What the Hell Happened to Michelle Pfeiffer?

Michelle Pfeiffer

Michelle Pfeiffer

Michelle Pfeiffer was one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood.  She starred opposite Al Pacino, Harrison Ford, Sean Connery and Jack Nicholson.  The image of Pfeiffer cracking a whip as Catwoman is iconic.  And then, she disappeared for seveal years.  Recently, Pfeiffer has resurfaced.  But her days on the A-list appear to be behind her.

So, what the hell happened?

Michelle Pfeiffer - 1978 Miss California Beauty Pageant

Michelle Pfeiffer – 1978 Miss California Beauty Pageant

Pfeiffer started out as a pageant girl before moving into TV and movies. Pfeiffer was Ms. Orange County in 1978 and competed in the Miss California Beauty Pageant where she placed sixth.

After her sixth-place finish, Pfeiffer hired an agent and got into acting.

Michelle Pfeiffer - Fantasy Island - 1978

Michelle Pfeiffer – Fantasy Island – 1978

One of Pfeiffer’s earliest TV appearances was on the TV show, Fantasy Island.  Guest star Robert Morse played a sailor who visits an island populated by beautiful women.  Pfeiffer played one of the island’s inhabitants.

Pfieffer would return to the show a few years later.

Pfeiffer - Delta House

Michelle Pfeiffer – Delta House – 1979

In 1979, Pfeiffer landed a recurring role on the short-lived Animal House TV show, Delta House.  The show recast some roles while maintaining original cast members Stephen Furst, Bruce McGill, James Widdoes and John Vernon. Pfeiffer’s character was named “The Bombshell”.

Pfeiffer wasn’t impressed by the show’s scripts, but she needed the work:

It was a no-brainer, and I detested it. But it was exposure so I did the best I could with terrible scripts. I told myself: “There are so many unemployed actors around, you should be glad you’re working at all.”

Delta House got good ratings initially.  But after fights over content, the show was cancelled after only 13 episodes.

Michelle Pfeiffer - B.A.D. Cats - 1980

Michelle Pfeiffer – B.A.D. Cats – 1980

In 1980, Pfieffer landed a regular role on the car-themed cop show, B.A.D. Cats.  Asher Brauner and Steve Hanks starred as a couple of former race-car drivers who join the Los Angeles Police Department.

B.A.D. Cats lasted 10 episodes on ABC.

Next: Hollywood Knights and Falling in Love Again


Posted on October 7, 2011, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 282 Comments.

  1. Sorry to be overly simplistic with this one, but I like the way she looks. You really can’t find a bad photograph of this woman, regardless of age or anything else.

    While I’d love to mention The Batman Curse (oops, just did), here’s a WTHHT entry where it really is just a huge success story. I think she’s been very fortunate, just by counting the number of successful movies that you’ve listed.

    I think here you have a combo of small factors. The 4-year hiatus is one thing, but she also will need some redefining. She took her hiatus as a 40-something year old and returned in her 50’s. Personally I think she will probably recover completely and be a solid film actress once again. I definitely don’t see her disappearing (that is, if she doesn’t decide to do that), or fading away to television.


    • I think Pfeiffer will always be able to work when she wants to. Yeah, her age was a factor. There just aren’t a lot of lead roles for actresses in their 50s. Even ones as beautiful and talented as she is. I get the impression that at a certain point she decided the rat race for those parts wasn’t worth it. She took some time off and now she’s down-shifted into taking supporting roles in films she wants to make.

      I could see her doing television. I read an interview with Glenn Close and she pointed out that unless you want to play grandmas, TV is where all the good parts are for women over 40. Can’t argue with her there. I would bet the biggest thing keeping Pfeiffer from doing TV is the hectic schedule. She seems to be taking it easy in terms of her workload these days. And you can’t do that as a regular on a TV show.

      I’ll be interested to see what kind of impact Dark Shadows has on Pfeiffer’s status. I wonder if it will lead to meatier movie roles.


  2. pfeiffer was good in tequila sunrise, married to the mob, batman returns and scarface. never saw dangerous liaisons and fabulous baker boys. always wanted to see how good she was in that as well as malkovich. it was seeing her work with kurt russell and mel gibson in tequila sunrise. she is a good actress, better than jolie and basinger and julia roberts.


    • Michelle Pfeiffer was probably my favorite actress in the late 80s and early 90s. Though I was also pretty fond of Meg Ryan. Looking at the careers, Pfeiffer was more talented and had better range.

      I had forgotten all about Tequila Sunrise when I started this article. But when I saw she made a movie with Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell, I immediately thought of you so I know you’re a fan of them both.

      I haven’t watched Dangerous Liaisons in a long, long time. But you should definitely check it out. It’s wicked. I’m less of a fan of Fabulous Baker Boys. Great acting from the Bridges brothers and Pfeiffer. But it’s not then most gripping story ever told.

      I’ll agree Pfeiffer is more talented than Kim Basigner or Julia Roberts. However, Julia Roberts has more star power than any actress of her time including Pfeiffer. When Roberts turns on her 1,000 watt smile, it’s money in the bank. LA Confidential aside, Basinger is just a very beautiful face.

      Don’t make me choose between Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer. I can’t do it! They are pretty evenly matched. Jolie is the bigger star today – unquestionably. But I don’t think Pfeiffer was ever as big of a star as Jolie is today. Jolie can reliably open a movie on her own. Pfeiffer’s track record is a lot more spotty.


      • Agree. In terms of tabloid/cover mag etc Jolie is definitely bigger. But she doesnt guarantee box office success, mind you (Challenging was a good movie and she gave a strong perf in it but it still bomb) I think Hollywood stars r dead. And more, the legacy of Michelle’s career will always be bigger than Jolie’s. Michelle looks like making a comeback plan, though i hope she should choose smth along Mery Streep’s role in TDWP – smth instanly iconic.


        • I would argue that Jolie was/is a bigger star at the box office than Pfeiffer at her peak. Pfeiffer has always had a weakness in that she never headlined a big hit. Jolie has had several big action movies where she was the big name. No star is guaranteed box office. But then, no star ever was.

          I do agree with you that stars are getting smaller. High concept movies and pre-sold concepts are more important than the stars. And that will probably become more and more true as special effects allow for more and more fantastic movies and lower and lower cost. Why hire a big star when you can take an unkown like Chris Hemsworth and make him a star in Thor?

          I am looking forward to seeing what Pfeiffer does with her late career resurgence. She is always welcome.


  3. ladyhawke was also good too. i also forgot to mention.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve always felt like it would be much more fun to be a professional actor if you were well established as a supporting performer. Sure, you don’t get the huge paydays of the A-listers, but you also don’t have the headaches and expectations. Supporting roles are also often darker or more eccentric. You often see A-listers deliver their most natural and easy-going performances when the weight of the production is not on their shoulders. I’d love to have a career like Steve Buscemi or Dylan Baker or William H Macy’s. A natural supporting performer like Kevin Spacey actually had to recover from a stint as a lead actor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Couldn’t agree more. The lead role in most movies is almost always the most bland. The supporting roles are so much more rewarding. Pfeiffer’s in a position where she can be choosy. I imagine she’s doing Dark Shadows because she has wanted to work with Burton again since Batman Returns. And possibly it’s a plum part as well. But you can see her having a blast in Hairspray and Stardust. Those roles looked like a lot more fun than playing the pretty girl in Wolf or Ladyhawke – roles that barely tapped into Pfeiffer’s sizeable talent.


  5. pfeiffer is just as good as jodie foster.


    • Little known fact: I have met Jodie Foster. I was an extra in Little Man Tate. I nearly ran over Ms. Foster on the way to the set. Didn’t relaize who it was until I arrived on the set and saw her directing.


    • No. Walking. Lol. We couldn’t get anywhere near her outside of the club where we were shooting.

      Basically, we’d been sitting around eating donuts and drinking coffee until it was time to shoot. So when they called us to the set, I made a quick pitstop. I was in a hurry for obvious reasons and wasn’t looking where I was going. I nearly knocked over a woman in the hall. She was small, slight, had glasses and was wearing sweats. Not remotely glamorous at all.

      So I apologized and went on my way. I remember she had a very odd expression. To me, it looked like she was thinking “Is that all you’re going to say?” After the entire encounter was over, I thought, “Hey, she kind of looked like Jodie Foster…”

      Then we got to the set and there was the woman setting up the shot. Yep, it was her.

      As extras, we were under very strict orders not to talk to her, discuss her or even make eye contact with her. So, I’m probably lucky I didn’t get tossed off the set. Anyway, an hour later I got $50 and took off. There was a line to get an autographed picture, but I didn’t wait in it.

      I can be spotted in the movie for about 1 second. Right after Harry Connick Jr. hits the kid in the head with a globe, there’s a wide shot. If I remember correctly, I’m in the upper right hand corner. I’m the skinny kid with glasses.

      It was a very short 15 minutes,


  6. It’s amazing how the construct of fame makes us all into idiots. When I lived in Chicago I worked downtown on the Magnificent Mile. We had famous people come in every once in a while. Simon LeBon. Mr T. Laura San Giancoma. Lots of atheletes. Those kind of people. We all tried really hard to act like we weren’t very impressed. One day a friend and I were coming back into the store from lunch and he said “Hey, Isn’t that that guy from ‘Friends?'” It was 1994 so not everybody knew the names of the actors yet. But I did. I continued walking with my friend toward this person. As we got closer, I raised my arm and said (louder than I had intended; the in-store music was typically deafening in this place) “HEY, YOU’RE RIGHT. THAT IS MATTHEW PERRY.” I simultaneously found that I was now standing right in front of the actor and was pointing directly at his face. He made a face like he was an escaped prisoner who had been recognized and pointed out on national TV. We were both clearly mortified. I mumbled something about how I could help him with anyhing he needed in the store and immediately walked away. Less than 30 seconds later I got the nerve to scan the store and he was long gone. I hope I didn’t contribute to his later perscription drug addiction. The face-pointer. That’s me. ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lol – That’s hysterical.

      I recently reconnected with a friend of mine from middle school. I had dragged him out to see Ishtar way back when. So I see him on FB and he tells me that a few years ago he met Dustin Hoffman. He said Hoffman was extremely nice, but he just had to tell him that he had seen Ishtar in the theater. Apparently, Hoffman had a great sense of humor about it and offered to give him a refund.


  7. We’re obviously a similar age and have similar tastes because Michelle Pfeiffer has been my favourite actress ever since I saw her in Married To The Mob, although for a long time she had to share that position with Meg Ryan.
    Meg and Michelle vied for my affection throughout the late 80’s and the 1990’s and a comparison of their respective careers would definitely make for an interesting post. Although I think Meg had more range than she was given credit for, I’d have to agree with you that Michelle was the more talented of the two and it’s a tribute to that talent that Michelle has sustained her career for over 30 years in the face of mixed reviews and public indifference.
    I actually looked at her box office numbers recently and was surprised at how badly most of her films had fared and in an age obsessed and profit driven industry she’s probably lucky to keep getting decent work.
    My personal favourite Pfeiffer performances are The Fabulous Baker Boys and Frankie And Johnny, I tend to prefer slow moving character driven films, and thanks for not mentioning my least favourite Pfeiffer film I Could Never Be Your Woman, that straight to DVD turkey was definitely the low point of MP’s career.


    • Thanks for the kind words.

      Wow! I checked out your blog. You are a fan of Meg and Michelle. I compliment your taste in actresses.

      You’re right. Meg Ryan had more range than her career would suggest. Every time she tried to expand beyond “girl next door” audiences rejected it. But “When A Man Loves a Woman” showed she was capable of playing other roles even if audiences preferred to see her in romantic comedies. And while most people dismiss “Joe Vs. the Volcano”, I enjoyed her versatility playing 3 different roles to winning comic effect.

      Hmmmm… A Meg/Michelle comparison… wheels are turning…

      Pfeiffer was amazing in Fab Baker Boys. I’d say she WAS the movie, except the Bridges bros were also really great. I really need to rewatch that movie sometime soon. I’m torn on Frankie and Johnny. I thought the movie got unfairly beat up when compared to the play. And Pfeiffer is good in it even if she is kind of miscast. My problems with the movie really stem from director Gary Marshall’s Hollywood gloss. His version feels more like a sit-com whereas the play felt more real.

      I’d have a hard time picking a single favorite Pfeiffer role. The thing I liked best about her was her consistency. Regardless of the movie, you could count on her to be captivating.

      Yeah, I had to leave out I Could Never Be Your Woman.


      • A film as good as Joe Versus The Volcano should never be dismissed and I totally take your point on Frankie And Johnny. I’m often guilty of focusing on the performance of La Pfeiffer rather than the merits of her films as a whole.

        You’ve actually got my wheels turning now on a Meg/Michelle career comparison post. I’ll have to get around to that and who knows I might even present the case for Meg Ryan.


        • If you do a write-up, come back and let me know. I’m definitely interested!

          Joe Vs. the Volcano has been a pet cause of mine for years. To me, it’s criminally under-rated.

          If I were ranking them for star power, Meg Ryan would win hands down. And I think she had range she doesn’t get credit for. Whereas Pfeiffer had golden globe nominations thrown at her in an embarassment of riches. I think an argument could be made that critically, Ryan was under-rated and Pfeiffer was over-rated.

          What puts Pfeiffer over the top for me is that she generally steered clear of the banal romantic comedies that were Ryan’s bread and butter. It’s what made Ryan a bigger star. But it made Pfeiffer more interesting to watch.


      • I’ve just posted my Meg/Michelle write-up.
        I hope you get time to look at it because I’d appreciate your feedback.


      • Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys:

        Michelle Pfeiffer received her second Oscar nomination for playing Susie Diamond, a former call-girl and a singer with the Baker brothers in the movie The Fabulous Baker Boys. It’s almost 100% sure that the race in 1989 was between Tandy and Pfeiffer, they were pretty much neck and neck. Tandy had the sentimentality on her side and Pfeiffer was a huge star back then. I think she did not get much less votes than Tandy after all, but a lot of people are quite devastated because of this loss.

        The Fabulous Baker Boys is quite an average, but quite entertaining movie. I think that it’s pretty overrated, though I still liked it. I am very fond of Jeff Bridges in general, so he was an important draw for me. Although he was quite good here, I often felt that his acting was a bit forced and yet under-cooked. His brother Beau was equally good, but he did not blow my socks off, either. That’s it. One of my (actually two) favorite things about this movie is the brilliant music. First of all, the great songs, second the actual score by Dave Grusin. I could listen it on and on.

        And the other thing is Michelle Pfeiffer, who’s quite simply irresistible here, giving probably her best and most famous performance. It’s no wonder that people think that she should have won: her performance is a true standout of her pretty average movie. The whole screenplay is a bit flawed and not very accurate, but the part of Susie is brilliantly written. I felt that the film was just a reason to show Pfeiffer and let her shine, which is quite great.

        Her first scene itself makes quite an impression and really sets the tone of her whole performance: Susie is yelling and swearing because of her heels. Susie is quite weary, sarcastic, extremely impolite and a bit full of herself. But when she begins singing, my goodness, I don’t think that there’s anyone who’s not charmed by her instantly. The funny thing is that she doesn’t do that much, she simply relies on her presence and singing voice (both brilliant and extremely strong).

        Michelle mixes the comedy and the drama quite well. Actually, I don’t think that I could call it comedy, as her remarks are rather sarcastic and you can feel how weary and bitter this woman really is. Her experiences as an “escort” really made her tough and therefore wants to keep the distance. Her cold irony toward Beau Bridges’ character is quite hilarious and I love the way she delivers those lines (“It’s got more hair than you” and things like that). Susie is extremely outspoken, she doesn’t like beating around the bush and this just makes the audience love her more. She just says what everyone feels, but do not dare to say. She’s really the “what can I lose?” type.

        As I have already said, her singing is just magical. I’ve heard that Madonna was supposed to play Susie, but I don’t think that she could’ve made her as vibrant and brilliant as Michelle did. I mean it’s so natural and very lifelike when she lies down on the piano in a flaming red dress, which you really want to rip off her. There’s so much sexuality and attractiveness coming from her that it almost makes you speechless. She never shows anything, but lets you visualize everything perfectly. In short: who could resist her in the scene when she’s on the stage with Jeff Bridges (and there’s brilliant chemistry between the two)?

        The highlight of Michelle’s whole performance was a long monologue after the New Year’s Eve party at the hotel. She’s a bit drunk and opens up to Jack about her previous “escorting” experiences at other hotels. It was one of the most heartbreaking moments I have ever seen on-screen. I loved that Michelle did not work for the effect of it and rather held herself back and by this she created an incredibly realistic scene. She shows an unbelievable amount of emotions: bitterness, sadness, hope, passion, disappointment and after that the atmosphere is so damn sexual that it almost sets the screen on fire. And their kissing is so dazzling that you can feel that you’re a part of their “act”.

        But Michelle also showed how cheeky Susie becomes after success and wants to have much more part in picking places. She leaves the band eventually and leaves Jack. People love to praise her big monologue about emptiness and there’s a reason: she could have made it really theatrical and over-the-top to win the sympathy of the viewers, but she made a wisest decision to make it much more believable. She was really upsetting and devastating.

        Her strength in this movie becomes really obvious when she’s not there toward the end: I just missed her presence so much. Thankfully, she returns in the end and that short scene is just excellent: she acts embarrassed and she so brilliantly breaks the tension when starts to sing that funny little jingle. It’s so funny and sad at the same time.

        So after all I can say that I can understand what people see in this performance: it’s brilliant, strong, powerful, sexy, charming, vibrant, sad and lovable. She shows so many emotions and faces of this exciting character and created something very memorable, which continues to impress the viewers. She could have done it more easily, but it was brilliant the way it was. Easy rating.


  8. i guess you could say i’m also a big michelle pfeiffer fan as well because of the movies i liked seeing her in.


  9. Hey — nice run down of her career — but to answer the question you pose at the beginning and end of the article, and this applies to most of the people you’ve written ‘what the hell happened’ posts about, is simply that they got older. This is especially true for women.

    Hollywood, and audiences, are ageist — people want to see 25 to 35 year olds on screen. Once you hit the other side of 40, it’s either playing parents, retiring cops, or last-gasp-get-the-oldies-back-together-again-flicks.

    I think Pfeiffer is amazing, and has a lot to offer — and I’d love to see her tackling big and exciting roles, but unfortunately the privilege in this industry in terms of on screen talent lies with the younger generations.


    • You’re definitely right. Age was a major factor for just about every actress I’ve written about. Mena Suvari and Alicia Silverstone are probably the only two exceptions. For Sean Young, Winona Ryder and Elisabeth Shue, it was less of a factor. But I’m sure age contributed there as well.

      Age impacted some of the men. Kevin Costner comes to mind. But definitely less than Kathleen Turner, Meg Ryan or Michelle Pfeiffer.

      Thanks for reading!


  10. The quality of that picture of Michelle as Catwoman is amazing, it literally leaps out of the screen at me.
    I hope you don’t mind but I’ve taken the liberty of using it in my most recent post and I’ve also made a few other minor changes. Like you I always consider my posts “works in progress”.


  11. You left out that great film she did three or for years ago – co-starring Kathy Bates – about Parisienne courtesans in the Belle Epoque – I forget the name of the film, but Pfeiffer plays an aging but still beautiful courtesan in love with a young man-about-town… The film may be based on an Oscar Wilde short story??


    • That movie is Cheri and I did overlook it. I frequently skip over some movies I don’t think many readers will have heard of. Especially once the subject is off the A-List.

      What I didn’t realize is that Cheri reteams Pfeiffer with Dangerous Liaisons Director, Stephen Frears. I must now track it down and watch it.

      Thanks for the heads-up!


  12. Michelle’s Catwoman was the ONLY thing I loved about “Batman Returns” (making the Penguin a mutant freak was as bad a decision as Rob Zombie making Michael Myers white trash)-I sure hope Anne Hathaway does the role justice, as well.

    Despite its stars and director, “Wolf” is the worst werewolf film for me because it is so concerned with being more than just a horror film that it puts you to sleep rather than scares you.


    • As a Burton fan, I enjoyed a lot of his touches on Batman Returns. His take on the Penguin was not one of them. I am a big fan of Walken’s performance even if it feels out of place in the movie. I love the bit where he nonchalantly threatens to drop Selena out of a higher window. The movie is a mess, but there are a lot of highlights for me. There are an equal number of low points unfortunately.

      I remember enjoying Wolf. But I can’t bring myself to watch it again. I don’t expect I will enjoy nearly as much the second time around.

      Completely off topic, I checked out and enjoyed your blog. I need to add it to my blogroll.


      • The Dark Knight Rises Legacy: Do The Original Batman Films Still Hold Up?

        Batman Returns (1992)

        Sequels are always challenging for writers and directors to pull off. For evidence of that, you need only look at recent superhero flops like Spider-Man 3, Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, all of which all-but-killed off their respective franchises. How does Tim Burton’s follow-up Batman Returns measure up, then, twenty years on from its release?

        The director and his script writer Daniel Waters wisely choose to expand the scale of the universe for their second piece, including both the fearsome Penguin (Dannie DeVito) and the elusive Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) in their storyline. Although the actual motivations behind the former villain’s fight against Gotham are shallow and undeveloped, it’s intriguing to see a character seep into the public eye of the city as a political figure, even if the sub-plot does get resolved in a rushed manner.

        Pfeiffer does a much better job than Halle Berry in her role as Batman’s feline adversary, maintaining an ambiguous stance on justice that’s refreshing in a franchise where things can too often seem black-and-white for right and wrong. Again, Keaton shares great chemistry with his co-star, working marvelously in his role as a character conflicted by duty and romance. It’ll be interesting to compare this on-screen relationship with Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway’s when The Dark Knight Rises arrives next Friday!

        There are pacing issues here and there (it astounds me that each of these films managed only to be cut down to two hour running times), but Returns boasts a refreshing confidence and vigour in its approach to the superhero genre. I would rank this as the best entry in the classic series of Batman movies- which is a good thing, because things only go downhill from here…


    • 10 “Failures” By Famous Directors (That Are Actually Better Than You Remember):

      3. Batman Returns

      Yes, Virginia, there was a time when Batman movies were made by someone other than Christopher Nolan. The popular consensus on the ’90s Batman franchise seems to break down thusly: there was the good one (the one with Jack Nicholson), there were the stupid ones (the ones where he had nipples)…and then there was the weird one, that one where Catwoman gets licked back to life by alley cats and Danny DeVito spits black gunk out of his mouth. The sequel to 1989′s monster hit Batman, Batman Returns opened just as Tim Burton — probably the most unlikely blockbuster director in Hollywood history — was becoming a brand, to the extent that Disney was able to market The Nightmare Before Christmas using his name. Batman Returns had big expectations, and a pretty big public fallout; the film opened huge but dropped fast, reviews were mixed, and a large portion of the audience was put off by the dark tone, the wild divergences from comic book continuity, and the generally macabre nature of the imagery. (Parent’s groups boycotted McDonald’s, who had done a tie in with the film.) Batman Returns was seen as enough of a disappointment that Warner Brothers performed the drastic measure of bringing in Joel Schumacher to “lighten up” the franchise (we all know how that worked out…), and until The Dark Knight “Bruce Wayne Retires” Rises was probably the most controversial film in the entire bat-canon.

      Might I suggest, at the risk of blasphemy, that Batman Returns is actually much better than the more culturally revered Batman? Batman has great performances, yes, and a kick ass Danny Elfman score and those beautiful Bo Welch designs (beautiful enough that they fundamentally changed the look of Gotham City in the comics — no, armchair comic book historians, Gotham City was not a particularly gothic place before Welch got his hands on it); but it also has a remarkably messy script, full of unnecessary characters (hello, Alexander Knox, you walking exposition machine!), under-cooked plot lines, terrible plot turns (I don’t care if nostalgia tells you otherwise, “You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” is an awful line and the lamest possible way for Batman to figure out Joker’s identity), and a main character who never really comes into focus. (Is Batman a hero? Is he a vigilante? Is he crazy? Who cares — let’s go watch Jack Nicholson!)

      Batman Returns takes even bigger leaps in logic (if your suspension of disbelief is hard to earn…then boy howdy, are you in for a rough ride…), and lets go of whatever tenuous grasp the franchise had up until now on comic book continuity, but taken on its own, as an adaptation of the character and a film unto itself, it’s far more cohesive — and satisfying — than its predecessor. The performances are fantastic: Michelle Pfeiffer gets (no kidding) the role of a lifetime as Selina Kyle, by turns seductive, vindictive, vulnerable, crazy and charming, Danny DeVito is actually ghoulishly great as Burton’s freaky sewer mutant version of The Penguin, and Christopher Walken is given the character that perhaps best showcases all of his “Christopher Walken-isms”, corrupt tycoon Max Schreck (“Selina Kyle — yer FIRED! And Bruce Wayne…why’re you dressed up like Batman?!”). But perhaps more than all that, Batman Returns represents a next step in the evolution of its director. Burton, who had essentially started out directing live action cartoons, had begun in Edward Scissorhands to introduce darker, sadder currents, more tragic ones. Batman Returns arguably gets the balance absolutely right — this is a movie where Danny DeVito comically threatens Christopher Walken with a severed appendage (“Hiya Max, remember me?! I’m Fred’s hand!”), but it also has perhaps the most beautifully acted scene in Burton’s filmography, the dance between Selina and Bruce at the masquerade ball, where identities and intentions begin to slip and slide messily away, revealing two broken and vulnerable people. Batman Returns might just be Burton’s best film: at times comic, at times tragic, always enthralling and strange and beautiful.

