What the Hell Happened to Kim Basinger?


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

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

basinger - never say never

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

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

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

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

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

basinger - playboy

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

Basinger - The Man Who Loved Women

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

Kim Basinger - The Natural - 1984

Kim Basinger – The Natural – 1984

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

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

Kim Basinger - Fool For Love - 1985

Kim Basinger – Fool For Love – 1985

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

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

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

basinger - 912 weeks

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

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

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

Next: Blind Date and My Stepmother is an Alien


Posted on February 5, 2012, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 791 Comments.

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

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


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

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

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


      • Kim has always been “bold” w/ her fashion sense (rightly or wrongly). This is for example, what she wore at the premiere of “Grudge Match”:

        I feel bad for thinking of this, but I wonder how Kim’s career would’ve panned out had she stayed w/ her first husband Ron Snyder-Britton. It seems like Kim’s career was on the upswing during their marriage (from 1980-1989) when compared to her marriage to Alec Baldwin (1993-2002). By the time that Kim and Alec broke up, she was pretty much seen as “yesterday’s news” (i.e. she was an over 40 year old sex symbol) by Hollywood standards.


      • When the inevitable UPDATE is made, Kim being mad that Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, while on stage at the 1990 Oscars ought to be brought up:

        LG: There was also talk about your appearance at the Oscars last year, when you reprimanded the Academy for ignoring Spike Lee and his Do the Right Thing. What made you do it?

        KB: Never wanted to do it, never intended on doing it. I don’t know what happened to me. I’d seen Do the Right Thing three times and I’m affected by certain films. I don’t put anybody up in the high sheets of God’s clouds for any reason, but I saw Do the Right Thing and the one thing that I really condone is the truth. Whatever truth is, let it come out. I don’t care if you’re going to get tarred and feathered. They can kill you but they can’t eat you. So on top of my horrifying, terrifying, out-of-my-mind fear, this was the biggest audience we were ever going to have on the face of the map. This is like getting up in front of one billion people. The room is pretty big, as Billy Crystal would say. So I said let’s let the truth get out more than it’s been getting out lately. I saw all of these nominated films and I saw that Spike Lee, who I hadn’t even met, had done the truest film of all. Take Driving Miss Daisy – I saw something that I’ve seen ever since I was a child, the depiction of something about the South that has always irritated me, okay? This is something I couldn’t stand. I wasn’t standing up for blacks or whites or any color, I was just saying, “Guys, you all are liars, you are leaving out another truth here.” I didn’t mean for it to be a shocking thing.

        LG: Nonetheless, you did raise some eyebrows. What reaction did you receive?

        KB: When I came off stage there wasn’t a word. I just ran back and stripped off that gown, because it was taking up four seats in the audience, and I had to sit through the rest of this. And I’d see people looking at me. I passed Dan Aykroyd and he was shocked. When I sat down I looked to the left of me and in that whole auditorium who would be sitting at the end of my row but Spike Lee and he passed a note all the way down to me saying thank you. A lot of people wouldn’t get near me after the Oscars. I walked across to this Governor’s Ball and walked out and went home back to the hotel. No parties, no Spago, I just couldn’t do anything else political. But I don’t care what people think.


        • Hashtag Oscars So White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchal

          Check out this clip from the 62nd Academy Awards, honoring the films of 1989. It starts out with Arnold Schwarzenegger praising the Academy as a global community, pointing out that the films nominated for Best Picture were directed by an international assortment of people (white men, all of them). Then Kim Basinger comes out to introduce one of that evening’s Best Picture nominees, Dead Poets Society, but before she does, she goes off-script.

          “We’ve got five great films here, and they’re great for one reason: because they tell the truth. But there is one film missing from this list that deserves to be on it because ironically it might tell the biggest truth of all, and that’s Do the Right Thing.

          She’s not wrong, and the reasons why Do the Right Thing and Spike Lee’s 1992 film Malcolm X were not nominated are clear: they aren’t comforting or reassuring about race. They confront the ways in which systemic racism is still a powerful force in American life. They show us people actively struggling against those systems and people trying to assert that their lives matter within systems that assert that they don’t.


      • Oscar Flashback – Driving Miss Daisy and Do the Right Thing:

        What most people don’t realize when they start throwing The Help out into the Lion’s Den is that one of the reasons Driving Miss Daisy won was BECAUSE Do the Right Thing was snubbed so impossibly, and such weak fare chosen instead. So much so that Kim Basinger, dressed up in a gown designed by Prince, actually took to the Oscar stage to protest it. It was a very big deal. Choosing Driving Miss Daisy, despite not having a director attached, was their way of trying to weasel out of their predicament. They also picked Denzel Washington for Supporting for Glory. Didn’t work, though, because all that did was make them look even worse; Driving Miss Daisy is being trotted out now as a way of diminishing The Help by people who have absolutely no clue about Oscar history.


      • Speaking of Kim Basinger’s outfits, maybe it’s my imagination, but I recently noticed that Kim wears a roughly similar wool-like form-fitting black dress (with shoulder pads since this was the ’80s afterall) up to the collar-bone in “9 1/2 Weeks” and “Batman”.


    • The 10 Most Underrated Movie Actresses of Our Time:

      1. Kim Basinger

      Kim Basinger could be the poster child for all those people who say there are no good roles for women over thirty. She began as a model and cover girl and her breakout role was as a Bond girl. That, in turn, led to a Golden Globe nomination as Memo Paris in The Natural. She was wonderfully weird in Blind Date and in 1997 she actually won an Oscar for her performance in L.A. Confidential. Basinger has been in a strange assortment of films from 9 ½ Weeks to My Stepmother is an Alien and Batman to 8 Mile. She has proven that she has more than beauty—although she is still a marvel at 60!


    • Roger Vadim, Actor, Director, Producer Filmmaker:

      [On Kim Basinger] She has this quality — absolutely indispensable for an actress, specifically for a beautiful actress — which is not to know that she’s beautiful.


    • I’m guessing that Kim has been waiting for another “LA Confidential” to come her way and therefore, hasn’t made enough of a conscientious effort to “save her career” or keep her name relevant so to speak. My point is that Kim doesn’t appear to be proactive enough. Acting at this point in her life feels like a “side job” and her animal activism is her “real job”.

      One of the key reasons if you ask me, why Kim Basinger doesn’t work much anymore is that she wouldn’t play the proverbial Hollywood game. She was always reluctant to go out there and promote her work (i.e. go on talk shows and any other sort of interview) because of her anxiety issues. She was when she did actually talk to the press, occasionally very frank and open about her displeasure over what she had experience in the industry. And plus she gained a reputation of being unreliable and a liability with her antics on the set of “The Marrying Man” and the “Boxing Helena” and Braselton lawsuits.


  2. Sounds like everything happened to her!


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

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

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


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

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

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


      • I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but Kim Basinger’s problem in part, is that she did a very poor job in regards to capitalizing off on important “breaks” that here pretty much handed to her. She came across as a bit of an ungrateful actress in her first few post-“Batman” vehicles (regarding her alleged behind-the-scenes antics like “The Marrying Man” and “Cool World”, where she apparently tried to “throw her weight around”), when it was an open secret that she wasn’t even the first choice to play Vicki Vale (Sean Young would’ve been in “Batman” had she not broken her collarbone).

        And then when she manages to win an Oscar for “LA Confidential” (thus, supposedly “cementing” her comeback and officially bringing her back to the A-list after being a laughing stock for the past few years), what does Kim do, she allows her heat or momentum to cool of tremendously by not releasing another film for three years. And when she does release said films, it’s those that nobody gave a crap about. And around this time, the whole nonsense about her an Alec Baldwin started up again, and by this point, Kim was “too old” and “toxic” to be seen as a viable or credible mainstream star/leading lady.

        It seems like “8 Mile” was kind of her “last hurrah” so to speak (or last movie that she was in, that was an actual “hit” and she had a relatively important or substantial role in).


      • Top 10 movie comebacks:

        Kim Basinger

        Where did it all go wrong? After sizzling up the screen alongside – of all people – Mickey Rourke in sex drama 9½ Weeks and then landing the coveted role of Vicki Vale in Tim Burton’s Batman, Kim Basinger appeared to have the world at her feet. But a string of bad choices, including the forgettable likes of The Marrying Man, Cool World and The Real McCoy, left her in nowhereland for the better part of seven years!

        Comeback role: Critics hailed Basinger’s performance in Curtis Hanson’s crime masterpiece LA Confidential as one of the best of her career. Lynn Bracken was a true femme fatale, who cleverly wrapped Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce around her little finger. She was subsequently named best supporting actress at the Oscars.

        What happened next? Her career back on the up, Basinger made notable appearances alongside Eminem in Hanson’s 8 Mile, as a damsel in distress in slick thriller Cellular, and alongside Jeff Bridges in the moving drama The Door In The Floor. She will next be seen in an adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel The Informers alongside, you guessed it, Mickey Rourke (among other people).


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


    • I guess some of Kim’s choice of roles bewilder me post-Oscar in particular? I’m not going to go in to the first two films that she made following “LA Confidential” again, But w/ “8 Mile” (yeah, I’m pretty sure that Kim wanted to work w/ Curtis Hanson again) I guess that Kim was way too beautiful and glamorous to be plausible as a white trash, poor woman living a trailer park in the ‘hood. I also wonder if Kim is aware that she’s loosely based on Eminem’s real life demonized mother?

      Also, why does Kim think that her fans want to see her be relentlessly victimize in borderline exploitation movies like “Cellular” and “While She Was Out”? You would think that after all of the crap that Alec Baldwin allegedly put her through, she would want to avoid potential “art imitating life” scenarios. I guess my point is that sometimes I wish that Kim wouldn’t be tempted by this supposedly gritty type movies (to go against her glamorous image) that has her trying has hard as possible to prove to people that he has range and can really act.

      It seems like Kim in recent years either takes roles to 1) Apiece her daughter (e.g. that movie w/ Zac Efron) 2) Give her a chance to work w/ previous collaborators (the aforementioned “8 Mile”, “Even Money” w/ Danny DeVitio, and her upcoming movie w/ Russell Crowe) 3) Has her as a victimized woman/woman in peril that somehow shows her “triumphing” in the end.

      Maybe I’m being a bit simplistic and ignorant because, I do have to keep in mind that it’s highly likely that older women (i.e. over the age of 50) aren’t expected to keep getting “good” roles in major motion pictures. Especially somebody like Kim Basinger, who isn’t exactly a character actress by trade.

      Quite honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kim has absolutely little if any self-awareness in regards to the recent poor state of her career. I said previously, that I strongly believe that part of Kim’s problem is that she and/or her PR team does a horrible job at marketing/promoting herself. In fairness, that could be said to a lot of the subjects in WTHHT, so I shouldn’t single Kim Basinger out.


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


      • Fatty Arbuckle (sorry)


        • I knew someone would respond!

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


      • I wonder if Kim felt that now that she had an Oscar (and thus, people could look at her as a “real actress” and not just a hot chick) she didn’t really need Alec Baldwin anymore (they were more or less, co-dependent on each other) to help prop her up. And maybe Kim felt that she could afford going on a three year hiatus post-“LA Confidential” because she would always have the caveat of being an “Academy Award Winner” (thus, she could in her mind, pick and choose any project that she wanted).


        • Man, maybe they met through art, things worked out for a time, it was real (most important)…I don’t know, relationships are tough. I don’t know what to say.


      • Marvel’s summer ’91 Cool-o-Meter: Ya burnt, Twin Peaks, bell bottoms, and political correctness!


      • Alec Baldwin is kind of a weird inversion of Mel Gibson. What I mean is that Mel Gibson after the news of his Antisemitism, him being caught using the “n-word”, and his abuse of his girlfriend made the public, he became persona non grata over night. Yes, Mel made a nice enough comeback with “Hacksaw Ridge”, but he’ll never be the beloved A-list, leading man that he was prior to 2006.

        Alec Baldwin has for the past 20 or so years has said just as bad if not worse stuff than Mel Gibson (and there are rumors that he was physically abusive towards Kim Basinger), and is still out there being seen, working, and doing.


      • Alec Baldwin is almost in that Chevy Chase sort of territory, where he has a long history of being a boorish prick. And like Chase (as described at the start of his WTHHT entry), Baldwin is really more known for his outbursts than his acting work. It’s a miracle that Baldwin’s career wasn’t sunk (a la Mel Gibson) by the infamous voice-mail that he directed at his daughter.

        And I agree with the sentiment that Kim Basinger’s contribution to cinema is pretty limited. She was one of the biggest cinematic sex symbols of the ’80s and ’90s, and one Oscar-winning role to her name, but none of that makes her a screen legend. And sadly for Kim, she is at this point in her career where she’s beyond the age that Hollywood finds attractive.


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


    • Did Kim Basinger deserve her Oscar?

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


    • Some Anxious Moments With Kim Basinger The Actress Has Beaten Disabling Agoraphobia:

      By DAN GERINGER, Daily News Staff Writer

      POSTED: August 11, 1987

      I remember the first time I fell in love with Kim Basinger – the yearning- eyed blonde currently co-starring with Jeff Bridges in Robert Benton’s screwball marital comedy, “Nadine.”

      It was in the low-budget beer-jerker, “Hard Country.” Basinger played a Texas woman whose desire to be an airline stewardess was stifled by her hard- headed Texas man, Jan Michael-Vincent. “Leave Texas and go to California?” he sneers at her. “Hell, there ain’t nothin’ out there but a bunch of salad heads.”

      So one morning, after a night of hard drinking, he is sitting at the kitchen counter, sucking on a whole bunch of Alka Seltzers in a single glass of water. Basinger walks in wearing her undies and her tight pink T-shirt.

      She takes two pieces of white bread, pours ketchup on one, then on the other one, tears open a package of sliced bologna, feeds some to the dog,

      slaps the rest between the white bread, wraps it up in tinfoil with a Twinkie, tosses it into her man’s lunchbox, cradles his head in her hands and says, ”Think of me with every bite.” Gives him a peck on the cheek. Walks back to bed.

      Fell in love with her then and there. Been in love with her ever since. Hard love. Hasn’t been easy.

      The woman has made her some genuine dogs. Dogs with ticks and fleas and mange and rabies and worse. Like the recent “No Mercy,” in which Basinger spends a lot of time wading through an alligator-infested Louisiana swamp, handcuffed to Richard Gere.

      He says stuff like, “You’re gonna keep your fat mouth shut.” She smacks his face. He smacks hers. He calls her a two-bit hooker. She spits on his nose. She tells him her hard luck story. He says, “Every hooker’s got a hard luck story.” Exhausted, they fall in love.

      “When I was little,” she tells him, “my mama used to put a drop of perfume in a glass of water and then she said, ‘Michel, now drink this right up. This’ll make you feel real pretty inside.’ ”

      Takes a sassy woman to deliver such sweetness. Got to me just like that hard country bologna sandwich. The other day, in a high-class New York hotel room, she gets to me again.

      “Before we started filming ‘No Mercy,’ we had a real script,” she swears, curled up on the sofa in an elegant, loose-fitting, high-necked, black-and- white pants suit. “With a real Cajun woman in it who was highly spiritual, deprived all of her life, couldn’t read, couldn’t write.

      “I loved her literacy problem. I’ve always loved that handicap-type thing that people get defensive about and go into combat for, y’know?”

      She talks rapid-fire Southern, feisty but vulnerable, more than a little defensive herself, checking you out through questioning blue eyes to see if you are hearing her the way she wants to be heard. She talks betrayal. She talks desperation.

      Up until “Nadine,” which is a role tailor-made for the natural-born clown in her that enhances her lush sensuality, Basinger’s career has mostly consisted of films that have strait-jacketed the most spontaneous parts of her personality.

      She has survived a string of unintentional disaster films (“The Man Who Loved Women,” “Never Say Never Again”). “Even if it’s the worse piece of crap you’ve ever seen,” she says, “I always try to bring a little bit of reality into it. I can’t stand half-a- -ing something. Maybe that’s what has saved me.”

      Nothing saved her in “9 1/2 Weeks,” which was criticially crucified after, she says, it had been transmogrified into a pathetic shadow of its original self.

      “You’ll probably be really shocked by this,” she says, smiling nervously, ”but out of all the films I’ve ever done, ‘9 1/2 Weeks’ is the one that did more for me as an actress and for me personally, both emotionally and psychologically.

      “I think there comes a time in your life as an actress that is your river. You either cross it and find out how far you can go, or you stay behind and just keep working and you don’t gamble and you don’t grow.

      “For one solid year, I was as high as I ever could’ve been and as low as I could ever be. We actually lived that movie. And I crossed that river. And afterwards, I knew there wasn’t a thing I couldn’t do. It was like an exorcism.”

