busy w/ their young daughter). There’s really doubt however, that the marriage didn’t exactly help Kim in the long run at least from a public perception standpoint.

              It’s like the way I see it, Kim can sometimes be considered “off-kilter” w/ her rather seemingly neurotic personality much like Alec can be w/ his hot-head tendencies. Therefore, putting those together w/ personality issues seems on the surface like a bad combination.

              To make matters worse, it seemed like Kim has becoming depended on Alec (and maybe the other way around around) on retaining her star power. For example, they once hosted “SNL” together, they guest starred on “The Simpsons” together (Kim at one point in the episode got upset at Homer for pronouncing her last name as “BAH-ASS-IN-JUR instead of BAY-SING-JUR, while Alec was mistaken by Homer as Billy Baldwin) besides co-starring in several movies together like “The Getaway” and “The Marrying Man”.

              Alec Baldwin has had one of the most erratic careers that I can think of (and I wouldn’t have much of a problem if he eventually got his own WTHHT). It seems like Alec can never get his personal life in total and complete order (such as more recently, this stalking scandal and the allegations of him making a homophobic slur).


              • Oh I think there is no doubt Baldwin hurt Basinger’s career. Hollywood hated Baldwin for a while there. And Basinger kept forcing Baldwin on them after they wanted to be done with him. Plus, when they were together, they brought out the worst in each other. Up through The Getaway, they were generating tons of negative buzz together. I have read about how the jury in Basinger’s trial hated Baldwin for showing up with slicked back hair wearing sunglasses every day. He just rubbed people the wrong way.


                • I wouldn’t be too surprised if Alec Baldwin didn’t have a lot of male or female fans at the time. Men more than likely didn’t like him too much since they were envious of the fact that he was married to Kim Basinger in the first place. And women maybe didn’t like him because of the perception of Alec being a hot-tempered bully (which quite frankly lingers today).


                • I asked the question on IMDb regarding whether or not Kim’s relationship w/ Alec Baldwin ultimately had a negative impact on her career and it seemed like the general opinion in the thread is that since Kim won an Academy Award during her marriage to Baldwin, he couldn’t have possibly had any sort of negative influence at the end of the day:


                  • Well, that’s just crazy talk. That’s completely ignoring the fact that her career took a nose dive during their high profile courtship. Yeah, she rebounded during their marriage. But by then, the Kim and Alec show was no longer all over tabloid covers like it was in the early-mid nineties.


      • 12 Great Actors Who Seem Like They Might Be Terrible People:

        6) Alec Baldwin

        To contrast with Eastwood, here’s someone whose politics I generally agree with, like Sean Penn I guess, but he seems seriously messed up. That sucks because he has consistently put in terrific work, even though he doesn’t seem to realize it. He speaks about doing something meaningful with his life, but I can’t imagine him doing anything better than the work he’s done on 30 Rock, not to mention Glengarry Glen Ross, The Cooler, and The Departed.

        The Alec Baldwin example really seems like someone who is so full of BS in real life that they’re absolutely comfortable with a job that is essentially based on operating entirely in BS: acting. He does seem to believe his own BS, whether he’s defending himself against criticisms of the way he’s handled himself in his marriage and as a parent in the wake of a leaked tape in which he screams at his daughter that she is a pig, or as the worst airplane passenger ever, refusing to stop playing Words With Friends so that the flight attendants can allow their plane to take off. He’s clearly got some issues to work out. Despite his hints at a desire to run for mayor of New York, I think the world would be better off if instead he continued to play weird, egocentric a-holes, because it’s obvious to everyone that this is what really suits him.


      • 10 Misguided Career Moves Made By Talented Actors:

        8. Alec Baldwin’s Constant Self-Sabotage

        Alec Baldwin is without question one of the most inconsistent talents in Hollywood today; his career is best characterized as a rollercoaster ride that erratically goes up, down, around, upside down, all inexplicably with no warning or explanation. Alec plays Jack Ryan in the hugely popular The Hunt for Red October, but then inexplicably ditches the role and lets Harrison Ford have some late-day success with it. He then goes through a period of starring in a few films with his hot wife, Kim Basinger (and who can blame him?), before managing to shift his career back to respectability, receiving an Oscar nomination for his work in The Cooler.

        Alec continued to be awesome for a while, slagging off Dick Cheney and being the best thing about Tina Fey’s 30 Rock, but he landed himself in hot water again a few years back when he left a voicemail on his 12-year-old daughter’s phone calling her a “rude, thoughtless little pig”. Alec will survive it, but damn, the guy really seems to have it in for his own career.


        • Flush your acting career down the toilet!


          Alec Baldwin chose to do “A Streetcar Named Desire” on Broadway instead of the sequel to “The Hunt For Red October.” That, and his antics onset of “The Marrying Man,” killed his leading man career.

          by: Anonymous reply 22 05/23/2011 @ 10:43AM


        • 10 actors and actresses back from the brink

          A look at bottomed-out A-listers who successfully re-ignited their careers


          Alec Baldwin

          Early Success: From “Beetlejuice” to “The Hunt For Red October,” Alec Baldwin spent the late ’80s being groomed as a barrel-chested franchise leading man, while projects like “Miami Blues” and “Glengarry Glen Ross” affirmed has bona fides as an actor with substance to go with his Alpha Male good looks.

          The Brink: The leading man roles began failing with impunity. From “The Marrying Man” to “Prelude to a Kiss” to “The Getaway” to “The Shadow,” viewers kept rejecting Baldwin and, perhaps not coincidentally, Baldwin’s shape began to change and he stopped being thought of in certain ways. The tabloid-friendly demise of his marriage to Kim Basinger didn’t help.

          The Comeback: It was only the leading man side of Baldwin’s career that ever went fallow and so he began concentrating on his “character actor” chops, peaking with an Oscar nod for “The Cooler.” Having reshaped his image, Baldwin was able to take a comedic lead role in “30 Rock,” leading to one of the most successful runs in Emmy history with seven nominations and two wins (so far) for his role as Jack Donaughy.

          Did it take? Baldwin’s traction as a character actor and comedic lead have been strong enough to allow him to weather a number of other scandals and catastrophes and although he probably won’t topline many Hollywood blockbusters in the future, he’ll have his pick of feature supporting roles and TV leads for the foreseeable future.


      • ‘L.A. Confidential’ Cast: Where Are They Now? – The Moviefone Blog:

        Kim Basinger (Lynn Bracken)

        Basinger was already a major star by the time she portrayed Veronica Lake-lookalike Lynn Bracken in “Confidential,” having starred in films including “The Natural” (which got her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress), “Never Say Never Again” and as Bruce Wayne’s love interest in Batman (she was also married to Alec Baldwin, from 1993-2002). However, her role as Bracken managed to give her something she didn’t yet have: an Oscar. After “Confidential,” Basinger’s star power would drop off a bit. She would go on to portray Eminem’s mom in the semi-autobiographical flick “8 Mile” (which reunited her with her “Confidential” director Curtis Hanson) and would star alongside Chris Evans and Jason Statham in “Cellular.” Her last film was 2010′s “Charlie St. Cloud.”


      • Taylor Swift is not attractive enough to play her.

        Not enough about Basinger is known for there to be a biopic (as if that would ever be likely). She’s so reclusive. For the first ten years of her career she rarely ever went to the premieres of her own movies and never went to the Oscars either. When she was married to Baldwin, she was seen more because she accompanied him places, then after that marriage ended she went back into hiding.


      • Kim Basinger Totally Looks Like Kim Sill (animal rights activist):


      • She looks a lot more like actress Kate Capshaw from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, like they could be sisters. Capshaw isn’t as beautiful but there is still a very strong resemblance.


        • What’s funny is that Kate Capshaw practically played a similar character of sorts in “The Temple of Doom” that Kim Basinger played in “Batman” (the blonde haired, always screaming, damsel-in-distress).


          • Man, that is one tired Hollywood trope is it not? Lucas and Spielberg pushed that trope to the limit is Temple of Doom. Even as a kid who was not yet weary of screaming blonde love interests, Capshaw’s character annoyed me.


          • 14 Actors Who Became Absolute Legends With Just One Movie:

            Kate Capshaw – Willie Scott (Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom)

            Our first of five entries from the Indiana Jones series concerns one of its least-loved characters. Willie Scott is commonly regarded as a poor relation to both Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark and Elsa Schneider from Last Crusade (more on her later). While a lot of that lies in the way the part was written, Kate Capshaw’s performance wasn’t all that inspiring either.

            Capshaw got her first break on the long-running soap The Edge of Night, before landing small roles in A Little Sex and the TV movie Missing Children: A Mother’s Story. She won the role of Willie Scott by dying her hair blonde and repeatedly watching The African Queen. She beat out over 120 actresses for the role, including Sharon Stone.

            Damsels in distress have always been in plentiful supply in Hollywood, and only those who can bring something distinctive to the table will go on to something more interesting. Capshaw’s legendary status is rooted largely in infamy: her character is the most annoying, excruciating and unlikable aspect of the whole film. While she can scream plentifully and look grossed out on cue, she lacks the range and charisma of her co-stars, and so her lack of subsequent success was probably deserved.

            What She Did Next: Capshaw starred in Dreamscape the same year as Temple of Doom, but thereafter concentrated on TV movies. She married Steven Spielberg in 1991 and officially retired from acting in 2003.


      • Incidentally, fellow Georgia native Deborah Norville, who hosts “Inside Edition” (and infamously replaced Jane Pauley on NBC’s “Today Show” before she herself, was replaced by Katie Couric), kind of reminds me of Kim Basinger too.


  6. Off topic comment here because there’s nowhere else to put it. I think you’ve given me contributing authority here but I have no idea how to accomplish that so I’ll just post this real quick here.

    Anyone else have Netflix streaming and checked out their first original production Lilyhammer? I watched a couple episodes last night and thought it was passable. Not great, not terrible. Mostly I have positive feelings about it but there are a few problems. Anyway it’d be interesting to discuss and get other reviews, but I’m not sure how many here use the service or have watched. I think yesterday was the first day they became available here in the US. Anyway I won’t go into details yet in case I’m the lone viewer. Thanks.


    • Haven’t seen the show, but I resent the invite in case you feel like posting in the future. Lemme know if you have any questions on how.


  7. Speaking of Aykroyd, he would certainly make a good subject for a ‘What the Hell Happened to” feature. Although he didn’t exactly drop off the face of the earth, the amount of comedy bombs he put out after his huge successes with SNL, Blues Brothers, Trading Places and Ghostbusters is staggering. And the way his career has limped into cameo appearances and voiceovers marks a big contrast to the more respectable paths former SNL stars Bill Murray and Steve Martin followed with their careers. This was another guy who people just loved seeing in the ’80s but whose name eventually became a warning sign indicating which movies you should avoid.


    • Of the original SNL cast, Chevy Chase is my first choice to write up. My feeling on Aykroyd was that he was an idea man. But he needed someone else to come in and reign in his crazier ideas. Someone like Ramis or Landis (before Landis lost his way).

      While Aykroyd was a leading man, he always relied on his co-stars. Murray and Chase could carry a film. Aykroyd needed Murray, Chase or Murphy for his movie to succeed.


      • I can go either way in regards to Dan Aykroyd getting a WTHHT. I think “Blues Brothers 2000″ (which he tried to do w/o John Belushi, who unfortunately passed away 16 years prior) kind of ruined his place as a leading man. He’s been trying for years to get “Ghostbusters 3″ made, but Bill Murray has been the main standing block (although he didn’t reprise his role for the 2009 video game). He has seemed to mostly shown up in character parts since that time or voice over work like in the recent live-action Yogi Bear movie. I kind of think that playing Britney Spears dad in “Crossroads” is to Dan what playing Zac Efron’s mom in “Charlie St. Cloud” is to Kim Basinger.


      • The Lost Roles of Dan Aykroyd:

        A crucial part of the original Saturday Night Live cast, one of the most esteemed and influential ensembles in television history, Dan Aykroyd kicked his career off with a bang and continued creating great comedy for years to come, working as both a writer and actor in some of the most memorable and respected films of the 1980s. Sure, he now spends his time rambling about UFOs to anyone who will listen and selling his own brand of vodka that comes in miniature crystal skulls, but let’s just focus on the good stuff.

        Dan Aykroyd has made many smart career decisions over the years (especially the early ones). Like any big-name actor, he’s had his fair share of parts he’s passed up. In examining the “what could have been” of Dan Aykroyd’s career, I was surprised by the sheer number of failed projects that would have paired him with John Belushi. These two were set up to be their generation’s big comedy team, but they only got a few films out before Belushi’s untimely passing. Read on to see which ’80s pop star Aykroyd chose not to work with, how Dan Aykroyd accepting one particular role could have prevented According to Jim from existing, and the projects that could have seen him collaborating with Martin Scorsese, Will Ferrell, and Hunter S. Thompson.


    • Ray Has Gone Bye Bye:

      Subject: Dan Aykroyd, 58-year old American actor, entrepreneur, and UFO spotter

      Date of Assessment: December 17, 2010

      Positive Buzzwords: “SNL” original, Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters

      Negative Buzzwords: 1990-present, Ghostbusters III

      The Case: An entity like Dan Aykroyd demands a different type of evaluation than most of our assessment subjects. With Aykroyd, one must acknowledge that he’s enjoyed quite a long moneymaking career in Hollywood, but the vast majority of his acting credits spawn from unwatchable films. It’s bloody obvious that his best days have long since passed and there is no hope for his future, so let’s talk in terms of legacy, shall we?

      In comparison to his founding “SNL” colleagues, Aykroyd’s presence has always been overpowered by the likes of Bill Murray (who can do no wrong), John Belushi (whose early demise saved him from his brother’s fate in sitcom hell), and (to a degree) Chevy Chase (who enjoyed a couple of rather banal but long-lived franchises). Then, there’s Dan Aykroyd, who had a few big hits (we’ll get to those in a moment) but primarily plodded through a series of buddy movies like The Great Outdoors, Spies Like Us, and Dragnet. Sure, Aykroyd received an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in Driving Miss Daisy, but that accomplishment can be swiftly counterbalanced with a failed attempt to direct with Nothing But Trouble. He also participated in a short-lived sitcom (“Soul Man”) and took on bit roles in Grosse Point Blank, Pearl Harbor, 50 First Dates, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; none of these late-breaking career entries have generated a level of audience goodwill that would allow Aykroyd to possibly headline movies again. Hell, even at Aykroyd’s height of fame, he couldn’t really headline movies either, for he was reduced to second fiddle alongside Eddie Murphy in Trading Places. You do remember that underappreciated bit of Russian Formalism, correct?

      Yes, Aykroyd is the brain behind Ghostbusters, The Blues Brothers, and Coneheads. While those three franchises carry vastly different levels of nostalgia, there’s still something to be said about sentimentality. Then again, Aykroyd is also the same man who wants to destroy all that is decent and holy by making Ghostbusters III. If you haven’t figured this out by now, I’ve got a serious problem with the prospect of a third Ghostbusters movie, although I wouldn’t go so far to call it an “ethical” problem, since I’m not that presumptuous. Okay, maybe I am, but for those who honestly believe that bringing back the proton packs would be a good thing, let’s just look at Aykroyd’s record at reviving old franchises: Blues Brothers 2000. Need I say more?