      …oh, and it’s got Batman in it, too.


      • I have always been a fan of Batman Returns in spite of its many flaws. You just have to give in to it and enjoy its many strengths.

        As a movie, I can see why people don’t like it. It doesn’t hold together. As a Batman movie, it’s even more disappointing. But as a Tim Burton fever dream, it’s pretty fascinating. I just wish we could edit out most of the stuff with the Penguin. His character never worked for me.


    • 10 Best Batman Film Casting Decisions:

      5. Michelle Pfeiffer – Catwoman

      Catwoman is a character I can confess to never being fond of in both comic book and animated adaptations – perhaps it’s the indecisive nature of her origin story; was she an amnesiac flight attendant, an abused wife, an African American prostitute or the daughter of mafia boss Carmine Falcone? Characters such as Robin/Dick Grayson, The Joker, Two Face and Mr Freeze have fantastic backstories – steeped in iconography – each explored by fantastic writers in such adaptations as ‘The Killing Joke’, ‘The Long Halloween’, ‘Dark Victory’ and for Freeze; the unforgettable Paul Dini-penned animated episode ‘Heart of Ice’. Catwoman on the other hand, is the only prominent figure in Batman’s rogues gallery that a fan might have trouble defining – even in the otherwise brilliant Jeph Loeb’s novels, I found the character’s cheesy, flirtatious quips lost amongst the fascinating overarching conflict of organised crime versus the criminally insane – generally speaking, Selina Kyle’s subplot just wasn’t very interesting.

      For me, personally, the only successful rendition of Catwoman’s origin is that presented in ‘Batman Returns’ – Selina Kyle; a bookish secretary – violently assaulted by her boss, Max Shrek; the character is mentally and physically ‘pushed over the edge’. Michelle Pfeiffer’s portrayal of the femme fatale is perhaps the most disturbing example of mental scarring in any film of the Batman series – the dramatic scene where Selina trashes her apartment after a plunge from her boss’s top-story office; the image of the crazed woman taking objects sacred to the ‘old’ Selina Kyle – for instance; the fluffy soft toys that represent her previous, girly-innocence and adherence to societal norms met by the unhinged Kyle’s kitchen knife, is one an audience cannot help but find disturbing. Much like Edward Norton’s conflicted character in ‘Fight Club’ – the dull, mild-mannered, office worker rebels against her capitalistic enslavement – tearing apart the consumerist items that constructed ‘Selina Kyle’ in a state of psychological breakdown; utilizing the remnants to construct a new persona – a concept that is presented on screen as she stitches together a costume from the remains of an old black raincoat.

      This outfit becomes a ‘second’ skin and with a new found sense of sexuality, violence, bound with nihilism – she becomes the very opposite of the formerly introverted Selina Kyle – a slinky creature of the night, known only as ‘Catwoman’. Pfieffer’s ability to convincingly play both Selina Kyle and Catwoman is extremely impressive; even her appearance as the post-transformation Selina is dramatically altered. With dark make-up under her eyes, that contrast her snow-white complexion, connote an illness brooding inside her – in this case, mental sickness; evident as her blue eyes flutter, or the manner in which her body swaggers uncontrollably through the streets of Gotham – the beast inside her has seized control. Her cat-suit complete with a whip, references ‘kinky’ sexual deviancies – violent sex – sadistic aspects of a personality everyday people hide from the public; further empathizing ‘the beast within’ – in many ways, this makes Pfieffer’s Catwoman a more threatening adversary than DeVito’s Penguin. With Gotham’s waddling bird of prey – what you see, is essentially, what you get – with Selina Kyle, her alluring appearance lulls men into underestimating her potential for violence; her insane unpredictability makes her one of Batman’s greatest onscreen enemies – thus Michelle Pfieffer earns her place as fifth best casting choice.


      • What if Tim Burton returned to direct a third ‘Batman’ film?

        After the first “Batman” film became a pop culture touchstone, Warner Bros. handed the keys of the franchise over completely to Tim Burton who followed up with a much darker “Batman Returns” in 1992. That film featured stunning production design and an awards worthy Michelle Pfeiffer as the best Catwoman ever (don’t even try to argue anyone else). Unfortunately, Burton went overboard in his vision of the classic Batman villain the Penguin. Danny DeVito was great casting, but the character was plain gross, scared children and dragged the entire film down whenever he appeared on screen. Happily, “Returns” was still a hit, but Warner Bros. was so concerned about the reaction that they insisted the third film be lighter and more commercially friendly (if not kid friendly). That meant Burton was out and he was relegated to an “executive producer” title as he moved on to other projects. Eventually Michael Keaton left the third film as well after director Joel Schumacher came on board and the role was recast with…blonde Val Kilmer. But, what if Warner Bros. and Burton came to an agreement on the proper tone for the third picture? History would have been much different as we ask:

        Three things we predict would have happened:

        2. The long rumored ‘Catwoman’ (Michelle Pfeiffer) spin-off movie would actually have happened. If Burton was back in the fold there was no way a solo “Catwoman” movie would have died in development. “Catwoman” would have hit theaters in 1996, a year after “Batman 3.” It isn’t a smash on the level of the “Batman” films, but it’s still makes back to back blockbusters for Pfeiffer after “Dangerous Minds” the year before. It also means she has to turn down “Up Close & Personal” (whew) and extends her A-list status to the end of the Century. Sadly, we can’t predict a reboot featuring Halle Berry doesn’t end up happening with the following decade (revisionist history isn’t always that rosy).

        Did history work out for the best?
        Aside from the potential train wreck of a “Superman Lives” movie and missing out on Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy, absolutely not. You can argue not one of the major players in “Batman Returns” benefited from Burton not coming back for the third film. Burton himself had the successful “Sleepy Hollow,” but hasn’t made a good movie outside of the stop-motion animated “Corpse Bride” in 2006. Michael Keaton career tanked after he followed Burton out the door, Michelle Pfeiffer had two real hits (“Dangerous Minds,” “What Lies Beneath”) over 15 years until a supporting role in 2007’s hit “Hairspray” and you could argue Joel Schumacher dug his own grave following studio guidelines with “Batman Forever” and the insanely horrible “Batman and Robin.” So, yes, fans lost out as well. Plus, George Clooney would have also skipped over “Batman and Robin” (the worst decision of his illustrious career). Burton’s third “Batman” movie may not have been as blatantly commercial as what Schumacher delivered, but at least it would have had a vision behind it. The only person you can say truly benefited from Burton leaving the franchise was Seal. He had the biggest hit of his career with “Kiss From A Rose” off the “Forever” soundtrack. If Burton was on board? Probably wouldn’t have even made the album.


  13. I wonder if Michelle Pfeiffer is one of the biggest stars who really ever only succeeded with supporting roles or as parts of ensembles. I do think the big weakness in her star power resume is having no demonstrated ability to open a picture as the sole star. One could argue that Dangerous Minds which she starred in was no small success, but it still was an ensemble cast in its own way. She never really had that one breakout starring role like Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock where both critics, audiences and the awards circuit loved her all at the same time. Pfeiffer’s resume still looks less like a movie star’s resume and more like a “serious actress’s” resume. What I think she lacks is magnetism on a personality level. She’s got the looks and she’s got the talent, but she doesn’t have the infectious likability of a Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, etc. She is somehow colder and less emotionally accessible. One could say the same about Charlize Theron, which I think is why both her and Pfeiffer have had success at playing villains, something that those warm, cuddly, likable actresses would never be able to pull off.


    • I think you are right on the money here. I love Michelle Pfeiffer, but she doesn’t have the big audience-pleasing smile of Roberts or Bullock. Bullock, Ryan and Roberts were in a class by themselves.

      I never thought about the similarities between Pfeiffer and Theron, but I think you’re on to something there.


  14. If you switched their careers and had Michelle Pfeiffer play all of Meg Ryan’s parts, and vice-versa, who would have done a better job?

    Meg wouldn’t have nailed any of Michelle’s serious parts (“The Age Of Innocence,” “White Oleander,” “Dangerous Liaisons”), and I can’t imagine her pulling off the role of Susie Diamond in The Fabulous Baker Boys. She definitely would have taken Dangerous Minds and the role of Selina Kyle/Catwoman somewhere (maybe not to the same heights, but somewhere). And I think she matches anything else.

    But Pfeiffer with Meg Ryan’s parts? None of the comedy roles would have worked. “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail” wouldn’t have worked. She couldn’t have played the young Sally Albright. She probably could have handled the love interest parts and most of the fantasy/whimsy such as Prelude to a Kiss and Joe vs The Volcano, but the only movie she would have improved was “Proof of Life.” It just wouldn’t have worked as well as Meg with Michelle’s career.


    • First, I love your screen name! Now into the valcano with you!

      I have a hard time imagining Meg Ryan as Catwoman. But I would love to see it. I would also love to see Ryan in the Glenn Close role in Dangerous Liaisons. I don’t know why, but I think she could pull it off. Not as well as Close did, but better than most people would think.

      As soon as I get my time machine working, I’m going to go back and guide Meg through a more successful career. That would be the best use of a time machine, don’t you think?

      I think you might be selling Pfieffer a little short. I think she could pull off rom coms. They just would have had a different vibe. I definitely agree Meg is better suited though.

      In a weird way, Pfieffer may have been too gorgeous to be believable as a love interest for someone like Billy Crystal. Meg Ryan was certainly beautiful too. But she had a girl next door quality that allowed you to accept her being in love with a guy like Crystal. Pfeiffer, not so much.

      If you haven’t already, be sure to stop by Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies. You’ll love it.


      • You’re right, I wasn’t being fair to Michelle.
        For all the appeal of the rom-com sisterhood of Julia, Meg and Sandra if you’re talking about range it’s Pfeiffer in a walk, mainly because she could throw anything at you. Deadpan Pfeifer, Mobster Moll Pfeiffer, Quiet waitress Pfeiffer, Intense Pfeiffer, Crazy Catwoman Pfeiffer, Killer Pfeiffer, Sexy Pfeiffer and so on.
        There was never really Funny Pfeiffer. The closest she came was when Norah Ephron auditioned both Pfeiffer and Ryan for the part of Annie Reed when she was casting “Sleepless in Seattle”. Pfeiffer initially won out, but then got cold feet.
        Having said all that, trapped here on a desert island, if I had the chance to import all of Pfeiffer’s movies or all of Ryan’s movies, I reckon I’d still choose Meg. As much as I’d find it difficult to live without “Batman Returns” and “The Fabulous Baker Boys”, I’d find it even harder to live without that Ryan smile.
        Long live the Waiponee!


        • I am going to have to think about that desert island question…

          You’re right that Pfeiffer has always been the more versatile. That’s why I have always stated a preference for her as an actress. And yet, I don’t find myself watching very many of her movies today. On the other hand, I’m not sure I could go without When Harry Met Sally or Joe Vs. the Volcano indefinitely.

          I did not realize Pfeiffer had been cast in Sleepless over Ryan. Boggles the mind.


  15. When you do get your time machine working save me a seat, because I’m intrigued by your notion of Meg Ryan playing the Glenn Close role in Dangerous Liaisons.

    An unsympathetic role like that, a year before America found its sweetheart in When Harry Met Sally could have set Meg on a totally different career path, and a head-to-head between two of the then, hottest starlets in Hollywood could have been combustible.
    Although if I remember correctly the Close and Pfeiffer characters never share the screen.

    P.S. As always thanks for the link love,


    • I can’t think of a better co-pilot for Mission: Meg. We could make a stop by 1993 to see if we could bring more attention to Flesh and Bone too.

      Always happy to send folks to your site. In fact, I’ll be trying to do some more of that shortly…


      • I’ve been waiting for news of mission Meg, but it’s been awfully quite over here the past couple of weeks.
        Is everything all right?


        • Thanks for the concern.

          It’s a combination of things. Truth is, I did get some bad news recently. My dad is sick. His prognosis is good. But it has weighed on my mind. Mostly, I’ve been busy. Work has been unusually steady for this time of year (which is good in that it allows me to earn extra $, but bad in terms of blogging.) My computer is in the shop, so I am relying on my wife’s laptop being available. Also, and much more sunny, we had a weekend getaway for Josie’s last soccer tournament with her old team.

          I keep hoping things will slow down a little.


      • daffystardust

        Sorry to hear about your dad. Hope all goes as well as it can.
        Things are kind of goofy here, too, also resulting in very limited computer access. Hopefully that’ll get remedied soon.


        • Thanks. For now, we don’t know much. I don’t blog much about my personal life beyond Disney trips, etc. But I’ll definitely keep you guys updated as we get through this. The prognosis is good, so we’re all staying positive.

          A few weeks ago, my desk top blew up on me. This has left me with limited access as well. I can sometimes blog at work, but work has been too busy for that lately. I can use my wife’s lap top. But it has quirks of its own and isn’t always at my disposal. I have actually gone to the library to write an article or two.

          The guys who are working on my laptop aren’t in any hurry. I told them I was in no rush, so it’s not their fault. They are friends, so I went to them even though I knew they had a backlog. I’d rather go with someone who I can trust even if it takes a while.

          Hopefully, we can both get back into posting sooner rather than later.


  16. I actually think it’s VERY SIMPLE why Michelle’s career declined: Her 5 year hiatus (yes, FIVE YEARS) after White Oleander. She must have known it would harm her career. Michelle should have been capitalizing on the success of What Lies Beneath (the biggest hit of her career) at that time. But no, she decided to take 5 years off. That is not good for ANY actor/actress’s career, no matter what their age is. Had Michelle not taken 5 years off, she may possibly be in Sandra Bullock’s position right now.

    By the way, can you do a “What the hell happened to Demi Moore?” thread? Between 1990 and 1994 her movies grossed over $1.3 BILLION, and in 1995 she became the highest-paid actress of all time. Her 2 last major roles were Striptease and G.I. Jane. These movies were NOT box office flops like everyone says. They both made around $100 million. They underperformed considering all the hype, but they were not flops. So how did Demi go from being Hollywood’s highest-paid actress to having a virtually nonexistant film career? That’s what I’d like to see theorized in a page like this.


    • 20 Worst Trailers That Secretly Ruined The Movie:

      12. What Lies Beneath

      The Spoilers: Michelle Pfeiffer investigates what she thinks is the ghost of a neighbor. Lucky the trailer is here to explain that, really, it’s the woman that hubby Harrison Ford had an affair with.

      How They Should’ve Sold It: Robert Zemeckis sure didn’t give a monkey’s about spoiling his movies in 2000. Maybe he should’ve hired a more discreet trailer editor.


    • I’ve been thinking about if there’s anyway to compare or contrast Michelle’s career w/ Kim Basinger’s. Both of course played Michael Keaton’s love interest in a Batman movie. Both failed to properly capitalize off of their biggest successes (in Kim’s case, the movies that she did immediately following “Batman” and later, following her Oscar win). This coincides with them mysteriously going on multi-year hiatuses from film.

      Both were eventually relegated to having to co-star w/ Zac Efron (in “Charlie St. Cloud” and “New Year’s Eve”). More to the point, they’ve pretty much been downgraded to mostly supporting players. None the less, both Kim and Michelle have seemingly been seeking out work w/ people partially responsible for their biggest successes.

      Granted, Michelle Pfeiffer’s career arc isn’t as entertaining a read (from a trainwreck perspective) as Kim Basinger’s. And you can argue that at their respective peaks, Michelle was a bigger star/box office draw than Kim.


  17. Speaking of Pfeiffer, her latest film People Like Us bombed more than anyone expected, grossing $4.3 million on more than 2,000 screens on its opening week.
    That’s a very poor per-theater average, but it’s also a slight surprise given the extensive marketing for the film that led me to hope it could be a modest success amidst all the big-budget, big-star films.
    Sadly,I was wrong, as were Dreamworks, and the film was off the film world’s radar in a matter of two weeks.

    That must be a blow to Michelle, who’s been working extremely hard to re-invent herself as a supporting actress. I just hope she fairs better in her next project, playing a Mafia wife alongside De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones in Luc Besson’s Malavita.


  18. I agree. Pfeiffer works whenever she wants. She is happily married to a wealthy man and I think she’s just out enjoying life away from the screen.


  19. I love that you are adding these, it’s been a while since I was last on your blog and I was suprised!


    • I’m happy to surprise.

      It’s been a busy year and that kept me from taking on big articles. Instead, I was pushing out quick hits when I had time. But these are the most popular articles on the site by far. So eventually I decided my time would be better spent on the content everyone was demanding. I have gone back and updated/cleaned-up all the original articles. And now, I am working on new ones. The next one should be up sometime in the next week.


  20. Pfeiffer’s doing well. Yeah, she’s had a coupe straight-to-video’s, but that’s no longer the death sign it used to be. Even Halle Berry, an Oscar winner, had a film go straight to video recently and she’s still considered an A-list star. Natalie Portman, Bruce Willis, and Catherine Zeta-Jones also had straight-to-videos recently yet still have some major roles lined up.

    Pfeiffer made a few bad choices. Like A Thousand Acres – pointless. She probably did it just to work with the great Jessica Lange, and stars should never take roles that are beneath them just for the opportunity to “work with” whoever they admire.

    The 5 yr break hurt her, obviously, but she knew what she was doing. Frankly she didn’t miss out on much. The roles she turned down during her hiatus were the Meg Ryan role in “Against the Ropes”, the witch in The Chronicles of Narnia that Tilda Swinton played, Marcia Gay Harden’s role in Mystic River, and Virginia Madsen’s role in A Prairie Home Companion. None of these would have done anything for her career and she still would have ended up doing the straight-to-video’s – which aren’t even that bad, “I Could Never Be Your Woman” and “Personal Effects” were more enjoyable that some of her ‘big’ films.


  21. I want to single out “Wolf.” Though not her vehicle it is one of my favorite movies she’s been in.

    Did you notice that she was made up to look unusally plain and frumpy in The Witches of Eastwick? She was such a young beauty that the director must not have wanted her to distract the audience from the significantly older and less attractive Sarandon and Cher. There was miscasting somewhere in there.


    • Aside from What Lies Beneath, I think Wolf was the last Michelle Pfeiffer film I actually enjoyed watching.
      I certainly prefer it to the melodramas she churned out year after year in the latter part of the 90’s. so much so, I’ve actually disposed of several of those films from my DVD collection.
      I posted The Deep End of the Ocean to a Michelle pfan from Indonesia and I was so irritated by I am Sam when I tried to watch it recently, I threw the disc straight in the bin, never to be recovered!
      I’ve still got The Witches of Eastwick though, and after reading Keith’s comment I might have a look at it again. The only thing I remember about Michelle’s character Sukie Ridgemont was that she was a widow and had about six children.
      Maybe her blonde witch can put render me spellbound again?


      • Slowly but surely, you have been turning me into a Ryan fan. I never saw that coming.

        Witches is an extremely flawed movie. Especially the cartoonish ending. But I think it’s worth revisiting largely for Pfeiffer.


    • I have only seen Wolf once or twice. That was back when it was in theaters. I haven’t watched it again since. I remember enjoying it. But I have always been afraid to rewatch it. I’m not sure how it would hold up.

      On Witches of Eastwick, she was sick a lot of the time. I think frumping her up a bit was at least partially in keeping with her character. But there may have been other reasons as you pointed out. Cher and Sarandon were stars and Pfeiffer was not. I remember being very taken with Pfeiffer the first time I watched Witches.


  22. Pretty Woman
    Thelma and Louise
    The Silence of the Lambs
    Basic Instinct
    Double Jeopardy

    Some of the high profile films Michelle has turned down.

    Would love to have seen Michelle take on Silence of the Lambs but apparently she found the script too violent. Evita was supposed to be done with Oliver Stone but then Michelle was heavily pregnant. Michelle chose to film The Story of Us instead of Double Jeopardy which didnt turn out too well as TSOU bombed at the box office.

    Looking forward to seeing Michelle working with Luc Besson in Malavita.


    • A lot of people turned down Silence of the Lambs for the violence. I actually think in most of those films the part went to the right actress. Although Pfeiffer in Evita would have been cool. And Double Jeopardy, eh, who cares. That movie was dumb anyway. Granted, it would have been a bigger movie than The Story of Us which was an embarassing flop. But I am not sure DJ would have been as big of a hit without Judd. At the time, Judd had kind of established herself as the go-to actress for these kinds of cheap thrillers.

      I am also looking forward to Pfeiffer’s future work. I actually think she’s sitting pretty right now.


  23. BabyfacedAssassin

    I thought she was headed toward supporting roles/ensemble territory as well but the fact that her next two upcoming films feature her as the female lead changed my mind…

    Was also surprised to discover that she recently bought the film rights to produce and star in the adaptation of the best-selling novel, The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus, according to author Sonia Sones’ official Twitter page.

    She’s said that now that her kids are in college, she wants to just focus her energy on work…the hiatus, the “limited release” films and the supporting ensemble parts have all been, by her own admission, the result of her wanting to only work part-time.

    Now that her son is college-bound, she’s ready to work more frequently… At least that’s what her slate of upcoming projects


    • I’ll be interested to see how successful her comeback turns out to be. I thought it was pretty amazing she was able to come back to the extent she did with the supporting roles. I don’t think she has much of a chance of recapturing her A-list status. But it will be good to see her in leading roles again.


  24. I would like to add to the white oleander part of pfeiffer career. The film was a small dramamade for 15 million dollars, It good good reviews. If you check on imdb pfeiffer was nominated and won a few critics awards for this including a screenactors guild nomination for best supporting actress and winning best supporting actress at the Kansas city film cticits circle awards and the dandiego film critics awards. She was also nominated for a Washington dc film critics awards.


  25. Boy, they can be really uncivil over there!

    I think Pfeiffer still has some clout. Is she A-list? No way. Back in the day, her involvement could get a major motion picture greenlit. Those days are over.

    I do agree that there is nothing wrong with that. But “major player”? No.


    • The term A-list doesn’t mean what it used to, sure. But I wouldn’t say it is meaningless. There are still actresses who are A-list. Sandra Bullock is definitely one. Scarlett Johansson is debatable. Meryl Streep is A-list. Arguably Reese Witherspoon and Charlize Theron. Maybe Emma Stone.

      As for Pfeiffer, it’s not just a matter of what she turned down. If she had been actively working, it could have resulted in projects that never got made. Or some of those parts she did turn down could have been big hits with her name attached. It’s impossible to say what might have been. Ryan in Against the Ropes was a bomb. But Pfeiffer might have had a Dangerous Minds-sized hit. (I doubt it, but maybe).

      I’m not sure you can count WLB. It was marketed as a Harrison Ford picture even though Pfeiffer had the main role. Outside of that movie, her career was in a slide.


    • Streep’s definitely an exception. But she is currently an A-lister. I don’t expect she’ll hold on to that for all that long. But what a remarkable career she has had!

      I’d say Theron is on the cusp. She can get a project greenlit. Is she a box office draw on her own? Not really. Johannson’s about the same. There was a time when I would have considered actresses of their standing B-list. But today, they are as close to A-list as it gets. Movies just aren’t as star-driven as they used to be.

      WLB could have been the beginning of something for Pfeiffer. But she didn’t capitalize on it. Instead, she took a break and by the time she came back that momentum was lost.

      I’m not nearly as pessimistic as you are on the future of Hollywood. Movies have survived a lot. They thrived during the Great Depression. They survived the fall of the studio system and the invention of TV. The industry is definitely in a state of flux. And many of the changes aren’t ones I consider positive. But the sky isn’t falling. Hollywood will live on.

      There’s no denying that stars aren’t as impotant as they used to be. In the 80s and 90s, movies were primarily star driven. These days, movies are sold on concepts. Now that CGI lets you create The Hulk, it’s not so important who place Bruce Banner. Plus, there’s a new breed of celebrities who don’t do anything. Instead of obsessing about stars, fans follow the Real Housewives and Teen Moms of the world.

      But I don’t see the shrinking of stars as all that big of a problem for the industry. They need to be worried about how they can offer an experience that competes with the home theater experience. 3-D isn’t the answer.


  26. Am I the only one who feels compelled to check the year on my calendar every time I see a “Bullet to the Head” commercial? I bet you could send that movie 20 years back in time without anyone blinking.


    • I think that is the appeal. Stallone’s fans would turn back the clock in a heartbeat. A lot of them are still living in the Cold War.

      I’ll be surprised if the movie does half as well as The Expendables. But fortunately for Stallone, Swcharzenegger set a very low bar with The Last Stand. No matter what happens, Stallone should come out okay.