      Are we talking about the same “9 1/2 Weeks,” I ask her.

      “You didn’t see the film,” she replies, the color rising in her high- boned cheeks. “Nobody saw the film. You saw an MTV video. I mean, I’ve got eight hours of the film at home.

      “We happened at a very unfortunate time. Tri-Star backed out. MGM took over. And then MGM chickened out. They didn’t think the public could handle the material. It wasn’t anything sexually explicit that was bothering them. They didn’t think you could handle suicide pacts and emotional breakdowns from this girl.

      “So it got cut all to pieces. MTV took over. They put Duran Duran on the soundtrack and all of a sudden, there I am dancing around in a white slip looking like I’m some girl in a rock video. The way things can get melted down so quickly is phenomenal.”

      But then, so is the way things get built up in Basinger’s life. A few years ago, the anxieties that have plagued her since childhood caused her to have an ”all-out, high-panic attack” in a shopping mall, followed by four months of “just staying in the house, not driving or anything.”

      She went to a clinic called TERRAP in Woodland Hills, Calif., where she was diagnosed as being agoraphobic, fearful of public places.

      “I learned that most men think they’re having a heart attack,” she says. ”Most women think they’re losing their minds. I learned to befriend my anxiety. I still have anxiety but, knock on wood, I no longer have panic attacks.”

      She breathes deeply, smiles tentatively, knocks on the end table. I point out that she is knocking on chrome-and-glass, not wood. “OK,” she says. She knocks on the wall. “Plaster,” she says. “OK.” She knocks on the sofa arm. Upholstery. “OK.”

      She searches the hotel room for a piece of wood to knock on. There is none. ”OK,” she says. “It’s OK. I’ve befriended my anxiety. Anxiety is my friend.”


    • I don’t buy that theory at all. “L.A. Confidential” was legit (though as James Ellroy books go, my favorite is “The Big Nowhere”), though it does seem that Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin had a turbulent relationship.


    • Dealing with fame – or not:

      Kim Basinger commented: “Because I’m such a shy person, having to live it out loud in front of everyone has made me a stronger woman, so much stronger, that it’s been a gift to me in a way.” [From “Basinger Better Than Ever,”]


    • I tried to add Kim Basinger’s name to a list of famous recluses on Wikipedia, but somebody for whatever the reasons, immediately deleted it:

      (cur | prev) 23:13, 11 April 2016‎ Clarityfiend (talk | contribs)‎ . . (13,380 bytes) (-2,847)‎ . . (Reverted 3 edits by BornonJune8 (talk): Basinger is not a recluse. Only one of the refs. even mentions the word, once. (TW)) (undo)

      Bare in mind, that I provided at least 9 different sources that label Kim as a recluse (whether she likes it or not):
      Smolowe, Jill (November 25, 2002). “Kim Confidential”. People.

      ^ Donnelly, Claire (January 19, 2003). “Interview: Kim Basinger: KIM back; After divorcing Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger is on top of the world.”. The Mirror.

      ^ Coleman, Mark (January 16, 2003). “How Marriage to Alec Baldwin Nearly Ruined Kim Basinger’s Movie Career; as She Stars as Eminem’s Mum in 8 Mile, We Reveal How She Has Fought Her Way Back”. The Evening Standard.

      ^ “Kim Basinger’s Mother’s Day With Ireland”. May 12, 2008.

      ^ “Kim Basinger Makes Rare Appearance”. May 5, 2008.

      ^ Rush, George (November 26, 2002). “KIM & ALEC’S PEACE PLAN FOR IRELAND”. New York Daily News.

      ^ Smolowe, Jill (January 29, 2001). “Too Hot to Handle”. People.

      ^ Parish, James Robert. The Hollywood Book of Breakups. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

      ^ Bloomfield, Craig (November 7, 2010). “Take Three: Kim Basinger”. Film Experience Blog.

      ^ “Make way for millennium girl”. Herald Scotland. July 18, 1997.


      • My favorite role of Kim Basinger’s is “Cellular”. I mean, she had to act like on a stage play or a radio show from back in day, and that impressed me, since she was basically acting with herself. Her best role, publically though, I have to agree with “L.A. Confidential” as well (A performance Veronica Lake or the awesome Barbara Stanwyck can appreciate).


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


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

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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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


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

          Is there a double standard because of his liberal politics?


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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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


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


        • I hate to go into what the National Enquirer has to say, so please take that I’m about to present to you (regarding the “darker” elements of Kim Basinger’s marriage to Alec Baldwin) w/ a grain of salt:


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

        6) Alec Baldwin

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

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


      • 10 Misguided Career Moves Made By Talented Actors:

        8. Alec Baldwin’s Constant Self-Sabotage

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

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


        • 10 actors and actresses back from the brink

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

          Alec Baldwin

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

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

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

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


      • ‘L.A. Confidential’ Cast: Where Are They Now? – The Moviefone Blog:!fullscreen&slide=1

        Kim Basinger (Lynn Bracken)

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


        • Hit Me With Your Best Shot: L.A. Confidential (1997):

          Serious question: is there any other “old Hollywood” genre that has been as imitated, deconstructed and re-worked as the film noir? Of course, the most famous example is Chinatown, Roman Polanski’s classic 1974 film that put a unique spin on the noir idea and became the favorite example of film professors everywhere. Similarly, Jean-Luc Godard demonstrated the noir’s artifice in his breakthrough film Breathless, in which the genre’s surly detectives are figures to be imitated. Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye brought famed literary detective Phillip Marlowe into the free-wheeling California of the 1970s, and Shane Black’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang tossed in a healthy portion of modernity and millennial irony to the mix. It makes sense that the genre would be such a point of fascination: it’s essentially dark, with characters witnessing the seedy depths of human behavior, with the good men winning but at what cost to their souls?

          In 1997, L.A. Confidential joined the list of deconstructed neo-noirs. Curtis Hanson’s film, based on a novel of the same name by James Ellroy, follows three different policemen in 1950s Los Angeles who become involved in the same case. “Hollywood” Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is a superstar, the police consultant on the cop TV show Badge of Honor (a clear homage to Dragnet) who also gives exclusives to Sid Hudgens (Danny DeVito), the writer for gossip magazine Hush Hush. Bud White (Russell Crowe) is a quick-tempered beat cop who’s something of an avenging angel for battered women. Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) is by-the-book and more than a little dweebish, often described as a “politician” by Chief Dudley Smith (James Cromwell). When Bud’s partner Stensland (Graham Beckel) is found murdered, along with several other people including a woman who looks like Rita Hayworth, the case consumes all three men, and it reaches much further than any of them could have imagined.

          More after the jump.

          Before diving into a discussion of “best shot,” the film’s reworking of the old noir trope of the femme fatale is worth noting. In 1997, Kim Basinger was better known as a former Bond girl (1983’s Never Say Never Again, not officially canon) and Alec Baldwin’s wife, with her acting career firmly rooted in the mid-to-late-1980s. But taking on the role of Lynn Bracken, a prostitute who’s been made to look like Veronica Lake, (temporarily) reignited her career, winning her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. The role is described as being a “femme fatale,” but it’s hard to really place it as such. Lynn’s mostly a passive participant in this scheme, and even when she does play an active role – seducing Ed as part of a greater plot to get Bud to eliminate him – she does so without really knowing the extent of her involvement. If anything, she’s collateral damage, and getting romantically involved with Bud has put her at greater risk in the grander machinations at work. Hanson frames her, initially, as the femme fatale, but slyly twists it into something else. The women of this film – and Lynn is essentially the only woman who gets extended screen time – are unwitting pawns in the game, used by men as a means to an end. It’s an odd change though, because essentially women have no agency in this story. Essentially, Lynn is a prop used by the men in her life to advance their own interests, and their interactions with her are based in deceit.

          That makes sense when you consider that L.A. Confidential is essentially about artifice. Lynn is just one of many prostitutes in Pierce Patchett’s (David Strathairn) company, and all of them have been made to look like famous movie stars. The entire plot takes place in the wake of notorious gangster Mickey Cohen’s imprisonment, as new criminals move in to take over Cohen’s rackets. Jack makes arrests on celebrities, and then has them photographed for Hush Hush in front of a movie premiere:

          Jack himself is more of a fake cop than a real one: though he still makes these arrests, his real passion is his work for Badge of Honor, which mostly requires him to recount stories from his career and keep the show as “real” as possible. The decision to cast Spacey in this role was a stroke of genius: at the time, he had just ascended on movie stardom, and he was just “Hollywood” enough to play a cop who thinks of himself as a movie star. Jack has swagger, but he’s deluded himself with the fantasy of being a big-shot.

          Ed and Bud are still working the beat, but on different ends. Bud is, in Ed’s own words, a “mindless thug,” but only part of that is true. Bud is prone to violence, certainly, and has no qualms about giving someone a beat-down if he feels they deserve it. But he also operates by his own moral code, one that may not perfectly align with the law but makes perfect sense to him. Ed also has his own moral code, but his is the letter of the law. Ed works completely in black-and-white, and when Dudley asks him tough questions about his willingness to plant evidence and shoot a bad guy in the back, he responds that he wouldn’t dare. By the end of the film, of course, Ed’s been jaded by the case, and his code has changed.

          But Ed’s not free from artifice, either. He’s named his father’s unidentified killer “Rollo Tomasi” in order to give himself a clear villain. It’s also notable that he’s referred to as a “politician,” because he’s willing to wear a different face in order to get something done. Surprisingly, Bud may be the only person in the movie who’s living as his true self: he may be violent and unruly, but he doesn’t try to hide it behind a mask. Bud is exactly who he presents himself as, and as a result he’s the most “honest” cop in the bunch.

          This brings me to my favorite visual motif in the film. I know that in the past I have made my affinity for reflective shots very clear, so I almost didn’t want to pick another one. However, it works so well with the film’s theme of artifice that I couldn’t resist. There are multiple times throughout the film in which people are being interviewed at the station and being observed through a one-way glass. On one side of the glass is a mirror, which allows whoever’s on that side to only see themselves:

          But on the other side of that mirror stands someone else, watching them as they are being interrogated.

          The fact that it’s one-sided glass adds a terrific thematic layer: these men can see what another is doing without notice, but they’re also on the other side of the glass, unable to see who’s watching them. At any given point, any of them could be on either side, whether that be literal, as seen above with Ed looking in on Jack (who’s aware of his presence), or figurative, as when Sid photographs Ed and Lynn through the window of her house:

          As such, Hanson and cinematographer Dante Spinotti use the framing of scenes in the interrogation room to position those being questioned in relation to those observing. Take, for example, this shot:

          Ed is questioning a suspect that was brought in for the Nite Owl murders. The audience – both within and without the film – doesn’t know this yet, but Dudley has set this kid up for the murder, since they were actually committed to kill Stensland for his betrayal in Dudley’s secret operation to take over Cohen’s rackets himself. In this shot, the reflections of the cops are foregrounded and raised above the men seated in the room, with Dudley’s reflection laid over the suspect, indicative of his power over his fate. This is true for Jack and the others as well – they do hold power over the suspect – but it’s significant that Dudley’s is the one positioned over him. He’s the one ultimately in control.

          Contrast that to the shot below, which is my choice for “best shot”:

          Best Shot

          This comes after the bloody, fatal showdown at the end of the film, after Ed and Bud have figured out Dudley’s scheme, Dudley’s figured out they’re on to him, and the two “good” cops square off against a gang of Dudley’s men. Ed himself delivered the fatal shot to Dudley, and now he sits before the LAPD brass for questioning about the event. While other interrogation scenes have been framed for the observers to be dominant in the frame, this time it’s Ed who is most in-focus, with the reflections shot to make them appear as if they’re actually in the background. Ed has the power in this moment, as he knows the truth about the department’s dirty dealings, and knows that that information could be used to bring everyone down unless they give him what he wants. He’s also placed squarely in the middle of the crowd of higher-ups, which could foreshadow where his career is going. Ed may be jaded, bloodied, and possibly a little morally corrupted, but he’s still the politician Dudley said he was. In a city of dirty cops who play by their own rules, the good ones still win, but “good” carries a dubious definition.

          Of course, that’s off the record, on the QT, and very…hush hush.


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


      • Even without the Alec Baldwin factor, I firmly believe that the destruction of Kim Basinger’s career was inevitable. Baldwin purely exacerbated the problem. I mean you also have to factor in Kim’s habitually poor film choices, her anxiety and ego problems, and the notion that she was somebody who really got by because of her looks instead of her actual acting abilities.


      • I think that at the end of the day, Kim burned too many bridges or rubbed people the wrong way so to speak with her general aloofness, awkwardness, delusions of grandeur and unpredictability/unreliability. After her stunts at the 1990 Oscars, on the set of “The Marrying Man”, helping hijack “Cool World” away from Ralph Bakshi much to the determent of the movie, and the “Boxing Helena” and Braselton mess, you absolutely could not trust her.

        Also, Kim Basinger is one of those performers who is utterly ambivalent in regards to going out and promoting the work that she participates in (even during the height of her career and popularity). If you’re a leading lady or man, in a big Hollywood production, it is absolutely essential that you “play along” as part of the “game”. Part of the job of being an actor is being a salesperson and representative of said product. I think people aren’t going to be as empathetic for Kim claiming that she suffers from social anxiety issues (hence why she isn’t comfortable doing a lot of self-promotion), because she decided to become an actress (and by default, “a famous person” in the public eye) in the first place.

        It’s as if Kim is one of those people who figures that the work should speak for itself. I think that’s part of the reasons why many of Kim’s starring vehicles didn’t connect with audiences. Kim never really made herself seem personable (instead, what we got was essentially an icy, evasive blonde woman) or visible enough to build up a better audience.

        If you ask me, I have a feeling that Kim was in part, spoiled by her early success during the ’80s culminating with “Batman” (a role that pretty much fell into her lap after Sean Young had to bow out due to injury). Because Kim was blessed with great beauty and sensuality (I think that I said before that during her heyday, Kim Basinger was arguably the closest thing to Marilyn Monroe had she rose to prominence during the ’80s) and work with many high caliber directors (i.e. Irvin Kershner, Robert Altman, Adrian Lyne, Barry Levinson. Blake Edwards, and Tim Burton) that may have given her the notion that she never really had to hustle and work harder on her craft beyond her physical appearance. In a sense, Kim may have become a tad bit entitled around the time that she did “Batman” (if not even further).


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


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


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


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


        • I’ll still take Willie Scott over Vicki Vale anyday, because Willie at least pushed out a guard & stuck her hand through bugs to save Indy. She’s Xena when you compare her to Vicki Vale


        • lol – That’s probably true. Also, there’s this:

          Let’s see Vicki Vale bust out a musical number.


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

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

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

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

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

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


    • Kim at this phase in her life has more or less been relegated to a glorified nostalgia act. Vicki Vale makes a small appearance in “The “Lego Batman Movie”, in what is obviously a tie-in to Kim’s portrayal in “Batman”:

      And the there’s “The Nice Guys”, which reunited her with her “LA Confidential” co-star Russell Crowe. And “Fifty Shades Darker” seems to be (and I don’t want to give EL James too much credit) a meta-comment on her role in “9 1/2 Weeks”.

      Even movies that she didn’t star in like “Raging Bull” and “Rocky” are touched upon in “Grudge Match”.

      I’m guessing that Baldwin (despite his own controversies) unlike Kim, for the most part comes to work, does what he is told (for the most part), and doesn’t put too much of his own influence (or “wag the director”) in the production to boost his own ego like Kim has been accused of doing. I mean going back to “The Marrying Man”, not that Alec Baldwin is exempt from his own appallingly bad behavior, but Kim Basinger, when you really look between the lines, was a bigger trouble maker.


    • Kim Basinger’s relationship with Alec Baldwin reminds me of “The Macho Man” Randy Savage’s relationship with his on-screen valet and off-screen wife Miss Elizabeth. Like Kim, Elizabeth was a beautiful and glamorous southern woman who often appeared to be pathologically shy, timid, demure and meek. Regardless, both Kim and Elizabeth seemed like genuinely kind-hearted, classy ladies. Therefore you had to wonder that two women who theoretically could have any man that they wanted would align themselves with such brutish, abusive men like Randy Savage and Alec Baldwin.