      Quite simply, Ghostbusters should have stood alone in the first place. Ghostbusters II certainly had its charms but failed to live up the momentum or appeal of the first movie. So how does making a third movie necessarily sound any better, other than as a mere money grab? While I certainly appreciate the idea of making money and admire Aykroyd’s entrepreneurial sense, he’s obviously depleted his potential to forge on within the film industry, and his efforts are best suited to outside endeavors. After all, he recently made a tidy profit off selling his House of Blues clubs, and he’s got some money coming in from his own Crystal Skull Vodka and winery nonsense. But nothing good can come from pushing forth with Ghostbusters III, especially since the only possible reason that Aykroyd’s pushing so hard is because he can’t see past the dollar signs in his greedy little eyes. C’mon, this won’t be a nostalgia trip, it will be a massively-budgeted crap (taken in post-production 3-D) taken upon the chest of Ghostbusters fans.

      Further, Aykroyd really needs to stop badgering Bill Murray into accepting a role within “his nightmare.” Such tactics only stir up bad juju, particularly when Aykroyd opens an all-scale media war over the topic by calling Murray a jerk (and now Ernie Hudson’s been ranting away to the same effect). Seriously, leave Bill Murray out of this mess. He’s moved on. He’s in a better place now. And Dan Aykroyd needs to move on as well and accept the fact that, essentially, Ray has gone bye bye:

      Prognosis: Dan Aykroyd could someday have been (generously) referred to as a Hollywood legend if he’d only have quit Hollywood a few decades ago. If this had happened, Aykroyd could live off the proceeds of his vodka, wine, and crazy ass UFO beliefs while making occasional cameo appearances for friends in high places. Instead, Aykroyd shall appear this weekend as the voice of Yogi Bear; and, ultimately, he will destroy the Ghostbusters franchise. You’ve been warned.


      • Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Dan Aykroyd!


        The Case

        The Prosecution: Yogi Bear, War, Inc., I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, Shortcut to Happiness, Christmas with the Kranks, 50 First Dates, White Coats, Unconditional Love, Loser, Crossroads, Pearl Harbor, Blues Brothers 2000, Celtic Pride, Exit to Eden

        Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Dan Aykroyd has starred in and written some classic comedies in his career, but the prosecution is fed up with seeing the actor in films that are unworthy of his talents, and the constant, unnecessary talk about another Ghostbusters movie.

        Besides voicing the titular character in the abysmal Yogi Bear, Mr. Aykroyd hasn’t had that many lead roles as of late. The prosecution would be fine with the actor having smaller parts if he was appearing in good films, however movies with the actor lately have been pretty terrible. Did Mr. Aykroyd only appear in I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry or Fifty First Dates to help his SNL buddy Adam Sandler?

        Starring in a couple of Adam Sandler films isn’t enough to send someone to Movie Jail though. If that was the case, Steve Buscemi would have been sent to prison a long time ago. But Mr. Aykroyd simply doesn’t pick good projects. War, Inc., Christmas with the Kranks, Unconditional Love, and Loser were panned by critics, and White Coats didn’t even get a theatrical release. And why the f**k was he in Crossroads?

        Maybe if Mr. Aykroyd didn’t spend so much time d**king around with Ghostbusters 3 he’d have better movies in his filmography. Are there really no other projects he could be working on? But Mr. Aykroyd isn’t on trial because of a movie that hasn’t been made yet; he stand before you today because we aren’t sure if we even want a third Ghostbusters at this point, and we don’t have that much confidence in Mr. Aykroyd. Remember Blues Brothers 2000? Do you want that to happen to the Ghostbusters franchise? The prosecution doesn’t, and we believe the only way to prevent that from happening is by sending Mr. Aykroyd to Movie Jail.

        The Defense: Behind the Candelabra, The Campaign, Bright Young Things, Evolution, The House of Mirth, Antz, Grosse Pointe Blank, Tommy Boy, My Girl, Coneheads, Sneakers, Chaplin, My Girl, Ghostbusters 2, Nothing but Trouble, The Great Outdoors, Ghostbusters, The Blues Brothers

        Ladies and gentlemen, I have two names for you: Elwood Blues and Raymond Stantz. There is no way you send the man who helped create and played those characters to Movie Jail. Have recent films with Mr. Aykroyd been below his talents? Maybe a few, and obviously Yogi Bear was for the paycheck, but he was hilarious in The Campaign, and was damn fine in HBO’s Behind the Candelabra. In fact, the defense feels Mr. Aykroyd is actually very underrated when it comes to drama. People forget how good he was in films like My Girl and Chaplin.

        However, Mr. Aykroyd is more known for his comedies and (lately) for always bringing up Ghostbusters 3 every couple of months. Most are sick of hearing about a third film, especially if Bill Murray isn’t going to be in it. But the defense believes Mr. Aykroyd doesn’t want to do Ghostbusters 3 for financial reasons, or talk about it in every interview for the attention. No, we think Mr. Aykroyd truly loves the property, and believes there should be another film. For the record, Mr. Aykroyd would love to have Bill Murray back, but he’s the one that doesn’t want to. Now, Mr. Murray may have his reasons, and some will say another film definitely shouldn’t happen without him. But once again, there’s a reason why Mr. Aykroyd wants Ghostbusters 3 to be made, and the defense feels his intentions are pure.

        Mr. Aykroyd is still a tremendous comedic actor and writer, and the defense believes he can deliver with not only Ghostbusters 3, but other future projects as well. – See more at:


        • Before TV remakes became common, Dan Aykroyd revived Dragnet:

          It’s difficult to imagine, but there was a time when making a film based on an old television show or characters seemed novel. Once upon a time, movie theaters weren’t overrun with steroidal re-imaginings of popular television shows, and TV and film still maintained some level of separation and autonomy. Dan Aykroyd’s curious career as a cinematic leading man parallels and reflects the shifting, complicated relationship between television and film. Aykroyd made his leading-man debut in 1980’s The Blues Brothers, which established him as an unlikely but inspired movie star. It’s one of the high points, maybe the apex, both of Saturday Night Live-derived cinema and of the often-disreputable tradition of television-based movies.

          When, a few years later, Aykroyd joined Albert Brooks for the wrap-around segments of 1983’s Twilight Zone: The Movie, the intermingling of television and film was still a big deal, especially with the high-powered likes of Steven Spielberg involved. After that, Aykroyd seemingly couldn’t stay away from films derived from old television shows, which reflects his background as a virtuoso sketch performer on Saturday Night Live. Aykroyd and the rest of the Not Ready For Prime Time Players regularly spoofed television shows, real and imagined. Television was, and remains, one of Saturday Night Live’s favorite satirical targets. Why wouldn’t that inclination carry over when its alumni reached the big screen, often via training-wheels vehicles produced by Lorne Michaels, and based on characters they created on Saturday Night Live?

          In the production notes for the 1987 feature-film adaptation of Dragnet, Aykroyd describes the role of a dead-eyed, monotone police detective modeled on Dragnet protagonist Joe Friday as “a character I’d always wanted to play.” It would be easy to dismiss that statement as typical press-release hyperbole, but the role of Joe Friday is perfectly suited to Aykroyd’s gifts. On Saturday Night Live, he specialized in monologues where he’d rip through incredibly dense, convoluted speeches with machine-gun speed and sniper-rifle accuracy. He loved to play characters with computers for brains and terrifying intellects instead of human emotions, Vulcan types who look down on humanity as a strange, inferior species worthy of neither understanding or respect. There’s always been something vaguely alien and robotic about Aykroyd, even when he isn’t playing a Conehead. Dragnet’s protagonist is exactly that kind of grim-faced autodidact. Aykroyd’s Joe Friday has seemingly memorized the entire California Penal Code, and recites it at the slightest provocation. His sole human emotion is a grim dedication to duty. He is, in other words, a character Aykroyd was born to play, a role smack-dab in the middle of his wheelhouse.

          Dragnet was a substantial hit, grossing more than $66 million domestically, and ranking 14th at the 1987 box office. But by the time Aykroyd once again tried to meld his television past with his cinematic present, with the 1993 SNL spin-off Coneheads, the result was so desperate that it all but spelled the end of Aykroyd’s career as a box-office draw. If Coneheads had followed The Blues Brothers to the big screen in 1981, it could have been a contender, commercially and otherwise. In 1993, nearly a decade and a half after Aykroyd left Saturday Night Live, its existence only highlighted Aykroyd’s creative stagnation. Aykroyd was desperately rifling through his back pages in search of a hit. (And when Aykroyd took over for Bill Murray in the ill-fated 1988 Caddyshack sequel, he was reduced to rifling through his contemporary’s back pages in search of a hit.) When that didn’t work, he nevertheless returned to the television-derived TV trough thrice more, first with 1996’s Sgt. Bilko, then most tragically and poignantly with 1998’s Blues Brothers 2000, which attempted to fill the impossible void left by John Belushi’s death by replacing him with a black guy (Joe Morton), a fat guy (John Goodman), and a kid (J. Evan Bolifant). By the time Aykroyd essayed the role of Yogi Bear in Yogi Bear 3-D, the notion of a movie based on a television show had gone from the intriguing novelty of The Blues Brothers to the safe crutch of Dragnet to a dumb joke with no punchline.


    • Dan Aykroyd : Things that held his career back?


      Sun Jun 27 2010 06:54:17

      Aykroyd was overshadowed by many of his SNL co-stars/contemporaries in movies largely because of how truly selfless, and lacking of ego, he was. He could have easily played politics (as I believe some others would have) on the set of TRADING PLACES when it became evident that his second billed, younger and less experienced co-star(Murphy) was going to become that film’s star attraction but he didn’t. The guy wrote both the Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters and respectively gave the lead roles to his buddies.

      Mon Oct 18 2010 03:25:44

      He lost his edge for good comedy and he got fat and lazy. Then he picked movies which looked like hits on paper even though they were not funny or well thought out. The Great Outdoors, Nothing But Trouble, The Couch Trip, the one with Gene Hackman, and many more.

      Mon Jan 31 2011 19:54:57

      Part of his problem was he was too talented–he didn’t have to depend on a shtick or a persona like Murray and his smart-aleck slacker routine (much as I love it) or Eddie Murphy as the fast-talker spouting jokes a mile a minute (though Eddie can do a lot more than just that). Aykroyd’s not as easy to classify, and I think that made him less identifiable and marketable. Also, as another poster said, he excelled in elevating his cast members, not so much stealing scenes (though I think he holds his own in Blues Brothers, Trading Places, etc).

      Fri Feb 4 2011 21:55:24

      “Too talented”? Give me a break man.

      I respect and love Aykroyd’s early stuff, Blues Brothers, Neighbors, Spies Like US, Ghost Busters, Trading Places, but later in his career the guy just made too many crappy films, people got tired of being burned and quit going to see movies starring him and his career dried up.

      Stuff like Caddy Shack 2 and Blue Brothers 2000, Celtic Pride, Nothing But Trouble, Sgt Bilko, etc etc etc.

      The last movie of his that I saw was Blues Brother 2000, and BB2000 was literally one of the worst movies I’ve ever paid money to see. Just an awful awful movie that should have never been made.

      I mean you watch his early movies and SNL and you can see how great he was, but then you watch something like Caddyshack 2 or BB2000 or just about any comedy he made from the early 90′s on and they’re just complete garbage.

      That’s what held his career back. Same thing happened to Chevy Chase, John Travolta and lots of other talented performers. No matter how much talent you have if the movies you’re making are bad people are going to quit coming to see them.

      Tue Dec 27 2011 00:16:05

      Oddly enough, i kinda liked Blues Brothers 2000. No where near as good as the first one, but there were still really good moments and awesome songs :)

      I do have to admit that his best work was in his early career (One of my favorite characters of his was Sgt. Frank Tree from 1941), and he is an amazing writer, but later on, I think people just kind of moved on. You know, to newer people, and he kind of moved on as well, didn’t he? Like now he does that crystal head vodka thing, and he hosted (not sure if he still does) that house of blues place.

      Sun Oct 21 2012 02:10:25

      I look at his filmography and realize he’s only got a few really standout movies. He seems to be a nice guy who doesn’t rock the boat so I guess he’s been able to survive in Hollywood. He’s made a lot of movies but really nothing substantial since the 80′s.

      Absolutely no excuse for The Couch Trip and Nothing But Trouble, those right there would have killed anybody else’s career right then and there.

      Sat Jan 12 2013 16:47:47

      True but usurping the other two aforementioned in order to elevate Dan doesn’t help the argument you know Bill is way more capable of just smart aleck-ness and he at least tried to really “act” early on (Razor’s Edge, Mad Dog and Glory) but audiences wanted him to just keep acting goofy.

      Sun Mar 24 2013 21:27:58

      Aykroyd is like the consummate pro who works best in a comedy troupe style
      environment. I’ve read so many interviews where SNL cast members claim he
      saved SO many sketches that were bombing, back in his time on SNL.

      He was also a top-notch writer and a guy who, from interviews, cared about
      the product more then he did how he, as an individual, was perceived.

      I thought it was really telling where, in an interview with the members of MONTY
      PYTHON, they came out and said that, of all the people on SNL, Aykroyd was
      the one who they felt would have easily made it as a member of Python.

      He was a top-flight comedic legend who, in his later years, kind of got
      typecast in a particular type of role.

      He also pursued his own interests.

      Sat Jun 8 2013 12:28:40

      I just don’t think Aykroyd is quite as funny as Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, nor Eddie Murphy. He’s also not as funny as John Belushi, and he had some of his best success playing second banana to those actors. When he was the star, you got Dragnet, Dr. Detroit, and my Stepmother is an Alien.

      In spite of that, I think Aykroyd’s had a career most actors would envy. Everyone can’t be the best.

      Sat Jun 15 2013 06:46:50

      Aykroyd was also a master of voices and dialects, and he probably could have went in a more dramatic direction, especially after his Oscar nomination for Driving Miss Daisy, but it did not lead to more dramatic work. In Driving Miss Daisy, he didn’t really give a memorable performance, although he did pull off a convincing southern accent for a Canadian, according to me, who has lived in the south most of my life. He can play funny characters (Neighbors, Dr. Detroit), but is much better suited to being a comic straight man, and those kinds of guys, the Bud Abbotts, the Dean Martins, the Desi Arnazes, never get their proper due as comics.

      Sun Aug 18 2013 04:08:15

      For me Akyroyd is just as talented as someone like Bill Murray, both have oscar nominations though arguably Murray gives the more memorable comedy performances. In the mid-90s both Murray and Aykroyd seemed to be top-billed doing a lot of “comedy” beep that was hurting their careers, but Murray took a chance working with a new up and comer called “Wes Anderson”, whilst Aykroyd just continued making the same dreck, till he faded away.

      Murray really was in the right place at the right time, because Wes Anderson and him would ride the very successful wave of indie quirky comedies in the 00s and Murray reached further out to work with indie directors like Sofia Coppola and Jim Jarmusch.

      So Aykroyd should of picked better scripts and directors when he needed too. Otherwise he could still get his name on a poster these days…


  8. The funniest part of “The Sentinel” is that it asked us to accept Eva Longoria as a secret service agent. That may work in a James Bond film, but it didn’t here. I’d ask about a “What the Hell Happened to Eva Longoria?” article, but the only real success she’s had is on “Desperate Housewives.”


    • I haven’t seen The Sentinel, but I don’t buy it. It’s like Mina Suvari as a bad-ass military type in the Day of the Dead remake. Or Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist in The World is Not Enough. Just because an actress is easy on the eyes doesn’t mean they will be believable in every role.