      I suspect I’ll be writing up my What the Hell Happened to Slyvster article sooner rather than later.


  27. Hey lebeau, did you know that Val Kilmer once had a relationship with Michelle Pfeiffer?

    They actually appeared together onscreen in an 1985 ABC Afterschool Special called “One Too Many” which was directed by Michelle’s husband at the time, Peter Horton, “Gary” from Thirtysomething.
    If you’re thinking ‘why the hell were they doing a TV special?’ you’ll have to remember at the time they both were mere beginners. Pfeiffer had only Scarface (1983) as a true calling card and Kilmer had made but one movie, the spoof Top Secret. Ladyhawke (1985) and Top Gun (1986) would speed up their careers soon after.
    Anyway…That’s not the point. Not only did Val date Michelle but he also wrote a poem about her, featured in his self-published book My Edens After Burns (1987),the poem was called ‘The Pfeiffer Howls at the Moon’.
    His relationship with La Pfeiffer pre-dated her stint in Wolf by ten years, meaning Val Kilmer is psychic!
    I’d love to read his poem but guess what? The book has been known to sell for as much $1200!!


    • Hey Paul! Thanks for dropping in.

      I actually added this info to the Kilmer article earlier this year. I’m planning to include it in this article as soon as I get around to updating it. I remember watching that TV movie back in the day. The Kilmer article includes a clip if you’re interested.

      Great stuff.


    • It’s surreal that Michelle Pfeiffer played Catwoman and also during her career, appeared on screen w/ three different actors who played Bruce Wayne/Batman (four if you count “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” w/ Christian Bale). She was also in “Wolf” and “The Witches of Eastwick” w/ Jack Nicholson, which meant that Catwoman and the Joker were on screen together but not in an actual Batman movie.


  28. Enjoyed this writeup of a talented actress. Have to be up front, I am a huge fan both of Michelle’s, and Heather Locklear. Partly, I relate to the age group, younger than Baby boom but older than Gen X. Partly they are just again, talented and light up the screen in whatever project they are in. And also the whole, slinky gown-or-washcloth sized skirt wearing, piano singing, stomp-all-over-the-men-but-they-love-it attitude. This may not resonate well with some… but I mean it in a very positive way, that women don’t have to be victims, in life or on screen. It’s like, a sex symbol with guts and intelligence. Even if every movie Michelle made is not a hit, it is always fun to watch her and I would argue she is permanent A-list. NYE was not a great movie, AGREED, but she was one of the few bright spots. I’d like to see Heather get back onscreen doing more movies like “The Perfect Man.”


  29. From Comic To Pfeiffer’s Cat:


    Putting it simply, you could say the Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman is essentially a combination of the Golden Age and Pre-Zero Hour versions from the comics. Her origin/revenge narrative is adapted from Catwoman: Her Sister’s Keeper, but her personality displays many traits of the Pre-Crisis Catwoman.


  30. To follow this up, I was also told that at Michelle’s age she unfortunately, can’t really play the lead love interest and be a huge box office draw (which is kind of the main point of this whole WTHHT discussion) anymore. To put things in proper perspective, a younger generation who weren’t as acquainted w/ Michelle Pfeiffer when compared to her 1980s-’90s prime. I think this is were the whole factor of Michelle taking a five year hiatus in the 2000s serves as a negative impact on her career as an A-list star.

    Another argument that I’ve since heard is that the type of movies that Michelle made when she was “in demand” or in her prime are no longer being made. Instead, studios are much more focused on big-budget franchises (which I think is a bit ironic, since Catwoman in the original, 1989-1997, tentpole Batman film franchise is one of her most iconic, best known roles). So in other words, why should Michelle work when she does not have to.


    • You’ve nailed the reasons for Michelle’s current predicament perfectly.
      I’ve come to realise the young people who make up the majority of today’s cinema going public barely know who Michelle Pfeiffer is. Or else they associate her with turkeys such as New Year’s Eve and Dark Shadows.

      Your second argument is equally valid. As one of the Pfeiffer obsessives who frequents my site put it:
      ” Batman Returns contains much more campy than realistically depicted violence. Max Shreck’s demise is jolting but wonderfully campy. Michelle played campy as another layer of Selina Kyle’s angry complexity. I find Michelle’s treatment of the complicated Catwoman in Burton’s movie to be on another level from the Selina Kyle who whispers into Bruce Wayne’s ear the prediction of the hyperkinetic action that follows. The times have changed even further and non-stop violence and action is what is required to gain the attention of the moviegoer and the awards judges. Michelle plays characters whose depth can’t be revealed while banking a futuristic motorcycle around a sharp bend while the machine guns are concomitantly blazing.”


      • Didn’t Michelle openly admit that she doesn’t have any instinct for what will be a hit. For example, she only did “Batman Returns” because she loved the character of Catwoman, not because of any commercial sense. And in her prime, she turned down “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Thelma and Louise” back-to-back! Incidentally, the Oscar frontrunners that year were Jodie Foster and Susan Sarandon, with Foster the winner.


    • Whatever happened to Michelle Pfeiffer?

      And not to sound like some old fart pining for the golden days of Hollywood – I mean, yawn – but what happened to Michelle Pfeiffer, Harrison Ford, Debra Winger, Julia Roberts? They used to make lots of good movies, and do good box office. Sure some of the movies are duds (that’s you, Mary Reilly), and some are really good. Are they too old? Julia Roberts is my age. Is the entertainment world really revolving around Miley Cyrus and those Twilight kids? Holy crap, shoot me now.


    • 20 Actors Who Need To Make A Comeback:

      14. Michelle Pfeiffer

      Pfeiffer had a mini-comeback with Hairspray and Stardust (which she was the best thing about), but aside from being underused in Tim Burton’s desecration of Dark Shadows, Pfeiffer’s second career passed her by. This is probably because almost all of the “woman of a certain age” roles are going to Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver and Barbra Streisand (who was designed to play a Jewish mother). Nicole Kidman gets everything else. In a perfect world where leprechauns dance in the sky and all the Kardashians are infertile, Pfeiffer would have reprised her role as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. Tell me Catwoman as a cougar wouldn’t have been awesome.


  31. I wonder if Michelle’s career as LeBeau argued started to cool in the early 2000s, in part because she kept doing as LeBeau pointed out all of these melodramatic, Lifetime Channel or “Oprah’s Book Club” type of films. In other words, much of her films seemed to be targeted heavily to female audiences and not stuff w/ more mass appeal like “Batman Returns” or “What Lies Beneath”. I think something like “Dangerous Minds” worked or was successful was because it was more youth oriented (people saw Michelle, who played the “cool teacher” in “Dangerous Minds”, in the Coolio video on MTV, which in itself was a big hit song) rather than something that you’re mom would generally be more interested.


    • I think that was a big, big part of it. Early in her career, Pfeiffer was beautiful, quirky, exotic and cool. But later, she gravitated towards movies that were supposed to be “important” but looked like homework. Eventually, she became beautiful but boring.


    • it’s an interesting point you guys are making, there are definitely different audiences. Case in point, you were probably bored by “One Fine Day” but for those of us who wear Mom jeans, it was a enjoyable, well-acted movie with the excellent pairing of Clooney with Pfeiffer.


      • I have to admit I STILL haven’t watched One Fine Day. Although I don’t think that was a part of the problem as much as movies like White Oleander. One Fine Day was a chick flic, but it was also a piece of mainstream entertainment. A lot of Pfeiffer’s dramas in the early 2000’s felt like a chore. A lot of actresses at the time were churning out book adaptations no one wanted to see. They flooded the boring movie market.

        Interestingly enough, Pfeiffer never really went the rom com route. She did comedies. She did romantic movies. But One Fine Day was her only “rom com”. I don’t think the genre suited her as much as it did Meg Ryan. Pfeiffer was too exotic (some say cold) for a genre that prefers the “girl next door” type.


  32. Whatever Happened to Michelle Pfeiffer’s Career?

    By Edward Margulies from Mr Showbiz

    Remember Michelle Pfeiffer? Lanky blond goddess, equally capable of nailing roles virginal (Dangerous Liaisons), wifely (Married to the Mob), and seductive (The Fabulous Baker Boys)? Her long rise to the top, which began with a forgotten TV series in the late ’70s (Delta House), reached its peak in 1992 with her world-class performance as a frustrated frump whose alter ego is the comic, dangerous, and sensual Catwoman in Batman Returns. It’s hard to believe that Pfeiffer wasn’t first choice for that part, so perfectly did she bring it roaring to life. It makes me wonder: if initial selection Annette Bening had portrayed Catwoman as orginally planned, would Pfeiffer today be starring in edgy work like American Beauty?

    In any event, since Batman Returns, Pfeiffer’s been making terrible career choices. OK, I can see how The Age of Innocence might have looked good on paper — and after all, actors jump through hoops to work with Martin Scorsese — but Pfeiffer lost round one to her scene-stealing coiffure, and never recovered. What was she thinking when reading awful-scripts-destined-to-be-awful-movies like Wolf, Dangerous Minds, Up Close and Personal, or To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday? Sure, some box-office loot came in, but every one of these flicks offered her a less likely role than the previous one had. She tried harder in One Fine Day, but the movie only served to show that she and George Clooney were no Doris Day and Rock Hudson or, for that matter, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.

    Then came A Thousand Acres, a fetid farmland retelling of King Lear, which was at best unintentionally uproarious, as when Pfeiffer and Jessica Lange, two of the screen’s great, complicated beauties, made like heartland hicks, dishing heavy exposition while folding sheets — no doubt they were Method folding, having long observed their housekeepers doing same. Of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the less said the better, and the same goes for Pfeiffer’s recent foray into such blubbering, sudsy sagas as The Deep End of the Ocean and The Story of Us. The latter underwhelms those I’ve spoken to. “I can’t blame them for wanting to make a Two for the Road movie about the difficulty of staying married,” says one veteran producer. “But Rob Reiner, Bruce Willis, and Michelle Pfeiffer aren’t exactly Stanley Donen, Albert Finney, and Audrey Hepburn. Reiner’s recent movies, like those of Ron Howard and Penny Marshall, suffer from sitcom mentality — to distract from plots that don’t hold together, there’s always a cutesy humorous touch waiting around every corner.”

    One entertainment analyst offers, “The Story of Us makes it obvious that Michelle Pfeiffer is in desperate need of better scripts. What good is it being married to David Kelley if you can’t get your pick of his scripts?” However, since To Gillian was a Kelley project, perhaps he’s not the solution to Pfeiffer’s career problems. There are other solutions, as one longtime casting director indicates when she says, “It’s difficult to see Pfeiffer on Kelley’s arm at every major TV awards show without thinking that perhaps she’s ready to pull a Jane Fonda and just retire from acting altogether.” After all, what’s ahead? Co-starring with Harrison Ford in the upcoming Amityville Horror-esque thriller What Lies Beneath, I’m afraid. Sadly, the time is long past for Pfeiffer to cash in her Catwoman chip and grab movie audiences back with her most alluring creation (just as Sharon Stone has similarly waited too long with Basic Instinct 2). There’s still TV to consider but the trick, Michelle, is in knowing when to get off. Say what you will about Candice Bergen and Cybill Shepherd, but both knew to when to quit movies — and both reinvented themselves on hit TV comedies.


  33. Pfeiffer is often criticised for having made unwise choice and for turning down roles in successful movies (Pretty Woman; Basic Instinct; Sleepless in Seattle; Thelma & Louise), however reading this post makes you wonder how many other actress in the last 30 years have done what Pfeiffer has done. Really, she had a very remarkable carreer. Very few actress of her generation have done what she has done, and her carreer spawned for something like almost 20 years, which is very rare. Probabily only Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman had a more sucessful carreer than Pfeiffer among actress of her generation.


    • And let’s not forget, Baker Boys was really more of an iconic role for her than Catwoman. She should have won the Oscar for Best Actress…IMO….. but Driving Miss Daisy was formidable competition. I remember an interview from the time where she talked about taking voice lessons for her role as Susie Diamond. Pfeiffer put a lot of work into it, not under any illusions about being a gifted singer but about learning enough to sing in the movie, which was impressive since voice dubs were so commonly used, and that she was eventually able to “relax and interpret the song” (her words, which I still remember).


    • I don’t put much stock in criticizing actors and actresses for the roles they turned down. Part of what made those films successful was who starred in them. Those movies may not have been successful with Pfeiffer in the roles she turned down.

      It’s fun to wonder what might have been. But it’s also kind of pointless.


    • Why Michelle Pfeiffer Probably Won’t and Probably Shouldn’t Do “American Horror Story”

      1) Pfeiffer doesn’t do television. She doesn’t even dabble. Pfeiffer ascended in 1988 (Tequila Sunrise, Married to the Mob, and Dangerous Liaisons all arrived within five months of each other catapulting the rising star of Witches of Eastwick to the A list with three moderate hits and her first significant awards attention) and since then she has appeared on television just once. In 1995 she filmed a cameo for “Picket Fences” as a surprise for her somewhat new (at the time) husband, TV giant David E Kelley.

      2) Pfeiffer doesn’t like the macabre. In the long long history of stars who’ve turned down soon-to-be iconic roles, Pfeiffer’s pass on “Clarice Starling” for Silence of the Lambs (1991) is a biggie. She was at the peak of her career when the role was offered by her then recent collaborating director who publicly gushed about her (Jonathan Demme). But she passed because the project was too gruesome. Only in the perfect 20/20 of hindsight, if we’re being honest, does the decision look dumb. It’s not like cannibal-centric serial killer dramas about FBI agents who find heads in jars and get cum in their hair screams Oscars and all-time classic, you know?

      3) Replacements Casts / Shark Jumping. The third reason is not why she’ll say “no” but why I think she probably should if the gig is offered. Sure Pfeiffer could use the recognition (let’s call it a remembrance) that she’s one of the greats. It’s positively silly how well it worked for Lange, if you think about it, merely pointing to how ignorant most people are about cinematic history before their, say, teenage years. Despite winning two Oscars people seemed genuinely surprised that Jessica Lange was such a fiery can’t-look-away talent. But anyone who replaces Lange will be compared unfavorably since she’s stayed long enough to become the show’s signature face. Plus, all series have their sell-by dates and how much longer can American Horror Story stay fresh? Wouldn’t a 5th season be a dangerous time to jump on board; nearly all TV ships spring leaks by the time they turn five.


  34. Excellent point, Lebeau. Hindsight is 20/20 and in retrospect we can say an actor made a mistake turning down such-and-such movie that became a big hit, but over time I’ve realized that a film turns out the way it does (and people respond to it) based on exactly how it turned out with that exact cast and crew involved. Change the actors around, for example, and even if all the other components stay the same you do have a different film in most cases.

    As you mentioned before in her write-up, Molly Ringwald was offered Pretty Woman but turned it down. Now I like Molly Ringwald, but I just cannot imagine her and Richard Gere having anywhere near that same magic chemistry that Gere had with Julia Roberts onscreen, and that was the key ingredient that made Pretty Woman not just a hit, but a blockbuster. Onscreen chemistry is something elusive, I think Gere and Roberts’ follow-up collaboration a decade later, Runaway Bride, even shows that, because they just didn’t have that same magical chemistry together again, they couldn’t duplicate it, it’s sort of lightning in a bottle in a way. But my point is, someone could say “Molly Ringwald made a mistake turning that movie down, it was huge!”, but I don’t think it would’ve hit any other way than the way it turned out. That’s maybe not an absolute rule, I’m sure there’s some examples of films that also would’ve been hits or even blockbusters with different actors involved, but I think this holds true for a majority of hit films.


    • The Ringwald/Pretty Woman case is the one I always think of. She gets a lot of grief for turning PW down. But the movie would have tanked if she had starred in it. And that’s not a criticism of her. I’m sure she would have turned in a fine performance. But 1, audiences wouldn’t have accepted her in the role. And 2, as you pointed out, the onscreen chemistry was key to that movie. It’s also worth noting that very few actresses have managed chemistry on screen with Gere. Roberts is one of those few.

      Another example that springs to mind if Silence of the Lambs. Every actress in Hollywood was approached about playing Clarice Starling including Pfeiffer. I have no doubt Pfeiffer would have made a great Clarice. But chemistry is a delicate thing and I can’t imagine anyone having better chemistry with Hopkins than Foster did. Look and Julianne Moore in the sequel. She’s a great actress, but the chemistry just isn’t there.


      • Tally Atwater's Tresses

        Pretty Woman turned out so well because of Julia, not because of the script. She elevated it.
        I do often wonder what the world would be like today had Annette Bening played the role of Catwoman in Batman Returns as was originally intended.
        Add to that if Meg Ryan had been offered the chance to work with Jonathan Demme, why would she have passed on The Silence of the Lambs? Demme was on record as loving working with Pfeiffer in Married to the Mob so the smart money would say he’d have been begging her for a reunion.
        I could’ve totally seen Michelle winning The Academy Award for The Silence of the Lambs or The Fabulous Baker Boys or maybe something else back then, but not any more sadly.


        • Agreed on PW. It was basically Julia Roberts’ cooronation as the new Rom com queen. Few actresses had what it takes to sell a fairy tale about a call girl.

          Just about every actress in Hollywood turned Demme down for Silence of the Lambs including Meg Ryan. Why? It was perceived as to violent. And much of the violence was against women. It was seen as a dirty little exploitation movie. No one had any idea it would turn out like it did. Demme did NOT want Foster and kept trying to cast someone else. But no one else was both interested and available.


      • 8 Actor Replacements In Movie Sequels That Totally Sucked:

        8. Jodie Foster/Julianne Moore – Clarice Starling

        You have to hand it to Julianne Moore: she has some serious balls. When you consider the fact that she agreed to step into the role that won Jodie Foster some of the highest praise of her career (not to mention an Oscar), you can’t help but admire the actress for her gusto. But Foster owned Clarice Starling in the same way that Anthony Hopkins owned Hannibal Lecter. Comparisons were inevitable, but Moore doesn’t quite pull it off.

        That’s not to say she’s terrible, or even bad. But secure in the knowledge that Hannibal is an official sequel to Silence of the Lambs (Hopkins reprised his role, presumably because it was so much fun), you don’t really get the sense that Moore is supposed to be playing the same character. And maybe that’s not her fault, exactly: both the script and the movie are far weaker here, so she was going to suffer. Still, Jodie made Clarice feel like a real FBI agent, whereas Moore feels more like an actress pretending to be one.


        • I blame the script and directing for Hannibal. I won’t say it was horrible. But the movie was very different in tone from Silence of the Lambs. I have heard people argue that the movie is taken from Hannibal’s warped point of view and shouldn’t be taken literally. So this is how he sees Clarice as opposed to how she really is (as we saw her in Silence).

          Personally, I choose to pretend Hannibal doesn’t exist.


        • The Cinefiles: THE HANNIBAL LECTER SAGA!

          Yo, man! How about some Chianti? How about some fava beans? Yo, yo, yo. Jeff returns to the discussion table as the boys wax on about MANHUNTER, HANNIBAL, RED DRAGON and HANNIBAL RISING. Word.


        • Try reading the book…if you have enough balls. If they had followed the book it would have been equal to the first movie. I suspect the reason some of these people passed on these movies was because the books are so…terrifying. I mean very well written stories about twisted minds that most most people never knew existed. Sensitive, introspective people don’t want to have anything to do with this level of psychopathy. I was shocked and horrified with all the books. Read them all in just a few days. And could not sleep for months afterward. It’s like looking into the sun.

          The beautiful and talented Julian Moore had a tough row to hoe trying to follow up to Jodie Foster. Where the first movie had the shock value, the sequels seemed to “chicken out” for fear of chasing the audience away.

          I would never judge anyone for distancing theirselves from this subject matter. It’s not healthy.

          Brad Deal

          PS. We cannot have a complete discussion of the Hannibal series without including Michael Mann’s original, Man Hunter.


        • jeffthewildman

          Manhunter is my favorite of the Hannibal films, slightly ahead of Silence. After those two, there’s a huge drop-off in quality.

          Hannibal changed a lot from the book and I suspect that the reason for it may have been that the filmmakers and the studio feared that audience members who hadn’t read it would not accept the ending of the book in film form.

          Manhunter is a very effective thriller although those who are going into it for the first time should be aware that Lecter isn’t the focal point, In essence, he’s in it for an extended cameo. In Red Dragon (the remake), they added more scenes with Lecter including a few that weren’t in Harris’s novel. The prime focus of Manhunter is Will Graham and the toll his hunt for the Tooth Fairy takes on him. Brian Cox’s Lecter isn’t as iconic as Hopkins. But he plays him in a way that builds a higher level of unease. He gives him a sort of understated menace that in some ways makes him more terrifying.

          Of course, most of the post Silence Lecter films pushed the character into cartoon territory.


        • Julianne Moore: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked:

          1. Clarice Starling – Hannibal

          Hannibal is such a weird clash of genres and crew that it really has no business actually being a film. Directed by Ridley Scott, written by David Mamet and produced by Dino De Laurentiis, it’s a cinematic Frankenstein’s monster and by god, it shows. The Silence of the Lambs was like lightning in a bottle – it came from nowhere, scared the hell out of everybody and cleaned up at the Oscars. Hannibal, however, was a lot more disappointing and heralded the start of the demise of the Hannibal Lecter films. The main problem stems from Julianne Moore, though, who just can’t grasp the character of Clarice Starling and comes off looking like a Jodie Foster imitator.

          We never really believe that Moore is in any danger from Lecter because she doesn’t have Foster’s naive innocence, instead plays Starling as more of a badass. It’s a jolting contrast from the meek individual who cried after letting off her gun in The Silence of the Lambs, and it’s ever-so-slightly jarring. It also doesn’t help that her accent is all over the place as she tries to imitate Foster and bring her own things to the character. It’s a noble effort, but unfortunately just doesn’t work. She’s at her best when she’s taking on Lecter face-to-face and relishes her scenes with Ray Liotta and Anthony Hopkins, but these scenes are few and far between.

          Again, this is just a case of her being the wrong person for the role. We appreciate what they were trying to do with the character but it just came off phoney and resulted in a disappointing film.


      • I don’t understand why Molly Ringwald gets so much flake for turning down “Pretty Woman” when I wouldn’t be surprised if the script that she was offered was a lot different than what was in the finished product w/ Julia Roberts. “Pretty Woman” initially meant to be a lot darker and gritty and more of a cautionary tale instead of the romantic comedy/modern day Cinderella tale that it ultimately became.


  35. Pfeiffer is another actress who married pretty well- David E Kelley produced a ton of TV shows The Practice, Boston Public, Chicago Hope- and she can spend time with her family if she doesn’t like the roles being offered.

    Oh- my brother has her as a client/customer- I don’t know the ethics involved so I will keep the details to myself.

    I’m sure I can say he really likes her- thinks she is smart and down to earth.


  36. Re-watched Baker Boys during this Christmas break. Really, just amazing, it’s one iconic movie that stands up well to the passage of time. The use of light and general cinematography from beginning to end about makes me hyperventilate and then we have the slamdunk acting chops trio of Bridges brothers plus Michelle. So glad to have this in my permanent collection!


  37. I sense that Michelle has incurred real damage from “The Family.” Also, at one the movie’s premiers Michelle stated that she intends to be very busy in her career now that her son has entered college. Nonetheless, “Whatever Makes You Happy” and “Man Under” appear to be stuck on the launching pad. Michelle has gone eerily silent once more. The graph of her stock value on HSX has gone steadily downward. She has long been one of my favorite actresses and I miss seeing her with activity. LeBeau, what the hell is happening?


    • I think you’re right. The Family looked like it had potential to bring Pfeiffer back into the spotlight. Not A-list, but starring roles in mainstream movies. When it flopped, it too a lot of the wind out of the sails of her comeback. Which is a shame. But, I think we’ll see her again soon. Maybe the next movie will connect.


  38. Yeah, she could fit. She’s kind of in the Tea Leoni category where she cut her career short to raise a family before her career really took off.


  39. I’ve always had a high regard for Michelle Pfeiffer’s ability, and and her natural beauty is a real bonus. I’m a sucker for 1980’s films and atmosphere, so I’ve always liked “Tequilla Sunrise”, but I’ve also viewed “Into The Night” numerous times (I enjoy the quirkiness of it all).


    • I have watched Into the Night quite a few times as well. It’s not a great movie. But for me, Pfeiffer really makes the movie. Probably my favorite from that era was Married to the Mob. If you like the quirkiness of Into the Night, you should love MttM.


  40. Didn’t Pfeiffer voice Eris in the 2004 Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas?


  41. Michelle is so hot that any mere mortal man would burst into flames if she were to make casual eye contact. Most beautiful women are nut jobs. They never aspire to their full potential because their beauty makes everything so easy for them. Michelle however, after 30-35 years is still here, still naturally beautiful, and competent. Is a career a sprint or a marathon?

    There is no telling what goes through the mind of a woman like this when picking a movie.

    “Dear, have you seen that script that came in the other day from Martin?” “I put it on the pile with the other ones in the study…”


    “Dear, Gary called and said he was sending over a new script. Make sure you don’t lose it, I need this one to keep up with Meg!”