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

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


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


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


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

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


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


      • The Lost Roles of Dan Aykroyd:

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

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


    • Ray Has Gone Bye Bye:

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

      Date of Assessment: December 17, 2010

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

      Negative Buzzwords: 1990-present, Ghostbusters III

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

        The Case

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


    • Speaking of “SNL”, here’s some reviews of Kim Basinger’s one-shot hosting stint (w/ her then husband, Alec Baldwin) back in 1994:


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


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


      • I find it hilarious that not only has Kim Basinger worked w/ at least two actors who have played Batman (Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer), but she has also worked w/ to actors named Michael Douglas (Michael Keaton, who’s real surname is “Douglas” and the other Michael Douglas in “The Sentinel”):,22366/

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

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

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


      • I’ve been wondering what if Kim Basigner appeared in an official James Bond movie (i.e. those that are produced by Eon Productions)? I do kind of wonder if Kim should actually be considered a “Bond Girl” since the Bond movie that she appeared (“Never Say Never Again”) technically, doesn’t count.

        I could’ve seen her play Tanya Roberts role in “A View to a Kill” (Roger Moore’s last Bond movie). She was already young enough to otherwise come off as being Sean Connery’s daughter (instead of a serious love interest) in the other movie, so I don’t think that it would’ve been to far of a stretch to have her in a similar scenario w/ Roger Moore.

        I could’ve also have seen her play Teri Hatcher’s role in “Tomorrow Never Dies” (that being essentially, a trophy wife to the main villain played by Jonathan Pryce).


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


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


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


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

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


      • Moriarty Knows What Happened WHILE SHE WAS OUT!:

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


      • WHILE SHE WAS OUT DVD review:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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


        • What’s ironic (and I hope I haven’t said this before) is that Kim Basinger resembles Silver St. Cloud more than she resembles Vicki Vale (who is redheaded in the comics). I think that in one of the early drafts for what would become “Batman”, Silver St. Cloud was actually the love interest for Bruce Wayne.


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


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



        Kim Basinger may be 60, but she’s back in the spotlight again after signing with IMG Models and starring in Grudge Match, which opened Christmas Day.

        Basinger, who is best known for her performances in 9½ Weeks, Batman and L.A. Confidential, largely stayed out of the public eye after her high-profile divorce from Alec Baldwin. Their 18-year-old daughter, Ireland Baldwin, has been to far more parties than her mom has in recent years.

        But that may all change with Grudge Match. In the film, Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone – Raging Bull vs. Rocky – star as former boxers who reunite for a last match. Basinger plays Stallone’s long-lost girlfriend, Sally.

        “I basically saw [Stallone’s and De Niro’s characters] as two rock stars and Sally as a former groupie who truly did have deep feelings for Sly’s character, very much so,” Basinger said. “But rock stars have a lot of girls chasing them around. Then something happens, and you get jealous and there’s pain. Life is very short and years pass by so quickly.”

        “The pain that’s never resolved doesn’t go anywhere until you do something to help get it resolved,” Basinger continued. “Sally had to take measures to get it resolved. In turn, I think she turned on the faucet for Sly’s character, as well. At the same time she gets to confront De Niro. There is acceptance and deep, true love. That’s what I love about this movie. There’s only nine minutes of boxing in the movie because this is a real from-the-heart movie.”

        Stallone gushed about working with Basinger. She’s “fantastic in it,” he said. “She’s so beautiful that you can see wanting to fight and beat people up for her.”

        “I love boxing,” Stallone said. “I love the metaphor of it, of man’s athletic ability coupled with his courage. What’s relatable about the story is the feeling of, ‘why did I do that then, if only I could go back. It’s that lifelong yearning of – ‘should have married this person or gone [down this path]?’” My character basically quit boxing too early. It’s more of a male thing, where you have that competitiveness that’s beyond all rationale. It’s retracing your steps and trying to have a different outcome.”

        Basinger was thrilled to get back in the game. “I’ve been looking for a comedy forever,” she said. “I came from comedy, some really fun comedy, and some really great filmmakers like Blake Edwards and Robert Benton and Robert Altman. They knew laughter and I was lucky to have some great teachers.”

        The script for Grudge Match, written by Tim Kelleher and Entourage creator Doug Ellin, provides ample comedy, much of it due to Alan Arkin, as Stallone’s former trainer, and comedian Kevin Hart, as the fight promoter.

        Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro attend the Grudge Match screening at the Ziegfeld Theater on December 16, 2013 in New York City (photo: Getty Images)
        “I was curious how, at their age, they were going to be believable,” said Hart. “And I’ll be damned if they didn’t do a great job of it. They both came in amazing shape, and I was thoroughly impressed with their stamina and taking punches. I learned a lot from two professionals who take their craft very seriously; I understood why they are where they are. And neither shied away from going for the jokes.”

        Both De Niro and Stallone worked hard to be in that kind of shape. De Niro worked not only with his everyday personal trainer, but also with Stallone’s own boxing trainer of ten years. “It’s a tough sport and I’m just doing it as an actor,” De Niro said. “But Sylvester has done five or six boxing movies and he’s much more into it. He’s got much more experience at getting punched around.

        Stallone would tell De Niro “Don’t worry if you hit me.” De Niro said he’s more careful. “I don’t want to hit anybody,” he admitted. “It looks easy but it’s not easy. We worked very well together.”

        The two actors had a comfort level from having performed together in the 1997 film, Cop Land. “I’d say ‘Just hit me,” Stallone said. “I want to go have lunch already!”



      Kim Basinger: LA Confidential to 8 Mile

      At face value, Basinger made all the right choices here. Curtis Hanson at the helm (director of L.A Confidential) of an edgy biography of one of the biggest rappers of all time – it was looking like an inspired choice. Unfortunately, she was utterly forgettable as a character etched in the collective rap fan consciousness. Eminem’s biting and scathing rhymes about his horrible parentage are so iconic that Basinger’s performance retreats into the shadows.


      • Cursed Oscar Winners Struggle for Roles:

        Kim Basinger (1998) – Best Supporting Actress – LA Confidential

        Kim Basinger won an Oscar for her performance in the fantastic Noir film LA Confidential, but what happened afterwards that is puzzling. She didn’t star in another movie for three years, and unlike her husband at the time, Alec Baldwin, it wasn’t because of a poor attitude or a difficulty to work with. For Basinger, it might be the curse of growing older as a female in Hollywood. Outside of a solid turn as Eminem’s mother in 8 Mile, nothing since LA Confidential has set the world on fire and the former sex symbol has been relegated to small supporting roles.


    • In 1997, Jack Nicholson picked up a third statue playing an impossible character:

      Completely agree. I really wanted Moore to win for that year; her performance was excellent. That scene where she is at the custody hearing was shattering.

      I’m not a Basinger fan, and while I did like her performance in La Confidential, I just didn’t see the hype. She struck me as being too aware of her surroundings, like she deliberately knew she was the femme fatale in the film. In comparison to someone like Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction or hell, even Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, those actress took their archetypal femme fatale characters and fleshed them out with humor and made them feel like real dangerous, seductive women. I didn’t get that vibe at all from Basinger, even considering her character was supposed to be more neurotic and nervous.

      I would have preferred if her nomination had gone to either Alison Elliott for The Wings of The Dove or Sarah Polley for The Sweet Hereafter.


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


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


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

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


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


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


    • Somebody on Quora recently told me that Kim Basinger almost perfectly fits the description of a covert narcissist or closet narcissist. I think that just about everybody who knows her story by now knows that Kim was painfully shy as a child, suffered panic attacks, and would faint in school if called on to answer a question.

      This is likely closer to closet narcissism than anything else because people like her cannot tolerate the possible scrutiny of being in the limelight. So in Kim’s case, she attaches themselves to institutions and social causes (Kim is a PETA and animal rights activist).

      And what happened for instance on the set of “The Marrying Man”, where Kim allegedly demanded that the original director or photography be fired and demanded that nobody on the set looked at her in-between takes could be seen as Kim lacking empathy for others.


  13. So where is she?


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


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

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

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


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


    • I will add it to my reading list. Thanks for the recommendation!


    • How many people seriously knew that Kim was married once before she hooked up w/ Alec Baldwin? Maybe I find it odd (and granted, I was really young at the time to notice) because Kim outside of the stuff that she did w/ Baldwin, seems like a fairly private person.


    • Richard Gere/Kim Basinger torrid affair:!topic/alt.gossip.celebrities/ujauH5fkUEM

      National ENQUIRER Online Insider News
      Tuesday, September 22, 1998

      Book blows lid off . . . Richard Gere’s affair with married Kim Basinger

      Kim Basinger had a torrid affair with Richard Gere while she was still
      married to Hollywood makeup man Ron Britton, reveals Ron in a steamy
      tell-all book.

      And after Richard seduced Kim, he professed his love for the sultry
      sexpot in letters Ron found hidden in Kim’s drawer.

      Richard and Kim starred together in the 1986 movie “No Mercy,” and
      then-hubby Ron grew suspicious when the actress kept coming home late
      from “rehearsals” with Gere, Ron discloses in his book “Kim Basinger:
      Longer Than Forever.”

      Those suspicions were confirmed one night when Ron caught Kim and
      Richard making out passionately in a car in a restaurant parking lot,
      Ron writes.

      And she continued to see the actor even after Ron confronted her about
      the affair.

      Several months later, Ron found two letters Richard had sent to Kim that
      the actress had stashed in a drawer in her home gym, according to Ron’s
      soon-to-be-published book, which has been excerpted in a British

      “I feel silly saying, ‘I love you,’ ” Gere wrote in one letter. “I wish
      to . . . make love to you with no withholding . . . I wish I could
      please you tonight.”

      Ron — whose marriage to Kim ended in 1989 after nine years — also
      reveals intimate details of his own sex life with the beauty. He claims
      they sometimes videotaped their love sessions — and often had steamy
      sex in their car after dining out.

      Now Kim’s current husband, movie hunk Alec Baldwin, is steamy too —
      he’s “enraged that Britton would cash in on Kim’s new popularity after
      winning the Oscar this year,” an insider declared.

      “He told me, ‘He was nothing but a makeup artist and now, with no career
      in sight, he hopes to make some money off cheap, scurrilous gossip about
      my wife.

      ” ‘He’s a gutter rat — and if he ever comes into my home territory, he
      better be prepared for a confrontation!’ “


      • Kim Basinger’s burning desires:

        In recent years, Kimila Ann Basinger has been making headlines more for her irascible custody battle with ex-husband Alec Baldwin than for anything she has done on-screen. That, though, has changed with her impressive turn in The Burning Plain, playing a woman whose perspective on life and family have been turned on its head by breast cancer.

        Playing Gina in Guillermo Arriaga’s film, the 55-year-old actress has been unusually cast in a maternal role as the head of a large family. That said, her character’s decision to embark on an affair has more than a hint of the blonde bombshell roles that made Basinger a lad’s mag favorite in the 1980s, most notably her pulse-racing turn in 9 Weeks as a raunchy gallery worker who starts an impersonal affair with Mickey Rourke.

        Basinger flatly refuses to discuss Baldwin, who she was married to for eight years until 2002. This comes as no surprise given the years battling in court and the very public airing of an ill-advised answer phone message left by Baldwin in which he called his daughter a “rude little pig”. Last year he wrote A Promise to Ourselves, a book about their court battle over their daughter Ireland Eliesse Baldwin.

        Basinger, who was born in Athens, Georgia has been particularly unlucky when it comes to her ex-husbands’ publishing habits. Her first husband, the make-up artist Ron Snyder-Britton, wrote a memoir about their marriage, Longer Than Forever, in which he discussed her rumored affairs with Prince and Richard Gere. No wonder, The Burning Plain, which focuses on family, a woman’s position in society and difficulties with men appealed to the actress.

        “There was a universal theme in Gina that I loved,” she says. “Yes, she was a woman who had had breast cancer and I realized that I would have to represent that section of people in the world,” says Basinger. “But to me there was a much bigger representation – women in general. That drew me. In her case, her husband rejects her and that grew into something that was about more than the physical changes she suffered from her cancer treatment. Rejection is such a universal theme. Inevitably, it’s part of the journey of life that we all go through.”

        One aspect of life that Basinger is obviously content with is the role motherhood. Her daughter Ireland is a frequent source of reference during the conversation. “I’ve been a mum for 13 years. I think it’s such a huge advantage to have when playing a mother, you can’t help but carry that wisdom into these roles.”

        As we talk more about the film, Basinger makes a confession. “I’ve not seen the movie, so I don’t know what I did, or what made the final cut or how what I did on the movie corresponds with the other characters.” Surprised, I ask why she has not seen the film. As she remains tight-lipped, I ask if she never watches herself on screen. “That might be a tad true,” blurts out the actress. “Once I make these movies, I’ve lived so deep with the character that it would be too shallow to watch it. I know it’s a weird thing. But once I’ve traveled in those waters and gone to the depths that you need to go to, I don’t know that I would get any benefit from watching the film.”

        She cannot, or rather chooses not, to recall which film of hers she last watched, admitting that she watches herself when she’s flicking through channels and catches something by accident or she if hears her daughter laughing at something she’s watching on the television. It’s never an experience that makes her content, she says. “I don’t have a great relationship with myself on screen.”

        One of her favorite roles was apparently in the 2004 horror, The Door In The Floor. “I loved doing it and I don’t know if it was that time of my life when I needed to do a piece like this. I loved working with Jeff Bridges and I think both of us as parents understood that material,” she says. “It was a strange time of my life [just after her divorce from Baldwin] and fulfilled me so much.”

        A movie that she will definitely not be watching is the adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel The Informers, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. “On dear, dear, dear, I get myself into so much trouble, I can’t even remember the name of the part I play,” she quips. It is Laura. “Every day when I get home, all I want to do is shower and never talk about this girl, this woman, again. It was one of the most decadent pieces of material that I’ve ever read. These people of the 1980s, they were so lost.

        “This is a movie I definitely don’t want to see, even if Gregor Jordan is the director, who I absolutely adore. When I had to go and do ADR for this film, I was mortified whenever I had to look at the screen.”

        Rourke also stars in the film and, like 9 Weeks, The Informers pushes the boundaries of taste. But Basinger thinks it might now be time, in her sixth decade, to stop taking her clothes off on-screen: “If something is really well written and has that aspect of sexual da da da, maybe I’ll go there again, but I’m not ready to jump into something sexual again. Something would have to be really brilliant. We’ll see… I like to mix it up.”

        Basinger, who first came to prominence as a model in the 1970s, has frequently used her body as a weapon on screen. Her first starring role was in the 1978 made-for-TV movie Katie, Portrait of a Centrefold, in which she played an aspiring actress who comes to Hollywood and ends up appearing in men’s magazines. She played a prostitute in From Here to Eternity and was a Bond Girl, opposite Sean Connery in Never Say Never Again. Then came Honey Horné in Wayne’s World 2 and the infamous 9 Weeks, not to mention the numerous occasions that she has played the love interest in romcoms. In 1997, she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar playing a call girl in the neo-noir detective drama L.A. Confidential.

        “You can tell the strengths and weaknesses of a woman from the relationship that they have with their body,” she sums up. “A woman’s relationship with her body is one that no poet has ever captured, nor has any book that I’ve read.”

        Strangely, her beauty has become a source of embarrassment of late, especially now that her daughter’s friends have been introduced to some of her performances. “At my daughter’s school, these boys are now 13 or 14 years old and they know more about my business than they should. Now when I drop her off at school I’m not allowed to get out of the car,” she laments. “But it’s funny because the boys will recognize me and wave. Sometimes, Ireland will come home and tell me stories that I just don’t want to hear.” She adds, “Sometimes you do feel vulnerable, especially when you have a movie coming out.”

        Vulnerability is something that just doesn’t seem part of Basinger’s make-up. She exudes confidence both on- and off-screen, although the demands of motherhood are making those appearances in front of the camera increasingly rare. Not that you’ll catch Basinger complaining.

        ‘The Burning Plain’ is out now; ‘The Informers’ is out later this year


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


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


    • I updated the picture. Thanks for the catch.

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


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

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

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


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


    • Could Cool World have been a good movie?

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

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

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


      • My Year Of Flops Case File # 44 Cool World (1992):

        In the late ’80s and early ’90s, animation was undergoing one of its periodic booms. After bottoming out with Black Cauldron, Disney roared back to life spectacularly with Little Mermaid and a raft of critically revered blockbusters. The 1988 smash hit Who Framed Roger Rabbit? seemed to herald an exhilarating new age where animation and live action comfortably co-existed with unparalleled sophistication and wit. Ex-Disney animator Don Bluth, meanwhile, had transformed his homegrown studio into a legitimate threat to his old employers with hits like An American Tail and The Land Before Time, a series that’s currently approaching its 700th direct-to-DVD sequel. On television, America had fallen in love with a gang of mustard-yellow, four-fingered misfits called The Simpsons and, to a much lesser extent, various Capitol Critters and Crime-Solving Fish.