      • I find it hilarious that not only has Kim Basinger worked w/ at least two actors who have played Batman (Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer), but she has also worked w/ to actors named Michael Douglas (Michael Keaton, who’s real surname is “Douglas” and the other Michael Douglas in “The Sentinel”):

        • Spinning a dopey plot around the festering rivalry between FBI agent Kiefer Sutherland and Secret Service agent Michael Douglas

        • Cramming a whole TV season’s worth of twists into 100 minutes, including a torrid affair between Douglas and first lady Kim Basinger

        • Squandering the talents of a strong cast and the otherwise smart TV veteran Clark Johnson


    • http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StarDerailingRole

      Eva Longoria in Over Her Dead Body. Before the film opened, much was expected of her due to her role on Desperate Housewives and her status as a sex symbol. Then the film opened and showed while looking good was a strong suit of hers, headlining a movie wasn’t. The film’s failure assured that Longoria won’t be leading anything for some time and she has rarely appeared in films since then (mostly in supporting roles).


  9. Whenever someone other than Val Kilmer shoots up to the #1 spot, I know they somehow made tabloid news. The Basinger article got a spike today because Alec Baldwin commented that he wanted to kill Basinger’s lawyer ‘with a baseball bat’. You have to love Baldwin’s attention to detail.


  10. I think Kim made a mistake by continuing to do oversexed and/or sex symbol type roles in her early 40s. After Batman her career plummeted because of this. She was about 5 years older than most of her peers (Griffith, Stone, Pfeiffer) and should have concentrated on being an ACTRESS rather than a sex symbol at that time. I don’t even consider L.A. Confidential a comeback. The movie was good, but she did nothing in it. Her Oscar win is the biggest “WTF?” win ever.


    • You can also make the argument that in the latter phase of her career, Kim then became typecast as a “scared housewife” in movies like “Cellular” and this little scene movie “exploitation movie” called “While She Was Out”. Here’s Mathew Buck’s (AKA Film Brain) “Bad Movie Beatdown” of “While She Was Out”:


      • Kim Basinger Fights For Her Life (and Career) In New Red-Band Trailer for While She Was Out:

        Kim Basinger was Hollywood royalty throughout the eighties, but poor movie choices, poor real estate purchases, and a never-ending divorce battle with Alec Baldwin relegated her to the role of outsider ever since. Her brief (and unexpected) attempt at a comeback with 1997′s L.A. Confidential might have worked had she not waited another three years before releasing a follow-up movie to the Oscar winner. (Of course, when she finally did follow it up it was with the one-two punch of I Dreamed of Africa and Bless the Child. What you say? Exactly.)


      • Moriarty Knows What Happened WHILE SHE WAS OUT!:

        Kim Basinger fascinates me. I can’t, for the life of me, understand how she ended up as an actress. She’s a beautiful woman, certainly, and in her youth, she was breathtaking. But there are very few people I’ve ever seen working as actors who seem as genuinely uncomfortable in front of a camera as she always has. There are moments in her career when it looks like she was seconds away from running off the set and never returning. The best work she’s done has been when directors figured out how to tap that and make it part of what she was doing onscreen, like in her rightfully-rewarded performance in L.A. CONFIDENTIAL. I’m guessing Susan Montford is a fan of Basinger’s work, because she’s given her perhaps the most tailor-made role she’s ever played, and as a result, Basinger does truly exceptional work in this intimate thriller that marks a promising debut for Montford as a writer/director. That crazy-shaky-panicky thing that seems to be inherent to Basinger as a person is perfect for the role she plays here, and it actually adds to the tension.


      • WHILE SHE WAS OUT DVD review:

        The Guillermo del Toro produced WHILE SHE WAS OUT (on DVD from next Monday) has all the clear cut markings of a classic Hitchcockian survival thriller: an icy blonde in Kim Basinger’s troubled suburban house wife Della, an intimate prowling camera that quietly remains transfixed on the main character in the opening, a haunting string score, a fearless predatorial threat, the transference of guilt over to the audience and that unnerving sense of danger that is invoked into a usually safe comfort zone, (cozy but in this case not always so sweet middle-class suburbia).

        Basinger plays Della, a mother of two sweet kids but with an aggressive and abusive husband to contend with. After an argument with her other half Della heads off to the mall for some retail therapy. Angry that a customer has double-parked, she pins a rude note onto the owner’s car. But when she returns from her shopping expedition she is confronted by the owners: a group of fearsome thugs who take offence to the insulting message. After a parking clerk is murdered by the group for intervening Della goes on the run, with the thugs in hot pursuit. Crashing her car and with toolbox in tow it is up to Della to brave the dark remote forest in a bid for survival, testing the violent extremes that both parties are pushed to defend their own.

        It is quite refreshing for a standard straight-to-DVD-thriller to twist those cliched character expectations and provoke daring moments of ‘did she really just do that’ surprise from the audience. It gives more bite to the material, evoking moral questions surrounding whether it is acceptable to utilize sexuality and violence in extreme circumstances.

        Also enjoyable for thriller purists is the build up at the beginning, where little actually happens and you are placed on edge as a result, curiously musing what form the threat will take: will it come from a surprise encounter with a seemingly emotionless and robotic (faintly Stepfordesque) neighbor? Will the fact that the character has her name penciled on her coffee cup at the coffee shop lead to anything? Why doesn’t her credit card work at the cash desk? These are manipulative tricks that Hitchcock used to play in his prime and its nice to see first time director Susan Montford (producer of last year’s guilty actioner SHOOT ‘EM UP) utilize them here to unhinge fleeting suspicions.

        However you can’t help but recall that Basinger’s been here before with David R Ellis’ agreeable hostage thriller CELLULAR, ambit playing more of a damsel-in-distress role than a kick-ass mum with a grudge to bear. Trouble is although good, Basinger isn’t a strong enough presence to pull off a one-women show entirely successfully, and you always have the sneaking suspicion that if she were replaced with the credentials of a Jodie Foster or a Sigourney Weaver that WHILE SHE WAS OUT would be a better movie for it.

        Things also turn decidedly routine following the aftermath of the struggle within the remote boundaries of the forest, where you suspect the drama will evolve into something more meaningful. What unearths, however, is decidedly more silly than smart and ends the film on a disappointing note which destroys most of the film’s meaning and heart in, well a heartbeat.


    • Somebody in Kim Basinger’s IMDb message board wrote that her role in “8 Mile’ was kind or creepy. I personally wonder if Kim is a bit hard to cast roles as she gets older. She can’t exactly play “oversexed”/sex symbol type of roles anymore (it’s hard to believe that Kim is going to be 60 pretty soon) without it being looked at as creepy and/or unintentionally farcical. Yet at the same time, because Kim is so beautiful, you can’t really easily slip her into “character” parts either:

      I remember watching 8 MILE on TV a few years after it was such a critically acclaimed hit in theaters. I thought it was pretty well done, but it’s a really surreal film – and much of that can be attributed to Kim Basinger’s performance as Stephanie Smith.

      Kim was, in 2002, still much too pretty to be portraying (excuse me if this sounds offensive, because I’m honestly stating what the character was) a welfare-queen, drunken whore. And she seemed a bit young to be playing the mother of a full-grown man. (I mean, if Eminem really were her son, she would have had to have given birth to him as a teenager.)

      There’s a sexy scene early in the film that (for me, at least) somehow manages to be awkward and kind of nauseating as well. It’s when Rabbit is just getting home from the freestyle contest, walks into the trailer, and sees his mother buck naked with a strange man. Now, I’m certainly not complaining about getting a look at Basinger’s bare buttocks, but in the context of the story it’s just kind of a little icky. It would be one thing to have a mom that hot, quite another to get a glimpse of her nude. I have to assume that Rabbit had long grown accustomed to seeing that sort of thing, because if it had happened to me, I probably would have fainted from sheer embarrassment!


      • 8 Mile was a flattering role.

        You have to look at it from two sides: She was 19 when Eminem was born, so she certainly wasn’t “a bit young” to be playing his mother, especially when you consider that her character was a trailer trash alcoholic. Remember, she also had a 7-year-old daughter in the film, so she would have been 42 when the daughter was born. It’s all plausible.

        Now, here’s the other side you have took look at it from: Even though Eminem was 30, he certainly wasn’t playing his age. His character Rabbit was around 22. So, you have Kim, at 49, playing the mother of a 22 year old son and a 7 year old daughter. Kim’s character, I estimate, was probably in her early 40s–a young mom when she had Rabbit, and in her 30s when she had the girl. To top it off, she had a steamy (albeit brief) sex scene with Michael Shannon who is 21 years younger than her, yet there was no “cougar” subtext to their characters’ relationship in the film.

        So, Kim really hit the jackpot with 8 Mile, because it was a meaty role that once again allowed her to showcase her sex appeal.

        In “The Mermaid Chair” she was 53 playing a 42-year-old. Nothing to complain about on her part. In “The Door in the Floor” she had the 2nd sexiest role of her career after Nine 1/2 Weeks, and she was 51 in that!


        • I haven’t seen it yet, but I heard that Kim plays a grandmother in her most recent movie “Grudge Match”. Granted, Kim is at this point in her life, about old enough to be plausible at playing a grandmother (even though in real life, her daughter is only 18). But it’s still kind of weird to otherwise envision somebody who looks like Kim Basinger as somebody’s grandma. Kim would most definitely be one of the absolutely foxiest grandmas to ever walk the planet.


    • I’ve also read around her that in comparison to Kim, Sharon Stone made the mistake of not playing up her sex symbol image enough. Sharon instead, chose to try as hard as possible to prove to people that she could really act (e.g. stuff like “The Quick and the Dead”, “Casino”, and “Last Dance”) and wasn’t just a pretty face.

      I would like to split Kim Basinger’s career in two parts, post-”Batman” (the movie which I think it’s safe to say, officially “put her on the map” in terms of being an A-list, box office star) and post-”L.A. Confidential”. It’s kind of obvious why Kim’s career after “Batman” went downhill doer alleged diva antics on the sets of “The Marrying Man” and “Cool World” as well as the “Boxing Helena” controversy (which made her even more of a liability).

      I would like to suspect that Kim’s divorce and custody battles w/ Alec Baldwin really contributed in killing or slowing down the momentum of her Oscar win. I do think that Kim getting older to the point where she couldn’t plausibly play oversexed/sex symbol roles anymore also hurt. I do agree w/ the notion that much of Kim’s fan-base is male and perhaps wouldn’t be immediately interested in seeing something that doesn’t have her act sexy and/or be glamourous. Hell, I don’t think that her later mainstream movies like “The Sentinel” or “Charlie St. Cloud” made much of a big deal during the promotions/ads of her being in it.


      • She was on the map long before Batman. Up until then she had a good run of enjoyable movies. The critics didn’t always agree but I loved all of the movies she did in the 80s. All of them. Post-Batman? Aww-ww-ful! The Marrying Man, Final Analysis, Cool World and The Getaway were terrible, TERRIBLE movies! The only decent movie she made around that time was The Real McCoy (at least I thought it was decent, the critics didn’t agree). When people talk about Kim having lots of stinkers on her filmography, they’re talking about the trash she did in the early 90s.

        But, were making those horrible movies in the early 90s a bad career move? No. They were flattering roles! She was sexy in them, and because she didn’t really have the talent to do something Oscar worthy, I’d say she did well for herself. Her best work was behind her, she had already made a lot of films that she could be proud of.

        I will never understand the praise for her performance in LA. Confidential. She didn’t do anything. Nevertheless, the fact that she was a sex symbol in her mid-40s and won an Oscar made her peerless. There was no one to compare her to. That’s what people who criticize her for having the “worst post-Oscar career” don’t get. What did they expect her to become? She had an AMAZING career: sexy starring roles for over 20 years.


        • What I meant to say that I’m not entirely sure that it was safe or easy to consider Kim truly “A-list” (even though he had been around on TV or movies since at least the late ’70s) until she made “Batman”. For example I don’t think that “Cool World” would’ve been made the way that it was (for better or for worse) w/o Kim’s post -”Batman” notoriety.


          • I would agree. Basinger was known. But she wasn’t A-list until Batman. Frankly, she was only cast in Batman because there were running out of actresses and needed someone who was available at the last minute. Turned out well for everyone. Especially Prince.


    • I recently said in the comments section for Heather Graham’s WTHHT (when if I remember correctly, LeBeau made a comment about Graham perhaps self-consciousness about her sex appeal ultimately hurting her leading lady chances once she reached what can be considered “middle age”) when it came to I would consider to be similarities concerning Kim Basinger is that w/ “LA Confidential”, it was one of those roles in paper in which you immediately think to your self, “Well of course you’re going to ask Kim Basinger to do this!”


  11. You skipped over Hard Country and Mother Lode! Those were her first 2 big screen movies, but she has leading roles in both of them. They’re really good. Must see for any Kim fan.


    • I will be on the lookout for those two. They don’t ring any bells. Thanks for the heads-up!


      • The dvd’s for Hard Country and Mother Lode are cheap on Amazon and definately worth buying.

        She was also great in the remake of From Here to Eternity, which was done for TV in the late 70s before she became a star. I bought it on VHS only because I’m a big Natalie Wood fan, but ended up enjoying Kim’s performance a lot more.


  12. Basinger was never much of an actress; just extremely beautiful. I read somewhere years ago that she had developed agoraphobia (fear of going outside the house). Don’t know if it’s true or not.


    • It’s true. You could spend a lot of time reading about the full-on craziness of Kim Basinger.


    • I was just saying that in my comment below. She was never a great actress but she incredibly beautiful and reeked of sexuality. She knew what she was good at so she usually chose roles that required minimal acting skills and a lot of sex appeal, and it WORKED.


    • The highlights of Kim Basinger’s career seem to be in part based on luck. She was lucky that God blessed her w/ the genetics to make her very beautiful. She was lucky that Sean Young got injured and therefore, allowed her to get in the biggest movie of 1989, “Batman” (thus, raising Kim’s profile even further). And you can argue that her Oscar win was beneficial of an otherwise weak year competition-wise.



  13. So where is she?


  14. I don’t think Kim’s later career has been bad enough to merit a “What the hell happened to…” blog. In 2000, she was 47 years old and headlining two major studio movies. That is a rarity in itself. She still has a respectable career. Things could have gone A LOT worse (look at her 80s contemporary Kathleen Turner).


    • The criteria for these articles has gotten progressively less restrictive. Originally, I was looking for former A-listers who hadn’t been in the public eye in years. But now, I’ll cover just about anybody who had a rise and fall. Which lets me write about just about anyone I want to.

      Arguably, any one I have covered has had a fantastic career. Most actors would kill for the kind of success any of these actors have had. In Basinger’s case, she had a story I couldn’t wait to tell. It had everything.

      Plus, I think people miss her these days. Her article has been exceptionally popular. She is one of the most-searched celebs here at Le Blog.


  15. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time. I highly reccomend the book “Kim: Longer Than Forever” by her first husband. It gives a great insight into her career and Kim the person.


  16. In spite of the age difference, her and Sean Connery in Never Say Never Again were the best looking couple ever.


  17. That picture at the top of the page is over 10 years old. I saw a recent photo of her on the Daily Mail a few days ago. She looks good for her age, but that’s all. Too much plastic surgery.


    • I updated the picture. Thanks for the catch.

      It can be so hard to identify current pictures. Especially with all the plastic surgery out there. Before I started doing these articles, I had no idea how rampant it was in Holywood. I know. I was very naive.


  18. 1 error: Final Analysis came out before Basic Instinct, so it couldn’t have been a cash-in on a movie that didn’t exist yet.