    Who knows the minds of women.

    But,,,Oh, but the catnip, the catnip. I want to luxuriate in the catnip.

    A brief departure from reality and back to real life…off to work.

    Thanks for the article. I think I enjoyed the comments more than the article, which is a testament to the subject matter and the provocation the article evokes from the readers.

    Brad Deal


  42. Interesting video podcast from (Michelle is a major topic):

    (it would not let me embed the link to make it clickable for some reason)

    This whole podcast is about actresses and rom-coms/careers. I would recommend you skip ahead to the Michelle part at about 1:01:50 or so.


  43. michelle i feel has potential. i think she work with tim burton again he bring out the best in her even though dark shadows sucked. He can give her a dark gritty role


  44. i noticed how alot of the actors in the site had a role in batman films. Such as kilmer,keaton,michelle,carrey, kidman ,chris o donnell, silverstone and arnold lol maybe there should be an article how batman movies hurt actors career lol


    • I haven’t written up O’Donnell yet. I will admit to thinking of Batman-related actors whenever I was looking for someone to write up.


    • “Batman & Robin” was really the only Batman movie that you can seriously make an argument hurt the actors’ careers (especially Alicia Silverstone and Chris O’Donnell). George Clooney is really the only main cast member who in hindsight, didn’t seem as negatively effected by his participation in that movie as the others.


  45. i could of sworn i saw o donnell there well u have an idea for next seems like bale clooney are the only actors that played batman and had a successful career


  46. uma thurman i forget another actress who appeared in batman


  47. i think richard gere should be on the list he has had a lot of flops hasn’t had a hit since Chicago that was 12 years ago. the only hits he had were days of heaven american gigglo officer and genrlte runaway bride pretty women and chicago five hits out of so many movies he had more flops then hits like mothmen and autem in new york. He needs one


  48. 1989’s Best Actress-winning performance highlighted a film many would rather forget:

    by Mike D’Angelo

    Truly great acting is seldom recognized in its own time—at least officially, with trophies and such. Performance Review takes a retrospective, highly opinionated look at past award-winners. Each entry focuses on a specific category in a given year, in several different awards ceremonies, in an effort to determine the year’s most criminally overlooked performance.
    Best Actress, 1989

    • Academy Award: Jessica Tandy, Driving Miss Daisy

    Driving Miss Daisy wasn’t exactly considered progressive even at the time of its release, and it had the further misfortune of coming out the same year as Spike Lee’s incendiary Do The Right Thing, which made writer Alfred Uhry seem even more irrelevant with his warm, nostalgic memories of dignified African-American subservience. The most charitable way to look at the film (or the play, since it’s still being produced these days) is not as social commentary, or even as a reminiscence, but as a vehicle (literally, much of the time) for two actors to have fun with an odd-couple bonding narrative. Tandy’s age (she was 80 when she won) and rich Hollywood history (dating back to 1932) made her the sentimental favorite that year; she didn’t pick up any of the major critics’ awards, and her performance as Miss Daisy hasn’t really endured. All the same, she’s a pleasure to watch in the role, finding just the right balance of imperiousness and vulnerability.

    Driving Miss Daisy works best as a droll comedy—when Uhry strives for gravity, it risks seeming patronizing—and Tandy’s nervous energy bounces beautifully off Morgan Freeman’s unflappability, particularly during the early scenes in which Miss Daisy is critical of every single thing Hoke does, as well as things she’s merely concerned that he might do. At no point does she telegraph her awareness that the character is faintly ridiculous, which is always a strong temptation for an actor playing a potentially unsympathetic person. Tandy was a class act for her entire career—she kept working right up until her death five years later—and while this wasn’t necessarily the best performance by an actress that year, it’s hard to begrudge her the belated recognition, arriving four decades after she won a Tony as the original Blanche Du Bois (opposite Brando) in A Streetcar Named Desire. Not a bad legacy at all.

    • New York Film Critics Circle: Michelle Pfeiffer, The Fabulous Baker Boys

    Many iconic performances are embodied in the cultural consciousness by key lines of dialogue. “You talkin’ to me?” “You know how to whistle, don’t you?” “Get to the choppa!” But Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys lives on for most people as a slinky red dress sliding over a grand piano. It’s easy to forget, if you haven’t seen it in a long time, that there was more to the movie—and to Pfeiffer’s terrific work therein—than that one intensely erotic scene. For one thing, the character’s name is Susie Diamond, and she’s written like a woman named Susie Diamond, and Pfeiffer plays her, to the hilt, like a woman named Susie Diamond. For an actress embarrassed that she got her big break in Grease 2, it must have seemed like an opportunity to demonstrate that she could pull off Sandy and Rizzo at the same time; she’s pure lusciousness behind the microphone, sarcastic and world-weary offstage. Her best scenes are the ones in which Susie talks candidly about her former life as an “escort,” and while she’s given valuable assistance by Jeff Bridges (one of the best silent listeners in the business), it’s remarkable how she can make a lengthy, here’s-my-psyche-in-a-nutshell monologue and sound natural and impromptu, while still coming across as delectably movie-star glamorous. She also did her own singing, and while her versions of “Makin’ Whoopee” and “My Funny Valentine” won’t make anyone forget Ella Fitzgerald, she’s good enough to make it credible that Susie’s presence would resuscitate the Baker Boys’ floundering act. All three of the critics’ groups named her Best Actress (though the L.A. critics ended up with a tie; see below), and she won the dramatic Golden Globe as well, with Tandy taking Comedy/Musical. Does anybody remember much more than the piano-as-mattress moment, though, 25 years later? I wonder.

    • Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Andie MacDowell, Sex, Lies, And Videotape and Michelle Pfeiffer, The Fabulous Baker Boys

    LAFCA went with Pfeiffer as well, but also found room for the year’s most unexpected triumph. When Steven Soderbergh cast Andie MacDowell in his debut feature, he was well aware that she wasn’t highly regarded; writing in his journal at the time, he described the reaction from his casting agent as “Uh-oh, Steven fell for the model.” And the truth is that MacDowell has rarely distinguished herself elsewhere. She tends to lean hard on the same faintly irritating mannerisms in various rom-coms and second-tier dramas. (Her appearance in Robert Altman’s Short Cuts verges on awful; thankfully, it’s a huge ensemble film.) Apparently, though, Soderbergh is some kind of wizard who can coax great performances from actors who can’t really act (including, on the actress side, Gina Carano, Debbie Doebereiner, Sasha Grey, and arguably Jennifer Lopez).

    MacDowell is sublime as Ann Mullany in Sex, Lies, And Videotape, right from the opening scene, in which she blushes and stammers and can’t keep from laughing when Ann’s therapist asks her whether she masturbates. It’s a gorgeously realized portrait of sexual repression, deftly avoiding the usual pitfalls involved in playing bottled-up types; Ann comes across not as a withered husk but merely as someone whose libido has never quite been fully charged, until now. As Soderbergh himself noted (during shooting, no less), MacDowell needed to walk a fine line between a lack of self-awareness and outright stupidity, and she almost never falters. She only strains for effect when she’s required to be angry, though it probably also helps that Soderbergh opted to ditch most of the dialogue he wrote for Ann and Graham (James Spader) in their final scenes together. In any case, this performance seems even more like a miracle in hindsight.

    • National Society of Film Critics: Michelle Pfeiffer, The Fabulous Baker Boys

    Pfeiffer must have known it was her year when even the NSFC couldn’t come up with some relatively obscure pick instead of her. The year’s other Oscar nominees besides Tandy and Pfeiffer fall squarely in the “solid” category, though it’s significant that one of them was in a foreign language—still rare to this day, even though subtitles have become much more commonplace on television. Isabelle Adjani does ferocious work in the title role of Camille Claudel, despite being stuck in a standard biopic that requires her to skip from one emotion to another as the historical record dictates; she’s frequently mesmerizing to watch, but director Bruno Nuytten (then Adjani’s offscreen partner) clearly believes that tempestuous behavior is a magical cure-all for narrative torpor, and leans on her energy a bit too hard.

    The category was rounded out by one perennial and one newcomer. Jessica Lange gives good anxiety in Music Box, as an attorney defending her father from charges of Holocaust-related war crimes. The role (written by Joe Eszterhas, a few years before he turned into a punchline) is one-dimensional, and the film (directed by Costa-Gavras) has largely been forgotten, but Lange manages to dig in and find a few gut-wrenching moments as her character struggles to come to terms with a grim family history. And then there was Pauline Collins, reprising her award-winning (Tony, Drama Desk, etc.) stage performance in Shirley Valentine, a pleasant bit of fluff about a British housewife emotionally liberated by a vacation in Greece. It’s fair to say that Collins owns the role, but it’s also fair to say that she’s playing a dotty wish-fulfillment fantasy figure with no rough edges or hidden substance. Amusing, but nothing more.

    • Performance Review’s Most Overlooked: Winona Ryder, Heathers

    [Full disclosure: I know Daniel Waters, who wrote Heathers, very slightly. He participates in an annual survey I conduct, I’ve been to a couple of parties at his house, and he read a screenplay I wrote. We’re in touch maybe twice a year. Had no bearing on my choice here, I firmly believe, but I note it for the record anyway.]

    Though Winona Ryder made a bit of a splash in 1988 in Beetlejuice, in which she’s hilariously deadpan (befitting a character who starts out more interested in death than life), she truly became a star when she landed the lead role in one of the most demented high-school comedies ever made. “My teen-angst bullshit has a body count,” Veronica Sawyer scribbles into her diary at one point. Ryder, playing the sardonic nucleus of Heathers’ over-the-top orbital mayhem, introduced a new variety of adolescent heroine—Molly Ringwald crossed with a mean girl. The movie’s deck is admittedly stacked in Veronica’s favor, as she’s surrounded by broad caricatures who are at best merely horrible, at worst lethally dangerous. Still, Heathers asks viewers to identify with someone who’d be the token weirdo in a normal teen movie, à la Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club, and Ryder succeeds in making her simultaneously abrasive and likable, mostly by carefully modulating her performance relative to the other actors. In scenes involving the Heathers, she places herself at a phlegmatic remove, channeling Barbara Bel Geddes in Vertigo; when Veronica is alone in her room, narrating her thoughts, the intensity meter goes into the red. And she finds the happy medium opposite Christian Slater’s J.D., reveling in “harmless” bad behavior until self-awareness of her naïveté transforms her into an avenging Fury. In fact, the role pretty much exhausted her range, which she’s spent the rest of her career struggling to expand, taking wildly un-Veronica roles in films like Edward Scissorhands and The Age Of Innocence. Apart from the Chicago Film Critics Association and the fledgling Indie Spirit awards, however, nobody paid much attention at the time. “The extreme always seems to make an impression,” J.D. tells Veronica. Not in this case, for whatever reason.


  49. she is strong actress she will make a comeback she still has appeal and bar non is probaly the most sucessful actress on the list


  50. Derailed Film Stars: Retracing Michelle Pfeiffer:

    Michelle Pfeiffer recently starred alongside Robert De Niro in Luc Besson’s latest crime drama The Family. This is proof that, well, it ain’t over, till it’s over. The film may not have achieved massive box office success, nor was it a critically-acclaimed masterpiece, but it’s not like she’s headed for Dancing with the Stars or something equally horrifying. Michelle Pfeiffer is a true Hollywood talent. The three-time Oscar nominee got her early start as a beauty pageant queen, but it wasn’t that pretty face that won over movie audiences around the globe. Pfeiffer has always commanded a stage, and a scene, which is why many of us are still rooting for her Daryl Hannah/Kill Bill-style comeback. As we patiently await a casting announcement in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming The Hateful Eight, let’s take a look back at some of her most memorable performances.

    The Birth of an Icon

    Even a fearless, ruthless drug kingpin like Tony Montana had his weakness, and Elvira Hancock was it. In 1983, Al Pacino stunned movie-goers in Scarface, and Michelle Pfeiffer stunned everyone with her ability to be the seemingly vapid, fierce, unattainable, and unforgettable Elvira. Celebrity women everywhere are still requesting that iconic Michelle Pfeiffer elevator look, but to no avail. There can only be one.

    Big Hair, Big Dreams

    Married to the Mob was such a huge deal — as was the Angela de Marco style — women in jumpsuits with big hair actually looked cool… if only for a moment. Pfeiffer had traded in the heroin chic look from Scarface to play a mob widow who ended up developing an unlikely relationship with the detective on her trail. Now, more than twenty years later, there’s a collection of VH1 Mob Wives who have Pfeiffer to thank for their 15-20 minutes of fame. Jonathan Demme would go on to direct major cinematic achievements, with Philadelphia and Silence of the Lambs. Let’s hope he hits up an old friend for his next project.

    Tic, Tac, Toe

    It’s interesting to look back at one of the most beloved Catwomen, now that the new FOX series, Gotham, is underway, and we’ve met Camren Bicondova (who is, at least in terms of physical makeup, an eerie Pfeiffer clone). Years from now, superfans will continue to debate about who was the greatest — Eartha Kitt? Pfeiffer? Anne Hathaway? (Yes, someone will name Hathaway… and maybe Halle Berry.) This version of Selina Kyle/Catwoman was unique because she instantly became a favorite among comic book nerds, feminists, and pretty much everyone else. This role is hugely important for Pfeiffer — and for understanding her fascinating career — because audiences learned that she could get weird, dark, and twisted beyond belief. Batman Returns introduced us to a new brand of Pfeiffer, of which we saw far too little as the years passed.

    Southern Comfort

    Earning one of her three Oscar nominations, Pfeiffer proved that she could fuse the slightly deranged with the dramatic in Love Field. Her performance as Lurene Hallett put a brilliant spin on the historical context of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and the celebrity status of his widow Jackie Kennedy. Hallett was an obsessed housewife whose compulsions resulted in a great story where race, politics, crime, family, and fame in 1960s America all gathered under one plot.

    Armed and Dangerous

    Coolio may have become the breakout star of Dangerous Minds, thanks to his hit song, “Gangster’s Paradise,” but Pfeiffer delivered a powerful performance as ex-marine-turned-inner-city-teacher, LouAnne Johnson. She was tough as nails, and she delivered a mean monologue.


  51. i thought dark shaodws would be a hit it had her team up with burton but came up short. depp wasnt in the slump he was then dark shaodws was kind of the beginning of it. if keaton can make a comeback so can she


    • The difference between Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer is the brutal reality that older men typically have more “good” roles at their disposal than older women. There’s a reason why Kim Basinger’s (Michael Keaton’s other Batman leading lady) career has been in the sh**-hole for at least, the past ten years.


  52. I re-watched Frankie and Johnny the other day. The 1991 movie holds up surprisingly well and is probably a good representative of Garry Marshall’s better works. He does more with less here – however did this director let himself get lost in the NYE 40-star cast stuff? He does a really great job building the intensity at a nice slow pace, but of course he has Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer to help that along. For those who don’t care for his later performances, I think you’ll find Pacino is more understated as Johnny. There was critical drama at the time about how they were both too impossibly gorgeous to play the lead characters but I never thought this criticism made any sense. Some of the buzz came about because Kathy Bates wanted to reprise her Broadway role on film, and it’s understandable she was disappointed. But the movie works. Of course, I love Pacino and Pfeiffer anyway, so for me this is an easy sell.


    • It’s been a while since I have seen Frankie and Johnny. This may surprise you but I liked the movie. I just feel a little guilty about it.

      I agree that Frankie and Johnny is representative of Gary Marshall for better or worse. I am actually not a fan of Marshall. But as much as I would like to use the word “hack” I have to stop short. What Marshall excels at is taking the rough edges off of entertainment. He has said before that when he casts his leads, he casts pretty people he thinks the audience will want to see kiss. This worked very well for him when he turned a story about a prostitute into the fairy tale Pretty Woman. But most of the time, it’s less successful.

      I have seen local productions of Frankie and Johnny. In fact, I wrote a play that was my 20-something take on it. Mine involved a lot less nudity. But the actual play was about middle-aged people taking a last chance at something. The characters were flawed and not at all glamorous. Casting the most beautiful actors you can find is to completely miss the point of the play. A faithful adaptation would have starred Bates.

      Instead, Marshall takes away a lot of what made the stage play special. I still think there is some of the play’s DNA left in the movie and that is what raises it above the average Gary Marshall movie (along with a killer cast). But an adaptation of Frankie and Johnny could have been more than that.


      • The 411 Movies Top 5: The Top 5 Worst Casting Choices:

        Michael Weyer

        Michelle Pfeiffer, Frankie and Johnny So here’s some nice irony. Kathy Bates starred in the Broadway play about a short-order cook and a waitress who fall in love, nicely imbuing a character who’s ignored by men in her life. However, for the movie version, the studio felt Bates was too homely for the part and so instead cast Michelle Pfeiffer. Yes, one of the most gorgeous women alive at the time having to play a small diner waitress who’s talked of being ignored by men and living alone. It never made sense even without the age difference between her and Al Pacino and the entire film failed to work. However, it turned out well for Bates as, with her time freed by not having to do the movie, she took on Misery, which won her the Oscar. So guess who got the last laugh there?


  53. Katie Couric pitching a morning news show comedy starring Michelle Pfeiffer:

    Couric is teaming with Murphy Brown creator Diane English on a comedy going behind-the-scenes comedy of a morning news show, with Pfeiffer playing the lead anchor. Couric is expected to serve as executive producer.


  54. I initially was going to hold off reading this again, but you had me at “her time in a cult.” I had never heard of that group before. You learn something new every day!


    • You really do. Glad you got something new out of the updated article. Even having written about Pfeiffer almost 4 years ago, I was surprised how much new ground there was to cover. Back in 2011, I didn’t do the kind of deep dive research I do on the current articles. And Pfieffer didn’t start talking about her cult experiences until 2013. I did think it was crazy that her rescue from the cult came as a result of dating Horton who had a bit role in Split Image which I had just written about in the Karen Allen article. Sometimes the little movies that almost no one remembers have a bigger impact on people’s lives than anyone realizes.


      • That was interesting! I had read a little about her and hadn’t heard about the cult before, but that makes sense if she’s only recently started talking about her experience in it.

        I’m not sure why, but the idea of James Woods as a de-programmer in Split Image amused me. Maybe because I just happened to catch those Family Guy episodes he’s in. The idea of that James Woods is fresh in my mind and envisioning that specific rendering of Woods as a de-progammer is hilariously wrong on so many levels.


  55. “New Year’s Eve is the cinematic equivalent of an episode of The Love Boat.”
    It’s a good job I wasn’t drinking when I read this or that line would have caused a spit-take.
    Although it’s sad for me to see La Pfeiffer’s career come full circle, you’ve done a great job on the re-write!


    • Terrific as always to see you! I was hoping the update would merit a visit, but I didn’t expect to see you so soon!

      I do think that Pfeiffer’s in a really good spot even if she’s not headlining major releases any more. She still gets to pick and choose projects that interest her and hasn’t had to resort to TV just to find work. How many actresses her age can say the same thing?


  56. Rock the Casbah

    Hey Lebeau, when’s the Fisher Stevens WTHH article coming? I’m sure lots of folks are waiting in anticipation of that one.


    • I’m not sure he had enough of a career to justify an article. He’s basically known for two things: Short Circuit and dating (and cheating on!)Michelle Pfeiffer. Between the Steve Guttenberg article, the eventual Ally Sheedy article and this one, I think we’ll get enough of Mr. Stevens.


      • Well, My Science Project is pretty well-remembered.


        • Before this Pfeiffer article I had never heard of Fisher Stevens. Yes, I saw Short Circuit, once, when I was a kid but all these years later he rings no bells. I think if Lebeau wrote up Fisher Stevens it shouldn’t be the usual “WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO?…..”, but instead “WHO THE HELL IS?…..”, which is what 99% of people would probably be asking themselves.


        • If you watched Letterman regularly in the late 80s/early 90s, he used to have Stevens on as a guest and then just talk about how he was the luckiest man in the world. It was a running gag.

          Stevens was apparently devastated when Pfeiffer left him. He protested that he hadn’t actually had sex with his underage co-star. He set a pretty low bar for himself considering how far out of his league he was dating.


        • I had forgotten about it. 😉


      • Rock the Casbah

        Ha! Thx Lebeau. I was actually being a bit snarky in my comment here. Like Craig said, Stevens would qualify for a WHO THE HELL IS HE? article instead of a WTHH one. Hmmm, maybe an idea for a future category. Actors/actresses that you might recognize their face, know something they starred in or vaguely heard about them in the news (usually in relation to more recognized celebrities), but never really got on the public’s radar in a major way. I’ll mention one that strangely interests me: Judie Aronson. Had a crush on her back in H.S. when I saw her in Weird Science. She’s one (the brunette) of the two girls that winds up with one of two main characters (can’t remember which one). Afterwards, she starred mostly in guest spots (often small) on T.V. shows. I think she dated a few famous celebrities (including George Clooney albeit before he became famous).

        Anyhow, not sure there would be potential (or much interest) for such a category but I’m just brainstorming here in the comments.

        BUT, what I am NOT being snide about is your good work on revising and updating this article. Your skill at unearthing little gems of your subject’s careers is NOT going unrecognized by us folks in the comment stream. The adulation that RB and Craig already have given you is well deserved on this one. Kudos.

        BTW, I just gotta ask: what the hell was Stevens thinking when he cheated (in whatever form) with an underage girl?! Man, if I was dating someone like Pfeiffer (with an almost ethereal beauty), you’d be damn sure I’d be on my best behavior.


        • Well said Casbah, I said it before Lebeau but you continually impress with your level of skill and commitment to the site. I’m not the least bit famous (or even an actor for that matter) but I almost wish I was just so that I could get the Lebeau treatment!


        • lol

          I think you guys over-estimate the level of skill involved. I sometimes feel like there is very little actual writing involved in these articles. Most of the time goes into the digging. But level of commitment, yeah, I’m committed all right! 😉


        • I wondered if that was the case. But I have had WTHH requests for even more obscure actors. Sometimes, people ask for articles on people I have never heard of.

          Recently I came across an interview with Fisher Stevens in which he flatly blamed Short Circuit on Steve Guttenberg. The quote will appear in the revamped Guttenberg article when I get around to dusting that one off. But basically, Stevens said that the script for Short Circuit was terrific until they hired Guttenberg. Stevens is an okay character actor. Probably a better actor than Guttenberg. But Guttenberg merits a WTHH article and Stevens doesn’t.

          A while back, I was contacted by someone who said she was a friend of Steve Guttenberg and that he wasn’t too thrilled with having WTHH to Steve Guttenberg show up on the first page of his Google results. I explained to her that the series was meant to be complimentary despite the mild profanity in the title. This is an example of that. You have to be bigger than Fisher Stevens to qualify for the series.

          I doubt I’ll ever get around to covering Judie Aronson for that reason. We’ll call it the Stevens rule. But I will cover some Weird Science stars in the future. Kelley Le Brock is very high on my list as is Anthony Michael Hall. Time permitting, I’d like to get them both covered this year. I was looking at Bill Paxton for a while but he keeps showing up all over TV.

          You’re too kind with your compliments. But I’ll take them all the same. Thanks!


        • Rock the Casbah

          I feel honored Lebeau that I played an integral role in developing (or at least the naming of) a rule here at Leblog: the Stevens Rule.
          I’ll look forward to the write-ups on A. Michael Hall and Kelly Le Brock and, of course, the revised Gute article (who woundn’t eagerly wait in anticipation especially of that one?), but it’s with a heavy heart that I realize Judie Aronson falls under the Stevens Rule.
          Judie, if you ever stop by this website, let me say that IMHO you’re the still best thing in Weird Science (except maybe for the Oingo Boingo song 😄) and you’re still as stunningly beautiful as when I first saw you in Weird Science back in H.S. And now you’ve been mentioned at Leblog. 😉


        • I have to agree that Judie Aronson (then and now) is very lovely; in matter of fact, I mentioned her recent in the comments section of the “Weird Science” music video on YouTube.
          I forgot: what’s The Stevens Rule again?


        • You have to be bigger than Fisher Stevens to qualify for WTHH. It’s a very specific rule.


        • I did Google her. She is still a looker. Looks like she showed up in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (in a very small role). Great movie.


      • Yeah, I last remember him in film from “Hackers” and on TV from one of VH1’s “I Love the -‘s” (I don’t remember if it was 70’s, 80’s or 90’s) shows. I guess he was thinking with his genitals when he was in his trailer that way. Oh well, his loss. I wouldn’t think he would be worth an article, since I don’t think he was ever considered a rising star.


  57. Well you have been busy with this update Lebeau 🙂 It really makes me appreciate once again, how much work you put into the WTHH series. I bet Pfeiffer hersel would approve!


    • Thanks for the recognition. I won’t say that these articles are a lot of work, because I enjoy doing them. But they take a great deal of time. That is increasingly true as I get more and more detailed.

      Before I started, this article was a puny 5 pages long! It more than doubled in size.