        In other words, the time was perfect for Ralph Bakshi–the bad boy of animation, the prince of perversion, the king of kink, the Disney of debauchery, the poet laureate of animated porn, and the Tex Avery of the trench coat set–to make a spectacular comeback after abandoning film following decades of disappointment, false starts, and studio idiocy. He’d even dreamed up the perfect vehicle for his return: a sexy, violent, R-rated horror cartoon combining live action and animation. In a fit of ambition, he sold his idea for a horror cartoon about a hip underground cartoonist stalked by the half-animated offspring of an ill-fated tryst with a cartoon sexpot to Paramount.

        Bakshi was back! One of cinema’s great bitter, jilted cranks was suddenly overcome with a tricky emotion I believe you earthlings call “hope.” But if Bakshi’s long and tortured career had taught him anything, it’s that dreams exist to be crushed and hope is for suckers. Accordingly, the film’s producer Frank Mancusco Jr., had the film rewritten without, um, telling Bakshi. Mancusco Jr., it seems, having produced the timeless gift to cinema that is the Friday The 13th series, was burnt out on horror and seemed to linger under the misconception that it was Bakshi’s job to help realize Frank Mancusco’s vision, not the other way around.

        Bakshi was so enraged, he punched Mancuso in the face during a dust-up, but in one of those dark little twists that characterize Bakshi’s surreal career, Mancuso Sr. was president of Paramount, so he had nowhere else to go. Beyond having his script taken away from him, Bakshi was thwarted on other fronts as well. He desperately wanted to cast a sexy young actor named Brad Pitt for the lead role of a hip underground cartoonist tempted by his own two-dimensional creation. The studio was having none of it. “Get us Byrne, dammit! Only Gabriel Byrne can play this role! Byrne is boffo! Byrne means box-office! Byrne will take us to the Promised Land! Byrne! Byrne! Byrne! Screw that no-charisma Pitt kid! He’s on a bullet train straight to Nowheresville! Byrne is where it’s at!” I imagine a red-faced, fat-fingered studio executive barking angrily into a phone between puffs of a Cuban cigar.

        Middle-aged journeyman character actor Gabriel Byrne was consequently cast in the male lead while Pitt was relegated to the still-substantial part of a ’40s gumshoe sucked into an animated universe and burdened with keeping humans and cartoons from having sex and, um, messing with the fabric of the universe. For the female lead, Bakshi wanted sexy young thing Drew Barrymore as his cartoon vixen, but was saddled with Kim Basinger, whom Bakshi derisively claimed would be the perfect choice to play a “49-year-old woman,” but was far too old and gross for his film.

        In a story that’s far too ridiculous not to be true, Bakshi claims that halfway through the film, Basinger told Bakshi that she’d really like to be able to show the film to sick children in hospitals. In keeping with the warped way of American studio filmmaking, Bakshi’s revolutionary, sexy, violent R-rated animated horror film had morphed into a movie Kim Basinger wanted to show cancer-stricken tots.

        Not surprisingly, Bakshi’s profound ambivalence towards a labor of love that steadily devolved into a black-comic nightmare bleeds into the film itself. The animated sequences ooze Bakshi’s affection for the medium and his influences, especially Max Fleischer, but the live-action sequences feel stiff and impersonal, the work of a dispirited drone glumly going through the motions.

        Hot young thing Gabriel Byrne stars as a popular underground cartoonist who uses an extended prison sentence for murdering his wife’s lover to create a sprawling comic-strip universe called “Cool World.” (Incidentally, there is nothing less cool than artwork that tells you in its title just how freaking cool it is.) Cool World seems to exist independently of Byrne, however, and its sexiest inhabitant (Kim Basinger) desperately wants to seduce her creator so that she can run amok in the real world. Pitt is hell-bent on stopping her, but he’s got problems of his own, specifically a smoking-hot animated girlfriend he’s duty-bound not to give the old Hong Kong Handshake.

        After much writhing, giggling, and also wriggling Basinger escapes her animated purgatory and gallivants about Las Vegas causing mischief and generally behaving like a mildly retarded Marilyn Monroe. Basinger, it seems, is eager to access something called a “Power Spike” with the ability to unleash all manner of mischief.

        In its largely animated climax, Cool World finally attains some of the Looney Tunes gang’s gleeful anarchism, if not their wit and elegant fluidity. Bakshi fills his animated sequences with blackout gags, throwaway jokes, and goofy visual puns. He’s scribbling happily in the margins like a juvenile delinquent doodling all over his Trapper Keeper and his affection for animation and his influences is infectious. Even so, Basinger’s animated sexpot is little more than a half-formed rough draft, all pin-up poses, sexy vamping and ruthless ambition.

        Byrne’s character is even less developed. It’s as if Bakshi couldn’t get the cast he wanted and took out his frustration on his actors. Despite his tormented history, Byrne qualifies as a profoundly limp straight man. The Vegas live-action sequences are lifeless despite the mega-wattage star-power provided by Frank Sinatra Jr.’s cameo and the flesh-and-blood actors never seem to be acting opposite anything more than a green screen and a bunch of drawings. Cool World steals enough from Who Framed Roger Rabbit to suffer terribly by comparison. Of course, it didn’t help that Pitt crowed that Cool World was like Roger Rabbit on acid when it was more like Robert Zemeckis’ classic after years of paint-huffing had rotted its brain.

        Bakshi’s animated sequences can’t begin to compare to Disney or vintage Warner Brothers, but there’s a sense of craft and personality to them that’s utterly missing from the live-action sequences. If Bakshi wanted to illustrate the superiority of animation to live-action, then he’s succeeded to his film’s detriment.

        I suspect that if Bakshi had been allowed to make his animated horror film, I’d be writing about his woefully botched horror movie today instead of his failed Roger Rabbit knock-off. The grass always being greener, I’m guessing that if his horror film had failed, tongues would be clucking as to why he didn’t just go for a commercial sure thing, like, say, a live action/animated mash-up centering on a super-sexy Jessica Rabbit-style sexpot. Instead, Bakshi was forced to make someone else’s terrible movie–Mancuso Jr.’–instead of lovingly crafting a terrible movie near and dear to his heart.


    • Cool World:

      But the interference didn’t end there. Kim Basinger, easily the biggest star in the cast and at the time someone who could pull considerable weight when it came to filming, attempted her own re-write of the film midway through production, envisioning a sweet children’s tale that she could show in hospitals to sick children. Bakshi, dumbfounded at yet another mutiny, instead replied “Kim, I think that’s wonderful, but you’ve got the wrong guy to do that with.” And thus, with the film quickly becoming the classic example of too many cooks in the kitchen, Cool World was born. It isn’t difficult to surmise at this point what inevitably results. With so little direction and focus, it is a terrible mess, almost impressively so.


      • Retrospective: Cool World:

        We start with what you would expect from any early 90’s fashionable flick, uber trendy opening credits with a loud “modern” song; no indication to the plot of the movie, just blue words on a black screen for over two minutes. Then some back-story I guess, since the music from the opening credits does not match 1945 in the slightest, its quite a nice opening sequence leading to tragedy but then it is inter-cut with an animated guy talking about random rubbish before Brad Pitt (Fight Club, 12 Monkeys, Burn after Reading) is whisked away to the “Cool World”. There is no explanation as to why he is there or how he got there; simply he is now in a cartoon world. OK, it’s a movie, we are meant to suspend belief and I’m all up for that, Smash cut to 1992, there is a dude played by Gabriel Byrne (Miller’s Crossing, The Usual Suspects, End of Days) in a prison with animating and drawing equipment which I am pretty sure would not be allowed in a cell. He then disappears into Cool World – again, I have no idea how and plus, he is in a prison, how did nobody notice he was gone. We then meet the horror of this movie – Holli Would played by Kim Basinger (LA Confidential, Batman, Wayne’s World 2) I have a lot of problems with this broad.

        As a cartoon character, she is aesthetically pleasing, decked out in high-cut crotch cutting fashions of the era; flailing about to the trademark trance/electronica soundtrack of the film (which is actually rated more favorably than the film itself). However, when Kim Basinger gets involved – my blood starts to boil. Holli Would is meant to be the “Femme Fatal” of this movie, doing anything she can to obtain her end goal of becoming human which just involved her having sex with a real human man (‘noid as they are known in the Cool World). Surely a true Femme Fatal would be able to achieve this no problem – I mean look at Jessica Rabbit, she would only have to look at a guy to have him on his knees but Holli has apparently been striving for this for about 40 years or so and failing.

        We could account this to the tenacity of Brad Pitt‘s character (the cop of Cool World) but I feel it’s simply because she really is not sexy even at the basest of levels. Her research materials includes some of the sexiest female icons imaginable and she even boasts about wearing an exact replica of Marilyn Monroe’s dress from “Let’s make love”, but she never seems to emulate the grace and sheer sex appeal they have. Yes, I know that it could come down to how she moves and that lies with the animators but to be honest, that wasn’t too bad; it was her characterization and persona which feels so 2D (I know she is a cartoon – be quiet in the back) Kim Basinger’s attempt to evoke the soft spoken charm of Marilyn Monroe just falls flat and grates on me, slowing down her speech and over-enunciating her words leading her to becoming that drunk girl at the bar who thinks she’s sexy and is trying to get in your pants; you consider it but you know that it’s not going to be an overly enjoyable experience.

        Then she becomes human and loses the lines that define her and the little charm she possessed. Her speech pattern becomes exaggerated and her accent falters constantly – flickering between some sort of southern drawl and an attempted cutesy cartoon voice, neither of which cry sexy to me. To accompany this, her facial expressions leave a lot to be desired. Her continual mastication of each word does draw attention to her mouth but not in an attractive way, the idea is to make people want to kiss you and possibly use your mouth for other endeavors – not want to smash your teeth in just to stop you talking. She continues trying to move like a cartoon character but it just comes off as awkward and uncoordinated, leaving a lot to be desired, considering her turn in LA Confidential (1997) as a Veronica Lake styled prostitute. Kim Basinger just did not bring the poise and finesse of the Femme Fatales she has emulated since then and you wonder if the casting director of LA Confidential had seen Cool World, would she have been cast?

        The initial idea for the film sounded amazing; a film noir exploring a child of a ‘toon mother and a ‘noid father, looking for his place in the world and trying to find his father so he could kill him. Something along the lines of Sin City with cartoons which if Ralph Bakshi (Wizards, Lord of the Rings [animated] Fire and Ice) had his way, would have been absolutely fantastic in theory. However, thanks to Kim Basinger (another reason to hate her for this film) during a conversation with the studio about the film mentioned how she would like to make a film which she could watch with children in a Hospital. The studio listened to this, rather than the actual creator of the idea, and rewrote the film without the knowledge or consent of Ralph Bakshi into what we have today. I don’t know about you but I would never, EVER show this film to a child, let alone one in a hospital: it would traumatize them, just from Kim Basinger alone. I have no idea what kind of movie she thought she signed up for that she had to cause such a drastic change plus knowing about that change was caused by her suggestion, how did she continue with such a poor performance. I know I said I wanted to stop talking about Holli but for me, Kim Basinger is the undoing of this entire movie.

        The animation is good overall; as are the 2D scenes created for the live action characters to work in but there are random animation sprinkled throughout these scenes. During the boudoir scene between Brad Pitt and Holli Would, there is a lot of animation just placed on top of the scene with no context; such as little flying planes chasing each other while a Felix-esc dog dances in the foreground. No reason, just for the sake of it. Also, there are a lot of irrelevant animated scenes which seemed only to be included as filler but as a film of 104 minutes, it really did not need any extending.

        Back in 1992, films were on average between 70-90 minutes; this film could have benefited with a bit of fat trimming but with the debacle Ralph Bakshi was dealing with, you can see why he told his animators to do whatever they wanted. After the rewrite of his script, Ralph Balski was understandably unimpressed; he initially tried to leave but the studio threatened to sue him so he punched one of the executives – which I think is fair enough. After that he did continue with the film but instead of giving the animators a script, he told them to do whatever they want; this is most apparent in the climax of the film. I will not give it away here but believe me, it does go mental. The film as a whole has a fairly linear story-line: a ‘toon wants to be a human and will do anything to achieve that, a cop has to stop her and will do anything in his power to do so, a lackey/love-interest gets used and regrets it plus a plucky side-kick gets hurt. Pretty normal Hollywood stuff.

        Cool World’s last 15 minutes becomes a bit demented, I actually had little idea what was happening during this time other than there is something to do with a spike and cartoons seem to be bleeding through plus Gabriel Byrne’s character turns into a cartoon whilst Holli Would apparently just gives up on the idea of staying human to ride a giant flying cartoon thing. You can truly see that the animators just did not care about the story-line; or even know it, and just drew whatever the heck they wanted.

        I do not have many qualms with the rest of the acting, it wasn’t great but it was kind of in keeping with the tone the film should have had. As with Mimic, I was glad I watched it. Everyone had told me to watch it and I was intrigued by the idea of it. Now I know to avoid it at all costs and if I want to want a film that blends live-actions with animation, I will just stick with Who Framed Roger Rabbit and will never let my eyes fall on this perversion again.[/video]


      • My Take On… #234: Why Is Cool World Such A Unique Movie?

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

        First off, she was just in Batman, that was more than suitable for kids than this movie was. Hell, My Stepmother Is An Alien would be more suitable to show to kids than this. Yeah, Basinger was letting the fame she had gotten from the late 80s get the best of her back then apparently. Also, Drew Barrymore would’ve certainly been more interesting casting than Basinger in this.


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


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

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

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

    Oh, that explains it.

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


    • The top 10 unerotic erotic thrillers:

      4. Boxing Helena (1993)

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

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

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

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

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


    • I hate to say that Kim “got what she deserved”, but when it comes to “Boxing Helena”, didn’t Kim even read the script? Why did she initially agree to make the movie in the first place? It isn’t like the script or concept that was originally pitched to her was drastically changed to what was seen in the final product.

      I mean, playing a corpse for Tom Petty is one thing, but playing a woman whose limps are mutilated/amputated is really, really taking things to the extreme. Frankly, if I want to see Kim Basinger in a movie, I want to see “the total package”!

      I think that’s one of Kim Basinger’s biggest weaknesses (if you want to call it that), in that she could be very naive and/or impulsive with her career choices or decisions.


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

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

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

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


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

    Herbie Fully Loaded review by The Blockbuster Buster:


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


      • I wonder if part of Kim’s problem in regards to her solo starring vehicles is that doesn’t have enough “cross-over appeal” (if that makes sense). I sort of thought about this after reading the “What Might Have Been” article on her. My point is that I wonder if Kim doesn’t really have a lot of female fans (simply because they feel that they can’t “connect” or relate to her enough). Kim Basinger is perhaps a case of a movie star who might be “too good looking” to the point, in which it’s hard to buy her in “every-woman” parts.

        Because of this, it’s sort of hard to see Kim as a true romantic comedy actress. I don’t think that Kim was ever really singled out for being a great comedic actress. Hell, “Blind Date” is now a days, remembered more for being “That movie that Bruce Willis made before “Die Hard” officially made him a movie star!” Once Kim became too old to plausibly play a femme fatale, all that was really left for her to do was take on rather nondescript “mom roles”.


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


    • You are right, of course.

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

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


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


      • She didn’t pay 20 mill. She was a minority partner. The Ameritech Pension fund put up the majority of the cash.


      • I wondered the same thing. Had to go back and look it up. I knew she had been successful, but buying a town out of pocket is, well, crazy!


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


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

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


        • My Kim Basinger metaphor:

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

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

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


    • Not to mention having sex in public on movie sets. She’s a real shrinking violet. I feel so sorry for the poor dear.


      • I was just reading Leonard Maltin’s movie review guide for the 1994 version of “The Getaway” w/ Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin. Maltin complained that the steamy love making scenes between a then real-life couple felt uncomfortably voyeuristic.

        And that brings me to my next point, did Kim and Alec seriously think that we wanted to see them together on screen once they officially became an item? I can’t help but think of this “Saturday Night Live” skit w/ Ben Affleck spoofing his infamous movie “Gigli” w/ Jennifer Lopez:

        Frondi: Ben! Be-e-en!

        Ben Affleck: Yes, Frondi?

        Frondi: Audiences don’t like to see real-life couples on the scree-eennn.

        Ben Affleck: Really, Frondi?

        Frondi: They find it off-putting!

        Ben Affleck: And, how do you know all this stuff, Frondi?

        Frondi: Well.. “Eyes Wide Shut”.. “The Marrying Man”.. “Shanghai Surprise”..

        Ben Affleck: Well.. “Gigli”‘s gonna break the mold, alright?


  26. 10 Sexy Actresses Who Should Make A Comeback:

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

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


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

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

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

    Mermaids can’t even sit down.