    Basinger’s had a helluva career that she shouldn’t have any regrets about. She was a star for 2 decades and was in at least 3 movies that had worldwide box office success (NSNA, Batman, 8 Mile). She’s the only actress that’s been a Bond girl, Batman’s girl, and won an Oscar. She may not be a legendary actress but she’s definately a legendary sex symbol, and I think she prefers it that way. She always leaned toward sexpot roles (even at 50, she had VERY explicit sex scenes with an 18 year old guy in the indie flick “The Door in the Floor”). According to an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times she turned down Thelma & Louise, a smart choice. I don’t think she was ever a truly great actress nor did she deserve that Oscar, but I’m glad she has one. That Oscar is the reason she still has a career in movies, which is nothing short of impressive considering that she will be 60 this year!


    • You are right about Final Analysis and Basic Instnict! Wow, that messes with my memory of seeing Final Analysis. I could have sworn BI came first. They were separated by a month. So even if BI came first, FA couldn’t really have been a rip-off. It was part of that whole wave of erotic thrillers in the late 80′s/early 90s which I suppose started with 9 1/2 Weeks and Fatal Attraction.

      There is no doubt Basinger had an impressive career. I think that the mild profanity in the title of the series gives people the idea that it is somehow an insult to be written up as part of WTHH. But to me, it’s flattering. Every actor or actress I have written about was tremendously successful. And most of them, while their careers have cooled off, are still outrageously successful by any reasonable measuring stick.

      Career-wise, Basinger doesn’t have anything to be ashamed of expcept for some divaish behavior.


  19. One important thing that you left out when talking about “Cool World” is that Kim Basinger allegedly pulled “diva-like” tactics during the production too. Basically, Kim (with the help of producer Frank Mancuso, Jr., who had the script rewritten in secret) allegedly suggested to the director Ralph Bakshi, who originally envisioned “Cool World” to be an “hard-R, gritty, sexy, noir horror/thriller” (think “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” meets “Sin City”), that the movie should be softened to something more PG friendly (so that Kim could give sick kids she visited in hospitals something “appropriate” that they could watch her in). Ralph Bakshi wanted Drew Barrymore to play Kim Basinger’s role. I guess since Kim was a more marketable star at the time (post “Batman”), she was given the role instead.



    Ralph Bakshi, known for his animated films aimed at adult audiences, got this with Kim Basinger during the production of Cool World. She convinced producer Frank Mancuso Jr. to change the script to make it more kid-friendly. Mancuso was already having the script rewritten to remove all of the horror elements because he was bored with the genre, so this went from being an R-rated horror film to an R-rated comedy to a PG-13 comedy.


    Ralph Bakshi’s Cool World suffered from perhaps the more extensive cases of Executive Meddling. Originally, the movie was supposed to be about half-doodle/half-human Debbie Dallas, out to kill her human father for causing her to exist. The executives secretly rewrote the script and handed it back to Bakshi, changing the animated horror/thriller story to one about an artist getting trapped by his own creation. Bakshi also intended to have Drew Barrymore as the female lead, but instead they stuck him with Kim Basinger, who thought that it was a children’s movie.
    As a result of the casting change, Basinger wanted to downgrade the film’s original R rating to PG. The final version of the film ended up being PG-13.


    Bakshi had originally intended to cast Drew Barrymore and Brad Pitt in the film’s leading roles. Brad Pitt was cast as Frank Harris instead, with Gabriel Byrne as Deebs and Kim Basinger as Holli.[5] The film’s voice cast includes Maurice LaMarche and Charles Adler. According to Bakshi, Basinger had attempted to rewrite the film halfway into its production because she “thought it would be great [...] if she would be able to show this picture in hospitals to sick children [...] I said, ‘Kim, I think that’s wonderful, but you’ve got the wrong guy to do that with.’ [...] [Mancuso] was sitting there with Kim [...] agreeing with her.”[4]



    • I remembered that Cool World was a train wreck. Thanks for the background. I’ll encorporate some of this in the updated article. I’ll be getting to this one pretty soon. Thanks!


      • Could Cool World have been a good movie?


        Post by 15 Times The Clash on Jun 12, 2014 7:54:46 GMT -5

        Apparently they had Ralph Bakshi pushing to make it an R-rated story (I think he initially wanted it to be about this half human/half toon girl who hated herself, and wanted to confront and presumably kill her father) and Kim Basinger (voice of Holli) lobbying to make it PG and family friendly. When they compromised, it wound up being this mess.

        I like the premise behind it, I guess, but watching it again it’s like it couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. They wanted it to be the next Roger Rabbit, obviously, but I think a lot of people forget that WFRR had genuine heart and emotion behind its characters (especially Roger himself). The adult themes and special effects definitely helped, but they weren’t the only factors as to why it became a big hit.


      • I just discovered that another one of Kim Basinger’s movies had an interesting history of executive meddling:

        My Stepmother Is an Alien was supposed to be a film about child abuse, using the concept of an evil alien to build as a metaphor for this touchy topic. Said screenwriter Jerico Stone: “I wanted to reach kids in a way that wouldn’t make the story just a disease-of-the-week TV movie. And after certain incidents I’d experienced, I realized I could tell the story as a fable, a fairy tale that would make it easier for kids to grasp the child abuse angle.” The film didn’t turn out that way, for one, it was rewritten as a silly comedy instead of a horror film, at the behest of Paramount, who subsequently turned it down. It ended up at Weintraub Entertainment Group, and (like most of their output) was a flop.


  20. Ah dude, you left out The Door In the Floor. One of Kimmy’s best. And I do believe she’s filming as I write.


  21. Somebody wrote in Kim Basinger’s IMDb message board about how she shouldn’t have backed out of “Boxing Helena”:

    Kim Basinger has enjoyed a Hollywood career free of scandals, bad behavior, negative publicity, so forth. She’s a pretty smart gal. And she was absolutely gorgeous in her time. Even in her early 40s she still looked attractive.
    If there’s any serious mistake Kim Basinger made, it was the fiasco affair with the 1992 drama, BOXING HELENA. I remember correctly, Kim Basinger made a verbal committment to take the lead actress role of Helena. But she later ‘weirded’ out on the role and backed out. The movie’s producers were outraged. They were counting on Kim Basinger’s big screen name and sexy persona to carry the movie to theatrical success and profits. The movie’s producers shortly handed the role to actress Sherilyn Fenn, who I think did a splendid job in the role. But the movie was mediocre at the box office. Personally I liked the movie even with Sherilyn Fenn and recommend it to everyone. Nonetheless, the movie’s producers blamed the box office failure of their movie on Kim Basinger’s last-minute back out. The movie’s producers promptly took Kim Basinger to court on a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

    Here began the disaster for Kim Basinger. It was clear she had underestimated the movie’s backers and maybe overestimated her own power. I always thought that agreements had to be in written contract. There’s an old lawyer’s axiom that a verbal agreement is worth the paper it’s written on…that is, nothing. But it seems that’s not correct. It was as much a surprise to me as it was to Kim Basinger. Evidently the courts can hold a person liable for a verbal agreement after all.

    To make a long story short, the court levied a judgment against Kim Basinger for 8 million dollars! Basinger’s lawyers quickly advised her to file for bankruptcy, which she did. An appeal later reduced the settlement to 4 million dollars, I seem to recall. But who has 4 million dollars to drop just like that?
    In 20/20 hindsight, it’s easy to blame Kim Basinger for her own fiasco, hubris. Kim Basinger fell into the oft trap of successful actresses. When they’re just starting out as young ingenues and starlets, they’re desperate for any legitimate acting work and will grasp at almost anything. Once successful, suddenly they’re very choosy. In retrospect, Basinger should have taken the Boxing Helena movie role. I don’t think it would have hurt her. BOXING HELENA turned out to be something of a strange, quirky movie, almost David Lynch-like. I actually think Kim Basinger’s presence could have sold the movie better. More, I think the movie might added to her list of artistic movies, even if unusual. Go rent or purchase the Boxing Helena dvd, watch it and then visualize Kim Basinger in the role and I think you might agree. She could have been a success in the role. At least she would have received another good paycheck and at worst, the movie would have faded quickly without hurting her career. Instead of having to fork out 4 million dollars in a lawsuit plus extravagent legal fees, she could have been pocketing 4 million dollars. It doesn’t pay to get cocky. There is a possibility that BOXING HELENA could have been a Kim Basinger success.

    If you doubt the wisdom of this, reference other actors and actresses who took chances on quirky roles only to see the resulting movie hit big time success, some becoming cult classics.


    Winona Ryder: Disregarded her agent’s desperate plea to avoid acting in
    the now cult classic HEATHERS (1989). Look how big Heathers
    became and more so over the next two decades.

    Burt Reynolds: Took on the role of Jack Horner in the blockbuster hit,
    BOOGIE NIGHTS (1997). Before the movie came out, the word
    was that the movie was going to be a schlocky exploitation
    sex satire flick. Unbelievably the critics unanimously raved
    about Boogie Nights as a thoughtful drama. The movie went on
    to give Burt Reynolds (who was by then a has-been) a second
    Hollywood career. He’s not going to die a poor man as a result.


    • “Kim Basinger has enjoyed a Hollywood career free of scandals, bad behavior, negative publicity, so forth. She’s a pretty smart gal.”

      Someone needs to read WTHH to Kim Basinger. Because, um, no. A thousand times no. So, so wrong in every respect. I should stop reading right here.

      “Personally I liked the movie even with Sherilyn Fenn and recommend it to everyone.”

      Oh, that explains it.

      I’m done reading. Backing out of Boxing Helena was a smart career choice. Agreeing to it in the first place was the mistake. Basinger got slammed by an unfair court decision that was later reduced.


      • The top 10 unerotic erotic thrillers:

        4. Boxing Helena (1993)

        Before the mainstream penetration of the Internet (sorry, it’s not deliberate), niche fetishes were hard to talk about and explore. Even with a wealth of websites to choose from now, though, we’d wager – although obviously we’ve been too scared to look – that there are few devoted to having your limbs chopped off, and being stuck in a box by Julian Sands, then bonked from time to time.

        Boxing Helena, then, a film that was infamous before a frame of footage had been shot, when Kim Basinger backed out of the film (Madonna had turned it down before her), and got hit with a big bill for doing so. History, though, suggests that Basinger got a bargain. Being all but bankrupted is a small price to pay for avoiding the car crash that followed. It’s a bizarrely intriguing, although very uncomfortable one. And it’s a car accident that provides the turning point of the film. For the first part, we learn that Julian Sands’ character is obsessed with Sherilyn Fenn’s (Helena), but it’s only when the latter is struck by a car and the former has to amputate her limbs do the two properly come together.

        A mix of drama, thriller, Art Garfunkel and eroticism, Boxing Helena is, of course, one of those films that it’s easy to throw stones at. But the hard truth is that it’s simply not very good. Julian Sands is no Oscar winner on his best day, yet here, as a surgeon who amputates the limbs of his ex, he’s a bit off form. He delivers lines that may, may just have worked in the hands of others. But not his. Yikes.

        That Boxing Helena was billed as any kind of erotic film at all is troubling to start with. Granted, there’s pumpy of the rumpy nature, but the quite sinister concept is neither explored properly nor used to say anything. The film is written and directed by Jennifer Chambers Lynch, daughter of David, and considering how young she was when she made it, there’s a collection of interesting ideas here. Sadly, it was not one of those films made at the right time by the right people.

        And here’s a true fact: not a single marriage on the planet followed for any couple that went to see Boxing Helena as a first date. Especially, especially, if he picked the movie.


    • Boxing Helena – Kim Basinger:


      Basinger’s rationale, IIRC, was that she felt that the character was demeaned and objectified, and she did not want to portray a woman in that position. The producers sued, she lost, hence her subsequent bankruptcy.

      It was a crap movie. I don’t blame her for passing on it. As much as Basinger’s Oscar win is derided (I am not among the detractors on that point) I have strong doubts that we’ll ever see Sherilyn Fenn in anything even remotely approaching Oscar caliber. She’s pigeonholed herself, and picking up that Basinger rejection those many years ago was the beginning of the end of any possible rise in her career.


      In defense of Basinger on this matter, I agree with what Sugaree said. In the beginning, Boxing Helena–despite its off-beat plot–probably looked like a promising project in light of some of the people initially involved. For example, although the movie was to be directed by Jennifer Lynch, I think a lot of people expected her father David would at least have some sort of “advisory” role on the film. Also, I believe Ed Harris was originally cast in the role eventually played by Sands. However, once it turned out that Jennifer would be pretty much on her own directing the movie and Harris would get cold feet and bail out, Boxing Helena no longer seemed like such a hot project but was rather the type of cinematic stink-bomb that would ruin even solid film (which it did, unfortunately, for Ms. Fenn). Kim Basinger may have been in a number of below-average flicks since 1993, but not one of them would’ve utterly stopped her career dead in its tracks like Boxing Helena would have.


  22. 25 A-List Hollywood Actors Who Fell the F Off:

    Kim Basinger
    Best Known For: Batman (1989), L.A. Confidential (1997)
    Most Recent Project: Black November (2012)

    First she was a Bond Girl. Then she was Batman’s love interest. Then, after time spent raising kids, she won an Oscar playing a prostitute. Then, nothing. Well, 8 Mile, but basically nothing. But this time, it was by choice.

    Since, L.A. Confidential, she’s worked sporadically, sharing her time with family and activism. Who can blame her? At 17 Basinger became a model and has been in the spotlight ever since.


  23. I find it kind of funny that both Kim and her Batman co-star and fellow WTHTH subject, Michael Keaton in their later years, were relating to playing roles you would think would be beneath them in their prime. That is the otherwise nondescript parent role to a one-time Disney star (Zac Efron and a pre-rock bottom Lindsay Lohan).

    Herbie Fully Loaded review by The Blockbuster Buster:


    • Speaking of Michael Keaton, I think he played a somewhat similar role (albeit this time as the President of the United States) to Katie Holmes (post-”Dawson’s Creek” but pre-Tom Cruise) in the movie “First Daughter” (which came out the same year as a similar movie called “Chasing Liberty” w/ Mandy Moore). It seems like at this point in his life (he has been downgraded to a character actor in mainstream roles after his ’80s-’90s heyday).


    • Blu-Ray Review: CHARLIE ST CLOUD – Cynically Over-Sentimental Drivel:

      Zac Efron must have been rubbing his hands with glee when Robert Pattinson burst onto the tween scene a couple of years back, given his own unfortunately gripping association with High School Musical, yet you wouldn’t think he was all that keen for audiences to forget his past appearances considering some of the odd choices he has made since. It appears that Efron is destined to suffer the injustice of never casting off the shadow of the vehicle that launched him (take heed Daniel Radcliffe)- especially if he remains content to make films like this.

      Charlie St Cloud is yet another uninspiring choice: the film prefers to pull rather cynically at the heart strings, to the detriment of any actual brains. I mean, director Burr Stevens even says in the Audio Commentary that the film feels too forced at times, and he made the bloody thing! If any one film perfectly epitomizes the word “mawkish”, this would be it- not only is it sentimental in a sickly manner, it also has a faint sickly flavor.