      Since I started the series, I have continually raised my standards for the articles. I used to hit the highlights and lowlights and call it a day. I could crank out and article in 4-6 hours. But readers kept asking for more and more details. These days, I go to pretty great lengths to track down things like beauty pageant photos and Fantasy Island appearances. I still leave out minor things here and there, but the newer articles are much more comprehensive than the early articles. I don’t even know how many hours in total goes into the average article anymore. Even the Chris Tucker article took a couple of weeks.

      In the early days, I was covering some of the bigger stars. These days, I’m much more likely to cover a Karen Allen than a Michelle Pfeiffer. So you wind up with 12 pages on Judd Nelson and 4 on Kevin Costner which seems lopsided. When I started doing the birthday galleries, it seemed like an excellent time to touch up some of the old articles that aren’t up to my current standards. This has meant fewer new items as I am splitting my time between new articles and cleaning up the old ones. But I think it’s worth the effort.

      Most of the articles just get a few additional entries. Usually I’m just bringing them up to date. But for an article like this one where it is more than 50% new material, I am reposting them so readers know that this is almost the equivalent of a new article.


      • Like RB said, good work on updating this article. You went above and beyond as quite honestly I would just expect a few more job entries listed and such to make it more current, but you added real meat to the article which is to be commended.

        One of the best additions was the Star Trek thing on Frankie and Johnnie, I had never heard that story before, I’m still wrapping my head around Al Pacino with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. I tried Googling it looking for an image but alas no luck. What a killer pic that would’ve made! I’m sure one exists somewhere in someone’s possession.


        • I almost want to rewatch Frankie and Johnny just to see if I can spot the surprise reaction they were going for. It was a pretty cool story. I’ll see if I can track down a pic. You know they took one.

          This article got the redone because Pfeiffer has a birthday coming up. So there is a gallery ready to post on Wed. When I do the galleries, I have taken to reviewing all the pictures. I replace some, edit others. I check to see if there are any new pictures available I could find when I wrote the article. For Pfeiffer, I just kept finding more and more great stuff. There were also no trailers and very few clips because I just wasn’t doing that stuff in 2011.

          Uma Thurman also has a birthday on 04/29. (Both actresses share a birthday, appeared in Dangerous Liaisons and played Batman villains.) Her article was already a little more up to date so it just got a few additional entries. That’s typically what happens. I’m not going to call those out. But when an article is 50% or more new material like this one was, I’ll do a repost so folks know to check it out.


  58. Pfeiffer makes the list of WatchMojo’s Top 10 Hottest Blondes: Iconic.


    • My favorite actress from the early 1900’s would be Barbara Stanwyck. Wait, she wasn’t a blonde; aw heck, I just wanted to mention Barbara Stanwyck:-)


  59. Wow, great read; I especially liked the tidbit that Peter Horton was instrumental in getting Michelle Pfeiffer deprogrammed from that cult. It’s amazing that he did background work for the film that dealt with such a subject, and that information and connections to deprogrammer came in handy. That’s a real Knight in Shining Armor in my book.


    • Yeah, that whole episode was crazy. It’s hard to believe someone could be convinced to pay money to be told that they can live on sunlight alone. But a young actress new in town can be very vulnerable I suppose. Even though Horton and Pfeiffer split, they still remain friends. He definitely came through for her there.


  60. Why Michelle Pfeiffer Deserves a Career Comeback:

    Nearly every year brings news of a comeback or return-to-form for a major film actor. Last year’s Birdman brought renewed appreciation and a long-overdue Oscar nomination to Michael Keaton. Bruce Dern got a late-career highlight the year before with Nebraska. The past decade has seen career revivals for Mickey Rourke, Alec Baldwin, Robert Downey, Jr., and Matthew McConaughey. Each of these performers is more than deserving of their comebacks, but one can’t help but gripe that few actresses are joining them.

    Sure, Jennifer Jason Leigh will co-star with Dern in the new Tarantino film The Hateful Eight, and Patricia Arquette just won an Oscar and the lead on a new TV procedural, but their cases are far and few between. Actresses are rarely afforded the same opportunities for longevity as men, unless their last names are “Streep,” or, on television, “Lange.” Amy Schumer even parodied the media’s institutional ageism and sexism on the most recent episode of “Inside Amy Schumer,” pointing out the all-too-clear reality that top female stars of decades past are left sexless, negligible roles after a certain age. Never mind how joyous it would be to see resurgences for Geena Davis or Holly Hunter. The performer most deserving of a comeback, though? Michelle Pfeiffer.

    No actress can stay as emotionally open on screen while closing themselves off from other characters the way Pfeiffer can. No actress is as vulnerable when guarded. And few actresses can compare to Pfeiffer’s long and storied career of fervently feminist material, lack of vanity, and continuous ability to steal scenes or whole films from the charismatic likes of Kurt Russell, Al Pacino, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Keaton, and Daniel Day-Lewis without seeming like she’s just showing off.

    Pfeiffer burst onto the scene after a few false starts and TV movies with two films in 1983: Grease 2 and Scarface. The former tries to counteract the original Grease’s sexism while failing miserably to match its songs, dance numbers, ensemble, or technical facility. The latter is a delightfully gaudy epic remake headlined by one of Pacino’s most enjoyably ludicrous performances. Both demonstrated not only Pfeiffer’s star power, but her ability to take underwritten roles and make them sing. Grease 2 is all clumsy noble intentions and lousy songs when Pfeiffer’s off screen, but it feels infinitely more watchable whenever she’s the center of attention. In Scarface, meanwhile, she plays Robert Loggia’s and, later, Pacino’s trophy wife with an I-don’t-give-a-f*** demeanor that makes even the eternally cocksure Tony Montana seem small.

    Since then, Pfeiffer has made a career of playing women whose situations or past lives have forced them to be cagey, lest they be hurt again. In the otherwise lighthearted The Witches of Eastwick (1987), she’s abandoned by her husband because of her advanced fertility, and her good-humored nature can’t quite hide her dissatisfaction. In Robert Towne’s underrated Tequila Sunrise (1988), she’s torn between a cop with ulterior motives (Russell) and an honest ex-drug dealer (Gibson), and smart enough to know that she could be easily hurt by either or both of them. In her sublimely campy performance in Batman Returns (1992), the mousy secretary becomes femininity’s avenging angel against misogynists, all while falling for (and fighting) Keaton’s own haunted hero.

    Pfeiffer earned a trio of Oscar nominations in her golden age, starting with the 1988 adaptation of Dangerous Liaisons, where her reasonable suspicions of John Malkovich’s wolfish count fall by the wayside. She’s heartbreaking there, but a year later brought a more assured, “cool” damaged character with her work as singer Susie Diamond in The Fabulous Baker Boys. Her glamorous, sexy renditions of “Makin’ Whoopee” and “More Than You Know” give way to world-weariness offstage as she talks candidly about her past as an escort, knowing that Jeff Bridges’ self-destructive drunk is no good for her even as she falls in love with him (all without losing her frankness: “You look good.” “You look like shit. “I mean it, you look good.” “I mean it, too. You look like s***.”). Even the mediocre Love Field (1992), for which she earned her third nomination, is elevated by her mixture of flamboyance and hidden grace.

    Pfeiffer’s finest films from this period make her past, her relationship, and her need to reconcile the two the whole of the film. Jonathan Demme’s delightful Married to the Mob (1988) sees her ex-mob wife Angela reinventing herself as an independent working-class woman and shaking off the macho creeps that have plagued her (Baldwin, Dean Stockwell) for a warmer, kinder man (Matthew Modine, not quite up to task as an eccentric FBI agent). The film’s true climax is not the violent shootout but rather Modine apologizing for deceiving her, with her remarking that “everybody deserves a second chance…even you.” Married to the Mob works because neither Demme nor Pfeiffer condescend to Angela, making her a smart, good-natured woman who has every reason to be reserved with her emotions. It makes the film’s happy ending all the more hard-won.

    The hidden treasure of Pfeiffer’s golden age is 1991’s Frankie and Johnny, an uncharacteristically mature film from Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall, based on the play “Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune” by Terrence Rafferty. Pfeiffer’s casting was criticized at the time for putting a beautiful movie star in a role originated by Kathy Bates, but Frankie is defined more by her emotional baggage than her looks. It’s one of Pfeiffer’s most charming yet reticent performances, her chilliness towards Pacino’s sweet and playful ex-con becoming clearer and more painful as she slowly warms to him and discloses her past. The film’s final scene, a quiet coming-to-terms moment set to Debussy’s “Claire de Lune,” is among the most elegant in a modern romantic comedy, a sequence of tiny gestures and grasps for shared moments that demonstrates how expressive both stars can be with just the slightest shifts. Again, it’s a hard-won romantic ending, a love borne from understanding and healing.

    That emphasis on kindred spirits finding each other is present in her best film, Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence (1993), but to a far more devastating effect. Like in Married to the Mob, Pfeiffer plays a woman trying to break free of a constrictive society and an unhappy marriage, but things are complicated when Day-Lewis first advises her not to go through with her divorce and then falls in love with her (complicated further by his engagement to her cousin, played by Winona Ryder). The Age of Innocence is a master class of actors revealing their emotions to the audience while believably masking them from others. Scorsese’s glorious form complements all three leads, especially Pfeiffer, whose introduction is marked by a subtle shift from heavy shadows to light when Day-Lewis first sees her.

    It’s with reason: Pfeiffer is at her warmest and most radiant here, an unfettered soul who’s nevertheless bound to the society she rebels against. It’s easy to see how private rebel Day-Lewis falls for her, and difficult to watch as they’re both forced to endure an unhappy life, rarely given the chance to even express their love for each other, hiding their gazes and seeming like they’re about to implode in banked frustration. If it has competition as Pfeiffer’s best performance, it may be the canniest use of her screen persona, a role that pushes her to simultaneously be the most free-spirited person in the room and the one who’s the most successful at hiding what she wants when she needs to, to tear-jerking effect.

    The Age of Innocence comes at the end of Pfeiffer’s most fruitful period, but even with her misfires, she continued on the path of making movies about women, for women and giving better performances than many of the films she starred in deserved. Dangerous Minds is a deeply patronizing white savior movie, but Pfeiffer escapes with her dignity intact, never displaying the self-congratulatory qualities that won Sandra Bullock a pat-me-on-the-back Oscar for The Blind Side. Up Close & Personal neutered the story of troubled news anchor Jessica Savitch, but Pfeiffer gives a performance worthy of a smarter movie. A Thousand Acres turns the acclaimed “’King Lear’ on an Iowa farm” novel into a sudsy, simplistic version of the kinds of women’s pictures Pfeiffer made in her prime, but she and Jessica Lange both navigate their characters’ emotional trauma deftly. Even the rare stumbles for Pfeiffer as a performer (I Am Sam, The Story of Us) ultimately lie at the feet of the emotionally fraudulent material she can’t redeem.

    There are gems from this middle period, too, especially those that see the middle-age-entering Pfeiffer dealing with motherhood and lifetimes of disappointments. The underrated romantic-comedy One Fine Day is a lighter flipside to Frankie and Johnny, with romance borne out of mutual understanding among divorced single parents Pfeiffer and George Clooney. Robert Zemeckis’ Hitchcockian thriller What Lies Beneath shows Pfeiffer exploring the emotional minefield that is life after kids go to college, with Zemeckis emphasizing her isolation and volatility even before she begins to suspect the neighbor has murdered his wife and has to deal with her own dismissive husband (Harrison Ford, whose natural crotchetiness hasn’t been used half as well since).

    Pfeiffer earned a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for her work in White Oleander, an uneven but powerful adaptation that sees her damaging her teenage daughter (Alison Lohman) by trying to “set her free” (read; keep her bound to her and no one else). The explanation for her own lack of emotional attachment might seem too pat if not for the conviction Pfeiffer brings to her monologue and the way the role twists her caginess and vulnerability into something that could potentially harm others.

    Given the lack of bombs attributable to Pfeiffer, what’s with her relatively dimming star? The answer is a mixture of absence and age: she took a four-year break between 2003 and 2007 to spend time with her husband (“Ally McBeal” creator David E. Kelley) and children. It wasn’t that long of a hiatus, but it made a difference. While she gave a pair of enjoyably hammy performances in 2007’s Stardust and Hairspray, her two star vehicles, I Could Never Be Your Woman and Cheri, flopped, with the former going direct-to-DVD and the latter making back less than half of its $23 million budget. She’s since been underutilized or misused in films by collaborators both old (Marshall with New Year’s Eve, Tim Burton with Dark Shadows) and new (Transformers screenwriter Alex Kurtzman with People Like Us, Luc Besson with The Family).

    And yet, one could watch any of those films and see that Pfeiffer has still got it. Robert De Niro sleepwalks through The Family, but Pfeiffer does not. People Like Us is a noxious, falsely uplifting dramedy, but a scene between a pot-smoking Pfeiffer and son Chris Pine has an emotional truthfulness and frankness that the rest of the film sorely lacks. And while neither I Could Never Be Your Woman nor Cheri are perfect, both show her willing to explore the concept of being an aging woman, of being paired with younger men, and the difficulties that both circumstances bring that can only be described as brave (Pfeiffer’s phenomenal in both, to boot).

    With all of these, there’s no indication of a star who’s slowed down, fallen off, or become complacent. Pfeiffer herself commented in 2012 that she feels “my best performance is still in me” and that “I don’t ever want to lose that fire I have for it.” She may even have a chance for a revival with the morning news-set comedy series that Katie Couric is shopping to a number of networks with her attached to star. Whether it comes with that or something else, there’s only a need for smart producers and directors to realize that Michelle Pfeiffer never stopped being big, it’s just the pictures that got small.


  61. Flashback Friday: Michelle Pfeiffer is the best Catwoman and the best in general:

    Nowadays you’re likely to find more people praising the virtues of Anne Hathaway’s take on the much beloved Catwoman character. Anne did a fine job, but for my money, no one captured the character better than Michelle Pfeiffer. Totally crazy, totally hot, violent, playful and twisted, her patent leather pussycat is where my mind goes when I think of Batman’s on again, off again nemesis.



    That’s a great Michelle Pfeiffer performance, one of two that stand as my personal favorites. She’s had a number of memorable roles over the years, working alongside some of the great leading men of the last 40 years. Most people probably saw her first in SCARFACE way back in ’83. Her role as Elvira, the titular character’s squeeze, was her big break, yet stands as my least favorite of the more well known Michelle roles. Sure, Tony Montana was a thoroughly despicable person, but at least he had personality. All Michelle’s character had were several addictions and an ever-present moodiness in almost every scene. She did look pretty hot in that early 80s Debbie Harry style, but man was she walking a fine line. I’m really surprised she didn’t get typecast as the bitch from that role.

    I’m sure Michelle’s looks were her saving grace there. An angel face like that makes her sympathetic. People want to root for her, idolize her, pine for her. I know I used to crush pretty bad on Michelle, thanks to that other favorite role I mentioned earlier. My fellow children of the 80s will join with me in hailing her role as Isabeau in LADYHAWKE as perhaps just as memorable as her time spent in patent leather.

    Such a precious slice of 80s nostalgia right there. You’re just not human if your heart doesn’t ache for Michelle and Rutger in that scene and then later in the happy ending. That’s one of those “remote droppin'” movies. If I see it’s coming on, I gotta watch it. It’s like a duty. Michelle is a big reason for that. Even with the 80s short hair, she’s still a vision of beauty unparalleled

    All these years later, Michelle’s looks are still there, even as she approaches 60. She’s still a beautiful woman. Unfortunately she doesn’t show up in things as much as she used to (her last role was in 2013’s THE FAMILY). Some of that Hollywood ageism, perhaps? Or maybe just Michelle feeling like she’s done what she came here to do. Whatever her absence is about, Michelle’s place as one of the great beauties of my day, or anyone’s day, is fully secure.


    • I think Michelle Pfeiffer was a fantastic Catwoman. Actually, I like most of the Catwoman turns (I really like cats regardless; we seem to have a natural bond). I have to say, my favorite Catwoman line is from “Batman: The Animated Series” and by Adrienne Barbeau (no relation to Lebeau): “Never trifle with the affections of a woman”. Words to live by:-)


      • Catwoman Meows in ‘Batman Returns’

        The follow-up to the 1989 film adaptation of Batman see the Caped Crusader face off against a fishy villain bent on taking over Gotham while a mysterious woman in black presents a twist of allure and menace.


        • ‘Batman Returns’ at 25: Stars Reveal Script Cuts, Freezing Sets and Aggressive Penguins

          Michelle Pfeiffer was crushed when another star was cast as Catwoman.

          Pfeiffer may be the definitive big-screen Catwoman, but it was a role she almost missed out on.

          “As a young girl, I was completely obsessed with Catwoman. When I heard that Tim was making the film and Catwoman had already been cast, I was devastated,” says Pfeiffer. “At the time, it was Annette Bening. Then she became pregnant. The rest is history. I remember telling Tim halfway through the script that I’d do the film, that’s how excited I was.”

          Determined to make the most out of her time as Catwoman, Pfeiffer threw herself into mastering the whip and kickboxing.

          “I trained for months with the whip master. On our first day together, I caught his face with the whip and it drew blood. It completely shattered me,” she says.

          Pfeiffer would go on to perform all of her own stunts with the whip, but found performing on set was infinitely more challenging than at practice.

          “I was very nervous on my first day of shooting. I’d gotten pretty good with the whip, but when you show up…you don’t anticipate all the lights everywhere,” she says. “They were set up in places that prevented me from hitting my marks with the whip. So we had to rework the lighting again and again.”


        • Re: Joel Schumacher apologizes for ‘Batman & Robin’

          Outside of Catwoman, I don’t like much of Batman Returns. Tim Burton thought he was making an arthouse film and started pulling in many elements that really have nothing to do with Batman as a character. It’s apparent the studio had reined Burton in on Batman and with its success gave him carte blanche on the sequel.

          Everyone should be very thankful he never got to make that Superman he wanted.


    • 10 Unmade Tim Burton Films That Would Have Been Awesome:


      Now this is one film that definitely would have been better under Tim Burton’s direction. Originally intended as a sequel to Batman Returns, a Catwoman solo film languished in development hell for years until Halle Berry starred in the unanimously derided movie in 2004. At first, though, the film had a lot promise.

      As directed by Burton and scripted by Batman Returns writer Daniel Waters, Catwoman (still played by Michelle Pfeiffer) would have left Gotham for the Las Vegas-like Oasisburg. According to Waters, the movie would have had “great fun at making fun of the whole male superhero mythos.”

      Of course, this version could have turned out just as bad as the eventual film – it certainly doesn’t sound any more faithful to the comics – but it would at least have brought together the team that created Michelle Pfeiffer’s superior sultry-yet-mad-as-a-bag-of-cats version of the character.


      • Whatever happened to Tim Burton’s Catwoman movie?

        After Batman Returns, Tim Burton and Michelle Pfeiffer were set to make a standalone Catwoman film. So why didn’t they?

        We’ve a lot of time for Tim Burton’s Batman Returns around these parts, a dark and bold blockbuster movie that in many ways – not least because of the number of villains in it – was ahead of its time. The film, though, didn’t do the business that Warner Bros was hoping for, and thus the studio opted to go down a lighter path for the next film, that would become Batman Forever.

        Batman Forever has a nominal producer’s credit on it for Burton, but it only takes minutes (if that) to spy that he had very little to do with the film.

        Over the last few weeks, the fascinating documentary The Death Of Superman Lives: What Happened? has successfully told the story of Tim Burton’s never-made Superman film. But what went wrong with Catwoman?

        Well, the project certainly got going and the ingredients were in place. Michelle Pfeiffer was left out of Batman Forever (as this 1993 Variety article confirms), with the idea being that her take on Catwoman would instead move into her own movie. Daniel Waters, screenwriter on Batman Returns, was hired to write the screenplay, and Tim Burton was seemingly attached to direct the film.

        He signed a development deal with Warner Bros, and in 1994, he was weighing up whether to direct Catwoman or an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s story, The Fall Of The House Of Usher. He would, of course, go on to make neither.

        But Tim Burton’s Catwoman did stay active for a while. In fact, Daniel Waters would turn in his draft of the screenplay in 1995.

        Speaking to Film Review magazine in the summer of that year, he described the plot as “after the traumas of the Batman Returns she has amnesia, and she doesn’t really remember why she has all these bullet holes in her body, so she goes to relax in Oasisburg. What Gotham City is to New York, Oasisburg is to Las Vegas-Los Angeles-Palm Springs. [It’s a] resort area in the middle of the desert. It’s run by superheroes, and the movie has great fun at making fun at the whole male superhero mythos. Then they end up being not very good at all deep down, and she’s got to go back to that whole Catwoman thing”.

        Waters delivered his script on the day that Batman Forever was released in cinemas, and that film would go on to become the biggest grossing feature of 1995. It would also bring in more cash for Warner Bros than Batman Returns. Going down the darker path suddenly didn’t seem to bode very well.

        Pfeiffer told the New York Times around the same time that she was still interested in the project, but also that she was juggling other commitments at the same point. It would be fair to say that things were looking a little dicey at this stage.

        Eventually, the project ran out of steam, and both Pfeiffer and Burton would move on to other films. Warner Bros was more interested in pursuing the lighter world of Batman that director Joel Schumacher had uncovered. “For a while, like a brief time, Tim was interested in maybe doing a Catwoman movie”, Pfeiffer told Empire back in 2012. “But that didn’t really last very long”.

        Not that Warner Bros lost interest, even if Burton did. Recasting soon became an option, and Ashley Judd for a while was mooted as the new big screen Catwoman, and then Nicole Kidman (who had appeared in Batman Forever in a different role).

        Ultimately though, Halle Berry would land the role in director Pitof’s $100m 2004 movie. It would go on to be named Worst Picture Of The Year at the Golden Raspberry awards, and Catwoman has become notorious as one of the worst comic book movie adaptations of all time.

        Berry also picked up a Worst Actress gong at the Razzies, and to her credit, turned up to collect the prize. “First of all, I want to thank Warner Bros. Thank you for putting me in a shit, god-awful movie. It was just what my career needed”, ran her acceptance speech.

        Tim Burton’s Catwoman film, meanwhile, would join Superman Lives as a project swallowed up in development hell…


    • It pains me to say this, but I actually think Batman Returns might be worse than Batman and Robin:


      • I think “Batman Returns” is uneven, but I do like it more than “Batman and Robin”. Honestly though, I like 1989 “Batman” and “Batman Forever” (is it a little cheesy? Yeah, probably. But I like it:-) the best of those group of Batman films. Overall, my favorite Batman is animated (though I like 1966 Batman as well; glad it’s finally on disc).


        • The animated Batman rules. And in the right frame of mind, I still enjoy the old series.


        • Nothing against the Cristopher Nolan (hey, doesn’t he look a lot like Leo DiCaprio?) Treatment, but yeah, I think animated Batman is king. Honestly, it wasn’t the the film’s fault, but that doofus that shot up the place basically ruined the final film for me. I love what Anne Hathaway was with Catwoman (I love Catwoman as a thief, not the “rise from your grave” type, and I always wanted to see Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle together). I just don’t understand how desperate people are to make themselves famous.


        • Well, that guy clearly had problems. I don’t want to open a can of worms on mental health issues in America or gun control or any of that. We’re already discussing sexual abuse in the Edward Furlong article!

          I like the Nolan films. But I don’t love them. His approach leaves out a lot of what I love about Batman, superheroes and comics. The animated Batman took all the best elements from comics and synthesized them.


        • I know, it’s just the theater situation was why I needed time before I viewed that film. I love Catwoman (I like cats in general) and Bane is cool too.
          No, I don’t understand why someone would take out their frustrations on a group of people that meant no harm. That just shouldn’t be the way to make yourself famous. I just don’t know, I suppose:-(


        • James Rolfe from the Cinemassacre website said that the Nolan films are like crime dramas that just happen to have Batman, and I agree with that thought.


        • That’s true of Dark Knight. DKR has some pretty crazy comic book stuff in it. The police are trapped underground for months. Bane’s supervillain plan really makes no sense. I think Nolan was aiming for crime drama that just happens to have Batman in it but the last movie kind of got away from him.


        • I mean, I like the Nolan films, but they don’t capture my imagination. I guess maybe there’s too much real life tragedy and I think the animated work told a better story. I am glad that Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle got together (I actually like “Birds Of Prey”; it helps for me that Dina Meyer is Oracle, but the fact that “Gotham Girls” is on the disc? Total Bonus:-).


        • Oh man, I wanted to like Birds of Prey. I loved the Birds of Prey comic book and I liked Dina Meyer. But that show was wretched. So much wasted potential there. The comic book was terrific.


        • I guess what sold me on the DVD was “Gotham Girls”. Yeah, “Birds of Prey” could’ve been better, But I like Dina Meyer, Shemar Moore (who I I think is fantastic in “Criminal Minds”) and Mia Sara (she played a dark Harley Quinn, and plus I liked “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”). I suppose I like the actors more than I like the show:-)


        • Funny you say that about Nolan as it is widely regarded that Tim Burton found Batman the least interesting subject of that universe so he created Tim Burton style movies that happen to have Batman in them. In Batman Returns this is especially noticeable as it is clear he wants to tell the story of the Penguin and the story of Catwoman but is required to have Batman as well, so he gives him as little screentime as he can.