    • Career Killing Films:

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


    • 8 Oscars Winners Who Should Give the Award Back:

      5. Kim Basinger

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


      • 6 Actors Who Squandered their Oscar Win


        Basinger had to work hard for respectability after films like “Cool World,” “9 1/2 Weeks,” and “My Stepmother Is An Alien” saw her only as a sexpot. But she got there with her stunning turn in “L.A. Confidential.” Then promptly lost it. There’s nothing wrong with genre fare, but bad genre fare like “Bless the Child” and “Cellular” did her no favors. Reuniting with her “L.A.” director Curtis Hanson for “8 Mile” was a smart move, except for the fact she was terrible in it.


    • lf: career ruining films:

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

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


      • BOXING HELENA (1992):

        Written & Directed By: Jennifer Chambers Lynch
        Story By: Philippe Caland
        Cinematography By: Bojan Bizelli & Frank Byers
        Editor: David Finfer
        Production Design and Art Direction By: Paul Huggins

        Cast: Julian Sands, Sherilyn Fenn, Bill Paxton, Art Garfunkel, Kurtwood Smith, Betsy Clark, Nicolette Scorsese

        A top surgeon is besotted with a beautiful woman who once ditched him. Unable to come to terms with life without her, he tries to convince her that they need each other. She has other ideas, but an horrific accident leaves her at his mercy. The plot is bizarre and perhaps sick at times, ending abruptly and with a twist.

        I hate to admit this. Growing up this film was a guilty pleasure. It might be because of all the claims this film tries to make about feminism or seeking to seem deep. The film to me plays like a dialogue driven, quirky soft-core erotica. The kind you would see on

        I believe she thought the visuals and the story would be strong enough that we would buy into the ludicrous nature of what was going on around the film. Jennifer Lynch Wrote this film when she was 19 years old. Filmed in Atlanta attorney Ed Garland’s 15,000 square foot mansion. The house also was used for portions of DRIVING MISS DAISY.

        The film feels like it has similar trappings of her father’s films beautiful modelesque cast. Beautiful visuals of the rich surroundings while set in a small town. While Casting Sherilyn Fenn In the lead role (only after Kim basinger dropped out and was sued for doing so. Which was a landmark case of verbal promising)

        This film was at the center of a lawsuit when Kim Basinger verbally agreed to star in the film then backed out. When it was ready to go into production. Madonna also turned the role down. Back when the project was originally titled “BOXING HANNA” Basinger lost the case and Owed the producers millions. The lawsuit gave the film press as also lead to it being out under a microscope. If she had just starred In the film would have just came and gone with hardly a whimper. Instead the film got certain publicity and in effect notoriety. In other words Kim Basinger pulled out of the title role, and was successfully sued for $9 million for violation of a verbal contract. The award was overturned on appeal, and the case was settled out of court.

        The film is far from great, but not as horrible as it has been as it has been billed. It’s not good, but it is a fascinating film as it fails on many levels, that it feels like a film that truly believes it’s art when it is clearly made to be a cult film, but maybe it’s that desire to be memorable that leads to it’s inclusion to being a cult film. Everyone goes into this earnestly and is clearly blind to it’s own faults.

        To fully explain my personal history and experience with the film. I remember wanting to see this film because of Sherilyn Fenn who I had a manic crush on ever since the film THE WRAITH and TWIN PEAKS. Which was like clean porn to me. (Though strangely I have never seen her erotic drama TWO MOON JUNCTION. I know there is plenty of nudity and sex In it, maybe too much time has passed) when this film came on home video I watched it repeatedly. I can admit more for the T & A appeal than anything else.

        I remember thinking at the time it was artsy like most films that I was watching at the time, but had copious nudity and/or sex scenes. Keep in mind I had no cable only the video store. I didn’t get the film, but I liked it. I was pretty sure this all meant something that I didn’t get. Plus the fact that at it’s heart. It was an obsessive love story really impressed me for some reason. Looking back of only I knew how that would play a role through my life a are emptied work then. As an armchair psychologist this film had a huge affect on me and as a lonely romantic teenager with hormones going into overdrive I can see why… Now.

        Over the years watching it. I realize how bad or disappointing the film can be. The redacted shots of her arms and legs free and in water are obviously setting up something of a message. While the film presents Fenn as a goddess. Who the lead doctor of the film was with on once and was instantly obsessed with. He keeps trying to impress and seduce her, she flirts yet keeps turning him down and flaunts a new lover in front of him. Then she is hit by a car right in front of his home. He then takes her inside of his mansion. He is a rich surgeon, who apparently can’t meet the right woman, nor any who seem interested in him. He also seems to not have many friends. He has a operating room In his house? And he amputates her arms and legs. So that she is only a head and torso. Keeping her prisoner, high he sees it as taking care of her. He tries to make her fall in love with him after all he saved her life, in his view. As he is the only one who can take care of her. Will she even really fall for him generally? Or is it more of a forced ultimatum? Though before any of This we will watch her resist strongly throughout.

        The film could have been something special. Other then it’s cult ready plot. If the film had been attempted by more experienced hands rather than a debut feature. Where behind the films craft can overcome the story to make something visual and beautiful somehow have a resonance or make some kind of sense. So that the audience can understand. While there are certain ideas, here doesn’t feel like it had as strong a passion, not direction. As it plays more like a straight to video film. Giving the audience exactly what it wants and feeling tawdry along the way and anytime it starts to express itself. It retreats back to a formula.

        Before this film I had only seen actor Julian Sands on horror films (Intentional ones) so seeing him play a dramatic role was new one a bit jarring. Though he comes through unscathed, maybe the strangeness of the environment fits him in my previous imagination. He and Sherilyn Fenn have chemistry and give decent performances. What is interesting is that he was chosen after the role was first offered to Ed Harris and John Malkovich.

        Bill Paxton unfortunately doesn’t as he is miscast here, as a ladies man who seems oddly out of place in this film. It was hard to believe Helena the character would even be interested in him.

        As the doctor and Helena’s relationship develops. There is supposed to be erotic sensual scenes including a sex scene that just ends up being funny. As it comes out of nowhere and seems to be imported from a totally different film. Only seems to be here to give the audience who has say through this so far some sex or of you rented it for the T & A like I did Initially. Giving you what you want so stop complaining. Then there is the ending which seems to totally negate what we have just seen. It seems more like he characters experiences it in another dimension or had a similar lucid dream. The film feels pretentious and overplays it’s hand, by literally focusing and showing it’s hand while you wait for the inevitable

        Watch it if you are curious by nature, but for general entertainment I would really suggest skipping. As watching it is like watching a cult film that ends up becoming entertaining as it gets more ridiculous. It is a nice try and a interesting idea that just went wrong.

        Grade: D+


      • Chick In A Box Case File #144: Boxing Helena:

        For a brief, shining moment, 1993’s Boxing Helena appeared to be a publicist’s dream. While barely old enough to buy wine coolers at the local Wal-Mart, David Lynch’s brilliant, beautiful young daughter Jennifer Chambers Lynch wrote a screenplay that gave a perverse quasi-feminist slant on her father’s pet themes of voyeurism, obsession, and psychosexual motherfuckery. Or did it? When viewed from different angles, Boxing Helena is either a subversive feminist statement or a creepy sexist fantasy of power and control.

        Actresses lined up for the juicy lead role of a femme fatale who spurns the advances of a brilliant, deeply troubled surgeon and ends up as a woman in a box when her would-be suitor decides he must have her at any cost. The film would be a baroque sadomasochistic fairy tale, lush and erotic, heralding the arrival of a bold new voice in American film—David Lynch’s true heir in every conceivable sense. That was the spin, at least.

        Kim Basinger signed on to play the lead. Then everything went to shit. A publicist’s dream devolved into a PR nightmare. In a fit of utter reasonableness, Basinger came to her senses and realized that playing an increasingly limbless, scantily clad shrew in glorified Skinemax fare looked more like professional suicide than a great leap forward. Basinger opted out of the project and was sued by producers who were initially awarded a whopping $8 million settlement for their troubles.

        Faced with financial ruin, Basinger declared bankruptcy; to pay her bills, she had to sell the small Southern town she owned. My trembling heart still grieves for her. The verdict was eventually overturned on appeal, but the damage was already done, to Basinger and to the film. Basinger picked up a reputation for being difficult, and Helena’s tagline billing it as “the most talked-about film of the year” became true for all the wrong reasons. Audiences once atwitter with anticipation over the cinematic debut of America’s first daughter of mindfreakery were left wondering just how awful a film would have to be for an actress of Basinger’s lack of stature to risk professional and financial ruin just to avoid it.

        Helena flamboyantly announces its contempt for subtlety with its very first lines. As a boy who will grow up to be Julian Sands watches his father do doctor-y stuff at a party, one of his father’s exposition-mad friends exudes, “Father’s pretty busy in there, eh? You know, he’s been awfully good to you and your mother. He’s given you this nice house, and we all know that you will follow in his footsteps at the hospital, right? You remember the family motto? Hard work and persistence will get you anything in the world you want. What’s the motto? That’s right. Hard work.” When it comes to establishing the character’s background, Lynch leaves nothing to chance.

        We then meet Sands’ mother, a sexy blonde in a slinky dress. She shoots Sands’ preteen self a simultaneously sexy and scolding look that launches a thousand sticky Oedipal fantasies. But how does Sands’ mother feel about her sad-eyed little boy? Is she somehow ashamed of him and her status as a mother? Is she maybe even in denial? Thankfully, party guests are on hand to clear up the confusion with the following banter:

        “Whose little boy is that?”

        “That’s Mary’s child.”

        “That’s funny. She never mentioned having any children.”

        In a shocking twist, Sands grows up to follow in his father’s footsteps in the hospital. Even more surprisingly, he’s all fucked in the head when it comes to women. He’s got a perfectly lovely, understanding girlfriend, yet he spends his days and nights pining for ravishing mystery woman Sherilyn Fenn.

        While out for a jog one evening, Sands decides to scamper up a tree outside Fenn’s house and watch longingly as she strikes a series of perfume-ad poses. For Sands, Fenn is a former one-night stand turned lifelong obsession. So he’s shattered to discover that Fenn is making the beast with two backs with leather-pants enthusiast Bill Paxton, whose hormone-addled, meathead sensibility is reflected by his parting line to Fenn: “Hasta whatever!”

        Sands’ anguish is indelibly conveyed by a hilarious sequence in which he runs in slow motion with a super-duper frowny face while Paxton ravishes every cell of Fenn’s being. Sands is devastated, but then he remembers that family motto. He isn’t about to let the fact that Fenn is fucking Bill Paxton, or possibly Bill Pullman, keep him from being with the glowering, hateful succubus of his dreams. Nor does her utter lack of interest seem to bother him. Fenn could hire a skywriter to emblazon, “I want nothing to do with you, Julian Sands’ character. You are unfathomably uninteresting to me. I could live to be a million years old, and you could be the only man in the known universe, and still, the thought of making love to you would never cross my mind, not for an instant, not for a millisecond, never, never, ever, ever, ever,” and Sands would think she was playing hard-to-get.

        “Lawrence, tell me how to get her back!” Sands pleads to best friend Art Garfunkel (whose presence never ceases to be a bizarre distraction) after being traumatized by the hot Paxton-on-Fenn action. Garfunkel answers his friend’s desperate cry with the sound of silence, so Sands throws a fancy party at his home, where he watches helplessly as Fenn wriggles out of her dress and dances in a fountain in a flimsy slip in super slow motion before sneaking away to fuck one of Sands’ friends.

        Yes, Sands, he of the zombie-like pallor and cold, dead blue eyes, is suffering from bad timing and a sensual obsession, not unlike Art Garfunkel in Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession. Garfunkel is clearly in a privileged position to give Sands advice, but his lips are sealed, so Sands lures Fenn back to his spooky old haunted house of a home by promising to return something she left at the party. While fleeing his home, though, she’s hit by a car and wakes up without any legs. Sands winds up in the curious position of being her savior and her tormentor. A woman he could never control or obtain has been rendered powerless by fate, a big-ass automobile, and Sands’ skilled surgeon hands. Sands devotes himself to taking care of his involuntary guest full-time, but the only person who seems to notice he’s stopped showing up at the hospital is fellow surgeon Kurtwood Smith, who stumbles upon Sands’ sinister secret. Fortunately, Sands is able to buy him off with a letter of recommendation for Sands’ abandoned position as chief surgeon.

        Buried somewhere deep within Boxing Helena is a potent feminist allegory about the desperate measures weak-willed men employ to render strong women powerless, and a sly commentary on the way men project noble qualities on dream girls. In more skillful hands, Helena could have been a powerful, hallucinatory black comedy about the masculine need for complete control. But Lynch’s noble aspirations never lead to anything more than a kitschy muddle of David Lynch For Beginners imagery and embarrassing histrionics from actors given abstract ideas to inhabit rather than human beings to play.

        Fenn wasn’t the producer’s first choice, but her casting as an impossible object of desire might be the only thing the film has going for it. Fenn possesses not just the beauty and ripe sexuality that are the birthright of every Hollywood sexpot, but also an old-school Hollywood glamour and the bottomless air of mystery that David Lynch exploited beautifully. As a 13-year-old, I fell hopelessly in love with Fenn from afar. She represented an impossible ideal not just to Sands, but to me and millions of other awestruck young men and women who watched her every week on Twin Peaks.

        Alas, Sands’ all-consuming lust for the former Audrey Horne is the only element of his character that’s remotely relatable. As a ubiquitous character actor, Sands specializes in playing Eurotrash creeps that will murder you in your sleep. That’s ideal when it comes to playing pimps, drug dealers, and he-witches, but it’s problematic when audiences are forced to spend 106 minutes in Sands’ clammy, pathetic company.

        Helena offers no points of entry. It’d seemingly be easy to empathize with a woman being held against her will and gradually robbed of limbs, but Fenn is as devoid of admirable qualities as her creepy captor. Intentionally or otherwise, she’s nothing more than a beautiful blank. Fenn and Sands don’t have a redeeming facet between them, nor do any of the scheming supporting characters. And in its third act, Helena plunges deeper and deeper into a dream state. What exists within the dreary, limited confines of reality, and what occurs in Sands’ fevered imagination? Who cares, since Sands is the kind of whiny, disturbed ninny who screeches sentiments at Fenn like “You don’t understand! I love you! If you were a real woman, you’d lie to me about our sex! Real women lie about sex all the time!”

        In her bid to spell everything out for the symbolism-impaired, Lynch regularly cuts to shots of a statue of the armless Venus De Milo and a parrot angrily hurling itself against the bars of its cage in slow motion. I suspect this is some sort of cryptic commentary on how Fenn is, like, a limbless beautiful woman or a caged bird or something. The cornerstone of Lynch’s overwrought directorial style is flagrant abuse of slow motion: Replace all the artsy slow-mo shots with sped-up film set to Boots Randolph’s “Yakety Sax,” and the film would be 15 minutes shorter and slightly more bearable.

        By writing and directing a major motion picture at 24, Jennifer Lynch wasn’t going from high school to the pros: She was going from the Pee-Wee League to the Major League all-star game. With its grotesque imagery and provocative ideas, Helena might have made for a knockout short, the kind of calling card that wows them at Sundance and Tribeca, but when stretched sadistically over 106 minutes, it has all the time in the world to reveal its fundamental emptiness and paucity of imagination. Jennifer Chambers Lynch directing Blue Velvet: The Next Generation was a sexy idea; the reality was something else entirely.

        So instead of launching Fenn’s film career, Boxing Helena essentially killed it, while Sands slunk back into supporting roles, and Jennifer Lynch had to wait 15 years for the opportunity to direct again. $8 million might have proven a small price to pay to steer clear of a turkey of this magnitude. For perhaps the first and last time, Kim Basinger was right.

        Failure, Fiasco or Secret Success: Fiasco


    • The curse of the supporting class:

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

      Career-damaging award?

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

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

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

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

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


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

      5. Kim Basinger

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

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


      • Five Actors Who Define the Oscar Curse:

        4. Kim Basinger

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



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


        • The Oscar Curse: How Winning an Academy Award Has Often Become the Kiss of Death:

          Flash forward sixty years into the future and an actress of even more limited range than Rainer would be both a surprise winner and a victim of the Curse. It remains to be adequately explained what exactly exists in Kim Basinger’s performance in “L.A. Confidential” that made it worthy of a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1997. Less surprising, indeed, is that Basinger has done nothing of note since her inexplicable win.


        • The Oscar Curse: Big win doesn’t guarantee continuing success:

          It could also be argued that those three Oscar winners are examples of fortuitous film roles, when the perfect script, director, and studio came together to help them deliver a once-in-a-lifetime performance.