      Not that Efron is terrible. He does quite reasonably with the material, and he is genuinely sympathetic in certain parts, but his performance is a drop in the ocean of sickly sentimentalism, and in all honesty he is crowded somewhat by Kim Basinger’s awfully off-putting mother, and a horribly annoying performance by Charlie Tahan, who clearly hasn’t yet learnt restraint. But really I just don’t think Efron needs to make a film like this any more. I would love to see him play a part as dangerously different as Elijah Wood playing Kevin in Sin City to cast off the shadow of Frodo Baggins. At least then he might be able to show off some of the acting skills I don’t doubt he has…

      It is an odd thing indeed when a film tries so very hard to rely on cliched and corny cheap tricks, and fails so badly to conceal those tricks to such an extent that you’re greeted more by a pastiche of those tricks than an actual film. It’s like an ensemble movie where the only pleasure is in seeing which actors are appearing in over-paid, under-exposed cameos, only the stars are dirty weepy tricks, and there’s very little pleasure to be had in the cumulative effect of them. It’s like being bludgeoned to death by someone who is really insistent that they want you to cry.

      But then, it’s not all that surprising- it’s a film about a grieving Zac Efron character who learns to find love. The concept in itself sounds like teary-tween gold, but the execution fatally underestimates its intended audiences’ intelligence. Even an audience willing to hemorrhage millions of dollars in the direction of Twilight won’t be fooled by this flimsy sham of a movie, and the low cinematic traffic already announced as much.


  24. Going through this WTHHT entry again, I have to ask, was Kim Basinger ever really a legitimate box office draw? The biggest hit of her career, “Batman”, would’ve been a hit regardless of whether or not she appeared in it (and had Sean Young not gotten in that horseback riding accident, she wouldn’t). “Never Say Never Again” had concept of seeing an older Sean Connery play James Bond again (albeit in a “unofficial” Bond movie) and Kim herself, was still relatively unknown at the time. “8 Mile” was really Eminem’s movie and not Kim’s. And I don’t recall Kim being the main star or being the main draw (if that makes sense) in her Oscar winning role in “LA Confidential”.

    LeBeau noted that virtually all of the other movies in which Kim Basinger was the lead or one of the headlining stars (w/ the exception of “Blind Date” and “Celluar” which her “modest hits”) bombed/underperformed and/or got mostly negative reviews at the box office. Obviously, it’s safe to say that “Batman” officially put Kim “on the map” so to speak, but her alleged antics on the set of “The Marrying Man”, her “waging the director” stunt during the production of “Cool World”, and the whole “Boxing Helena” controversy quickly ruined her reputation.

    It seems like Kim Basinger is more known for her crazy personal life than she his getting people to see her movies.


    • The number of actresses who have truly been “box office draws” is very, very few. It’s an overused term because even among movie stars, which Kim certainly was, only a small fraction are really box office draws.


      • I agree it’s an overused term. There are very few actresses who could be called “A-list” in the strictest sense. I don’t think any actress working today is truly A-list in that sense.

        Basinger was definitely a movie star before Batman. But the success of Batman gave her power to control her career. And she drove it off a cliff. That’s basically what the article is about.


  25. I read a lot of these comments and was kind of surprised that no one said what I am about to say. Agoraphobia, panic attacks and extreme shyness do not constitute “craziness”. Furthermore, given the fact that she suffered from these conditions, the amount of success she has achieved in her life is beyond phenomenal, and in a public forum no less.


    • The best way I can explain why she’s called crazy is because most people do not consider agoraphobia real problems. It’s considered, to put it bluntly, acting like a pussy. Sad, but true.

      It is ironic, though, given her extreme shyness, that she decided to become a model, then an actress, appear naked in Playboy and do so many sex scenes in her movies.


    • You are right, of course.

      But some of Basinger’s other behavior like buying a town and bankrupting it, on set temper tantrums and public sexcapades can be fairly labeled as “craziness”. Unless you are just trying to give her a free pass for all of her unorthadox behavior.

      If you are making a point about mental health, point taken. In a serious article about mental health issues, I wouldn’t throw around a word like “crazy”. But this isn’t that article.


      • I’m also curious how she was able to fork over $20 million to buy that town. Her accumulated film income prior to 1989 was a little more than half of that amount. So where’d she get the other $10 million from?


        • “The town was bought from the Braselton families by a partnership between the Ameritech Pension fund and actress Kim Basinger in 1989 for $20 million. The Basinger-Braselton partnership hoped to establish Braselton as a tourist attraction with movie studios and a film festival. Basinger eventually sold her minor portion to the Ameritech Fund when she met financial difficulties.”


      • I’m not doubting that she paid $20 million for the town. WHERE she got the $20 million from is what I’d like to know. Her commercials overseas? GAP advertisements? Where?


      • Oh ok. Now that makes sense.


      • Yeah, not “insane” crazy, but nutty as a fruitcake!


      • When I posted this particular WTHHT blog on UseNet/Google Groups, the first person to reply to me said that he heard that Kim is/was (like Alec Baldwin) a bit of a psycho. Her tantrums during her custody war between Alec over their daughter was quite legendary. She also apparently wore short skirts w/ no panties on movie sets and proceeded to expose herself to anyone who dared to look.



      • Here’s another alleged “Kim Basinger is crazy/neurotic!” story that I just read about online:

        Heard the funniest story about Kim Basinger from somebody who worked on LA Confidential. Apparently she has something congenitally wrong with her thumbs. They’re either too long or too short or something. Anyway this guy (and others, maybe the whole crew) were told that when she walked in set that whatever you do, do NOT look at her thumbs or there’d be hell to pay. Which of course made everybody want desperately to look at her freaking thumbs. There was more to it but now I can’t remember, anyway it was funny as hell and apparently from that and other things this guy said, she is indeed insanely neurotic.


        • My Kim Basinger metaphor:

          Tom Quigley said…
          The mere mention of the name Kim Basinger sends up red flags for me — not because of any perceived notions I might have about her acting ability or her personal life and the battles between her and Alec Baldwin. No, it’s because when she was filming the THE MARRYING MAN which was written by Neil Simon, and she just didn’t or couldn’t get it as far as grasping Neil’s humor, she managed to blurt out “Whoever wrote this sure doesn’t know how to write comedy,” on a day when Neil happened to be on the set. Reportedly he walked out of the studio and never returned to the production again. I don’t blame him a bit.
          12/12/2012 10:38 AM

          slummingitforthelord said…
          @Tom Quigley. Let us not give Neil Simon too much credit… The Marrying Man is one of the worst comedy scripts ever written…by anyone. (This of course applies only to produced movie scripts of course. Had it been written by anyone other than Neil Simon it would have as it ought to have been rejected outright by every studio in town.)
          12/12/2012 7:15 PM

          Anonymous said…
          Kim Basinger is by far one of the worst people (not just actors, crew too) that I have ever had the unfortunate luck to work with. What a miserable person. She’s almost rates as the biggest number one c**t actor with the exception that it just so happens that Bruce Willis edges her out by a nose.


  26. 10 Sexy Actresses Who Should Make A Comeback:

    Kim Basinger was once Hollywood’s epitome of “the blonde bombshell” and she had the credentials to prove it. She was a Bond girl in Never Say Never Again, a superhero’s girlfriend in Batman, and a mysterious prostitute in L.A. Confidential, a role which won her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

    However, in 2000, Basinger’s ugly divorce and custody battle with Alec Baldwin overshadowed her professional work and her career has never been the same. While she temporarily returned to limelight as Eminem’s mother in 8 Mile, she’s only landed roles in limited release films and straight-to-DVD dramas. If only a director would give her a role in a guaranteed blockbuster, a la Demi Moore in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Basinger would definitely be back.


  27. 7 Oscar Winners Turned Losers – Can We Get That Award Back?:

    Kim Basinger (the former Playmate and Bond Girl) finally won Oscar gold portraying a fantasy girl for the ordinary Joe in “L.A. Confidential.” She then immediately forgot that her audience was made up primarily of men and her career went in the way of her clothes in the first part of her career (see what we did there?).

    She went on to star in a series of chick flick flops like: “I Dreamed of Africa,” “Bless the Child” and “The Mermaid Chair” (pictured). No, not the Daryl Hannah kinda mermaid… just a catchy name that probably got some poor people who were at Blockbuster on some lonely night to accidentally rent it.

    Mermaids can’t even sit down.


    • Career Killing Films:

      That’s what I’d say as well, career means many things, when hearing the expression career killing I tend to think more in lines of a full stop. Costner’s not had a hit in ages despite many fans so his name shall remain first in the credits, Kim Basinger doesn’t get right front billings anymore though, think her film BLESS THE CHILD sank quickly and I’d imagine it’s her last big solo vehicle but killed her career not so sure. Demi Moore, no hits in ages but still a star, especially in Europe where many of these names are continuously loved and pampered.


    • 8 Oscars Winners Who Should Give the Award Back:

      5. Kim Basinger

      Kim Basinger (the former Playmate and Bond Girl) finally won Oscar gold portraying the proverbial hooker with a heart of gold in L.A. Confidential. So did Basinger build on her Oscar win and continue on her career upswing? Uh, nope. Basinger went on to star in a series of chick flick flops like: I Dreamed of Africa, Bless the Child and The Mermaid Chair. Gee, I guess being married to Alec Baldwin really did take a toll on her.


    • lf: career ruining films:

      hehe. Funny side note – Boxing Helena also f***ed the career of Kim Basinger after she tried to pull out of the film when she got wind of the script. The producers sued the s*** out of her and won. Not many career ruining films that can claim they ruined the career of people that didn’t even star in them.

      Kim Basinger has had quite a few career snafus when you think about it. Just after winning an Oscar for L.A. Confidential she did that s***fest that was Bless the Child which put her right back where she was before she had won the Oscar.


    • The curse of the supporting class:

      By Christopher Bahn
      msnbc.com contributor
      updated 2/27/2004 5:08:19 PM ET

      Career-damaging award?

      Marcia Gay Harden, who won in 2000 for “Pollock,” recently told Premiere magazine that the award was one of the worst things that ever happened to her career. “The Oscar is disastrous on a professional level,” she said. “Suddenly the parts you’re offered become smaller and the money less. There’s no logic to it.” Still, she’s fared better than most, with a solid, if small, role in “Mona Lisa Smile”and another supporting-actress nomination for “Mystic River.”

      Tomei in particular was the poster girl for the curse after her win for 1992’s “My Cousin Vinny,” when she not only was unable to find good roles that would provide her with another breakthrough hit, but had to endure scurrilous and untrue rumors that the only reason she’d been given the Oscar was that Jack Palance had announced the wrong name during the live broadcast. Her 2001 nomination for “In the Bedroom” helped prove her detractors wrong, but she has yet to find a solid role to follow that one.

      The jury’s still out on whether the curse will affect Catherine Zeta-Jones, who spent much of the year after winning for “Chicago” at the last Oscars with her newborn baby, and only recently returned to cinemas in the underperforming Coen Brothers comedy “Intolerable Cruelty.” But she’s co-starring with Tom Hanks in the upcoming “The Terminal” and also has “Ocean’s Twelve” and the “Zorro”sequel on deck, all likely hits.

      For Sorvino and Basinger, the problem seems to be that they simply chose to star in bad films. After success in “Mighty Aphrodite,” Sorvino moved on to the dumb horror flick “Mimic,” dumb action flick “The Replacement Killers,” dumb comedy “Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion,” dumb sex film “Tales of Erotica,” and a prominent role in the very dumb box-office bomb “Gods & Generals,” the worst film of 2003. On the positive side are stints in the critically divisive “Summer of Sam” and “The Grey Zone.”

      Basinger made mistake after mistake after “L.A. Confidential” that allowed her post-Oscar hotness cool to ice. First, she waited three years to make another movie. When she did, it was “I Dreamed of Africa,” which could have been retitled “I Dream Of Getting Out Of This Theater.” The boring supernatural thriller “Bless the Child” followed, a pathetic next try at a comeback that made fellow supporting-actress winner Whoopi Goldberg’s center-square spot on “Hollywood Squares”seem like Shakespeare.


    • 10 Actors Whose Careers Went Downhill After They Won Oscars:

      5. Kim Basinger

      Kim Basinger won an Oscar for her role as a sleazy femme fatale with a heart of gold in the wonderful L.A. Confidential, though I’m still not sure that she deserved to win, given how little screen time she had, and… meh, it’s Kim Basinger. Still, the win should have locked in an era of great Kim Basinger movies – Hollywood had bestowed her with its greatest honor, and we were eager to see more. Instead, Basinger decided to take a bizarre three-year break from making movies, presumably still shocked that she’d even been given an Oscar in the first place.

      When she finally came back to work in 2000, everybody was totally over Kim Basinger, and it didn’t help that her comeback vehicle was a misguided, box office flop, and that she was plainly terrible in it (I Dreamed Of Africa – don’t watch it). So I guess she took an extended hiatus from acting given that she’d, like, received the highest honor available or something – what’s the point in more acting, right? But there’a a reason you keep acting, Kim, because audiences will move on otherwise. When was the last time you heard someone mention Kim Basinger? Exactly.


      • Five Actors Who Define the Oscar Curse:

        4. Kim Basinger

        It became clear Kim Basinger had the Oscar Curse two years ago, when her ex-husband Alec Baldwin was in the hot seat on The View to explain his voice-mail rant against their daughter. At that moment we were all reminded that Kim Basinger is… still alive… and an even smaller percentage remembered that she won an Oscar not too long ago. She received the award for her part as a Hollywood call girl in LA Confidential, a role she played perfectly. Delivering her acceptance speech, Basinger seemed truly grateful — but evidently the Oscar gods thought that wasn’t enough and cast her career into a nosedive. Maybe it’s the “Debra Winger Effect” of a leading lady just getting too old for Hollywood. No matter the reason, she deserves a better swan song than The Sentinel.



        Oscars Curse: Kim Basinger
        For some, winning of Best Supporting Actress at the 1998 Academy Awards was a vindication for the long-maligned Kim Basinger, who was seen mainly as a B-list centerfold until her win for L.A. Confidential. But things only got worse for her career from there: aside from getting divorced from Alec Baldwin, can you name anything she’s done since?


      • 10 Actresses Whose Careers Went Downhill After Winning An Oscar:

        Kim Basinger

        Oscar Win: Best Supporting Actress, L.A. Confidential (1998)

        If you grew up in the ’80s/early ’90s, you most likely remember the days when Kim Basinger was the hottest actress in Hollywood. Starring in movies like Nine 1/2 Weeks definitely helped her gain sex appeal, but she also took on big roles such as Vicki Vale in Tim Burton’s Batman. When she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in L.A. Confidential, she appeared to be at the peak of her career. Unfortunately, that peak would not last long.

        In the past 15 years, Kim Basinger’s only noteworthy performance is playing Eminem’s mother in 8 Mile. Other than that, the movies she’s appeared in since L.A. Confidential have been largely disappointing and forgettable. Once she won her Oscar, it seems as if Hollywood stopped paying her much attention… even when she appears in high profile movies.

        Last Christmas, she starred alongside Robert Deniro, Sylvester Stallone, Alan Arkin, and Kevin Hart in Grudge Match; of those five actors, the Oscar-winning actress was nowhere to be found in the movie trailers. That’s cold.


  28. Irvin Kershner on Kim being difficult to work with:


    • Sounds like Kershner handled her very well.


      • The funny thing about Irwin Kershner is that from my immediate understanding, Nancy Allen hated working w/ him when he directed “RoboCop 2″ back in 1990. Because of the negative experiences working on the first sequel she come the third “RoboCop” film (*****SPOILER*****) pretty much agreed to come back as Officer Anne Lewis under the condition that her character was killed off early into the movie.