          Given that Batman Forever was mediocre and Batman and Robin turned the bad aspects of Forever up to 10, I agree with people who’ve said we really haven’t had a true to the character live action Batman yet. I doubt we are going to get that with Batfleck either.


        • I get the impression that Frank Miller fans will love Batfleck. I also expect to have a Hulk rage about half way through the movie.


        • What I like about Batman is that he has no powers, but he became good through intelligence, practice, protection, and a grudge. That being said, I do like Spiderman and Superman, I just relate more to Batman.


        • I’ll give him a chance since Keaton and Bale had people up in arms when they were announced for the part. My real concern about it is that I believe Man of Steel set the tone for the DC cinematic universe and while Batman is a better fit in a dark and gloomy world, Man of Steel’s problems went far beyond just that.


        • At one point I remember Nolan saying that his approach to Batman would not work in a world with Superman in it. Man of Steel proved him right. Now it’s being used for the entire DC Universe. I don’t see how that can work. The architect of that style said right up front “This works for Batman and only solo Batman – no one else”. And yet, here we are.


        • I do think “Gotham Girls” rules though. Anyway, I was reformatting my DVD’s, and one of those DVD’s was “The Best of Charlies Angels” (Sabrina is my favorite angel, because I think she’s a leader), but one of the episodes on the disc is ‘Angels in Chains’, which happens to have a young Kim Basinger (also Mary Woronov as a corrupt deputy).
          I know this is a Michelle Pfeiffer page, but I couldn’t help but mention Kim Basinger;-)


        • I do wonder if Michelle ever addressed the controversy and criticisms surrounding “Batman Returns” and the never made “Catwoman” spin-off movie? I kind of feel that Michelle missed out on a fairly golden opportunity to have her own franchise (which outside of maybe Sigourney Weaver in the “Alien” series, was very rare for a woman from within the action-fantasy-sci-fi genre in those days) as a proverbial “safety net”.


      • I’ll take Batman Returns over Batman and Robin any day. Batman Returns has a lot of flaws. But the good stuff is really good. I find myself going back to it more than any of the other Batman movies from that era. Yes, more than the 89 Batman.


    • 10 Sexiest Movie Villains Ever:

      Catwoman – Batman Returns (1992)

      Now, in a poll of movie villains with an excess of sexual magnetism, some bright spark is always going to call out Catwoman. Well, duh – the question is, which one?

      We can rule out Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt straight away: they only ever played the character on television, as does the current young Selina Kyle on Gotham, Camren Bicondova. 1966 Batman’s Lee Meriwether is okay, but can’t hold a candle to Julie Newmar, and Halle Berry may be Halle Berry, but she’s a godawful Catwoman in a godawful Catwoman movie. That leaves us with Michelle Pfeiffer and Anne Hathaway, and with all apologies to Ms. Hathaway and any other professional duck impersonators who might be reading this, there’s just no competition here.

      Michelle Pfeiffer’s interpretation may not be exactly the Selina Kyle you’re used to, but she’s a quintessential pre-Crisis Catwoman, complete with haphazardly stitched black PVC catsuit, half-mad eyes and feline snarl. Thrown from a high window and left for dead, at first Burton leaves it up to the audience to decide whether she survived the fall and is awakened by cats licking her face, or whether the cats actually bring her back to life… later on he outright confirms that she has nine lives, losing them at a rate of knots throughout the rest of the film.

      Unpredictable and seductive, volatile and slinky, all curling lips and languid, throaty purr, Pfeiffer threw everything she’s got into her performance, learning kickboxing and karate as well as a little light bullwhip action. It’s been hailed as her most iconic role, the one she’ll be remembered for most: it’s certainly the most believable romance in any of the eight Batman movies released to date, Burton making the most of the significant chemistry between Michael Keaton and Pfeiffer and of course between Batman and Catwoman.

      Nearly a quarter of a century later, no one’s going to come close to Pfeiffer’s spiky, provocative portrayal of Catwoman – to be fair to Hathaway, she didn’t try, preferring the comics’ current interpretation of the character as a pragmatic duck burglar. Cat. Cat burglar. Sorry, don’t know where that came from.


  62. HBO orders a Bernie Madoff movie starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer:

    De Niro will play the disgraced financier in Wizard of Lies, directed by Barry Levinson. Pfeiffer will play his wife, Ruth Madoff.


    • HBO’s ‘Wizard Of Lies’: Robert De Niro & Michelle Pfeiffer As Bernie & Ruth Madoff – First Photo:



        Clears throat

        The five year break did some damage to Michelle’s career. After a box office hit with What Lies Beneath and some outstanding reviews for White Oleander, she could have had a very successful run in the mid-2000’s. But if she wanted some family time, then who can blame her?

        She also made some questionable choices post-Hairspray/Stardust. She was the only good thing about Cheri and lets not even talk about that Ashton Kutcher direct to DVD thing. That killed any momentum that Hairspray gave her.

        Also, she holds her hand up and admits that she isn’t very commercially-minded when it comes to picking roles – she was desperately wanted for Thelma & Louise… she turned it down for Frankie & Johnny. The latter IS the better movie/part but it largely went unnoticed.

        The good news? Michelle is admired and respected in the industry and will never be short of an offer in some form.

        We have the HBO movie The Wizard of Lies and the indie production Beat Up Little Seagull to look forward to. The latter made by the production company behind Still Alice. Let’s hope she gets some awards buzz for them.

        Can I also just say… Michelle rejected Still Alice when it was being directed by BRETT RATNER!!


        • Michelle said on “Inside the Actors Studio”, she picks a part on whether she can hear the character when she reads a script. She said something along the lines of being able to hear their voice the rhythm of the character. “White Oleander” therefore, was a challenge for her. Basically, she said she wasn’t sure who that woman or character was but she knew types of the other female characters in the script.


        • I think her role in “White Oleander” was a good part to play, and a good film. It’s really the last film that Michelle Pfeiffer was in that left an impression on me.


      • Future of Movie Stars: Who Will Shine? Who Will Fade Away?

        She was also mentioned in Vance Joy’s song “Riptide” (“I swear she’s destined for the screen, closest thing to Michelle Pfeiffer that I’ve ever seen”), which technically came out in 2014, but it still gets radio play now, so you’re good. 🙂

        I do wonder if her stunning looks actually gave her a bit of a disadvantage in landing serious/good roles at times (the whole “So Beautiful, It’s a Curse” thing), even she obviously has had some great roles, too. I do know she apparently turned down a LOT of roles that went to other big actresses of her time period, so that might have hurt things for her at times, too.


  63. I just watched Michelle in Married to the Mob the other night, probably her big breakthrough role–first big critical success, moderate box office success, Golden Globe nomination. She certainly had a fantastic run from 1988-93; how many actors or actresses have ever snagged a Golden Globe nomination six years in a row, I wonder. While her success may not have been as durable as she or her fans might have liked, when all is said and done I think she will be appreciated as one of the leading actresses of her generation. If you look at actresses who are currently in their fifties (as one way of pinning down her “generation”), it’s hard to find more than a couple with better career’s than Michelle Pfeiffer’s.


  64. “Cool Rider” was too good for Grease 2:

    In the world of unfortunate movie sequels, Grease 2 has a horrible rep. Since it followed an unbelievable smash like 1978’s Grease, there was little chance it would live up to the original. But the sequel hired Grease’s choreographer Patricia Birch to direct her first and still only feature film, and the result is a series of completely over-the-top musical numbers with hundreds of dancing extras, and a nonsensical plot to tie it all together. It’s not like the original Grease was Shakespeare, but it had two huge stars as leads and a soundtrack with years of off-Broadway history behind it along with new songs by songwriters like Barry Gibb. The follow-up did not.

    The then-unknowns hired to head up Grease 2 did the best they could. The sequel switched genders on the original good girl/bad boy setup, with Pink Lady Stephanie (Michelle Pfeiffer) dodging the affections of dreamy but nerdy Michael (Maxwell Caulfield, Rex Manning himself). Because even though Stephanie has outgrown greaser Johnny (Adrian Zmed), like we all have, she still wants a motorcycle guy. She professes her love for her preferred type in her solo, “Cool Rider,” the highlight of the Grease 2 soundtrack. Granted, there’s not much competition, with other cuts like the biology class sex anthem “Reproduction.” “We’re Gonna Score Tonight” (“Let’s bowl, let’s bowl, let’s / Rock ’n’ roll”) improbably pulled off a massive musical number in a bowling alley, while “A Girl For All Seasons” offered some of the most elaborate costuming ever seen in a high-school talent show. These middling songs weren’t terrible on their own, but they were a far cry from “Summer Nights.”

    So Grease 2’s most successful musical number pares down all the headache-inducing fanfare, wisely focusing on the inimitable star magnitude of Michelle Pfeiffer, who is still so popular she was referenced in two hit songs just this past summer (“Riptide” and “Uptown Funk”). In her first real lead, Pfeiffer throws herself into her Grease 2 role, but nowhere more effectively than in “Cool Rider.” The fun and nonsensical logic of musicals compels Stephanie to sing this song to explain to the cardigan-clad Michael why he is too lame for her. Fortunately, “Cool Rider” boasts an excellent hook-filled chorus, as Pfeiffer’s surprisingly sweet vocals sell the song over. She even commits to the dance moves, such as they are: a few kick-ball-changes, some Elvis gyrations, and pivots. By the end, we’re looking for a “Cool Rider” ourselves, as Michael fades away in the distance. Or does he?

    Unfortunately, Grease 2 bombed so badly that any additional sequels were immediately scrapped. But for all its faults, the sequel does not suffer from lack of effort, and “Cool Rider“ shows a glimmer of what a worthy Grease follow-up might have been.



      Pfeiffer somehow manages to be sexy in a tough, non-pandering way in a movie that is incredibly sexual, yet incredibly unsexy despite pandering relentlessly. Beyond remaking Grease, only with the foreigner a dreamy boy this time, Grease 2’s plot centers on the T-Birds’ and Pink Ladies’ suspiciously fierce determination to win the school talent show and Michael’s attempts to win Stephanie’s heart by adopting the persona of Cool Rider, a mysterious biker outlaw whose leather-fetish get-up makes him look less like an actual biker than an extra from Cruising.

      Pfeiffer is so good and so committed here that she almost sells the preposterous conceit that a woman as cool and hip and gorgeous as Pfeiffer was — and remains — would fall rapturously in love with some goon in black motorcycle fetish gear who refuses to reveal his identity and appears to die mysteriously before mysteriously coming back to life like some cross between James Dean, Jesus Christ, and Poochie from The Simpsons. In Pfeiffer’s big production number, “Cool Rider,” the superstar-to-be accomplishes the seemingly impossible feat of putting across a dire “Leader Of The Pack” knockoff through steely determination and furious exertion, although even when delivered by Pfeiffer, the character’s desire for a man “cool enough” that he can “burn me through and through” sounds suspiciously like she’s aching to be burnt by a venereal disease if the guy is hot enough.


  65. Michelle Pfeiffer, Kiefer Sutherland to co-star in indie film Beat-Up Little Seagull–227537

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kiefer Sutherland and Michelle Pfeiffer will co-star in the drama Beat-Up Little Seagull. After a lengthy career in almost all studio films, Pfeiffer is taking a plunge into indies with the starring role. Earlier this month, we reported that Sutherland would definitely not be back as Jack Bauer in the seemingly unkillable 24 series (which is all fine and dandy, since Fox wants a younger, hotter counterterrorist agent, anyway). Sutherland suddenly finds himself free of 24 obligations, and although he told BBC he wanted to do more television, for now it looks like he’s further exploring the indie film game, after having starred in the indie Western Forsaken alongside his father Donald Sutherland.

    Andrew Dosunmu is set to direct Beat-Up Little Seagull from a screenplay written by Darci Picoult, who worked with Dosunmu on his 2013 Nigerian drama, Mother Of George. Dosunmu collaborated with Picoult in writing the story for Beat-Up Little Seagull, which follows the life of a fragile woman (Pfeiffer) who can’t quite find her footing in a fast-paced world. When her mother dies, she has to fight to survive and support herself but hides her struggles from her new boyfriend (Sutherland).

    Beat-Up Little Seagull comes from Killer Films, which has been making some truly killer indies recently. The company produced Emmy-winning HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce as well as this year’s hotly anticipated romantic drama Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as illicit lovers in ’50s New York. The New York-based indie company also made the Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart-starring drama Still Alice, for which Moore won the Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG, and Critic’s Choice Award. According to THR, Pfeiffer turned down the leading role in Still Alice, and based on how Moore cleaned up in awards season, she may have made the wrong choice. But it looks like Pfeiffer—who is currently shooting the upcoming HBO film The Wizard Of Lies—is now ready to give indies a chance. Filming is slated to start November 2 in New York.


  66. i just looked at the list of wthht articles on the right side of the screen… for most of them, the answer to “what the hell happened to ___?” is: they got old…. Hollywood has few parts for actors over 40, and many of them are supporting roles cast with people known as “you know, whatshisname – he’s in everything!”, not formerly a-list stars… and I don’t blame Hollywood… now that I’m over 40, I look around, and few of my contemporaries are going to the movies, let alone an even older audience…. it’s a business, and they’re not going to make movies that people won’t pay to see – millennials don’t give a crap about people like michelle pfeiffer, darryl hannah, sharon stone, etc….


    • No doubt age is a contributing factor especially with the actresses. But I don’t believe age is the only issue at play here. Most of these actors feel from the spotlight at a relatively young age. Besides, “they got old” wouldn’t make for much of an article.

      People have a tendency to get hung up on the question in the title, which I suppose is understandable. Titles are powerful things. Especially online. I have learned that a lot of times, the title is the only thing anyone will ever read. This is the entire reason clickbait works. It’s why WTHH is the most popular series here. The title grabs people’s attention and drives traffic. But what the series is really about is a career retrospective. Generally speaking, the answer to WTHH is something pretty mundane.



      Aging Hollywood beauty Michelle Pfeiffer is having second thoughts about the decision she made decades ago to choose family over career – because now Hollywood is turning its back on her.

      “Hollywood execs rolled out the red carpet for her multiple times – and she snubbed them,” declared an insider.

      The mom of two, married to Hollywood producer David E. Kelley “assumed she could take years off to raise kids and then the offers would start flowing in again,” the source added. “Sadly, she learned a hard lesson – Hollywood has a short attention span.”

      The one-time Catwoman, 55, repeatedly turned down plum roles – including “Pretty Woman,” which earned Julia Roberts a best actress Oscar nomination; “The Silence of the Lambs,” which garnered Jodie Foster a best actress Oscar; “Basic Instinct,” which made Sharon Stone a major star, and “Evita,” which brought Madonna a Golden Globe.

      The mother of Claudia, 20, and John, 19, “now realizes she made several life-changing career mistakes,” said the insider.

      “She’s struggling to find quality roles. Michelle is particularly jealous of Annette Bening’s career.”

      Bening, 55, raised four youngsters with husband Warren Beatty while also juggling a career that includes four Academy Award nominations, six Golden Globe Award nominations with two wins, an Emmy nomination and critically acclaimed theater roles.

      “In 2010, Michelle wanted the lead in ‘The Kids Are All Right,’ but Annette snagged that too,” said the source.

      “Michelle worries she’s jinxed her once red-hot career, but she has something that many in Hollywood can’t boast of – a happy, enduring marriage.”


      • I think it’s nice that Michelle Pfeiffer chose marriage and kids over her career, but she was naive to think she could just jump back into the game like she was never gone. It doesn’t seem to work that way for actresses, unless they do that when they’re very young like Jodie Foster did.


        • Kim Basinger incidentally made the same “mistake” when she went on a three year hiatus after her Oscar win for “LA Confidential”. So basically, if you played Batman’s girlfriend on screen, you really need to try harder to keep her name and face in the public’s general consciousness.


        • It’s by now, kind of safe to suggest or argue that Michelle after experiencing a bit of comeback with “What Lies Beneath”, should have rode that train for a little while longer. Therefore, it’s easy to believe that was the biggest mistake of her career taking her hiatus right after that film. She just about missed out on a good decade and then had to play the proverbial catch-up game.



        Indeed. These are the following roles she turned down according to Wikipedia: “In the 1990s, Pfeiffer accepted and also turned down many high-profile roles, beginning with the title role in Pretty Woman (1990), which earned Julia Roberts a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress… she turned down the role of Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs (1991),[42] which won Jodie Foster the Academy Award for Best Actress, the role of Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct (1992), ultimately played by Sharon Stone,[9][43] and the role of Louise in Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise, that went to the twelve-years-older Susan Sarandon…. she turned down the role of the White Witch in the 2005 fantasy film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, which went to Tilda Swinton.”

        To be fair, some of the roles worked for the substitute actresses so well that they all got critical acclaim from it. However, those are a lot high profile roles she said No too. At that time, she could afford to be choosy as one of the most beautiful women in the world, but still.

        After her critical and commercial success in the early 90s, the rest of her movies in the 90s didn’t do as well. So she quietly went off on a four year hiatus to focus on her family. For most actors, that is hard to come back from. Of course she was an A-lister.

        I agree that she’s a great actress and such a magnetic film presence. It’s too bad she doesn’t work as much, but she seems happy with where she has been.


  67. Now that I think about it a little Michelle seems to be in a similar predicament as her “Batman leading lady” predecessor, Kim Basinger.

    *Both Kim and Michelle never really headlined a major blockbuster. The closest Michelle ever got (where she headlined a successful movie based on her name alone) was “Dangerous Minds”.

    *Both Kim and Michelle in recent years has seemed to be relegated to supporting roles/ensemble pieces (more than often w/ people whom they’ve worked before). Or if they do appear in movies in which they’re the main attraction, they’re not widely distributed.

    *Both Kim and Michelle arguably made poor choices (e.g. Kim’s post-“Batman” pre-“LA Confidential” choices/post-“LA Confidential” choices and Michelle’s “Oprah’s Book Club” period post-“What Lies Beneath”) that didn’t capitalize off of their greatest successes.

    *Both Kim and Michelle seem to take long periods in-between projects. More to the point, both of them (as highlighted in the comments above regarding Michelle at least) often come across as aloof, cold and stand-offish in regards to having to promote their stuff. .


    • Re: Why aren’t Kim Basigner and Michelle Pfeffier more popular these days?

      I don’t see Kim Basinger and Michelle Pfeiffer having that similar a career arc. I see Pfeiffer as more consistent. Sure there are misses but that’s normal for any actor. But she still stars in big budget movies with big directors, even if they don’t always hit the mark- “Dark Shadows” with Tim Burton and “The Family” with Luc Besson. But, throughout her career, not all of her “big” movies have been hits either, at any stage. And even before ‘What Lies Beneath’- she’d make what you call her “Oprah Book Club” choices like “The Deep End of the Ocean”, “To Gillian…” or “Love Field” -these smaller, quirkier movie choices. But you see that with actresses like Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman as well. And aging certainly changes the types of roles they’re offered. Though after a long break Michelle did come back with “Stardust” and “Hairspray”.

      Michelle did say in an interview (during promotion for “Cheri”) that these days there are just fewer movies being made in general (the kind that she makes) and that it’s hard for all actors, including for older actresses. Because of the prevalence of tentpoles, franchises and superhero movies etc.


    • Pfeiffer returns to the big screen, learns she is funny

      Michelle Pfeiffer has been described in many ways — sultry, sexy, serious, cool, aloof. But seldom has the word “funny” been associated with the actress, either on the screen or off. Her portrayal of the evil Velma von Tussle in the big-screen remake of “Hairspray,” however, is changing that.

      “I’m surprised that I’m funny,” Pfeiffer told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira with a laugh during an interview Tuesday. “I don’t consider myself funny.”

      She’s always been something of a mystery woman among Hollywood’s elite, reluctant to open up when she was starring in film after film and racking up Oscar nominations. Lately, she’s just been somewhat of entertainment recluse, choosing to limit her work while raising her two children, adopted daughter Claudia Rose, 14, and son John Henry, 13.


  68. Michelle Pfeiffer’s 12 All-Time Sexiest Movie Roles

    As she moves into what most actresses would consider the twilight of their career, photos from the set of new HBO film Wizard of Lies confirm that Michelle Pfeiffer continues to defy the laws of aging. The 57-year-old has been pictured in New York filming a solo scene as Ruth Madoff, wife of notorious Wall Street fraudster Bernard Madoff, and she looks ready to bring her particular brand of sexy to her starring role opposite Robert De Niro.

    In a career spanning a whopping 35 years, Pfeiffer has taken on a variety of diverse roles across a number of different genres, receiving Oscar nominations for her efforts on three occasions. Her work today is a far cry from her initial career choice, however. After graduating from high school in 1976 Pfeiffer began training as a stenographer, though a court of law was never a suitable setting for such a bright and beautiful young woman.

    She began competing in beauty pageants, and in 1978 won the title of Miss Orange County. Pfeiffer’s performances on the pageant scene caught the attention of an acting agent and before long she was auditioning for television roles, landing parts in Fantasy Island and Delta House but losing out on the part of Sabrina Duncan in Charlie’s Angels. Her disappointment turned out to be short lived when Hollywood came calling with the script for Grease 2.

    The sequel to the hugely popular musical turned out to be a critical and commercial flop, though Pfeiffer’s agent still managed to convince a producer named Martin Bregman that she was right for the part of cocaine addicted trophy wife Elvira Hancock in his upcoming film Scarface. Her performance in the 1983 gangster film put her on the map, and in the years that have followed she has made a name for herself as an actress that is as talented as she is beautiful.

    But which of her performances were the hottest?


  69. EXCLUSIVE: Michelle Pfeiffer Gears Up for a Career Comeback — “She Finally Has Time to Pick Up Where She Left Off”

    Michelle Pfeiffer has never been one to embrace the spotlight, but she really tried to go incognito at a recent health and wellness expo in Anaheim, Calif.

    The three-time Oscar nominee wore dark shades and a fake name tag as she strolled the aisles, meeting with exhibitors about a possible deal for her own product line. “She’s open to just about everything: foods, exercise equipment, vitamin supplements or natural skin care products,” a friend tells Closer. “She’s a huge advocate of clean eating and exercise.”

    With daughter Claudia, 23, and son John, 21, out of the house, Michelle finds herself with an empty nest, and she’s determined to spread her wings again. In addition to her potential endorsement deal, she’s tackling her highest-profile acting role in years, co-starring as Ruth Madoff opposite Robert DeNiro as Bernie Madoff in HBO’s upcoming movie The Wizard of Lies.

    After putting work on the back burner for 15 years to raise her kids with TV producer husband David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, The Practice), “Michelle finally has time to pick up where she left off with her career,” says her friend. “She worked hard researching the character, because there are questions about whether Ruth was aware of her husband’s crooked dealings. It was challenging.”


  70. Domhnall Gleeson and Michelle Pfeiffer board Jennifer Lawrence’s Darren Aronofsky drama


  71. Actors who were tricked into taking roles

    Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2

    It’s hard to believe three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Pfeiffer was once a young ingenue being suckered into bad movies, but that’s what happened when she landed a lead role in the sequel to Grease. She told that her youth and inexperience played a big part in her being lured into the musical, which didn’t even have a finished script during production. “I hated that film with a vengeance and could not believe how bad it was,” Pfeiffer said. “At the time, I was young and didn’t know any better.”


    • Yeah, anyone that has ever seen “Grease 2” would have a difficult argument that the film is being held together by nothing more than bailing wire & bubble gum (LOTS of bubble gum). A total cash grab right there.


      • HOW DID THIS GET MADE? #150

        Actress Anna Faris (Anna Faris Is Unqualified podcast) welcomes Paul, June, and Jason into her home/recording studio to discuss the 1982 musical romantic comedy Grease 2. They’ll talk about the return of Frenchy, the sex in the bunker scene, and the T-Birds being casual about murder. Plus, June shares why she knows every word of this movie and Anna’s tells us about her complicated relationship with the Grease films.


  72. Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer linked with Kenneth Branagh’s Murder On The Orient Express remake


  73. Michelle Pfeiffer hits red carpet for first time in over two years — and looks AMAZING (via @toofab)


    • I looked at that photo gallery up to Janet Jackson (about half of it), and I think most of the women look great. Heather Graham stood out to me, as her pic looks like one of those age-enhanced “Unsolved mysteries” deals. Maybe she was like me and wore mud masks in her high school years.


  74. The Ashton Kutcher curse

    Michelle Pfeiffer (Personal Effects)

    The evergreen Michelle Pfeiffer was going through something of a purple patch when she crossed paths with younger man Ashton Kutcher in 2009’s Personal Effects, a romantic drama written, directed and produced by David Hollander. Unsurprisingly, Hollander hasn’t directed a feature film since (the Kutcher curse extending beyond actors on this occasion), whereas Pfeiffer herself has gone from one high profile misfire to the next.