          This could be called the Kim Basinger Law, named for the model-turned actress who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as a Veronica Lake-lookalike prostitute in 1997’s L.A. Confidential. More than 15 years later, Basinger hasn’t had a hit since her supporting role as Eminem’s mother in the rapper’s 2002 film debut, 8 Mile.


        • 10 Victims of the Oscar Curse & Oscar Jinx:

          Victim’s Name: Kim Basinger

          Won For: L.A. Confidential (1997)

          Why They’re Jinxed: Like many of the women on this list, it’s difficult to determine if old age or the Oscar jinx was responsible for Kim Basinger’s career decline. She was a smokin’ hot 43-year-old when she won her Best Supporting Actress award, and now she’s 56. While still far more attractive than most women her age, the acting opportunities are growing increasingly slim (especially since her current demographic forces her to compete with the likes of Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren). She did get to play Eminem’s white trash mom in 8 Mile, but following that up with Cellular and The Sentinel didn’t help her cause. Most of her work these days is limited to television and indy films. A perfect example of the Oscar curse manifested when Basinger was cast in 2009’s The Informers, a film co-starring Billy Bob Thornton, Mickey Rourke and Winona Ryder. Despite the impressive cast, the movie never moved past limited release, and it only grossed a paltry $300,000. Sadly, she’s currently more famous for her down-and-dirty conflicts with ex-husband Alec Baldwin and her work for those crazy-ass bastards in PETA.


        • HOT GALLERY: 10 Stars Who Fell Victim to the Oscar Curse:

          Kim Basinger—Today

          Basinger has worked relatively steadily since her Oscar win, but it’s been in roles that we’d rather forget. I Dreamed of Africa? How about let’s drink some coffee, stay up all night, and say we did. Then she followed up with several roles in which she seemed utterly miscast, as seen in 8 Mile and Cellular.


        • Top 10 Post-Oscar Busts:

          In the 1997 film L.A. Confidential, based on the novel by James Ellroy, Basinger played femme fatale Lynn Bracken and won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work. Since then, she has played the mother to Eminem’s 8 Mile alter ego and had roles in a couple of straight-to-DVD titles. Her last major role was in the 2010 Zac Efron flick Charlie St. Cloud.


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

        Kim Basinger

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

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

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

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


  28. Sounds like Kershner handled her very well.


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


    • More on Kim Basinger’s relationship w/ Irvin Kershner:

      At the end of five years in New York, Basinger — sick of modeling and depressed — loaded her jeep and moved to L.A. to launch herself in movies. After two television movies and two features — Hard Country, with Jan-Michael Vincent, and Mother Lode, with Charlton Heston, neither of which was widely distributed — she was hired for the role of Domino in Never Say Never Again. She hated the movie (“It was all about Bond”), and little love was lost between her and the director, Irvin Kershner. In a recent interview, she called him “mean.” He retaliated by saying that “she has a problem that a lot of ex-models have, and that’s paying too much attention to their looks.” The man knew which button to push. “He zinged it to me like you wouldn’t believe!” Basinger says. She’s laughing, but she’s angry, too. “They preface everything with ‘ex-model.’ I don’t even know what the hell that means. ‘Cause they could just as easily put ‘plumber’ in there now, like ‘plumber-actress.’ Because I’m not a model anymore. It drives me mad.”


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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



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

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


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


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

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


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

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


  31. Hollywood Feuds: Actors vs. Directors:

    Kim Basinger vs. Adrian Lyne

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


    • 10 Directors Who Broke Their Stars To Make Famous Movies:

      Adrian Lyne Alienated Kim Basinger (And Had Mickey Rourke Slap Her) On 9 1/2 Weeks

      One of those of-the-time erotic thrillers barely remembered today, 9 1/2 Weeks is at least never going to be forgotten by star Kim Basinger, who chiefly remembers the “terror” of her experience working with the film’s director Adrian Lyne. You see, in order to get the performance he wanted, Lyne subject Basinger to some fearsome mind games.

      This included keeping a barrier between Basinger and her co-star Mickey Rourke, alienating Basinger from the cast and crew, and spreading gossip about the actress in order to create an awkward atmosphere on-set. People from outside the set were, according to Lyne, disturbed by the intensity of what Basinger was doing and by how Lyne was getting her to that point.

      Lyne instructed Rourke, too, to take part in the psychological tactics, eventually leading to the actor slapping Basinger and making her cry. Basinger started exhibiting mood swings and signs of depression as a result of Lyne’s approach, leading to problems in her marriage.




      Kim Basinger’s long breakdown started during the auditions for 9 ½ Weeks, when the film’s producers asked her to perform a scene as a desperate prostitute. After crying in her car and deciding she’d never take the role, Basinger ultimately conceded to starring in the film. Director Adrian Lyne continued to antagonize and isolate Basinger while he shot the film’s scenes in order, eliciting the effects of an actual breakdown from Basinger, years before a marriage to Alec Baldwin would have a similar effect.


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

    Oh myyyy…..


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


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


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


        • The thin that I’ve noticed based on Kim’s Twitter account, is that she seems fully 100% content on promoting animal welfare. I hate to single her out for something like that because she isn’t the only celebrity to use social media to promote causes that are personal to them. But it seems like, if I want to read stuff like that all the time, I’ll go to PETA’s Twitter account. Maybe my point, is that I wish that Kim would talk about stuff that she’s doing besides that.

          It seems like Kim just makes a movie and doesn’t put forth enough of a personal effort to promote it or make everybody know that she’s in it. If the movie is successful and it gains herself accolades, then its an added bonus. This is part of the reason why I think her career cooled off after her Oscar win, because she didn’t do a better enough of a job to keep herself and her name relevant (outside of her personal issues w/ Alec Baldwin).

          The only non-animal related stuff that I’ve come across on her Twitter, is when she said something about David Letterman in lieu of his retirement.

          @Letterman you made me feel so comfortable on your show… and you were right… I hate doing talk shows..;) Wish you the best ❤


        • Another non-animal welfare related message from Kim on Twitter that I found:


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


      • Since this movie with Kim Basinger has been screening on the Audience Network today…:

        You wouldn’t think that a movie starring Al Pacino and Kim Basinger would sit on a shelf for two years and then get a cursory theatrical release that earned only a little more than $100,000.

        But that’s what happened to the 2003 film “People I Know,” which very few moviegoers have heard of let alone seen.

        I finally caught up with the Jon Robin Baitz-scripted picture via Netflix. It’s an interesting but very bad movie that might have gone nowhere even if 9/11 hadn’t made it a hot potato at the New York-based Miramax Films because of the instantly outdated criticism of Rudy Giuliani and a major plot point involving a private sex-and-drugs club in the shadow of the World Trade Center (not to mention a trick shot in which the WTC goes from being vertical to horizontal).

        Pacino plays Eli Wurman, a burned out bisexual press agent whose life and career collapse in the 24 or so hours we spend with him (Baitz and director Dan Algrant start each new scene with a time stamp). We meet him at the opening night of a flop Broadway play and then follow him on an errand for his only big moneymaking client, a Warren Beatty-ish movie star, Cary Launer, played by Ryan O’Neal.

        Launer has been running around town with a coked-out model/actress (Tea Leoni) who is awaiting release on bail at a downtown jail. people1The movie star sends Eli to pick her up, but she forces the press agent to accompany her to a private den of iniquity downtown (next door to the WTC).

        Eli is shocked to run into some of the most powerful people in the city in this opium and kinky sex parlor, but he indulges in as many drugs as he can get his hands on. A few hours later, Eli passes out in the model’s hotel bathroom. The press agent staggers out the next morning and goes about his business until he hears that the young woman was found dead of an overdose. (He has a hazy memory of seeing someone with the model just before he nodded off in the bathtub).

        Kim Basinger turns up in only a few scenes as Eli’s sister-in-law who urges him to leave the city before it destroys him.

        A muddled and rather unpleasant story is made close to unwatchable by the decision to have Pacino play Eli with a fey Southern accent — his character is supposed to be from Georgia originally — and to do the whole movie in a druggy, low energy mode. Even with Pacino’s natural starpower, the peculiar acting choices render Eli totally unsympathetic from his first scene onward. We can sense early on that the man is doomed by his knowledge of what the rich and famous get up to in that sex club, but the tragic elements in the story are dampened by the washed-out star. (There is a perverse daring in Pacino’s decision to play a totally passive role.)

        “People I Know” has several Giuliani-bashing sequences that would not have gone down well in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, but if the rest of the movie was salvageable some trimming and reshoots could have solved that problem. (The WTC shots were cut from the film but are included with the DVD extras).

        One of Eli’s scenes is shot with him in front of a poster for the 1974 paranoid thriller “The Parallax View” but the homage only points up the fact that this would-be chiller about mighty people crushing the powerless is in no way comparable to the classic Alan Pakula picture.


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


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


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


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

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

          The Man Who Loved Women – Meh.

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

          Fool For Love – Solid

          9 1/2 Weeks – Skinemax After Dark

          No Mercy – Base hit

          Blind Date – Lousy

          Nadine – Watchable at best

          Stepmother – Stinker

          Batman – Finally establishes Basinger as a star

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


        • I’m guessing another factor beyond Kim’s alleged “misbehavior” (if you want to put it like that) is that she has likely been frequently told her whole life that she’s extremely beautiful. Therefore, Kim has let it go to her head that she has to be very conscious about her appearance, hence all of the stories about her insane demands (like needing Evian water for her hair and such) while working on “The Marrying Man”. She likely felt that she had to be filmed/photographed in a very peculiar or particular manner.


        • I have this theory that Kim (besides of course being younger and more in her “prime”) had a much better career when she was w/ her first husband, Ron Snyder-Britton. It’s awfully coincidental that they divorced around the same time that Kim officially “hit it big” (i.e. officially reach the A-list) w/ “Batman”.

          I’m not necessarily saying that Kim should’ve stayed w/ Ron because I don’t know for sure what exactly went wrong w/ their marriage. But still, her public image/reputation didn’t take as much damage as it did once the ’90s rolled around. Basically, Alec Baldwin (and the fall out from their nasty divorce) was the big “jump the shark” moment for Kim, and not even winning an Oscar for “LA Confidential” could remedy that.


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


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


        • If I remember correctly, Kim told a story on the special editions feature for “Batman” in which when she would go to hospitals to see sick children, they literally thought that she was really Vicki Vale and not Kim Basinger the actress who portrayed her in the movie. When asked where Batman was at, Kim responded by saying that he’s outside w/ the Batmobile.

          I’m guessing w/ “Cool World”, Kim was in the mentality that since it’s partially a cartoon, it must be for kids right? Keep in mind, that this was long before the existence of “South Park”, Seth MacFarlane’s stuff, or Adult Swim. All that we really had at the time was “The Simpsons” and “Beavis & Butt-head”, which was still about a year away.


        • I hope that really wouldn’t be the case. i find “Cool World” to be a strange film overall; I don’t think it’s bad, I just feel it doesn’t have much of an identity or hook.


        • I think that Kim visiting sick children and wanting to apiece them who maybe in no small part, loved “Batman” is pretty sweet and otherwise noble in its intent. I won’t accuse her of not having a big heart in that regard. But regardless, I don’t think that something like this makes good sense from a creativity standpoint.

          Not to divert the conversation, but this is perhaps one of the biggest problems w/ the PG-13 rating. What I mean is that filmmakers and studios will deliberately hold back (i.e. not go full throttle if the subject matter pertains to such a thing) because they fear that they won’t sell as many tickets w/ an R rating.

          I don’t exactly know how good “Cool World” would’ve been had Ralph Bakshi been allowed to make the movie that he intended to make from the start. But I’m pretty confident that it would’ve been better than what ultimately as Leonard Maltin put it, “Like a Roger Corman version of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”


        • One reviewer that I just came across suggested that the key in its premise is why “Cool World” failed. The movie in itself like Kim Basinger’s character wasn’t too well adjusted to its own tooniness. To give you a better idea, whereas “Roger Rabbit” reveled in it, “Cool World” was trying to escape it. More to the point, “Roger Rabbit” had all the glowing warmth of the Golden Age of Theatrical Cartoons but Cool World was beyond dark, it was also mean spirited.


      • Katherine Heigl: it’s okay when the boys do it:

        But outspoken female stars such as Heigl could run into problems keeping an audience just by dint of gender.

        “I think women have a much more difficult time, because when a woman makes demands as Barbra Streisand always did, I think they’re more likely to say, ‘What the hell does she want?’ You don’t see it in the same terms of integrity and honesty. It’s a harder sell,” Gabler said.

        Kim Basinger’s career, for example, pretty much went downhill for awhile after she refused to appear in 1993’s “Boxing Helena,” in which a woman is forced to live in a box after her limbs are amputated by a surgeon in a desperate act of courtship. Basinger, who said she was put off by the film’s gratuitous sex scenes, was sued for breach of contract and ordered to pay $7.4 million in damages. She filed for bankruptcy but had a comeback in 1997 with “L.A. Confidential,” for which she won an Oscar for supporting actress.

        Indeed, actresses — especially those with conventionally attractive looks such as Heigl and Basinger — are largely expected to play the game, shut up and smile, while demanding actors such as Sean Penn are handed creative control and respect, among eye rolls.

        “In this town, women who don’t just snap and say, ‘OK, yes sir, yes ma’am,’ start to get a reputation for being difficult,” she said last year in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “But within the last five years, I’ve decided it’s not worth it to me to be pushed around so much.”



        ” Baldwin’s mood didn’t seem to improve much by Sunday. Another spy overheard him griping to friends at an Amagansett restaurant that his estranged wife, Kim Basinger, was a “prima donna” who had to bring her own towels, bedsheets and apple sauce whenever they traveled. A spokeswoman for Baldwin declined to comment on any of the actor’s weekend activities. BEBE LOVE Bebe Buell is not ashamed to let the world know that she was one of the most famous of the ’70s “Band Aids” – the groupies who consorted with the biggest names in rock. In fact, the mother of actress Liv Tyler has put her memories in “Rebel Heart: An American Rock ‘N’ Roll Journey” (St. Martin’s Press) and offers some back story on a host of big names. Rod Stewart was “a dangerous person if you’re a woman,” she writes. “For Rod, women were more like ornaments than companions.


        • Photos: Prince and Kim caught on a date

          Reply #22 posted 11/19/04 5:22am

          Prince’s involvement in 1989’s Batman movie led to a short affair with actress Kim Basinger, which apparently ended with her being whisked away from Prince’s house by her concerned brother, who was worried about “the weird sexual hold ” (The Sun,1995) Prince had over his sister. Basinger would later do the dirty on her ex in a news of the world exclusive, to his disappointment, and Prince would dismiss questions on the affair with “I really didn’t know her that well”.Similarly, Basinger would say curtly,”He’s an interesting little man. “However hurt he may have been,he showed he can be forgiving and offered to lend Kim something in the region of $6.5m when she faced bankruptcy after pulling out of the Boxing Helena film. Apart from her obvious beauty, it is curious exactly what the attraction was. By all accounts,this was a clash of two huge egos. Basinger comes across as a real prima donna, demanding and difficult on film sets; if she is like this in real life it’s hard to believe Prince putting up with her tantrums,as he’s more than used to getting his own way. Judging from her brother’s tell-all articles on her in The Sun, Prince seemed to have found a way of controlling her temperament.It seems that he used to drive her around Minneapolis,at 100 mph, with complete disregard for red lights, which he’d drive through indifferently, scaring the living daylights out of her no doubt. This may well have been true. Prince has been bestowed with all sorts of honors from the city of Minneapolis,a national Prince day for instance,and he may well have been awarded the keys to the city at some point. Along with this honor, he would have been granted the freedom of the city of Minneapolis, allowing him to flout certain local laws i.e. stopping at the red lights! (Note Prince happily stopped for the red light when showing Neal Karlen around the twin cities before his Rolling Stone interview in 1985.) What fun to tear around Minneapolis at breakneck speed with a girl on tow and not let her into the little secret-and what better way to bring a (fellow) egocentric like Basinger down to earth.


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


    • “Much about Kim Basinger is a mystery.”

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

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

      Kim Basinger we’re talking about? 😉

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


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

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


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


      • I do sometimes (whenever I check Kim out on Twitter or revisit this blog), wonder if Kim is seriously satisfied or content w/ her career as it is right now? I think Kim at this point rather stay under the radar as much as possible (and if somebody offers her something that intrigues her regardless of how many people may see it, then fine or so be it) and devote most of her time to helping animals. Kim has for all intents and purposes, been “downgraded” to what could be considered a “working actress”. That is an actress (or actor) who still regularly gets work, but isn’t considered “A-list” or a marquee draw anymore.