    • Hollywood Feuds: Actors vs. Directors:

      Kim Basinger vs. Adrian Lyne

      Director Adrian Lyne reportedly tortured actress Kim Basinger during the 1986 filming of “9 ½ Weeks.” Lyne attempted to unnerve Basinger by banning all off-set cast communication, spreading rumors about Kim to the other actors and leading her to believe that she was disliked on set.


      • Mean tactic for Lyne to pull on her, but it was obviously effective. That role needed a lot of characterization to make the movie work, it was a very difficult role to tackle and perhaps she couldn’t have done it without being unnerved IRL. She didn’t express any animosity towards him during her Inside the Actors Studio interview (which has apparently been taken off YouTube). There was


  29. How Marriage to Alec Baldwin Nearly Ruined Kim Basinger’s Movie Career; as She Stars as Eminem’s Mum in 8 Mile, We Reveal How She Has Fought Her Way Back:


    • Baldwin’s ‘Jealousy’ Played Havoc With Basinger’s Career:

      Hollywood beauty Kim Basinger’s torment at the hands of “jealous” former husband Alec Baldwin quashed her potential acting talent.

      The 50-year-old actress – who suffered from agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) soon after marrying Baldwin in 1993 – experienced a lull in her Hollywood career in the mid-nineties before making an OSCAR-winning comeback in 1997′s LA CONFIDENTIAL.

      And model agency founder and close friend Eileen Ford blames Baldwin’s domineering ways for disrupting Basinger’s movie ambitions.

      She says, “He dragged her down years with his jealousy. Their marriage prevented her making the most of her talent.

      “She was such a sweet girl. She read the Bible at bedtime and rarely went out to functions. Marrying Baldwin was a mistake.”

      The couple, who have one child, divorced in 2002.


  30. Doesn’t your answer ” was a who got old” pretty much apply to everyone?


    • To varying degrees, it applies to most everyone. The women especially. It’s a sad reality.

      I try to determine how much of a factor that was in each individual case and what else contributed.


    • Why has Kim Basinger reached “What the Hell Happened to…” status. And pardon me if I’m about to repeat things that I’ve already said before:
      *Is it because as LeBeau said at the start, Kim was simply a case of a “sex symbol who got old”?

      *Her turbulent marriage to and subsequently nasty divorce from Alec Baldwin caused havoc w/ her career.

      *Kim made the mistake (if you want to call it that) if not being quicker to capitalize off of the momentum of her Oscar win/brief career resurrection w/ “LA Confidential” by not releasing another movie for three years. And when she did release said movies (“Bless the Child” and “I Dreamed of Africa”), they turned out to be critical and commercial failures. Those were pretty much the last time that we saw Kim Basinger in a mainstream starring vehicle unless you count “Cellular” (which seemed to be built or sold more on its premise than her name).



    • I think that the whole “was a who got old” can apply to men too. For example, you can make the argument that Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t as credible as physically imposing, action star now (like when he did “The Last Stand”) when compared to his ’80s-early ’90s prime. The same thing goes for Steven Seagal, although his weight issues certainly doesn’t help matters for him.

      Chevy Chase’s style of comedy perhaps hasn’t been able to translate as well in the later stages of his career (e.g. around the time he did his ill-fated talk show) when compared to his “SNL”/”Caddyshack”/”Vacation”/”Fletch” period of the ’70s-early ’80s, when he was at his most popular.


      • It can. Age catches up with everyone on the A-list eventually. Women have a shorter lifespan on the A-list unfortunately. But action heroes and comedians have an expiration date as well. How many comedians dominate at the box office for more than 5 years? 10 years? Very few.


      • In Chevy Chase’s case its tough to be the edgy, too cool comic when you are a dad and start playing buffonish Everyman father characters- as much as the Vacation movies were hits and mostly funny- they basically killed his hipster image.

        His last cool guy role was Fletch- but that faded after the one movie- maybe if he did a quicker sequel- but it took too long, it stunk and he did too many dad roles in between.


        • The Vacation films were a curse and a blessing. They killed what was left of Chase’s hipster image. But really, Chase started killing that image almost immediately with Oh Heavenly Dog and Under the Rainbow. Fletch was the last gasp of “I’m cooler than you” Chase.

          But the Vacation movies did set him up for a career of Dad roles. Chase tried too late to change that image with Memoirs of an Invisible Man.


  31. A quick update on the Prince / Basinger album on YouTube:

    Oh myyyy…..


  32. Hello Kim, where are you? I miss your elegance, beauty, class, very difficult to find nowdays among american actress!..in spite of all comments. Please return to your fans.
    An Italian girl.


    • Kim has 4 upcoming movies:

      Lead role in independent film “Petit” where she plays a woman who wants to adopt a baby from a foreign country and finds out there is child prostitution going on in that country. (Not the best description, but that’s the gist of it).

      Another independent film called “One Square Mile” which I know nothing about, other than that she plays the mother of a teenager.

      A movie called “Third Person” with Liam Neeson, James Franco, Adrien Brody, Olivia Wilde and Mila Kunis.

      And a for-sure wide release in 2014 called “Grudge Match” with Stallone and DeNiro. She’s only in the trailer for like 1 second and the movie looks so unbelievably awful, she must have done it just for easy money and the exposure of being in a wide release.


      • Still, it’s kind of sad that in the past few years, Kim Basinger has been stuck so to speak, doing these smaller, indy movies. She has kind of fallen victim of “Kirsten Dunst syndrome”, in that she still works, but it’s mostly in movies that mainstream audiences have no interest in or won’t be able to see. I also don’t understand why the more mainstream or high profile movies that Kim has actually been in recently, don’t really bother to play up the fact that she’s in them during the promotions.


        • Exactly. I think this is going to become more and more common as small movies continue to be squeezed out of theaters and into the direct-to-video, pay cable and streaming worlds.


      • This speaks to a point I have been making in the last few WTHH articles. It is possible for an actor or actress to be very busy. And yet, their projects are off the public’s radar. So even an actress who has multiple movies in the pipeline like Basinger seems to the public to be MIA.


  33. Indeed, I thought Basinger had been MIA for a while, last thing I recall hearing was about the lawsuit. Never was impressed with her as an actress, so I will have to respectfully agree to disagree with members of her fan base. It seemed like the purchasing of the town got her a lot of negative publicity at the time that overshadowed her work.


    • I kind of hate to say this, but I do believe that Kim may have become “box office poison” for at least the first half of the ’90s. It (and pardon me if I’ve said this before) seemed like Kim was after a while, more known for her antics in real life (e.g. literally purchasing a town, her on-set antics while making “The Marrying Man”, playing “wag the director” during the making of “Cool World”, backing out of “Boxing Helena”, etc.) than her film roles. It’s stuff like what I just mentioned that could’ve easily made Kim out to be a pushy, somewhat insecure, diva type actress. I sort of fear that Kim may have let the success of being in “Batman” go to her head a little (as LeBeau I think suggested, Kim sort of became a “power player” from being the female lead in the biggest commercial success of 1989, but she really didn’t know how to properly use it).


      • No surprise I agree with you since you were already agreeing with me. It’s easy to forget just how toxic Basinger’s reputation was for a while.


        • Her movies between 1990 and 1994 were simply terrible. I think she was queen of the 80s though. The only stinker was My Stepmother Is an Alien, everything else was highly entertaining.


          • I can’t agree that Basinger was on any kind of roll in the 80s. She had some hits, but plenty of misses too.

            Never Say Never Again – Good debut for a model. Reasonably successful. But generally considered one of the worst Bond movies ever.

            The Man Who Loved Women – Meh.

            The Natural – Good movie and a good role to showcase Basinger’s old fashioned sex appeal.

            Fool For Love – Solid

            9 1/2 Weeks – Skinemax After Dark

            No Mercy – Base hit

            Blind Date – Lousy

            Nadine – Watchable at best

            Stepmother – Stinker

            Batman – Finally establishes Basinger as a star

            I would say in the 80s she did a good job of paying her dues so that when an opportunity opened for Batman, she was in a position to step up. It was a good decade for a model-turned-actress. But she was hardly a dominant force at the box office or a critical darling.

            Unfortunately, as soon as she established herself as a Hollywood power house, her career went off the rails.


            • I disagree that Batman “established her as a star”. Her paychecks were in the millions by the time of No Mercy. She paid her dues in the 70s when she was a television actress. By the time she finally made the leap to the big screen her dues were done, she got $125,000 for Hard Country in 1981 (a big salary for an actress at the time) and that was a leading role. Not what I consider a due-paying gig.

              NSNA is my second favorite of the Connery Bonds. A lot of people claim to hate it, but when it was released Ebert gave it 3 and a half out of 4 stars. It’s my second favorite of the Connery Bonds, and the second-biggest hit of Basinger’s career after Batman.

              Ebert gave Nine 1/2 Weeks 3 and a half out of 4 stars. Basinger said in a newspaper interview she felt it was her best work. I bet people who dismiss it as pornographic haven’t even seen it. It had a lot of sex, but so did Last Tango in Paris. I think it’s her second-best performance after Fool for Love.

              She was excellent in the Reynolds flick, her third-best performance IMO (I’ve seen every movie she has been in up through 2006, excluding some of the TV movies). Blind Date is the sixth most successful film of her career, I thought it was hilarious, it wasn’t meant to be an awards movie or anything. Nadine is FUN. And Stepmother was enjoyable in a guilty-pleasure way. The same cannot be said for the films she made after Batman. I haven’t given any of her later films a second viewing, all of them are undistinguishable except L.A. Confidential but that was a 12 minute performance in a 3 hour movie. I actually think her best work post-80s was in The Mermaid Chair, which isn’t saying much.

              The Marrying Man – Stupid film, not really enjoyable in any way. She had no chemistry with Baldwin, which is ironic considering they got together while making this movie.

              Final Analysis – awful, just awful. And boring. The bright spots were Eric Roberts’ small role and Uma’s presence. Kim’s presence used to be something, but in this her acting was really, really bad. She did deserve the Razzie nod she got.

              The Real McCoy – the only entertaining movie she made during that timeframe. It was a poorly written movie but at least it was entertaining for one viewing.

              The Getaway – Cheap, inferior remake with a serious case of miscasting.

              Ready to Wear – perhaps the biggest letdown of a movie ever. I was expecting a lot from an Altman movie with so many big names. The entire cast, especially Loren and Roberts, were wasted in nothing roles. Basinger had the only fun part in the whole movie!

              She only had one true miss in the 80s, being My Stepmother Is an Alien. Nadine was her biggest flop of the decade but her performance itself was well received. In the 90s, every movie she did was a miss. Everything flopped and everything got bad reviews (she was nominated for a Razzie every year she made a film in the 90s except 1997, when she did the small role in LA Confidential).


              • In the 80s, Basing was a lead actress. But she wasn’t A-list until Batman. She got work. Heck, she got work with some great directors. And she was making good money. But she didn’t have any real A-list clout until after Batman was a huge hit. Neither did Keaton. Nicholson was the only A-lister going in to that movie. In fact, no one was especially excited about casting Basinger. She was basically the last choice after Sean Young was forced to drop out and Keaton refused to work with Michelle Pfieffer for personal reasons. Basinger got that job because the studio was in a bind over Nicholson’s schedule and Basinger was available on short notice.

                NSNA isn’t bad. It’s a great debut for Basinger who was a model at the time. She was the stereotypical model turned Bond girl. But that movie was all about Connery returning to Bond. Its success or failure had nothing to do with Basinger being a star.

                9 1/2 Weeks had strong performances. And of course I enjoyed the steamy stuff. But I found the rest of the movie kind of boring if I am honest. Ebert, may he rest in peace, had a bit of Russ Meyer in him. He tended to favor certain kinds of movies with certain actresses. He gave Final Analysis 2 1/2 stars which is more favorable than most.

                My aversion to Burt Reynold’s has kept me from watching The Man Who Loved Women. I’ll take your word for her being good in it. But it’s pretty incidental to her career. I don’t even think she was used in the marketing materials for the film. I have been meaning to watch Nadine though. I’m going to check it out. But even if it is surprisingly good, it was largely ignored when it was released.

                It seems like you’re defining hits and misses by your own level of enjoyment. Which is fine. I’m looking at it from the perspective of “did it help or hurt her career?” You’re right that she paid her dues during her model/TV days. That got her leading roles in film in the 80′s. But she paid a different kind of dues that decade proving she could be an A-lister. She didn’t truly achieve that status until Batman. Her post Batman career – once she had more power and influence over her projects, is a disaster.


                • I’m not big on the term ‘A-list’. How do you define it?

                  I define a star as someone who regularly receives above-the-title leading roles in films that are widely distributed. For Kim that started in 1984 when she made 9 1/2 Weeks, a role she was given based on her momentum from the Bond film; The Natural had not yet been released.

                  It’s harder to classify in the 2010s who is a star now that names are less important than ever. Amy Adams is someone who I certainly don’t consider a star. She has all these (supporting) Oscar nominations but only gets above-the-title billing for all-star assembled projects like Man of Steal. She was below the title on the poster for that Eastwood film she did last year, and that was a leading role!

                  I notice your Melanie article opens saying she “rose to the A-list in the 80s”. Do you still think so? She was doing B movies and television throughout the eighties until she skyrocketed, not rose, to stardom at the very end of the decade in Working Girl (her two films prior to that had respectively gone straight to VHS and limited release, and her only previous leading role in a wide release had barely made a dent at the box office).

                  The role in Batman was beneath the work Kim had been doing recently prior to it. She had been at the center of her six previous movies, the selling point, and this was a girlfriend part in a superhero movie. For Batman her name and photograph were not even on the film’s poster. So, perhaps the reason she was the last choice is because she was overqualified for the part. They could have hired the lesser-known Young or Pfeiffer for a fraction of what Kim was paid (her salary for the film was $3 million, which is way more than what the other two were getting at that time – or in Young’s case, ever).

                  I agree with you re: Ebert not always being objective in his reviews. I was surprised that he had given 4 out of 4 stars to About Last Night, then when I read he gave 3 and a half out of 4 to The Dead Pool (aka Dirty Harry 5, the worst movie in the franchise) he lost some credibility in my book.

                  She was hilarious in both TMWLW and Nadine. I love that she was able to use her Eastern South accent in those movies (even though she was playing Texas women). She doesn’t have it anymore, if you compare the interviews:


                  Re the disaster that her career was post Batman, she chose awful scripts – yes, chose, its not like she needed to audition for gigs – and in the wake of its success she turned down plum roles in hit movies that went to Demi Moore in Ghost and Geena Davis in Thelma & Louise. The downturn in her career happened exactly the same time she started dating Baldwin – coincidence?


                  • You raise a lot of good points. “A-list” is a tricky term. It does depend on how you define it. Personally, I use a somewhat strict definition.

                    By the strictest definition, an A-list movie star opens movies. If they are cast in the genre of movie they are known for, an A-list actor should reliably bring in a solid opening weekend. If the movie tanks after that, it’s because of the movie not the star. The star is counted on to bring fans that first weekend. That is why studios are willing to pay them the big money.

                    Starring in movies doesn’t make an actor A-list. Getting your name above the title means you are famous. Getting lead roles means you are a lead actor. But even if both of those things are true, you may not be A-list.

                    Where things get even trickier is that sometimes studios think an actor MAY be able to deliver opening box office. So they get A-list status without actually proving themselves. Arguably, Basinger is an example of this kind of star. She never actually opened a movie. All of her hits were hits because of factors other than her. When she was relied upon to be the main draw (Final Analysis, Cool World, Nadine, etc) the movie was not a hit.