    The thrice Oscar-nominated actress went straight from Personal Effects into New Year’s Eve, the second in a series of holiday-themed romantic ensembles from Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall, all of which have drawn nothing but scorn from critics. Tim Burton flop Dark Shadows and poorly received mafia comedy The Family did little to steady the ship for Pfeiffer, though she’ll be hoping to right the wrongs of recent years alongside Jennifer Lawrence in an upcoming, as-yet untitled Darren Aronofsky project due for release in 2017.


  75. Michelle Pfeiffer joins board of top environmental group


  76. 2017 is already shaping up to be a good year for Michelle Pfeiffer:


      • Gee, I Wonder What The New ‘mother!’ Poster Is Alluding To

        Go to and you’ll find a clip of Michelle Pfeiffer in prime Pfeiffer-ness, lording it up over Lawrence and chastising her for not wanting children, but then the clip takes a darker turn. Jiggle around further with that website and align the images just so, and you’ll see Lawrence is definitely in a motherly condition (credit to Bloody Disgusting for the image and detective work).

        So is mother! another foray into horror for Aronofsky? How much have you missed seeing Michelle Pfeiffer on screen getting the love she deserves? Are you hoping there’s a twist to the Lawrence/Bardem relationship so it isn’t just another unacknowledged age-gap romance with a younger woman, where we’re all supposed to pretend that’s normal and not a symptom of shitty Hollywood sexism? Let us know in the comments.


        • Michelle Pfeiffer pressures Jennifer Lawrence to have kids in new mother! clip

          Michelle Pfeiffer is trying to pressure Jennifer Lawrence into having kids in the newest clip from Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming horror thriller mother!. The movie stars Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a couple whose peaceful existence is threatened when unexpected guests– including Pfeiffer’s character– invade their home.

          The clip begins with Pfeiffer’s character staring directly into the camera, asking Lawrence (much to her chagrin) why she is against having kids. “I saw how you reacted earlier,” Pfeiffer says. “I know what it’s like when you’re just starting out and you think you have all the time in the world. You know, you’re not going to be so young forever. Have kids. Then you’ll be creating something together.” 

          The movie’s creepy first trailer implied that the home will play a big part in Lawrence’s character’s journey, and this clip implies that as well, with Pfeiffer saying that the house is just “setting,” something which Lawrence doesn’t seem very happy to hear. However, her reaction could be from something else, with the clip ending with Pfeiffer coming close to a shocked looking Lawrence and saying, “Oh, you do want them.” It then goes through a quick glimpse at the creepy imagery shown in the movie’s trailer.

          Aronofsky has said that the whole of mother! is trying to capture a single emotion, so this clip could have something to do with the movie’s bigger goals. However, it’s not entirely clear at this point how it fits into the film, and what will happen through Lawrence’s character throughout. Still, considering the movie’s title, it’s pretty easy to see how children could play into all of it. 

          While not much is known about the plot of mother!, Lawrence has said that the film was very stressful to work on, with the crew building her a “Kardashian tent” full of clips of her favorite reality show stars to help her destress on set. Lawrence said one scene made her hyperventilate so hard that she actually dislocated a rib. “The themes are just huge,” the actress has said of the film. “I can’t use the word I want to use, but the movie is so unique.” 

          Ed Harris also stars in mother!, which hits theaters on Sept. 15. While we wait, see some of the scariest horror movies to ever grace the big screen.


        • Jennifer Lawrence’s mother! receives dreaded F CinemaScore grade

          Despite her quirky charms, down-to-earth personality that’s often been described as “relatable,” and dramatic acting chops that have earned her dazzling awards, Jennifer Lawrence failed to win over CinemaScore audiences in the mind-twisty new movie mother! The Darren Aronofsky-directed pic earned the greatly feared F grade from the film polling company following its Friday night screenings. 

          “Mother! receives an F #CinemaScore grade,” the company bluntly tweeted out, then asking if other viewers agreed with the scoring decision. Some felt that a harsh-as-harsh-can-be grade was right for what went down in the movie, particularly Lawrence’s performance, with one user tweeting out a GIF of Kim Kardashian saying, “It’s what she deserves.” Others didn’t think it was entirely fitting, since the core elements of the half-horror, half-psychological thriller flick “didn’t disappoint.” One user even tucked a jab at CinemaScore inside a statement of genuine confusion: Not familiar with your site but you gave mother! an F and Dark Tower [and] Emoji Movie a B so I can only assume you’re some sort of parody site.”

          CinemaScore isn’t actually a parody site, as most are aware. The company scores films based on reactions from moviegoers at the beginning of a film’s opening weekend, collected using data from a ballot of six questions, in theaters across North America and Canada. Now that the audience has revealed their true feelings about mother!, the film joins others that received an F grade, including Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly, Richard Kelly’s The Box, the Lindsay Lohan-led I Know Who Killed Me, William Friedkin’s Bug, Greg McLean’s Wolf Creek, Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris, and Robert Altman’s Dr. T and the Women.

          Thankfully, CinemaScore stamping mother! with a fat F doesn’t necessarily mean that the film will be dead upon arrival. The score is a reflection of how the first wave of viewers are responding to the work’s intricate concepts and making sense of the narrative that was kept under tight wraps until the film’s official release. 

          Critics, on the other land, largely lauded the movie in early reactions, with Screen Daily calling it a “devouring and restless experience; a creative surge that’s like the lancing of a boil, releasing a torrent of despair and disgust for the greedy chaos of society today as well as a self-loathing portrait of the artist as an emotional succubus.” And even those who weren’t that sold on mother!, noting that it “isn’t quite as fascinating as it thinks it is,” encouraged people to go out and see it, as it’s “something that needs to be experienced.”

          Now that mother! is finally in theaters, you can decide for yourself whether the film, which also stars Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domnhall Gleeson, and Kristen Wiig is truly F-worthy. For now, take a look at some horror movies you need to see before you die.


        • The real reason why mother! flopped at the box office

          While It brought some much-needed life back to the box office after a disappointing summer, Darren Aronofsky’s mother! is the first casualty of the fall after opening to just $7.5 million. The hard-to-define film stars Jennifer Lawrence as the title character, wife to Javier Bardem’s Him and a woman who must deal with the increasing stress of unwanted visitors entering her once-peaceful home.

          The film’s vague log line has been a topic of discussion for months, and the movie became even more shrouded in mystery as confusing trailers and TV spots hit the airwaves. While mother! was as hard to track as it was to explain, no one expected the film to fall as far as it did, opening as Lawrence’s smallest-ever wide release. While the movie had some big stars on board (including Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer), it still wasn’t able to find an audience. Here are the real reasons why mother! flopped at the box office.



      • Paramount Studios defends Jennifer Lawrence after flop

        I’ve heard the film is essentially “torture porn” and a misogynistic film masquerading as “feminist”. I think I’ll end up skipping this one after all.


  77. I hope that this comes out in a way that makes some sense but it seems like Michelle “rests on her laurels” too much. Her “Oprah’s Book Club” period seemed to be (in hindsight), Michelle’s “dork age”. But she seemed to ride that train way too long. In a weird, round about way, Michelle seemed to be afraid to mix things up. As a result, she more or less, became somewhat of a niche actress.

    Part of Michelle’s problem as of late, is that I get the impression that her movie choices are usually based on stuff that she personally wants to make (and therefore, is a tad bit too picky during a period in which one would suggest that she really can’t be such a thing). It’s like Michelle only makes movies if it gives her a good excuse to reunite w/ old friends. I’m not necessarily trying to imply that Michelle acts lazy but it’s quite obvious that many of her movies in recent times haven’t connected w/ the general public.

    I don’t think that Michelle really knows or wants to adapt or change w/ the times in regards to how to do business so to speak. She’s to the best of my knowledge, not on social media and seems to have an ambivalence to more tent-pole, blockbuster, mainstream friendly stuff.


  78. 9 Things You Didn’t Know About The Original Charlie’s Angels Series

    Michelle Pfeiffer

    After Kate Jackson was fired at the end of season three, several up and coming actresses were considered for the role Sabrina Duncan, including Michelle Pfeiffer, Bo Derek and Melanie Griffith. Pfeiffer was a favorite with producers, but her on-screen test showed that she lacked experience, so she was passed over for the part.


  79. Michelle Pfeiffer Reveals Why She Stepped Away From Hollywood

    Oh, Michelle Pfeiffer, you’ve been missed. The three-time Oscar nominee, who took a break from Hollywood after 2013’s The Family, explained her four-year absence to Darren Aronofsky for Interview magazine.

    Aronofsky, 48, directs Pfeiffer, 58, in the upcoming drama Mother!, which also stars his girlfriend, Jennifer Lawrence.

    “Well, the first thing that comes to mind is I’m an empty nester now,” Pfeiffer explained. “I’ve never lost my love for acting. I feel really at home on the movie set. I’m a more balanced person, honestly, when I’m working. But I was pretty careful about where I shot, how long I was away, whether or not it worked out with the kids’ schedule. And I got so picky that I was unhirable. And then … I don’t know, time just went on. And now, you know, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. I’m more open now, my frame of mind, because I really want to work now, because I can.”

    The Hairspray star shares two children — Claudia, 23, and John, 22 — with writer husband David E. Kelley. The couple tied the knot in 1993 following a string of her hits, including Dangerous Liaisons, Batman Returns and The Age of Innocence.

    Pfeiffer first got the acting bug years before her “surfer chick” chapter in high school. “I’m from Orange County, Southern California, and couldn’t have been more removed from the entertainment business. In fact, I didn’t really even go to the movies much. My mother didn’t drive. My father couldn’t be bothered. So, I didn’t really go anywhere,” she said. “But what I did do is I would stay up really late watching old movies on television. I can’t even tell you what they were because I was so young. But I remember watching what they were doing and saying to myself, “I can do that.”

    The actress went on to take a theater class to “avoid” her English course. “I was terrible in English. And all of the kids in the theater department were thought of as being the strange kids on campus. But I felt right at home, which meant, I suppose, that I was one of those strange kids on campus. But nobody told me. And I loved it,” she told Aronofsky for Interview. “I ditched every other class but that one.”

    After graduation, Pfeiffer landed her first gig in the series Delta House in 1979. Four years later, she launched her career by playing Elvira Hancock in 1983’s Scarface opposite Al Pacino. After more than three decades in the business, she will appear in this year’s Murder on the Orient Express and play Bernie Madoff’s wife, Ruth Madoff, in the HBO film The Wizard of Lies, airing next month.

    Nevertheless, Pfeiffer worries that the public will start to think that she’s a “fraud,” which is one reason why she hates doing interviews. “I think that’s because I started working fairly quickly and I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have any formal training. I didn’t come from Juilliard. I was just getting by and learning in front of the world,” she said. “So I’ve always had this feeling that one day they’re going to find out that I’m really a fraud, that I really don’t know what I’m doing.”


    • Michelle Pfeiffer says she’s ‘un-hireable’

      Michelle Pfeiffer believes she is “un-hireable” because she’s “picky” about her roles.

      The 58-year-old actress last appeared on screens in 2013’s ‘The Family’, and says her lack of work in front of the camera these days comes as she made such an effort to make sure her roles were suitable for the schedule of her two children – Claudia, 24, and John, 22, whom she has with her husband David E. Kelley – that it has had a negative impact on the number of studios willing to hire her.

      She said: “I’ve never lost my love for acting. I feel really at home on the movie set. I’m a more balanced person honestly when I’m working.

      “But I was pretty careful about where I shot, how long I was away, whether or not it worked out with the kids’ schedule. And I got so picky that I was un-hireable. And then … I don’t know, time just went on.”

      The ‘Scarface’ actress is currently preparing for her return to Hollywood with three movies in post-production, and has said she’s more “open” to roles now that her children have grown up.

      She added: “I’m more open now, my frame of mind, because I really want to work now, because I can. And these last few years I’ve had some really interesting opportunities.”

      Meanwhile, the blonde beauty – who is set to appear in ‘Where Is Kyra?’, ‘mother!’, and ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ later this year – has said she never lost her passion for acting during her break from the industry, and appreciates that having her passion as her occupation is a “blessing”.

      She told Interview magazine’s April issue: “What’s interesting is, there’s always a lot of talk to young people about finding their passion, following their passion. But I remember reading somewhere that a lot of people don’t have a passion. And there’s this pressure to have one. It’s perfectly fine not to have one. But to be lucky enough to know what that is at such a young age is really a blessing.”


      • Five Reasons Why “mother!” Sucks

        It makes no sense. I don’t mind a movie that’s open to interpretation, but this one falls into the category of “cryptic yet meaningless.” Here’s a quick plot summary: Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem play a married couple who receive an unexpected visit from some extremely strange strangers (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer). Now repeat that and multiply ad nauseam. It’s basically a horror movie about annoying houseguests who won’t leave. Saturday Night Live did it better with John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray — in a minute and 15 seconds.

        The cast is utterly wasted. Speaking of Saturday Night Live, one of its most gifted alums shows up late in the film — I won’t spoil who it is, though I don’t think you can spoil such a rotten movie — which makes mother! seem even more like a sick (and unfunny) joke. The four main characters have one personality trait apiece, and they’re given no backstories that might help us care about them. So we don’t.

        Darren Aronofsky is one creepy mother! Not since David Lynch sexually tortured his real-life girlfriend Isabella Rossellini in Blue Velvet has a filmmaker so reveled in the degradation of his alleged off-screen love. J-Law is stripped nude by a vicious mob, beaten, brutalized and burned. Aronofsky’s ex Rachel Weisz seriously dodged a bullet (and upgraded by marrying Daniel Craig).

        The movie isn’t disturbing, just disorienting. There’s a difference, Darren. Go back and re-watch your masterpiece, Requiem for a Dream, to remind yourself what it’s like to create a truly powerful psycho-drama. This is like Black Swan Lite — and Black Swan was pretty light to begin with, if you ask me. Keeping a camera tight on J-Law as she stumbles through a creepy old house is the definition of cheap thrills.

        It leaves us wanting less. The ending is an embarrassing cop-out — it’s like something from a freshman English major’s really long short story. We’re left with unanswered questions about what it all means. Is this suffering a metaphor for fame? Parenthood? Religion? Who cares? Perhaps picking up on a line J-Law offhandedly delivers about the apocalypse, the closing credits feature Skeeter Davis singing, “Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?” If only we were so lucky.


    • Michelle Pfeiffer Reveals Why She “Disappeared” from Hollywood

      There was a good decade and a half after Michelle Pfeiffer’s breakout performance in 1983’s Scarface when the actress was on a true Hollywood tear. She earned three Oscar nominations in a four-year span (for Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys, and Love Field). She spread her talents across costume (The Age of Innocence), romance (Frankie and Johnny), fantasy (The Witches of Eastwick), and comedy (Married to the Mob) genres. And in a rare feat for actors, she even managed to receive universal critical acclaim for her interpretation of an iconic character, Catwoman, in Batman Returns. But not long after that, Pfeiffer dropped off the radar in a self-imposed exile. In a new interview, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky—who recently directed Pfeiffer in a mysterious project called Mother!—goes so far as to call the film period sans Pfeiffer a “famine.”

      But in their conversation for Interview, Aronofsky also gets Pfeiffer to confess why she dropped off the Hollywood radar—except for the occasional low-profile project she’d tackle every few years.

      “I’ve never lost my love for acting,” Pfeiffer explains. “I’m a more balanced person, honestly, when I’m working. But I was pretty careful about where I shot, how long I was away, whether or not it worked out with the kids’ schedule. And I got so picky that I was unhireable. And then . . . I don’t know, time just went on . . . I disappeared, yeah.”

      There was one perk to her disappearance from Hollywood, though: she didn’t have to do any interviews, which she hates.

      “I was thinking today, ‘Why do I hate being interviewed so much?’” Pfeiffer tells Aronofsky. “And I think it may be that I have this constant fear that I’m a fraud and that I’m going to be found out . . . I started working fairly quickly, and I wasn’t ready.”

      “I didn’t have any formal training,” the actress says of her speedy ascent from Orange County grocery clerk to beauty pageant winner to television actress to, just four years later, her Scarface breakout. “I didn’t come from Juilliard. I was just getting by and learning in front of the world. So I’ve always had this feeling that one day they’re going to find out that I’m really a fraud, that I really don’t know what I’m doing.”

      Now that her two children are grown and out of the house, though, Pfeiffer has decided to return to the screen with a flurry of projects, including HBO’s upcoming Bernie Madoff movie, The Wizard of Lies (in which Pfeiffer plays Ruth Madoff); the mysterious Aronofsky project Mother!, which co-stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem; and Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of the Agatha Christie classic Murder on the Orient Express co-starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz.

      Although still uncertain about interviews, Pfeiffer seems confident that the time is finally right for her onscreen comeback, saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears. I’m more open now, my frame of mind, because I really want to work now, because I can. And these last few years I’ve had some really interesting opportunities.”


  80. They could be sisters! Sarah Jessica Parker, 52, and Michelle Pfeiffer, 58, look remarkably similar as they tape Actors On Actors


  81. Ladyhawke (1985) Retrospective / Review


  82. Celebs who cheated with co-stars

    John Malkovich & Michelle Pfeiffer

    We’ll just start off here with the obvious question: What? How? Why? Okay, that’s three questions to which there aren’t really answers, but this one is at least no rumor. John Malkovich hooked up with Michelle Pfeiffer while they were shooting Dangerous Liaisons in 1988. According to The New York Times, director Stephen Frears confirmed that when the affair happened, Malkovich’s “marriage was breaking up,” and that he was going through “a difficult time.” Obviously, they didn’t stay together, and in fact, Malkovich actually disappeared “for nearly two years” after both the affair and his marriage to Glenne Headley ended.

    Decades later, the unendingly quirky Malkovich reflected on the affair to Esquire, saying, “It’s hard to believe Michelle Pfeiffer ever said hello to me—not that she’s not memorable, God knows. But I sort of blacked it out. What I’m trying to say is, when I think of the other person, I don’t think of me as involved with them. They’re uncorrupted by me. As if they were never troubled by my existence.” We honestly have no clue what that means, but it makes about as much sense as John Malkovich getting it on with Michelle Pfeiffer. Really can’t stress enough how weird that is. 


  83. Michelle Pfeiffer and Laurence Fishburne are joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in #AntMan sequel #SDCC2017


  84. PICTURED: Michelle Pfeiffer, 59, makes very rare appearance with both her husband David E Kelley and daughter Claudia Rose in New York City



    Completely unrelated but I find myself kinda fascinated by and almost giddy about this mini Michelle Pfeiffer career renaissance (Mother, Murder on the Orient Express, Ant-Man and the Wasp, plus the Bernie Madoff TV movie). I’m a little too young to have watched her during her 80-early 90’s heyday (although Dangerous Minds was probably the first R rated movie my little grade school friends and I rented without our parents. Shhhhh. Don’t tell them.). But maybe that’s why. Of course, I’ve seen a lot of her movies either after the fact or the ones that came out in the late 90s-early 2000s when I was more age appropriate, but, even when I was little and wouldn’t have known the Fabulous Baker Boys from the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker, I still knew enough to know that she was the movie star and the name and the beauty. And I think the name still carries a bit of mystique, at least to me. And it’s not as if she hasn’t worked over the last decade or so but I’m glad she’s getting better profile work than that crumby New Year’s Eve movie or Dark Shadows remake.


  86. Michelle Pfeiffer on Her Hollywood Hiatus and Return to Superhero Films

    he cinema gods broke the mold when they made Michelle Pfeiffer.

    In her greatest performances, as say, Susie Diamond or Catwoman, she’s achingly beautiful and unapologetically ballsy. Whether slinking across a grand piano while crooning “Makin’ Whoopee” or fending off Batman with a bullwhip, Pfeiffer conveys an inner strength, but also a flicker of vulnerability. In the late 1980s and ’90s, few stars blazed brighter. But as the aughts dawned, Pfeiffer stepped away from Hollywood to focus on raising her two children.

    “It wasn’t a conscious choice to not work for five years,” Pfeiffer says. “It was just as my kids got older it got harder. They were school age, and I couldn’t schlep all around the world and disrupt their routines. I set down so many restrictions about when and where I could be on location that I became kind of unhirable.”

    From 2004 to 2007, for instance, she didn’t appear in any films, and from 2013 to 2017, there was another gap without a big-screen turn. When she has popped up, it’s largely been in pictures that aren’t a match for her talent. “Dark Shadows” and “The Family” may have their fans, but they’re no “Dangerous Liaisons.” That could change. At 59, an age when Hollywood has been known to force actresses into retirement or a purgatory of grandmother roles, Pfeiffer is busier than ever. She’s picked up an Emmy nomination playing Ruth Madoff in HBO’s “The Wizard of Lies” and earned raves for her work as a creepy houseguest in “Mother!” Next month she’s part of an all-star cast in Kenneth Branagh’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” playing opposite Johnny Depp, Judi Dench and Daisy Ridley.

    “There seems to be a lot of me out there at the moment,” says Pfeiffer. “My kids are older, and I’m an empty nester. I just decided to revisit going back to work now.”

    When Pfeiffer spoke to Variety, she was set to start shooting Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” for her highest-profile role in years. She’ll play Janet van Dyne, the original Wasp. Her research has entailed poring over old comic books.

    “I just started reading them, and I’m having a really hard time,” she says. “There’s so much information on a page, and it’s not linear. When I’m skim reading them it’s difficult to know that this part comes after that and who is talking in what bubble.”

    She decided to do her first superhero movie since “Batman Returns” partly because she enjoyed director Peyton Reed’s take on “Ant-Man.” “It had this great sense of humor about it and just this unusual tone,” she says. “This new script has the same thing. It’s nicely written.”

    She’s also pleased that more than 20 years after its release, “Batman Returns,” with its grim take on Gotham City, is still held up as a high point of cinematic Dark Knight tales. “It was all Tim Burton,” she says. “He was able to bring this heart and darkness and humor to it.”

    Pfeiffer says she would love to reprise her Catwoman character, though she won’t repeat the lengths she went to in playing Selina Kyle. In the pre-CGI era, a scene where Catwoman sticks a bird in her mouth before releasing it required her to perform with a live animal. “I can’t believe I did that,” she says. “I could have gotten a disease.”

    Count “Mother!” director Darren Aronofsky among those rooting for a Pfeiffer comeback. He tells Variety he’d like to work with her again, and believes the roles she’s receiving may eclipse the ones that put her on the map. “I remember taking this class on directing actors, and the teacher was awful, but one thing he said really stuck with me,” says Aronofsky. “He said, ‘Michelle Pfeiffer — it’s rare to get such talent and beauty in one package.’ I was always aware of her abilities, dating all the way back to ‘Scarface.’ But in many of her performances there was a lot that was untapped. I don’t think the roles back then were necessarily that great for women. I’m excited to see what she’s going to tackle now.”

    Hollywood didn’t always know what to do with Pfeiffer, saddling her with an underwritten role in “Wolf” or putting her in romantic comedies such as “The Story of Us” that skimped on the laughs and the romance. But as Pfeiffer notes, she also was choosy, turning down “The Silence of the Lambs” and “To Die For,” which scored awards for other actresses. Some of those decisions rankle. She passed on “Thelma & Louise,” for instance, because shooting conflicted with “Love Field,” a drama about the Kennedy assassination that earned her an Oscar nomination. “I still can’t watch ‘Thelma & Louise,’” she says. “It was a direct conflict, so it was one film or the other. It still kills me. You can’t always do everything. You’ve got to give something up.”

    Reviews singled out Pfeiffer for her work in “Mother!,” but the film divided audiences. It’s one of the only movies to receive an F CinemaScore. Pfeiffer isn’t surprised.

    “It’s what Darren set out to do,” she says. “He set out to make a controversial film that was going to engage people and enrage people and provoke people. It’s certainly thought-provoking and got people talking.”

    “Murder on the Orient Express” looks to be more of a crowd-pleaser. Pfeiffer plays a widow who is viewed by some of the passengers on the train as a husband hunter. In a cast of heavy hitters, she stands out.

    “There’s almost a tomboy quality in her easy humor and warmth, and then the next moment she stuns you by an entirely womanly femininity that takes your breath away,” says Branagh. “A third of the time, I laughed a lot with Michelle; a third of the time, I marveled at her wondrous command of camera and scene; and a third of the time, I just tried to get the image of her sliding across the piano in that red dress in ‘The Fabulous Baker Boys’ out of my mind.”

    Pfeiffer confesses that before shooting began, she was nervous that she wouldn’t be able to hold her own. “I have to say acting with all of them kind of intimidated me,” she says. “The amount of talent in the room was not lost on me. I didn’t get over that for the first few days.” It’s odd to think of Pfeiffer, who has three Oscar nominations and a case of iconic roles, getting butterflies about meeting anyone. But one actress in particular left her cowed.

    “It’s Judi Dench,” she says. “I cried when I met her. My eyes kept filling with tears.”


  87. Michelle Pfeiffer shares some advice for young actors | Variety Uncovered Presented by @Dermstore #PowerOfWomen


  88. The face of beauty is getting older and less white

    Michelle Pfeiffer (left) was named as People magazine’s “World’s Most Beautiful” in 1990 while Viola Davis made 2017’s “50 Most Beautiful List.”