        • I think you’re right. I don’t see her seeking out the spotlight. She could work more than she does if she wanted to. She could snap her fingers and have a TV show if she wanted to revive her career.


        • I wonder if Kim should try getting into TV like her ex-Alec Baldwin did w/ “30 Rock” (which pretty much rejuvenated his career)? It seems quite obvious at this point, that Kim’s days as an A-list leading lady/box office star, are in the past. And at least, we would have a better idea where Kim is at unlike the movies that she has done in the past 10 years or so (post-“8 Mile”).


      • I think she’s one of those people who’s too high-strung to really deal well with the circus of fame. She always seemed to be terribly on edge on red carpets and talk shows. So in addition to aging out of her core roles, she probably didn’t mind getting away from Hollywood for a while.



      I think she’s done well herself, considering her dramatic life on and off camera. I think much more comfortable not trying to be the “it” woman. I think she understands that life in Hollywood as an actress is not all sunshine and rainbows. She keeps going and good for her! Hope she keeps her personal life straight.



      No, as in she refuses to PLAY the game and promote herself, do interviews, be personable, be likable. You have to sell and market yourself and she’s one of those thespians that thinks the “work should speak for itself.”


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

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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


    • Thanks, Dar. Glad you liked it.

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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


      • Kim Basinger: Kim Confidential

        After a couple of years on maternity leave from Hollywood, Kim Basinger will be back on-screen in the cool noir L.A. Confidential. Here she confides that baby Ireland has none of Alec’s looks but some of his temper, claims she has no desire to be a first lady, and details exactly how she came to have a chic new hairdo.

        Q: Whose temperament does she have?

        A: I have a temper, but I do not have a temper like Alec. I don’t think two people [like that] could live in the same house, OK? But with these two temperaments, Ireland has started something that every mother has told me happens: tantrums.

        Q: Alec got into trouble with a photographer–how crazy did that make him?

        A: That was in our neighborhood. It’s all in litigation now so I can’t really talk about it. It was right after her birth. I was very vulnerable. I’ve been stalked before. The last thing I heard was Alec saying, “Stay in the car.”



        My brother went through the same thing but he wasn’t known to act like that. Alec Baldwin loses his mind over everything. When Ireland was born, instead of taking her in the house, he ran across the street and attacked the paps, smashing their car. He was behind a fence and left his baby and wife to fight. Not to mention all the other times. I’m not saying being a celeb isn’t stressful. I am only stating he has a bad rep.


      • The thing that I don’t understand is that Kim has in recent interviews hinted that Alec Baldwin was abusive towards her during their marriage (saying something along the lines of her “sleeping with the enemy” in real life after being offered Julia Roberts’ role in the movie “Sleeping With the Enemy”) and yet, she didn’t seem to have the where with all that he was “bad news” right from the jump? I mean, there are various reports from the set of “The Marrying Man”, that Alec Baldwin was frequently having violent temper tantrums.

        I’m guessing that Kim was attracted to Baldwin because he was a darkly, handsome “bad boy” and he was sexually dominate. Kim was in essence, the perfect doormat for Baldwin to dominate.


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

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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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

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

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


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


      • I Saw Grudge Match:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    • Grudge Match – Stallone vs. De Niro:

      Sigh. This is a creative dud, which is a shame because I dig both stars and hoped for a satisfying pairing serving both well. The central boxing film (concerned with a pair of long retired rival fighters coming out of retirement for a final match to conclude their unresolved feud and for an enormous payday) is fine, even though it is a shame how fast the climactic bout becomes a rapid-fire montage rushing toward the 12th round. The problem is the rest of the bull. Neither the outside-the-ring sentimental drama (estranged son! lost love!) nor the grumpier-old-boxers humor is of a high quality, and at close to two hours, the film, directed without flair by studio friendly journeyman Peter Segal, is crowded and lethargic.

      Kim Basinger has a dull, borderline degrading role as a former flame of both protagonists who reenters their lives the same time as the television cameras. Her snore inducing part and the inert scenes devoted to her are emblematic of the overall enterprise’s inability to realize its ambition to amuse and warm hearts in equal measure. Robert De Niro plays his character as a bastard by way of a used-car salesman and may be more unsympathetic here than in Raging Bull, which is a problem because this is a comedy set for release on Christmas Day, not a hard-edged drama exploring male rage and self-destruction. Rarely has third-act redemption landed with a louder thud. And though his presence may be a casting coup on a financial level, stand-up comedian and rising film star Kevin Hart often confuses sheer volume with scene-stealing charm and wit as the promoter who plots the grudge match. I found him largely grating.

      Saving the film from absolute failure are Sylvester Stallone, holding court with reserved nobility, and Alan Arkin, utilized just as he was in films as disparate as Argo and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and now no doubt able to deliver acerbic one-liners in his sleep. This is far from a career highlight for either man, but their scenes together as a salt-of-the-earth athlete and his weathered trainer are pleasant and clearly indebted to Stallone’s iconic interaction with Burgess Meredith’s Mickey in the Rocky franchise. The sole moment of genuine inspiration comes, alas, halfway through the credits via an outstanding double cameo which should not be spoiled.

      and 1/2 out of ***** or C-


  43. Kim Basinger Apologized… For Making Bad Comedies!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    • I rather Kim apologize for her most recent crap like “Fifty Shades Darker” before apologizing for “Blind Date”, and “My Stepmother Is an Alien”. At least those earlier movies were INTENTIONALLY supposed to be funny and don’t ultimately paint Kim in an overall bad light!


      • It’s probably the era I was born in or whatever, but I like “Blind Date”. However, I prefer the 2007 film “Blind Date”, starring Stanley Tucci & Patricia Clarkson (it’s sad though, but I thought it was well done).


  44. Eillio Martin Imbasciati

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


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


    • It’s “Die Hard on a cell phone”

      Cellular (2004)
      Around the late ’90s, locations for Die Hard ripoffs were starting to run out. The formula of a lone man trapped into action against nefarious plotters had been applied to increasingly narrow confines: an airport, an airplane, a train, a bus. The bumper crop was dying off before anyone could figure out how to mount Die Hard on rollerblades and achieve maximum ’90s.

      Cellular, then, was probably not pitched as a Die Hard ripoff. It may not have even occurred to the filmmakers that there was much relation between their film and the John McTiernan action classic—in part because in some ways, there isn’t much relation. The lone man isn’t a humble law enforcer of any stripe, just an initially callow and self-centered bro in a car who gets a call on his 2004-vintage bar-style cell phone from kidnapped Jessica (Kim Basinger) trapped in an attic. Neither the car nor the attic functions as the Die Hard location, though; the cell phone does. Jessica is speaking into a mostly smashed landline, and cannot call anyone else; the bro, Ryan (Chris Evans), must stay on the line, taking it upon himself to run, drive, and scrap his way around greater Los Angeles because circumstances dictate that he may be the only one who can save her. Evans, in his first major film role not explicitly meant to be a teenager, is a long way from his future as Captain America, but exposes some appropriate bedrock decency (as well as bedrock abs) below Ryan’s Californian dudeness.

      The Die Hard movie Cellular most closely resembles is actually Die Hard With A Vengeance—the third (and second-best) installment that sends John McClane tearing around the whole of Manhattan in a mad dash of chases, stunts, and puzzles. No one is playing puzzle games with Ryan; the chief baddie is played by Jason Statham, more of a charismatically glowering henchman than a charsimatically oily mastermind. But the mad dash is similar, and tethering Evans to the cell phone has a pleasingly confining effect on the action. (This is also why the more logistically tricky cell-centric first hour is better than the final stretch.) That’s not to say the movie is particularly intimate. Director David R. Ellis, a stunt coordinator and second-unit director turned New Line hired gun who would later make Die Hard on a plane with snakes, choreographs all manner of vehicular mayhem, with Evans often emerging improbably unscathed. But Ellis also has fun with the camera, as in a shot where he parks it inside a cell phone store as Evans runs out to grab a gun and race back in, or an extreme close-up of a phone plummeting to its doom.

      Ellis, who also made the even-numbered Final Destination movies, died in 2013, and the silly but propulsive Cellular remains his best film, the purest expression of his B-movie energy. The wrong-man-wrong-time ticking-clock story forms a sort of missing link between ’50s Alfred Hitchcock and ’90s Die Hard knockoffs, with nearly enough now-retro touches—bar phones, the old New Line Cinema logo, Jessica Biel—to kickstart ’00s nostalgia.



        It may be badass on paper, but that is, without a doubt, one of my Top 5 worst line deliveries of all time:
        “Tenth grade biology. Brachial artery… pumps 30 liters of blood a minute. There’s only five in the human body. I’m sorry.”

        Just you know, with Kim Basinger at the nadir of her fairly limited acting powers.


        • The Awakening

          “Great story but a terrible reading”
          Where does The Awakening rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
          I’ve never written a review before, but I just had to say that this reading by Kim Basinger is really disappointing. She has a tin ear for Chopin’s prose with all its subtle ironic subordination. Ms. Basinger can’t seem to read more than three or four a time..and…by the end of the novel…her halting reading style…drove me nuts. But even her quasi-literate reading couldn’t quite kill Chopin’s strong writing. Buy this novel, but not this version.

          “Pretty good”
          I’m glad that I re read this (previously read this in high school). It makes so much more sense now, as an adult, as a mother.

          I expected more from Kim Basinger as the narrator…kind of flat in her delivery. But overall good, quick read.

          This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
          Probably if Kim Basinger wasn’t narrating. Listening to her was like sticking a rusty fork in my eye!

          Has The Awakening turned you off from other books in this genre?
          No, it just continues to turn me off from Hollywood “actors” thinking that their skill set makes them into good book narrators.

          Would you be willing to try another one of Kim Basinger’s performances?

          What character would you cut from The Awakening?
          THE NARRATOR!!!

          Any additional comments?
          As I’ve said a kazillion times before, I don’t know why Audible thinks having actors narrate books will make the listening experience better. IT DOES NOT!!! I’ve wasted money listening to Elliott Gould ruin a Raymond Chandler classic and Samuel L. Jackson fumble a book written by a black author about black people in Harlem. The only A-List actor who has ever really impressed me as a narrator is Don Cheadle. Everyone else should just stay in Malibu or Manhattan or wherever their movie money allows them to live and leave audio-books to the professional narrators. Kim Basinger reads this already boring story as if she reading a bedtime story to a 2 year-old. I fell asleep about 30 minutes in and I suffer from chronic insomnia! On top of that, I bought the book because it’s supposed to be about Louisiana Créoles. Yet, Basinger can’t speak French properly nor does she give the characters any depth because she doesn’t know the Louisiana dialect or customs. She can barely get through the ENGLISH parts, stumbling and bumbling through sentences as if English is her second language. I’m glad I only paid about $1.99 for this mess in the Daily Deal. But I still may return it for my $2.00. At least I can buy a beignet on Canal Street with the money! Don’t waste your time or your money on this one!

          “Just couldn’t finish listening”
          What disappointed you about The Awakening?
          I could only get through a portion of this book because the narrator drove me crazy. She spoke to slowly and nearly whispered through the lines. I will never buy another audio book with Kim Basinger as the narrator.

          “Kim Basinger PERFORMS The Awakening -NOT!”
          I bought this because it said Kim Basinger performs The Awakening. Not only is this not a performance but it is one of the worse narrations I have purchased from Audible. Normally I really enjoy the audible versions because they are like performances but this sounded like someone reading like a third grader with their finger under the words. There were hesitations where their should not have been and disjointed sentences. There was little difference between the reading of the characters. I finally got the kindle version so I could stand to finish this book. And as for the book – highly over rated. Just a story of a selfish spoiled and in the end apparently disturbed young woman with no life skills which never really developed into a story of substance.

          “With a different reader, this could be amazing”
          In the end, I grew accustomed to Kim Basinger’s odd way of reading, her funny way of pausing midway through a sentence at an unlikely spot as if she had forgotten what she was in the middle of doing. This book is so lovely, though, that I often wished for a better, more sensitive and more dynamic reader.


      • I like “Cellular”; I found it entertaining and well-executed.


      • 15 Humiliating Roles That The Avengers Wish You Would Forget


        Cellular stars Kim Basinger as a high-school biology teacher who is held hostage in her home by dirty LAPD cops who need to recover evidence of their misdeeds.

        She manages to hotwire a broken phone in her attic and reach a random cell number belonging to frat boy Ryan, played by Chris Evans, who decides to help the desperate woman on the line.

        What follows can only be described as “Stupid Hitchcock”: it is a suspense/thriller movie revolving around one object or rule that generates suspense. However, that object and rule are very stupid– Ryan cannot let his phone run out of battery, because then he would lose all contact with Kim Basinger and she has no way of reaching him again if he does.

        This leads to Ryan robbing a phone store at gunpoint for a charger, avoiding a tunnel because he would lose reception, etc. It’s goofy fun, but it’s an incredibly silly role for Chris Evans, though he tries his best to lend gravitas and suspense.



          cdavis (6 out of 10 )
          When I first saw the trailer for this film, I was pumped; I was ready to see that film then and there. It wasn’t so much the cinematography that caught my eye. None of the actors starring in it were on my list of favorites. What truly grabbed me was the concept. For those of you who have seen the movie, or even the theatrical trailer, you understand what I’m talking about: A random party animal gets a phone call from an unknown location, and the woman on the other end pleads with him to rescue her from… whereever the heck she is. The kid first thinks it’s a prank call from his girlfriend, but, after overhearing the captor’s threats, realizes that this call is legit. Now he (the party guy) is pushed into a race against time, with the fate of an entire family resting on whether or not he can save them in time. Now, with this in mind, I was excited about seeing the film. After all, it was a classic accidental-hero storyline, with a cell phone being the protagonist’s main weapon. However, suffice to say that, after seeing the film, I was disappointed. It was a hated-it-but-loved-it situation. While it was arguably original, I believe that the writers took what could have been a great screenplay, threw in attractive celebrities who were so-so decent actors, and then blew the entire film into smithereens, only later deciding that it COULD be a good film, and then tried to fix the problem with duct tape. It could have been amazing, but the producers’ urges to please the younger audience took the movie much farther than it necessarily needed to go.

          Max (2 out of 10 )
          I read the script first and was looking forward to seeing the movie. The script is absolutely great. Fast paced, intense action, and doesn’t slow down. Unfortunately the actual movie was a let down. An example of a great script that doesn’t make a great movie. A lot of the intense moments in the script are either cut out of the movie or ruined by the bad directing.


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

    “Stop the press! Who’s that?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  46. Boxing Helena – Kim Basinger:


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

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


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


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


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


  48. I think this has been mentioned before, but how about a page for Salma Hayak? She went from oscar nominated for Frida to playing second fiddle to adam sandler. And would the woman who ended up doing boxing helena, sherilyn fenn, make a good write up? It seemed like she was supposed to hit it big but it never materialized.


    • Good suggestions. I’d like to write up both Hayak and Fenn eventually. I have a soft spot for Twin Peaks so eventually I’ll probably cover more of that cast than I otherwise might.


    • Derailed Film Stars: Saving Salma Hayek:


      There’s little argument to be had about Salma Hayek’s physical appearance. As she approaches 50, Hayek is still one of the most beautiful actresses working. However, her choice in roles isn’t always the greatest. Since her Oscar-nominated turn as Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in 2002’s Frida, Hayek has been largely working in television or playing second banana to various comedians. We take a look back at what has been an uneven film career for an actress who started out in telenovelas.


    • What shocks me the most about Adam Sandler (who I’m pretty sure is waiting in the wings for his very own WTHHT entry as we speak) is that he is somehow able to coax “real actors” (e.g. Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Kathy Bates, and Susan Sarandon, who have all won Academy Awards) to appear in his nonsense?

      I do wonder if that’s more embarrassing that Kim Basinger post-the year 2000, having to play second fiddle to Eminem, the kid from “High School Musical”, and Captain America?


  49. kim another batman actress god batman screws actors careers lol


  50. I’ll tell you ‘what happened to Kim Basinger’ …. A controlling, narcissistic bully called Alec Baldwin happened to Kim Basinger and she has struggled to recover from years of being verbally and emotionally abused, belittled and having her self worth and self esteem crushed.


    • It’s kind of odd that Kim has frequently crossed paths w/ men w/ violate reputations in real life: Alec Baldwin, Eminem, Russell Crowe, Val Kilmer, Jan Michael Vincent, Mickey Rourke, and Sean Connery, who infamously told Barbara Walters that it should be okay for men to hit their women if the circumstances “call for it.


  51. Ps: and that’s coming from someone who appreciates his comedic talent. But as a woman whose career was flying until I married a guy like Alec Baldwin and was left in emotional tatters to raise a child with a nasty, ‘counter-parent’ … I can see what ‘happened to’ her !