                    By the strictest definition of A-list, Basinger never qualified. Studios started treating her like an A-list star hoping that the success of Batman would carry over. It didn’t. By my personal definition, I still consider Basinger to have been A-list post Batman because she had the power of an A-lister even if she never really had the box office cred.

                    Basinger made better movies before Batman. That’s because she wasn’t yet an A-lister. She was being cast by big name directors because the camera loved her. But she wasn’t yet calling the shots. When she hit the big time, she got more say. And that’s how things like The Marrying Man and Cool World happened.

                    By most accounts, Baldwin and Basinger were bad for each other’s careers. For a time, they were both hated by many.


                    • Alec Baldwin also screwed himself over early on (even w/o Kim Basinger’s influence) when he turned down a chance to reprise his role as Jack Ryan following “The Hunt for Red October”. Just like “Batman” for Kim, even though you can argue that people knew about Alec Baldwin (thanks in no small part, to “Beetlejuice”), he didn’t really become a “star” until he made “The Hunt for Red October”. Then, when it came time to make the next Jack Ryan film (which would become “Patriot Games”), Baldwin turned it down in favor of working on “A Streetcar Named Desire” on stage. So in came Harrison Ford (even though, I believe Tom Clancy, the author of the Jack Ryan books felt that he was too old for the role) for the next two films (“Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger”), who is now pretty much, the definitive Jack Ryan actor (even after Ben Affleck and Chris Pine’s takes). It seemed like “The Shadow”, was Baldwin’s next attempt at making a franchise character, but unfortunately, like other pulp, period piece superhero films of the ’90s like “The Rocketeer” and “The Phantom”, it really didn’t make much of an impact at the box office.


        • It would be interesting to look at her career from a feminist angle- maybe men are allowed to act like divas a little more than women?

          Her choices were just bad- I forgot that she failed to follow up on LA Confidential- crazy error.

          The Boxing Helena lawsuit was a total mess- actors ditch roles all the time- I’m no lawyer- but I don’t get why she lost a lawsuit for a weird indi project when it probably happens every day- it doesn’t speak well for her business acumen.


          • I have said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again. Hollywood has a huge double standard where actresses are concerned. Baldwin was guilty of behavior every bit as bad as Basinger. His career suffered, but not like hers.

            The Boxing Helena thing was a mess. Actors do break verbal agreements all the time. But it’s a question of degrees. Madonna dropped out of the same movie and did not get sued. Basinger dropped out later in the game.

            I don’t so much have a problem with the lawsuit. Lawsuits like this are uncommon but not unheard of. Mike Myers got sued by Imagine for dropping out of the Sprockets movie. As usually happens, it got settled out of court.

            The original penalty assessed to Basinger was ridiculous. It was later reduced which makes the outcome far more reasonable.

            I don’t think too many people would argue that Basinger was ever a good buisnesswoman.


      • Kim in part, made the mistake of post-”Batman” in particular, giving off the notion like she knew more about what was right or suitable in the film she was making than the directors or screenwriters. I absolutely don’t now what the hell Kim was thinking when she was working on “Cool World”. I don’t feel like I need to go through what happened again, but it’s not like Kim has made too many family friendly or kid friendly movies in her career (before or since for that matter) for the children that she wanted to show “Cool World” (especially a movie in which Kim plays another not so family friendly, sex-pot type character) to in hospitals. Maybe it’s because so many kids watched “Batman” back in ’89 and immediately recognized her as “Vicki Vale” and not Kim Basinger the actress.


        • I can kind of see where Basinger thought she was going to be a Jessica Rabbit type. I mean, that worked in a kid’s movie despite being over-the-top. If Basinger had more power pre-Batman, she probably would have flexed it and ruined some of her 80s movies as well.


        • It’s kind of too bad that Kim wasn’t invited back to reprise her role as Vicki Vale for “Batman Returns”. Even though Kim’s character in the first movie was in essence, eye candy and a damsel-in-distress, she was still very essential to the plot. What I mean is that her and Robert Wuhl’s character, Alexander Knox, represented “perspective” characters. I guess what I mean as “perspective” characters, audience avatars so to speak. In “Returns”, there really weren’t any “normal” or grounded characters (the mayor of Gotham City and Commissioner Gordon were so non-essential and one-dimensional, that they really don’t count) to balance out the more eccentric or unstable characters.

          Also, Vicki Vale’s “good girl” character would’ve perhaps, made a nice counterbalance to Michele Pfeiffer’s more “bad girl”, Catwoman (representing the Batman side of the persona while Vicki would represent the Bruce Wayne side if you will) persona.

          Differences Between Batman Returns Scripts:

          As far as I’m aware these are the only three published screenplay drafts for Burton’s second Batman film.

          The first link is Sam Hamm’s draft for ‘Batman 2′. It’s not directly related to the eventual screenplay written by Daniel Waters but curiously it does contain several similarities. It’s no surprise that the Penguin (here going by the alias, Mr Bodiface) and Catwoman are still the main villains (as this was always Warner Bros’s intention for the sequel) but the Christmastime motif, Bruce Wayne’s tangling with businessmen who are not nearly as altruistic as him (in this instance various members of Gotham’s Five Families, the wealthiest and oldest families in Gotham along with the Waynes instead of the solitary and self-made Max Shreck) and a plan to frame Batman for high-profile murder(s) are all elements that somehow found their way into Daniel Waters’ ‘Batman Returns’, perhaps coincidentally.

          Catwoman is a much less sympathetic character here and more of the standard femme fatale. Her and the Penguin’s plan is to obtain various golden ravens from each of the five patriarchs that together will lead to buried treasure, thus Catwoman and the Penguin are motivated purely by greed rather than revenge in this story.

          Vicki Vale returns as the ostensible ‘good girl’ in contrast to Catwoman and demonstrates more of a social conscience this time around (although for some reason Knox doesn’t return even though he survived the first film as opposed to being killed off as per Sam Hamm’s original script for the first ‘Batman’). Also, Dick Grayson, a street-kid here, becomes a significant part of the story as the film progresses and ends up living with Bruce, Vicki and Alfred at Wayne Manor. Another interesting element is the presence of a group of masked vigilantes who model themselves on Batman, much like the ski-masked thugs at the beginning of ‘TDK’.

          The next two links are the scripts for ‘Batman Returns’. The first was written by Daniel Waters, and the second is a collaboration between Waters and Wesley Strick who was brought in to ‘refine’ Waters’ plot and dialogue, whilst keeping to the general outline of his story. The last link, give or take a few lines of dialogue and a few deleted scenes, presumably excised from the final film for pacing or budgetary reasons, is effectively the shooting script and what ended up in the finished film.

          Waters’ earlier draft didn’t feature the Penguin’s attempts to drown Gotham’s first-born. It also directly connects Shreck to the Penguin by making Shreck the Penguin’s older brother (and therefore present when the Penguin’s parents decide to throw their deformed baby into a river), a plot-point that is confirmed in the film’s third act where the Penguin kidnaps Max, the mayor and two of Max’s flunkies, ‘Punch & Judy’ and places them in a giant bird-cage. Chip is also no longer Max’s son but a high-level flunky who is killed by Selina Kyle early in the proceedings via a quicksand pit (in an apartment?) whilst spying on her on behalf of Max (who is perturbed by her return from the dead having earlier pushed her out of her office window – as per the final film). Josh and Jen, the image consultants from ‘Batman Returns’ are the aforementioned ‘Punch & Judy’ and have a more prominent role here as they assist the Penguin/Oswald in his plans including his one to frame Batman for the Ice Princess’s murder (a character who incidentally comes across as a bit nastier here, albeit less stupid). Robin, in this instance an African-American garage mechanic, also makes an appearance mid-way through the film when he helps Batman hide from the police after the Batmobile chase that follows him being framed.

          It should be noted that Harvey Dent features in none of these screenplays although Daniel Waters did state in one interview that he did toy with featuring the character at one stage in a brief scene where he would toss his coin and decide whether to act or not, but I don’t know whether this would have been a pre-transformation Dent or Two-Face.

          Having read all three screenplays my personal feeling is that it’s almost a shame that Burton didn’t direct Sam Hamm’s script, which is more of a straight sequel to the original film and features a more coherent, albeit arguably more cartoonish (i.e. buried treasure), plot. Despite the campiness of the buried treasure plot-line and this version of the Penguin with his bird-motif related crimes (despite being a released convict Mr Bodiface is a distinguished ornithologist who trains birds to attack his enemies in occasionally unpleasant ways) there is some intelligent and dark commentary going on, particularly in relation to Bruce’s wealthy blue-blooded peers and their rapacious form of capitalism, and although not quite as realistic as Nolan’s movies, the script is less of an absurd (and I don’t necessarily use that word in a pejorative sense) fantasy/fairy-tale but a rather more credible thriller/film-noir. Moreover, Catwoman and the Penguin are much closer to their comic-book counterparts (in the sense that Catwoman is a thief) except in the respect that this Catwoman is an entirely unsympathetic villain as opposed to the anti-heroine of the comic-books and the Burton and Nolan movies.

          I like Burton’s ‘Batman Returns’ but Daniel Waters is not the most coherent of screenwriters and Wesley Strick’s contribution only helped by reducing some of Waters’ more lurid and would-be hip dialogue (even, in fact especially, in his best screenplay, ‘Heathers’ Waters seems to be on a mission to innovate new slang and vernacular into everyday speech, which is fine in a independent high-school film but can be rather irritating in a mainstream comic-book movie). Waters has interesting ideas about feminism and capitalism, uses symbolism well and writes some great characters, including Shreck, Chip, the Ice Princess and his conception of Catwoman but he struggles to maintain a consistent story and seems less interested in Batman/Bruce Wayne than Sam Hamm, whose ideas about the character may slightly deviate from the conventional comic-book version but at least has ideas about the character.

          I can’t help feeling that the second Batman could have been even better if Sam Hamm’s original screenplay, particularly the plot (perhaps with some extension to the buried treasure concept that would pose more of a threat to Gotham City at large), had been combined with some of Daniel Waters’ characters and sub-textual themes.


  34. Much about Kim Basinger is a mystery. From the beginning I’ve always thought she was a class act. Many Europeans think so as well. Personally, I think she let her light of fame dim on purpose because she did a lot of soul searching and decided that the glitzy, phony, fickle world of Hollywood was really not for her. I think she probably also felt very weary from getting raked over the coals in her personal life post that last divorce, very unfairly as she truly did nothing wrong and in fact showed a lot of courage and strength in the face of what she had to deal with. But I presume that no one other than her closest confidants know for sure. And being in that world, I think they are few, wisely.


    • “Much about Kim Basinger is a mystery.”

      I don’t know. I guess you’re right in that we don’t know every detail about her. But we know more about her than we do a lot of celebs. She didn’t exactly lead a private life. Ask any of the crew on The Marrying Man. Public sexcapades isn’t exactly mysterious.

      “From the beginning I’ve always thought she was a class act.”

      Kim Basinger we’re talking about? ;)

      I do think you’re right that she chose to walk away from the spotlight for both personal and professional reasons. Hopefully the decision has made her happier.


      • The only “mystyery” with Kim Basinger is whether she has agoraphobia like Baldwin says- or if that is a euphemism for more common, and less acceptable ( isn’t our view of mental illness wonderful?) problems.

        Frankly I don’t care- its between Kim and her doctor- her career has basically run its course and I don’t think any studio execs are worried about it either- for good and for bad.


      • I suspect that’s another reason why Kim’s career slowed down. It’s hard for audiences to connect w/ you if we don’t know much about you except from afar (if that makes sense). Kim doesn’t seem be very good at being able to promote her brand. I mean, for instance, I haven’t seen or heard much about her promoting her upcoming movie “Grudge Match”. I’ve said before, that much of the ads that I’ve seen don’t seem to play up the notion that much that Kim is in them.


  35. re: but it was puzzling how she failed to capitalize on the industry buzz/goodwill that an Oscar win often brings.

    There’s the Bond Girl Curse, and there’s also the Oscar Curse (mentioned above) — I can think of many actors (F. Murray Abraham, Mercedes Ruehl, Tim Hutton, Halle Berry, etc.) whose careers did not exactly “soar” after Oscar wins. Pam Grier won LOTS of acclaim for “Jackie Brown” but did other high-profile roles come her way? No. TV came next. Hollywood simply does not have many roles for ladies of Kim B’s age, preferring to present a cinematic world where all women are between the ages of 18 and 34, and women KB’s age don’t look as good as Michele Rodriguez when she’s blowing stuff up good. (Me, I’d LIKE to see older ladies blow stuff up…but I’m old, too.)


    • Much like Kim Basinger, Hollywood doesn’t care about us old guys. And by “old” I mean over 40.


      • Now, now- the TV ratings are bracketed18-45, although I think the idea is that we over-40′s just buy for our kids.

        Over 45 I think the idea is that we say: “I’ve been using Pepsodent for 30+ years- why would I change?!?” and “Why don’t we see David Soul in more action movies?!”


        • Why DON’T we see David Soul in action movies any more? ;)

          I feel like Hollywood and advertisers made a bid for our disposable income in the 90s. Gen X collectively ignored their blatant attempts to appeal to us. So now they are done with us. They are after the Millenials – who no one truly understands yet.


  36. A great article, as are all the others.

    I think ultimately it is as you wrote in the end, she got famous for her looks and once those faded she was left out. It happened (and continues to happen) to many starlets (Alicia Silverstone, another subject of yours, probably had the same probably, and likely Jessica Alba will too).

    Unless an actress sets out to make good challenging movies even while their young and hot, like Elizabeth Taylor did, this will be their fate.

    Final note: I recall finding Basinger very hot in 9 1/2 Weeks.


    • Thanks, Dar. Glad you liked it.

      The explanation of why Basinger’s career fell off isn’t all that interesting. Sex symbol gets old. We see it in these articles over and over again. But the details of her rise and fall are absolutely fascinating. She bought a town! This one wrote itself.

      I will allow that certain things are subjective. But certain things are not matters of opinion. Kim Basinger’s hotness in 9 1/2 is factual. She is objectively hot in that movie. What is hotter than this?


    • re: She bought a town! This one wrote itself.

      This might make a good subject for a movie someday! Truly. :)

      re: Why DON’T we see David Soul in action movies any more? ;)
      Because he’s probably too old for those kinds of roles. His co-star Paul Michael Glaser was smart and transitioned to DIRECTING. In some ways, TV stars have it WORSE than film actors, in that those that star in long-running TV series tend to fall of the face of the Earth after the series goes off the air. Look at: Sally Struthers; the cast of Saved By the Bell not named Liz Berkeley, Matlock not named Andy G, etc., Philip Michael Thomas from Miami Vice, etc. — they likely got stereotyped by their roles so H’wood seems to be “done” with them.

      As to the Old: One of the best movies I’ve seen lately is “Enough Said” — starring two 50-something actors that, well, look it (and I don’t mean that in a negative way). We see the “lines” in J-L Dreyfus’ face and she’s STILL pretty (and if she’s had p-surgery it sure don’t show)!


  37. The best thing that ever happen to Kim Basinger is her and Alec Baldwin splitting he was enough to cause her to have emotional problems. Maybe now she can lead a happy life without him in it any more. More Hilaria.


    • I won’t pretend to know what was going on in their personal lives. Clearly it was tumultuous. Baldwin obviously has a temper. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that her relationship with Baldwin hurt her career just when she had finally made it to the top.