  89. ‘It took a lot of courage’: Michelle Pfeiffer lauds Gwyneth Paltrow for ‘speaking out’ against Harvey Weinstein as director Judd Apatow slams ‘creep’ movie mogul


  90. Michelle Pfeiffer: The abuse of women in Hollywood is ‘systemic’

    Michelle Pfieffer has spoken out this morning in relation to the Harvey Weinstein scandal. The actress appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show with Olivia Colman to promote their new film, Murder on the Orient Express, and was asked for her thoughts on the much talked about topic of abuse and control in Hollywood.

    “I’ve never worked with Harvey,” she said, “I’ve had some experiences – I have to say since this has all come out. There really hasn’t been one women I’ve spoken to that hasn’t had an experience. It just goes to show you how systemic the problem is.”

    She added, “I know that I’m having conversations with women I’ve known my whole life and we’ve never discussed this, and it’s all coming out.”

    Marr then asked if Pfieffer believed the revelations would change the atmosphere for young women coming into the industry.

    “There’s a lot of reflection going on with men and women,” she responded. “Even I am thinking, where is that line between ‘oh I got hit on’ and I was inappropriately…”

    “Is it about power?” Marr interjected.

    “I think when you’re in a position of power, and you’re in a position to intimidate someone, then it becomes an issue,” said Pfieffer. Her co-star Colman then pointed out that a lot of the women that have come forward with allegations of assault are in their early twenties. “They’re younger, they’re purposefully targeted,” said Colman.

    at 3:00


  91. Michelle Pfeiffer: ‘I’m Always Afraid of Failing’

    Returning to movies after years off to raise her children, the actress said she had to tell herself, “You cannot bomb in front of Judi Dench.”

    Michelle Pfeiffer has been missed. The actress, 59, dipped in and out of movies as she raised a daughter and son with her husband, the television writer and producer David E. Kelley. Now that her children are grown, she’s returned in a head-snapping way this year: In “The Wizard of Lies,” the HBO movie, she played Ruth Madoff to Robert De Niro’s Bernie; opposite Jennifer Lawrence, she was the houseguest from hell in Darren Aronofsky’s allegorical thriller “Mother!”; and she’s the sexy widow in Kenneth Branagh’s remake of “Murder on the Orient Express,” due Nov. 10.

    Sitting cross-legged and barefoot on a couch in a Beverly Hills hotel suite, her Birkenstocks nearby, Ms. Pfeiffer was soft-spoken except for the occasional ripping laugh. Offscreen, she’s a D.I.Y. maven, complete with tool belt; it’s how she grew up. “My dad was a contractor,” she said. “He’d literally give me a hammer and some nails and some piece of wood, and I would just go make something.”

    After a memorable turn as Catwoman in the 1992 film “Batman Returns,” she re-enters the comic book universe next year in “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” And she’s singing again too — that’s her voice over the closing credits of Mr. Branagh’s film.

    One role she’s not revisiting is producer. Ms. Pfeiffer, who once had a successful production company, is content with acting. Though she never worked with Harvey Weinstein, she was hopeful, she said, that Hollywood would change after the allegations against him. “It has to,” she said.

    When you took a pause from acting, was it also because the roles were thin?

    It seemed like it was harder and harder to say yes, and the roles didn’t warrant leaving my family. I didn’t want to disrupt their routine over and over again, so I started being very picky about when I worked, where, how long I was away, so it limited my choices. It may be that I just also didn’t want to work on a subliminal level. After five years I started to really yearn for the work and even my kids were saying, ‘Mom, aren’t you going to go back to work?’ Which kind of hurt my feelings.

    Around the time we started looking at colleges, I realized how it was going to hit me really hard [to have an empty nest] and that I better get something going. I really need to feel like I’m creating something and that my life has meaning. I’m not just going to start playing bridge.


  92. 9 Things You Didn’t Know About Michelle Pfeiffer And David E. Kelley’s Relationship

    Michelle Pfeiffer and David E. Kelley have been married for 24 years! Despite their long-standing relationship, not a lot is known about them because they are fiercely protective of their family, and like to keep their personal lives private. Along with this, Peiffer took a step back from acting to raise their two children, and even moved out of Hollywood and into the San Francisco area. She’s been slowly making her way back into the world of acting, and will soon be celebrating another wedding anniversary with her TV writer-producer husband, so let’s take a look at 9 things you probably didn’t know about their relationship!


  93. I have always been a bit conflicted about Michelle Pfeiffer and her acting ability.

    As a comparison / reference, I remember one time reading an article about Reba McIntyre where – at the very beginnings of her career – a major Country – Western producer stated that “her voice was so good that he couldn’t tell if the song she performed was any good.”

    This is kind of how I have always viewed Michelle Pfeiffer. I get so struck by the fact that she is so damn beautiful (still is for her age), that it distracted me from being able to really determine if her acting was really any good. . . or at least award worthy.
    I’m not sure that some of her nominations had as much to do with her looks as it did with her ability.
    Didn’t really matter , In her younger days I probably would have watched her in a used car infomercial.
    The only woman I can think of off hand that could rival her in looks was Catherine Deneuve.


  94. Michelle Pfeiffer Inspired Alien 3 Xenomorph Design

    David Fincher and designer H.R. Giger used Michelle Pfeiffer as visual inspiration for the design of the title creature in Alien 3.


  95. What Lies Beneath The Comeback Of Michelle Pfeiffer And The Decline Of Julia Roberts

    Pfeiffer’s return to the spotlight feels like something to celebrate. Perhaps it even shows Hollywood is changing.

    By Matthew Jacobs

    In August 2004, Entertainment Weekly ran a cover story headlined “Why Can’t Hollywood Find The Next Julia Roberts?” The magazine labeled the article a “special report,” a term news outlets typically reserve for investigative projects. It likened Roberts’ stature to that of Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis, Denzel Washington, John Travolta and Harrison Ford. Together, EW contended, they represented a dying breed of movie star.

    Hollywood had long relied on Julia Roberts types ― those whose neatly packaged, idiosyncratic charisma becomes its own brand ― and it’s telling that EW chose her as the story’s centerpiece. She was, in many senses, the king and queen of Hollywood, the platonic ideal of a big-screen icon. She had the box office, the tabloid regalia, the trysts with co-stars, the $20 million paychecks, the Oscar, the rumors of demanding on-set behavior, the good looks and the sweetheart status that eclipsed it all.

    The question EW posed ― why can’t Hollywood find the next Julia Roberts? ― was, at the time, an omen for an industry reckoning with the declining power of movie stars. It was also an omen for Roberts herself: She wasn’t even 40, and already we were seeking her heir.

    A lot has happened since 2004. A radically altered movie economy, in which franchises rule the day and internet clicks dictate a celebrity’s worth, leaves little room for the Julia Roberts we once knew. Roberts’ highest-grossing movie from 2004 to 2016 wasn’t one of the leading-lady rom-coms or electric thrillers that had been her signature. It was “Valentine’s Day,” Garry Marshall’s critically scorned ensemble cheeseball, in which she commanded $3 million for six measly minutes of screen time. In fact, Roberts had only one true star vehicle during that period ― 2010′s lumbering adaptation of “Eat Pray Love” ― and its revenue was decent at best. That year, the brash founder and columnist Nikki Finke called Roberts a “has-been.” Come May 2016, a Hollywood Reporter headline declared: “Julia Roberts’ Box-Office Power In Question.”

    While the media was appraising Roberts’ sway, another “it girl” who emerged in the 1980s and reached her zenith in the ’90s was nowhere to be found. As she had for a few years in the 2000s, Michelle Pfeiffer was taking a break from acting after her kinetic crime comedy “The Family” opened to moderate success in 2013. Roberts and Pfeiffer were both focusing on motherhood, with Pfeiffer forgoing work altogether.

    Generally considered a more serious but less commercially branded actress than Roberts, Pfeiffer has long been a Grade-A star whose esteem survived the media’s preoccupation with her beauty. “Blond, sultry, and ethereal, Michelle Pfeiffer has floated across the screen for less than a decade, but her face has proved unforgettable,” screenwriter Peter Stone wrote in Interview magazine in 1988, three years after a New York Times review said she “may well be the most beautiful woman in movies today.”

    In the ’90s, Pfeiffer was the first to appear twice on the cover of People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in the World. (The superficial superlative has since become the World’s Most Beautiful Woman.) Anywhere she went, her symmetrical features and oceanic eyes preceded her, just as Roberts’ megawatt smile and hearty laugh inspired the adjectives that modified her name in profiles and television interviews. Roberts, too, graced People’s Most Beautiful covers ― a record five times, and as recently as this year.

    But Pfeiffer’s household fame never quite matched those listed in the Entertainment Weekly cover story; her talent outpaced her celebrity. Press-shy and private about her personal life, she didn’t eschew fame, yet she didn’t seem to court it.

    It was Roberts who was deemed the world’s preferred prey. Those who threatened to usurp her ― Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon ― never quite pulled it off. Roberts’ every move made headlines, and on the surface it seemed she was doing nothing to dispel that attention. (“I don’t think I realized that the cost of fame is that it’s open season on every moment of your life,” she told Vanity Fair in 1999.) Roberts has insisted the paparazzi-hounded actress she played in “Notting Hill” wasn’t a commentary on her experiences, but it’s impossible to separate the two. Director Richard Curtis said the character was based on a hybrid of Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, either of whom could reasonably be called the Julia Roberts of their day.

    Pfeiffer’s range ― from dexterous physical comedy to dramatic heft ― ensured the Michelle Pfeiffer Movie did not need a genre unto itself. But the Julia Roberts Movie? Well, Hollywood and the media worked in tandem to create it. The roles Roberts took ― almost always mainstream and marketable ― and the relentless attention paid to her personal life formed a happy marriage that she could not annul. She became a trademark.

    Today, both Pfeiffer and Roberts star in films that encapsulate their four decades in Hollywood, and the changes that have befallen their industry.

    Pfeiffer ended a three-year hiatus this year. “Where Is Kyra?,” a stripped-down indie drama about an unemployed divorcée, premiered at Sundance in January. She played a pained Ruth Madoff in HBO’s “The Wizard of Lies,” made a scene-stealing appearance in Darren Aronofsky’s allegorical thriller “mother!,” and, most recently, powered through Kenneth Branagh’s disappointing remake of “Murder on the Orient Express.” In each, her arrival is like a flare; scenes with Pfeiffer exceed ones without.

    Two Roberts movies opened this year. They’re her latest since the one-two doozy of “Mother’s Day” and “Money Monster” in 2016, and the inert thriller “Secret in Their Eyes” in 2015, all of which saw tepid box-office returns. March’s “Smurfs: The Lost Village” and November’s “Wonder” are family-friendly sugarplums in which Roberts is not the center of attention. Her roles ― an animated, motherly leader in the former, a gifted artist turned stay-at-home mom in the latter ― could have been recast without loss. Which doesn’t mean she’s not good; it just shows that Julia Roberts is no longer the most interesting thing about Julia Roberts movies, in turn rendering the once-perennial Julia Roberts Movie an outmoded genre.

    As paragons of late 20th-century and early 21st-century stardom, what can we surmise about Pfeiffer, whose work this year earned sterling reviews, and Roberts, whose screen appearances barely registered beyond the Most Beautiful badge bestowed upon her by People magazine?

    Even if Roberts defines contemporary movie stardom ― with her quintessential blend of aspirational otherworldliness and everyday reliability, the latter of which wasn’t valued in Old Hollywood dignitaries ― Pfeiffer has a textured screen presence that Roberts does not. She’s a craftswoman before she’s a commodity.

    When we think of Pfeiffer’s career highlights, no two performances are alike. She’s a junkie in “Scarface,” a frazzled columnist in “The Witches of Eastwick,” a chaste maiden in “Dangerous Liaisons,” a deliciously seductive villain in “Batman Returns,” a hostile aristocrat in “Wolf,” an enterprising schoolteacher in “Dangerous Minds,” a spooked housewife in “What Lies Beneath,” a murderous free spirit in “White Oleander,” a racist busybody in “Hairspray.”

    Roberts’ characters, on the other hand, may vary in profession and social stature, but they are always Julia Roberts duplicates first and foremost. From 1997 to 2001, “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Conspiracy Theory,” “Stepmom,” “Notting Hill,” “Runaway Bride,” “Erin Brockovich,” “The Mexican” and “America’s Sweethearts” opened to swimming success, largely on her name alone. In each, she played a variation on the strong-willed but vulnerable fireball. And in each, Julia Roberts the cultural luminary and Julia Roberts the girl next door outranked Julia Roberts the actress. She always wins in the end.

    Indeed, by 2001, the Julia Roberts Movie had become such an entity that her appearances in “Full Frontal” and the first two “Ocean’s” capers were postmodern meta-commentaries on her dazzling, overwhelmingly famous and relatively one-note image as ― well ― America’s tabloid-friendly sweetheart.

    Her Oscar-winning turn in “Erin Brockovich” was perfect because she embraced that Julia Roberts-ness and pushes it aside ― she was both a sensitive beauty queen and an uncompromising sass machine. “Brockovich” should have made “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” (2002), “Closer” (2004), “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007) and the little-seen “Fireflies in the Garden” (2008) easier sells. She was fine in all of these underwritten roles, but watching her was like entering a void in which Julia Roberts was still Julia Roberts while trying not to be Julia Roberts. Even when her distinguished grin was still employed, as in “Charlie Wilson’s War,” it lacked the levity that traditionally accompanied it.

    At $90 million and counting, the surprisingly lovely “Wonder” has produced Robert’s heftiest box office since “Valentine’s Day.” But she is hardly the most interesting thing about it. The PG tearjerker belongs to Jacob Tremblay, who plays her son, born with a facial deformity, and the other young actors, namely Noah Jupe and Izabela Vidovic. This is so far removed from a Julia Roberts Movie that it’s almost jarring when she finally flashes that smile at the end.

    Compare this with Pfeiffer, who appears at Jennifer Lawrence’s doorstep in “mother!” as if to declare herself back in business, and who waltzes onto the Orient Express as if to render its many other movie stars bit players. Because Pfeiffer has more gradations, she needn’t rely on packaging handed to her by film executives or journalists. No matter how much anyone obsesses over her beauty, she’ll always be the “Dangerous Liaisons” virgin and the “Batman Returns” vixen in the same breath.

    To some degree, we’ll always want Roberts to be the love-starved darling; that’s our fault, not hers. But brands must mature with time, and Roberts’ post-ingenue roles have struggled to reframe her narrative. None of this is to say that she isn’t talented. But by feeding into the Julia Roberts Movie paradigm, even by no fault of her own, Roberts pigeonholed herself. If it’s her own choice to take smaller, safer roles, so be it. But as we approach the 2020s, the job of an aging movie star must be one of adaptation. And if anyone is capable of such a feat, surely it’s the most famous movie star of them all.

    Pfeiffer’s hiatus helped to ensure her career didn’t become directionless, like she was lost amid the identity crisis that prevented Hollywood from, say, finding the so-called next Julia Roberts. That’s why Pfeiffer’s return feels like something to celebrate: It’s another actress overcoming the media’s prescribed image, the way only the best can.

    Now it’s Roberts’ turn.


  96. The untold truth of Michelle Pfeiffer

    Despite being a sought-after Hollywood star, Michelle Pfeiffer manages to fly mostly under the radar. Fiercely private, yet totally captivating onscreen and in person, she invites a certain intrigue that makes you wish you knew more about her. And although she tends to stay pretty buttoned up on matters both personal and professional, this much is evident — Pfeiffer has come a long way since her first role in the 1979 TV series Delta House as “the bombshell.” Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about the stunning star. 

    She dislikes giving interviews with a passion

    For an actor with such an impressive body of work, you won’t find a ton of incredibly telling interviews with Pfeiffer on record. Not only is the star notoriously private, but in an interview with director Darren Aronofsky for Interview magazine, she also admitted she has a strong distaste for the idea actors should be obligated to do interviews. At the onset of her interview with Aronofsky, Pfeiffer jokingly asked, “Did anyone forewarn you that I’m maybe, like, the worst interviewee that ever was?” Then, in all seriousness, Pfeiffer detailed her typical less-than-enthusiastic approach to interviews. 

    “I thought it was very clever to have you because I usually don’t feel any responsibility to give up anything. I sort of bide my time until the interview is over, and I can be pretty withholding,” she told Aronofsky. “But now, because I like you, I have to make an effort.” 

    All signs point to her suffering from imposter syndrome

    Are you plagued by a nagging fear that one day the world will realize you’re not good enough? That you don’t necessarily deserve the success you have and any moment it may all disappear? According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, you could be suffering from imposter syndrome, which is defined as “a false and sometimes crippling belief that that one’s successes are the product of luck or fraud rather than skill.” And, by that definition, it would certainly seem Pfeiffer shares the affliction. 

    While speaking with Interview, the actor admitted she lives with the “constant fear” that she is a fraud and will be found out. “But I think that’s because I started working fairly quickly and I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have any formal training. I didn’t come from Juilliard. I was just getting by and learning in front of the world. So I’ve always had this feeling that one day they’re going to find out that I’m really a fraud, that I really don’t know what I’m doing,” Pfeiffer explained. 

    She was once in a cult

    While it might sound more like the plot of a movie she’d star in than real life, Pfeiffer doesn’t hide the fact that she fell prey to a cult during her early, more vulnerable acting years. “I was pretty young and very alone,” she told The Telegraph. “I didn’t live with them or anything — so I wasn’t that far gone. Much later I did some research into cults to try to understand what had happened to me, and the way they operate is they hook people on very intellectual and existential ideas. And people who are always questioning and thinking, that kind of personality can sometimes lead to hopelessness, and that’s where they get you.” 

    Ultimately, Pfeiffer lost most of the money she had at the time (not to mention her naivete) to her time with the cult, making it a hard-learned lesson. However, Pfeiffer did manage to find a silver lining. In her research on cults, she uncovered data stating that typically people with extremely high IQs wind up in cults. Laughing, she said of this theory, “That didn’t make me feel quite so bad.” 

    She would love to land in a TV series

    The key to getting Pfeiffer to open in interviews may just be to have fellow industry creatives do the interviewing. As part of Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series, Pfeiffer sat down with Sarah Jessica Parker to talk shop. After a few moments, the female powerhouses’ banter led to an interesting career revelation on Pfeiffer’s part. While chatting about Parker’s return to television for HBO’s Divorce, conversation turned to the evolution of the medium. “Television has changed so much,” said Pfeiffer, “even in the last 10 years, especially for women. It’s such an amazing place.” 

    Seeing an opening, Parker seized the opportunity to press Pfeiffer about her interest in committing to a TV series, should the right one come along. “I would love to do something in television,” revealed Pfeiffer, whose early acting included a few series. “Because at this stage in my life, it actually fits really well, because I like the idea of just being in one place for awhile — I think there is a range of possibilities in television.” 

    She’s a self-professed perfectionist with control issues

    When it comes to Pfeiffer’s craft, there’s a driving force behind her ability to pin down the characters she plays with such precision — she’s a perfectionist. Always has been, she told The Telegraph, “which has never been easy for me, or anyone else, to live with.” But the actor admits her breed of perfectionism is also accompanied by some control issues, a truth she came to terms with in therapy. 

    “I was kind of surprised to learn how controlling I am. I never thought of myself in that way. I think the root of the control issues is usually fear, because you want to know what’s going to be happening at any given moment. So learning to accept and get comfortable with the unknown. I’ve gotten much better at that,” Pfeiffer said, citing her kids as a major source of her progress. “I think children teach you that, too. Because you just can’t control them — the more you try, the more you make matters worse. Having children has changed me more than anything.” 

    She’s embraces the vegan lifestyle

    Ever peered at Pfeiffer’s flawless complexion and wondered what her secret is? Spoiler alert! It isn’t the fountain of youth. But, if you ask Pfeiffer, it’s the next best thing: a vegan diet. In a 2016 interview with the outlet Urbanette, the actor opened up about how much adopting the lifestyle affected her health and well-being. 

    When asked specifically about her youthful, dewy skin, Pfeiffer gave credit for her glow to what she eats (and doesn’t). “I definitely think it’s because I’m vegan. Eating a vegan diet — it’s just so much healthier — and you avoid a lot of toxins that could age your skin and your body. I really noticed a difference in my skin not too long after switching to fully vegan. And I needed to eat fruits and vegetables to stay lean. It’s all about vanity, honestly,” she revealed with a laugh, adding, “The older I’ve gotten, the more it’s occurred to me that I’m doing it in order to live longer, though the vanity component will always be there.” 

    She once strapped on mechanical drooping breasts for a role

    Pfeiffer isn’t a woman afraid to undergo drastic transformation in the name of a role. Did you see 2007’s Stardust? Proving her devotion to the role, she endured long hours in the makeup chair to get the perfect look. And that’s not even the most extreme thing Pfeiffer did to get into character. As she told Parade, her costume for the fantastical Lamia didn’t stop at a droopy face. “I even had breasts that had mechanisms that could make them droop,” she said, laughing. “Talk about special effects! To be honest, it was upsetting, but I got over it pretty quickly.” 

    She’s naturally an unabashed introvert

    Just because Pfeiffer has spent her entire career in the spotlight surrounded by everyone from paparazzi to fans and film crews doesn’t mean she relishes the attention. In fact, as she tells it, she’d just as soon stay home than do, well, pretty much anything else. 

    In a revealing interview with Rolling Stone, the actor confessed that she probably wouldn’t have any personal life if it weren’t for other people pulling it out of her. Of her then-boyfriend Fisher Stevens, Pfeiffer said, “He lives out of a suitcase, he loves to travel. He’s comfortable wherever he is, and I’m SO the opposite. I’d never leave my house in Los Angeles if it weren’t for my work and for him. I’m a creature of habit, really; I don’t like change much.” 

    Scary movies don’t spook her, but she’s terrified of the water…

    If you watched Pfeiffer’s 2000 film What Lies Beneath, you probably found yourself spooked out by the movie’s vengeful specter. Understandably so, of course — “she” was terrifying. But, for Pfeiffer, the scorned spirit wasn’t even what creeped her out. “I’m not afraid of scary movies, [but] I’m afraid of the water,” she told “[And I spent] a lot of time in the bathtub. Days … weeks in the bathtub. Torture. I got through it. I’m here; I live to tell the tale.” 

    And while Pfeiffer overcame her fear of water, the film led to her daughter coming to terms with her own fears after she “overhead [Pfeiffer’s] voice saying there’s a ghost in her house.” Getting her then-six-year-old daughter to understand the ghost wasn’t actually real “took a lot of explaining on my part,” shared Pfeiffer. 

    When it comes to parenting, she’s the “bad cop”

    It’s always interesting to be invited behind the curtain to learn what real life looks like for celebrity parents. Are they like the rest of us? How does the parenting dynamic work when mom and dad are famous? If you’re Pfeiffer and her writer-producer husband David Kelley, there’s a good cop and a bad cop — and Michelle doesn’t deny being the disciplinarian of the two. “I’m probably the bad cop in the house, yeah. Because Dad is the one to say, ‘Oh, OK.’ I don’t want to be the bad guy, but I am definitely more of the disciplinarian, the strict one, by default,” Pfeiffer told Good Housekeeping. 

    Plastic surgery gets too much attention, in her opinion

    Rarely a day goes by when a headline about plastic surgery isn’t splashed across the front page of a tabloid or entertainment site. This fixation on external beauty (artificially enhanced or otherwise) is nothing new, of course. However, it’s Pfeiffer’ opinion that everyone should basically just mind their own business. 

    “My thoughts on plastic surgery are, I don’t care. I honestly don’t care if people want to go do something or just don’t turn yourself into a freak. I want to be able to recognize you when I run into you on the street, that’s all. Or not be distracted by something odd. I just think there’s so much emphasis on it now, and really, in the scheme of things, is it really that important? Does it really deserve all that airtime?” she pointedly told Cinema Blend, adding of her personal approach to plastic surgery, “The older you get, the harder it is to say ‘never.’ But my feelings are, it doesn’t matter.” 

    She has turned down some seriously iconic roles

    For all of the killer roles Pfeiffer has brought to life during her so-far illustrious career, the actor admits she is at times haunted by the past ghosts of turned down roles. And real talk: Pfeiffer revealed to The Guardian that she turned down some career-changing characters. Did you know she was almost cast in Basic Instinct? What about Silence of the Lambs? Sleepless in Seattle? The list of roles Pfeiffer said no to goes on. She explained: “I’m always inclined to talk myself out of work…. It’s a strange thing that I do. I get cold feet. I overthink.”

    Pfeiffer insists these were decisions she made for the good of her family or due to career conflicts. Still, though, that doesn’t mean the memory doesn’t sometime sting. “I still can’t watch Thelma & Louise,” she lamented to Variety about the iconic role she rejected for another film, Love Field . “It was a direct conflict, so it was one film or the other. It still kills me. You can’t always do everything. You’ve got to give something up.” 


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