      • I don’t want to say that Kim isn’t entirely blameless (I mean, she was an adult too) for why her career went downhill. Don’t get me wrong, I think Alec Baldwin’s behavior a lot of the time is absolutely reprehensible (especially the incident involving their daughter and the voice mail). It’s obvious that the guy has anger management issues and has a hard time handling the media (not to mention, thinking before speaking).

        I mean, personally, Kim has really nobody but herself to blame over stuff like the fiasco involving her buying a town in Georgia, allegedly wrecking havoc on the set of “The Marrying Man”, signing up for “Boxing Helena”, meddling w/ the production of “Cool World”, and going on a three year hiatus after winning an Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “LA Confidential”.


    • Did Kim Basinger ever date post-Alec?


      I think that if Kim wasn’t so shy, insecure and fragile, she could have conquered the world! Really, women like her are rare to find. She is so sexy and gentle. She is BEAUTIFULLY BEAUTIFUL.

      by: Anonymous reply 58 12/10/2013 @ 11:09AM


  38. Strange, Alec Baldwin’s character in the Farrelly brothers film Outside Providence was married to someone that suffered from agoraphobia. Was this some kind of deliberate backhanded slap at Kim Basinger, or just a coincidence?

    I don’t remember very much else about Outside Providence, it wasn’t terribly interesting or funny enough to make any kind of lasting impression on me.


    • It’s been a while since I have seen Outside Providence and I don’t remember much except that Baldwin was the best thing about it. I would have to think that was a coincidence rather than a dig. But I bet Baldwin relished it. Heck, maybe it’s why he took the part.


      • What’s equally funny is that several years back, Kim produced and starred in a film called “While She Was Out”. It was another one of those movies just like “Cellular” in which Kim was pretty much reduced or relegated to playing a scared housewife. Anyway, Kim’s husband in the movie played by Craig Sheffer, is seen right from the start as being temperamental and at the very least, emotionally abusive. One could easily speculate that Kim was setting this up as an allegory towards her real life marriage to Alec Baldwin.


    • http://www.datalounge.com/cgi-bin/iowa/ajax.html?t=13351257#page:showThread,13351257,1

      “Didn’t she suffer from all kinds of emotional and psychological problems, and has spent the last two decades living like a virtual recluse…”

      Yeah, she has talked about her major anxiety and agoraphobia, and has probably has NPD because almost every movie star ever has it.

      Which probably means that her daughter has borne the brunt of the crazy. Shut-ins and narcissists are absolutely ruthless about roping their children into their disease, using them as caretakers and whipping boys, and never ever paying any attention to the child’s needs. If Ireland Baldwin is now out there on the fame-whore track, I don’t blame her. She must be desperate to get away from her mother.

      by: Anonymous reply 18 12/09/2013 @ 04:00PM


  39. That 9 1/2 Weeks clip makes me miss the 80′s. And wow, remember back when Mickey Rourke used to be just an average good-looking guy?


  40. Stuff like this makes one wonder where Kim’s career would’ve been like had “Never Say Never Again” (which is generally considered to be Kim Basinger’s breakthrough role) hadn’t been made in the first place:
    10 Negative Ways Kevin McClory Affected The 007 Franchise:

    “Never Say Never Again” Got Made
    The combination of McClory’s desire to exercise his rights to remake “Thunderball” against the wishes of Cubby Broccoli’s EON Productions, and Sean Connery’s bitterness to the official franchise (and the promise of a hefty $3m pay day) were not enough to make this Bond movie a Bond movie. No gun barrel, no James Bond theme, a luck-lustre score, uninspired cinematography and hokey special effects reminded audiences what they were missing. Roger Moore’s official entry of 1983, “Octopussy”, beat “Never Say Never Again” at the box-office by more than $20m.


    • It was a breakthrough role. But basically it was a model turned actress transitional thing. I think she would have gotten another part to look beautiful in. I doubt it would have made a tremendous difference. The one thing unique to Never Say Never Again in terms of Basinger’s career is that director Irvin Kershner was exceptionally sensitive to Basinger’s insecurities at the time. He probably gave her a great leg up on making the transition into acting.


  41. BTW,Kim turns 60 today!!!!

    And she’ll also be featured in the DeNiro/Stallone fight flick Grudge Match,out around X-mas!


    • Hope she enjoyed her birthday. I’m kind of curious to see if Grudge Match is any good. What are the odds? Still, it’ll be good to see her on screen again.


      • Good for her! Let’s hear it for sexy older ladies! [And by "older" I mean post-39 years of age...that seems to be Hollyweird's "cut-off" for many actresses' viability as "babes."]


      • Kim Basinger’s age has been brought up a lot regarding why her career as an A-list leading lady went into decline. Now that I’ve thought about it some, I wonder if part of her problem so to speak is that she (like for example, Sharon Stone) peaked and/or broke out relatively late in her acting career.

        To put things into proper perspective, Kim was I believe 35 years old when she made “Batman” (which I’ve said before, I believe is the movie that officially made her A-list). Therefore, she was already pushing 30 when she made “Never Say Never Again” (the movie that first gave her notoriety). 35 of course isn’t really “old” normally, but you have to take into consideration being an actress of that age, who is for better or for worse, is primarily known for her beauty and sex appeal like Kim Basinger.

        More to the point, when Kim won the Oscar for “LA Confidential” in 1997-98, she was already well into her 40s. As I said numerous times, I really don’t think that Kim did herself any favors by not releasing another film for three years after “LA Confidential”.


    • I don’t know if this is a testament of how far Kim Basinger’s star has fallen. But anyway, today I was at the movie theater w/ my mom. When walking inside I walked past a poster for Kim’s new movie “Grudge Match”. When looking at the names of the actors being credited, Kim Basinger’s was fifth behind Kevin Hart and Alan Arkin respectively. To add insult to injury, Kim’s name isn’t even in front of the movie’s title like the other actors that I mentioned.


      • I Saw Grudge Match:

        I saw three Sylvester Stallone movies in theaters in 2013. I’m not sure that will ever happen again. Not, of course, because I’m unwilling. I’d go see a new Stallone film once a month if I could. It’s just that Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and now Grudge Match have all been huge domestic failures at the box office. Despite the Razzie attention I’m sure he’ll receive, none of that has been on Stallone, who was quite good in all three efforts. While some action icons are content to simply sleepwalk through roles, Stallone has consistently given his full attention to his latter day film projects, and I find it unfortunate that he hasn’t been met with much success.

        Grudge Match is the story of two long retired boxers, Henry “Razor” Sharp (Stallone) and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (Robert De Niro), who come back to the ring out of shape and out of sorts for one final rematch. McDonnen got the best of Razor in their first fight, and then Razor took down The Kid in the first rematch, but then promptly retired. The years since were unkind to Razor, as he worked in the receding American manufacturing industry. Kid went on to own a successful bar and restaurant and car dealership, but his hacky one-man show at the restaurant is clearly demeaning. The first 20 to 30 minutes of Grudge Match is fairly rote and also fairly forgettable. But it gets better from here.

        Neither men found much success in their personal lives either, with Stallone never really finding anyone he loved as much as his ex-girlfriend Sally (Kim Basinger, who is fairly awful in her supporting role) and De Niro never spending any time at all acknowledging his grown son B.J. (Jon Bernthal, in a somewhat thankless role). When aspiring boxing promoter Dante Slate, Jr. (Kevin Hart) offers each man $100,000 for the rubber match, they begin to find themselves again. It is at this point when the film when Stallone and De Niro really begin to shine. A video of the boxers wrecking up a motion-capture studio goes viral, and the people of Pittsburgh begin to believe in the match as well. The film comes together at this point.

        De Niro and Stallone really seem to take their rivalry in good fun. This much is captured from their performances, with especially De Niro becoming active and lively. Stallone takes his performance seriously – he has always excelled at playing these types of blue collar characters – but he lightens up especially when on screen with Alan Arkin, who plays his aging trainer Lightning, as well as with De Niro. The bulk of the story is about why the two men gave up their careers and what their feud meant to each other, and in this dramatic aspect Stallone really gives a nuanced and layered performance. It’s another good dramatic role for Stallone for which I’m sure he’ll receive no credit.

        The film suffers, however, from poor comedic direction and a weak script. Director Peter Segal, who has helmed films like Tommy Boy, 50 First Dates, and Get Smart, doesn’t seem entirely into the material and some of his direction just comes off as lazy. I’m not sure if it was a director-for-hire effort from Segal or what, but for his first film in five years I would have expected more energy from his end. The script also suffers in areas. There is a precocious eight year old kid I could have especially done without. The intent was certainly to soften De Niro’s character, but the kid just comes off as annoying. The budding relationship between De Niro and son B.J. could have been used to the same effort. There is also the obvious “the fight’s off” moment, which is fairly quickly reversed. The actual fight itself seems choreographed just fine, but again suffers from lackluster direction.

        Overall, Grudge Match is a fine comedy film. It isn’t overly complicated and doesn’t overstay its welcome at all. Stallone and De Niro are good in the lead roles and I really appreciated their chemistry. Alan Arkin and Kevin Hart are funny in their scenes as well, and each brings a distinct comedic styling to the film. While De Niro may have been in it for a quick paycheck, he at least doesn’t sleepwalk through the role. Stallone brings a more layered performance to the film that will assuredly be overlooked and derided by critics simply because its popular to pile on Stallone. Though the direction is a bit lackluster and the script is unpolished, I still had a good time watching the film. We might not get three Stallone films theatrically released in the same year ever again, but I’ll continue to seek out whatever work he does.


    • ‘I didn’t want to live on drugs’: Kim Basinger talks about dealing with anxiety, her long career and raising model daughter Ireland:

      Many actresses find it difficult to land a part once they hit 30 in a business that prizes young women.

      But Kim Basinger, who turned 60 three days ago, appears to be ramping up her 35-year career.

      ‘I’ve been so blessed because I’ve had such longevity. I’m not a big red-carpet girl. But I love the work,’ the blonde beauty says in the December 23 edition of People.

      ‘In this business you can be at the top of the world and at the bottom of the barrel, and you’re grape juice. I’ve been at both ends. It can make you become what you really are.’

      It’s hard to imagine the successful star struggling with anxiety, but she admits there was a period in her life where she relied on medication to get her through the day.
      ‘Now I wake up and enjoy life. I didn’t want to live on drugs. I wanted to face everything I was afraid of.’

      And she proved that she can conquer her fears by going skydiving recently. ‘Falling 12,500 feet out of an airplane was exhilarating!’ she says.

      In her next movie she co-stars with Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro in The Grudge Match about two aging boxing rivals who are are coaxed out of retirement to fight one final bout – 30 years after their last match. The comedy is due out December 25 in the US and January 24 in the UK.

      The blonde, whose radiant looks belie her age, is busier than ever, which is just as well since she is now an empty-nester after recently helping her model daughter Ireland, 18, move into her own apartment.

      The gorgeous 6ft 1in teen, Kim’s daughter with ex-husband Alec Baldwin, towers over her 5ft 6in mother.

      Kim tells People she endeavored to give Ireland as normal a childhood as possible.

      ‘She grew up in the limlight but I tried to provide stability and a quieter world,’ she says.
      Of her choice to become a model, she says: ‘I think she wanted to stick her foot in and see what it would bring. And she’s doing extremely well.

      ‘You just want them to follow their own path, and she totally did this on her own.’
      Kim is presently filming Unborn, about an infertile woman who delves into the world of infant prostitution in Eastern Europe after trying to adopt a child, which is due out next year.

      Her last movie, director Paul Haggis’s Third Person, in which she stars with Liam Neeson, James Franco and Mila Kunis, debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival In September.


  42. Kim Basinger Apologized… For Making Bad Comedies!


    Kim Basinger, an American actress and singer, has said something you don’t hear quite often in Hollywood. Namely, the actress apologized for making so many “bad comedies” during her career.

    Kim won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and made some notable appearances in The Natural and L.A. Confidential, but despite that, she made several comedies which she admitted weren’t quite a success.

    “I’ve made some bombs in my life but I came from comedy and worked with some really great people who taught me so much. I had great teachers so whenever I get to exercise that, I do,” said Kim in an interview with UK’s Daily Express.

    “I know what it takes to put a film together but I can’t help produce some really bad comedies sometimes. I’m sorry.”

    Her movies that influenced the decision to express an apology are 1987’s Blind Date with Bruce Willis, along with My Stepmother Is an Alien with Dan Aykroyd, which received mostly terrible reviews.

    Kim found fame for her roles in movies such as 9½ Weeks, I Dreamed of Africa and 8 Mile.

    Even though we don’t fully understand the point of her apology, we certainly do appreciate it since honesty is such a rarity in Hollywood these days. Way to go Kim… Uhm, we guess.


  43. Eillio Martin Imbasciati

    Kim Basinger never impressed me as an actress, but I do feel her performance in “Cellular” is her best (I also liked that episode of “the Simpsons” when Her and Alec Baldwin guest voiced).


    • I guess the ironic thing about “Cellular” (which was pretty much, the last time that Kim was in a widely released film in which she was the first billed star) is that like “8 Mile”, it at the end of the day, didn’t really do much to push her career forward (i.e. land her more high profile leading roles). If anything, “Cellular” was sort of a springboard for the future Human Torch and Captain America, Chris Evans.


  44. Tim Burton’s Batman: the pivotal superhero movie at 25:

    “Stop the press! Who’s that?”

    Sean Young, who’d famously co-starred with Harrison Ford in Blade Runner, was originally cast as Vicki Vale, a photographer who falls under millionaire Bruce Wayne’s spell while trying to discover the identity of the Batman. But two days before shooting began, Young broke her collarbone in a riding accident, which immediately ruled her out of the film.

    “To tell you the truth,” Burton said of the incident, “It was so shocking that I had a weird response to the whole thing… I mean, I was very sad and upset, but I just said, “Okay, well, [find another actress].”

    Kim Basinger promptly stepped in as Vicki Vale, yet even here there was a whiff of cynicism from the media: a British tabloid newspaper suggested that Basinger had won the part because she was in a relationship with producer Jon Peters. “That was yet more of the salacious gossip we’ve had to put up with,” Burton said of the story. “We sued…”

    Burton and his team of filmmakers quickly realized that something had to be done to both feed the intense interest in the Batman movie and also fan suspicions – like the opinion of J Alan Bolick, quoted by The Wall Street Journal:

    “Hollywood is just in it for the money, and Warner Bros has been doing a bit of duplicity. I don’t think Mr Burton has any intention of making a serious Batman movie.”

    To this end, producers Jon Peters and Peter Gruber decided to cut together a teaser trailer from the footage shot so far – an attempt to provide audiences with a flavor of what Warner’s Batman movie would look like. Although notably lacking Danny Elfman’s score, the trailer worked: the response was rapturous.

    “It was shown in theaters in January and February,” Jon Peters told The Toronto Star, “and it basically changed the whole direction and perception of the movie, because people realized Batman would be a dark adventure and not a farce.”

    Audiences were finally won over. Batman’s extraordinary marketing assault had begun.


  45. I wonder how Kim feels about her daughter’s recent “lesbian relationship”:


    Ireland is a lost little snow bunny trolling her parents and trying so hard to be black and down its a damn shame. Both of her parents are emotionally volatile and unstable people and this is her way of f***ing with her dad while trying to get a taste of something new. Nothing to see or read here except two people in dire need of attention. When “black being the new black” fades for her she’ll go date some Arab just to push her father way over the edge.


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