    • I have said before that Baldwin had a negative impact on Basinger’s career. You’re going farther and talking about her state of mind which clearly would have impacted her career indirectly. I can’t agree or disagree with you, because I don’t know the details of their personal lives. I always take the stance that when a marriage fails, both participants are to blame. But not necessarily equally. I won’t attempt to make a judgement call on that. But clearly, there is evidence to support the theory that Baldwin was a bad dude. And Basinger was clearly fragile before she even met him. So your theory is plausible. Maybe even likely. It’s a little outside the scope of the article though. Everyone has personal factors that lift or sink their career. I’m mostly interested in the career choices rather than the personal life that impacted them. Still, it’s worth noting that her relationship with Baldwin had a direct and indirect impact.


      • The Alec Baldwin factor besides Kim already being kind of nutty (and arguably not having a lot of acting range beyond being “sexy and/or doe eyed”) is perhaps why I don’t entirely buy the simple argument that Kim Basinger’s career as an A-list star ended simply because she was a beautiful woman who got “too old”.

        It’s kind of like whenever the subject for why Alicia Silverstone’s career didn’t go farther past “Clueless”, the common response is that “Well, she wasn’t a good actress in the first place!” (Melanie Griffith was never really considered a great actress ether, yet she somehow managed to spend a relatively longer time on “the A-list”, and is even an Oscar nominated actress to boot for “Working Girl”, then Silverstone) and she made “Batman & Robin” (George Clooney was able to survive that train-wreck somehow). It’s like, people don’t want to ponder whether or not the truth was that she had a reputation for being a pain in the a$$ to work with and too eccentric for her own good.


      • I seriously wonder if Kim has Asperger’s syndrome like her “My Stepmother Is an Alien” co-star, Dan Aykroyd and fellow WTHHT subject, Daryl Hannah. Daryl Hannah has suggested that her Asperger’s as played a hand in wrecking her career. In a nutshell, she said: “I never went on talk shows, never went to premieres. Going to the Academy Awards was so painful for me. I’d almost faint just walking down the red carpet. I was so socially awkward and uncomfortable that I eventually got blacklisted.”

        “Studio executives would call me but I’d be too shy to call them back. So after a while a couple of studios literally told my manager that I was blacklisted.”

        Asperger’s syndrome wasn’t as known now as it was say, during the supposed peaks of Kim Basinger (who like Hannah, always seems very private, shy, and uncomfortable in front of the paparazzi) and Daryl Hannah’s careers. Therefore, it would’ve been easy to look at these as cases them coming across as extremely stand-offish, eccentric, and frustratingly aloof.


        • Asperger’s may explain certain complex emotions. I don’t know, sometimes being a basic person is a struggle.


      • I don’t know what it’s like w/ Alec and his current wife, Hilaria (hopefully, he has mellowed a bit in his more “mature” years), but I would immediately guess that Alec looked as Kim as a bit of a doormat (somebody who wouldn’t easily challenge him):,,20133526,00.html


        • I don’t think Kim Basinger being a diva/flake or being married to Alec Baldwin affected her career, since people in the industry are likely used to that type of behavior, it’s just comes down to her not capitalizing on “L.A. Confidential”, choosing roles in films that didn’t capture the audiences imagination (like “Bless the Child” and “I Dreamed of Africa”) and maybe some in the industry thinking that since her time as a sex symbol had passed that she wasn’t worth hiring. That’s just my opinion d’oh!


        • Oh I disagree. Yes, Hollywood is used to flaky behavior and will put up with it if they think a star will deliver at the box office. But Basinger’s behavior definitely hurt her career. After Batman, Basigner was one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood. Then she got involved with Baldwin who was HATED. They received all kinds of bad press and soon Basinger was hated too. Their first movie together, The Marrying Man, was notorious. Before it even came out, there were all kinds of articles about how the two of them ruined the movie. From that point on, people were rooting for them both to fail. And fail they did. Toss in her money problems and the Boxing Helena lawsuit and Basinger’s behavior absolutely tanked an A-list career before LA Confidential ever entered into things.

          LA Confidential is the epilogue to the story. It’s the second chance. Nothing came of it after the Oscar. But that’s just failing to capitalize on a comeback. Her career was declared dead before then.


        • Glustery, you’re probably right to a degree. I’ve said numerous times on her, that what really “did Kim in” so to speak was her failure to properly capitalize off of her Oscar win. Now I don’t know if Kim’s personal issues or her being too choosy/taking the “wrong” projects was the bigger deciding factor.

          All that I know is that Kim couldn’t really convincingly or successfully reinvent herself as a character actress (primarily because of her look and questionable range) when it became apparent that her time as a “sex symbol” was over. For example, you can argue that Kim was miscast as Eminem’s mom in “8 Mile”. I’ve also said that I wish that Kim wouldn’t take roles that pigeonholed her as “scared housewife” or roles otherwise beneath her/relegated to glorified cameos (a la the movie she did where she played Zac Efron’s mom)

          The failures of the movies that she did immediately following “LA Confidential” (the aforementioned, “Bless the Child” and “I Dreamed of Africa”) seemed to officially convince studio execs that Kim Basinger “no longer had it” (if she “had it at all”) in regards to being able to successfully headline a major motion picture.

          I’m guessing that Kim was in a rock in a hard place. Her audience likely still wanted to see her play up the sex symbol card, since that was pretty much her “bred & butter”. But she was also well into her 40s at that point. Plus, I’m guessing that w/ Kim now an Oscar winner, she thought that she could get away w/ more meaty or “meaningful stuff”, that could show that she was a legitimate actress.


        • I don’t want to turn this necessarily, into the “Alec Baldwin ruined Kim Basinger’s career” discussion but I wouldn’t be too surprised that Kim’s friends and/or love ones wanted her to get rid of Baldwin (like when she was w/ Prince, who was also considered a “bad influence” on her). What complicated matters was them soon having a daughter together. And yes, I do remember that incident, where Alec got into a scuffle w/ photographers when he and Kim arrived at their house w/ their newborn daughter.

          And now that think of it, I wonder if Ireland Baldwin got upset over the existence of this article about her mother because she subconsciously thinks that I and/or LeBeau was accusing her of having an indirect hand in wrecking her mom’s career.


        • I wonder if Kim has ever “owned up” about her allegedly bad behavior on the set of “The Marrying Man”? Here’s an old interview that I just found w/ Alec Baldwin about his experiences on making that movie:


      • If I ever had a chance to meet/interview Kim Basinger, I wish (if she would allow me w/o getting angry or defensive) that I could ask her what one thing about her career would she wish that she could do over:
        *Buying the town in Georgia

        *Allegedly ruining the productions of “The Marrying Man” and “Cool World” w/ her her meddling and generally diva/prima donna like antics

        *The “Boxing Helena” fiasco

        *The whole Oscar incident in 1990 (where Kim wore that hideous dress), where Kim bitched and moaned about “Do the Right Thing” not being nominated. Even though, in hindsight, Kim may have had a point, it kind of made (depending on your point of view) Kim look like she was pandering for black fans (it was roughly around this time that she was hooking up w/ Prince). I really want to know how Kim feels about the current-day controversy regarding the Academy and diversity (if Kim really “practices what she preaches” so to speak).

        *Hooking up w/ a narcissistic, chronically angry and jealous butt-wipe like Alec Baldwin. This kind of ties in to the angry voice mail to their daughter incident. As bad as Alec look, Kim didn’t look any better, because it came across like she was willing to sell out her daughter just to get petty revenge against her ex.

        *Going on a three year hiatus (and in the process, killing her post-Oscar momentum) after her Academy Award win for “LA Confidential” (and proceeding to make movies that nobody gave the time and the day for).



      • Alec Baldwin is a homophobe, a domestic abuser, and cruel to his children. He’s no better than Trump, but at least he’s not the f–king President-Elect! Trump called an adult woman who signed a contract “Miss Piggy” for gaining noticeable weight. But what Baldwin said is far far worse.

        And remember when he was taken off of the airplane for playing on his phone before take off, refusing to put it away when the Flight Attendant asked him to several times, and then he went on SNL for one skit specifically to make fun of the Captain and the Air Line? When he doesn’t get his way, he goes on the offensive.


        • Alec Baldwin admits he’s treated women ‘in a very sexist way,’ says he knew about ‘rumors’ of sexual assault in Hollywood


          Thursday, November 2, 2017, 10:56 PM

          Alec Baldwin has mistreated women in the past, but says he’s nothing like some of his Hollywood counterparts.

          The “Saturday Night Live” star spoke out about gender equality Thursday while being recognized by the Paley Center for Media.

          “I certainly have treated women in a very sexist way. I’ve bullied women. I’ve overlooked women. I’ve underestimated women. Not as a rule,” he said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

          “From time to time, I’ve done what a lot of men do, which is … when you don’t treat women the same way you treat men. You don’t. I’m from a generation where you really don’t and I’d like that to change. I really would like that to change.”

          Baldwin’s comments echo those of Harvey Weinstein, who denied initial allegations of sexual harassment and assault by almost a dozen women; the number of accusers has since risen to almost 100.

          “I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then,” the producer said in a statement.

          Baldwin also admitted to having heard “rumors” about sexual assault in Hollywood, but denied that he was aware of the extent of the allegations.

          In the past several weeks, Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Brett Ratner and James Toback have all been accused of harassment.

          “I knew of certain things, that there were rumors of things happening to people, but I didn’t necessarily know the scope, when you hear the hundreds and hundreds of women who are complaining about this,” Baldwin said.

          “It’s been a very eye-opening experience for me personally. We’ve got to be vigilant in a new way to make sure that everybody is comfortable and that we get the job done together that we’re there to do.”


  52. alec baldwin career better then kim but to be honest his career is not so hot after clear and present danger he was on the verge of of being a list but most his leading roles flopped . He ended up going to bit parts and supporting roles decent roles he had in the last ten years was departed cooler and 30 rock now hes stuck doing bit parts in lame comedies


    • 10 Nastiest Celebrity Divorces:

      4 . Alec Baldwin And Kim Basinger (1993-2002)

      The most compelling aspect of this marriage gone bad would appear to be the general hatred the 2 parties feel – or at least FELT – for each other for a considerable amount of time.

      Baldwin met his future wife, actress Kim Basinger, when they played lovers in the film The Marrying Man. They married in 1993 and had a daughter, Ireland, in 1995. For a while they seemed like a consummate married couple maybe even a power couple as both of their careers were fairly hot and they remained in the public eye.

      But things eventually went off the rails and the catalyst seemed to be Baldwin’s famous temper which has been legendary in Hollywood for years. As the frustration in the proceedings mounted, Baldwin accused Basinger of blocking him from seeing or talking to his daughter, ignoring court orders and trying to turn Ireland against him. It reached it’s peak when a voice mail message of Baldwin calling his daughter a “rude, thoughtless little pig” was leaked to the media. Thankfully, it seems like things have calmed down as there have been no reported outbursts in quite a while.


      • I wouldn’t blame Kim’s male fanbase if they seriously wanted to kick Alec Baldwin’s ass for the way that he allegedly treated her (kind of like what happened w/ Jesse James after he was discovered to have been messing around behind his then wife, Sandra Bullock’s back). I mean, you’re married to one of the most beautiful and elegant women in the world (when most men would fantasize to spend a day w/ Kim Basinger), and you go out of your way to threat her like sh!t:,+Kim…-a096591839


      • Baldwin +/- Basinger:

        A gossipist’s chronicle of Alec and Kim’s coupling and uncoupling.

        Sparring ex-spouses Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger will take their feud to a Los Angeles court on May 4, when Baldwin will have to fight to resume contact with Ireland, the 11-year-old daughter he called a “thoughtless little pig” on a now-famous voice-mail message. Open combat is nothing new for the two, who have been brawling practically since the day they fell in love seventeen years ago.

        The meeting
        In The Marrying Man, he’s a playboy, she’s a hot nightclub singer. “You could feel the sexual tension between them,” a crew member says. Sometimes they appeared to work as an inseparable team, other times it was raw competition. “You’ve read about all the tantrums, the chair-throwing, the phone-smashing. Living it was 100 times worse. If Baldwin slammed a door, Basinger would slam another door harder. It was like they were two little kids, having a contest to see who could be the brattiest.”

        MARCH 1992
        The broken engagement
        Basinger calls off the wedding when she learns Baldwin had dinner with his ex-fiancée. She tells Baldwin, “You’re history now—the wedding is out the window.” He woos her back to the altar.

        AUGUST 1993
        The wedding
        They marry in East Hampton. The ceremony lasts seven minutes; four paparazzi helicopters hover. “It was a zoo with the media,” says Baldwin’s mother, Carol. “There was a man who posed as a cop who turned out to be from the National Enquirer.”

        OCTOBER 1995
        Ireland is born
        Coming home from the hospital, Baldwin scuffles with a photographer, who tumbles into some trash cans, breaking his glasses.

        SEPTEMBER 2000
        Baldwin threatens to flee the country
        He’s upset that George W. Bush might get elected. Basinger calls her husband “the biggest moralist that I know.”

        JANUARY 2001
        Basinger files for divorce
        Basinger calls Baldwin “a tin-pot tyrant and bully,” alleging mood swings and “irreconcilable differences.” They swap accusations of alcohol abuse. Baldwin is despondent. It felt like “someone punching me in the stomach as hard as they could right before I had to go and run the marathon,” he says. “Finding a new love is the most unimaginable thing to me. I need Kim back in my life.” Baldwin tells her Ireland is better off with him. She vows, “You’ll never get her—not while I’m breathing.”

        NOVEMBER 2002
        Divorce finalized, they have a custody agreement
        Baldwin agrees to go to anger therapy and parenting school and to restrict phone calls to Ireland to a 90-minute window a day. Basinger agrees to install a private phone line for Ireland (at his expense) and e-mail him weekly reports on their daughter’s activities.

        OCTOBER 2006
        Basinger faces contempt charges
        Baldwin goes after his ex-wife for allegedly obstructing his court-ordered visits and telephone calls. “Over and over,” he claims in court papers, “Ms. Basinger demonstrated that her resentments are more precious to her than the emotional well-being of her child.” Ultimately, he decides to table contempt charges in “an effort to make peace,” according to his lawyer.

        APRIL 11, 2007
        Baldwin calls Ireland a “little pig”
        “You have insulted me,” he says to her voice mail when she doesn’t pick up. “You don’t have the brains or the decency as a human being … I am going to get on a plane and I am going to come out there for the day and I am going to straighten your ass out when I see you … I’m going to let you know just how I feel about what a rude, thoughtless little pig you really are.”

        APRIL 19
        The “pig” voice mail is leaked
        Baldwin apologizes. Says rant was meant for Basinger. Blames her for leaking it to media. Blames divorce courts for ruining families. Fires agents. Vows to leave country, again. Tries to quit 30 Rock. Says on The View, “If I never acted again, I couldn’t care less.”


        • It’s too bad, I thought they really got along on “The Simpsons”, especially since Homer exploited them and tried to sell some of their belongings.


      • Kim and Alec’s relationship I guess, seemed to be rooted in passion. They were passionately in love w/ each other (when times were good of course) and they passionately hated each other. Knowing what we now know about Alec Baldwin, I do want to ask Kim what the hell did she see in him (and actually would want him to be the father of her child)? I’m not necessarily saying that Kim is a saint or isn’t remotely blameless herself. But both Kim and Alec seems like extremely insecure, emotionally violate/sensitive people in their own “unique” ways.



        Kim has definite needs in a man though, But bad boys are not the answer.. She shows every sign of a sexually submissive woman, And it clearly holds an interest for her.Most ‘submissive’s need a a strong man because submissive’ are very strong themselves and if they suspect weakness they lose interest. When she was younger and even now…. And they are never who you think because they are strong and super normal.. Not kinky sex freaks with chains around the neck LOL…

        Many wondered at how Kim Basinger could fall in love with Prince.. Well he was a Sexual Dominant, And she clearly recognized it, He was probably dominant period.. But dominants are VERY respectful and adoring of women as well.. That is a major attraction.. Maybe she explored it in research while doing 9 1/2 weeks and got hooked, But from my understanding their, affair was very very serious. And the CD she made him spoke volumes.

        I don’t know about Alec Baldwin, But I think once Kim’s family talked her into leaving Prince’s home He cut her from his life, Because TRUST is everything..And Betrayal can come in many forms…I highly doubt he was the Slave Master that one ex-girlfriend accused him of all for money of course (She was with him for 2 yrs, Why would she stay in an abusive scary relationship? LOL) But dominant.. most definitely… How interesting that Kim is doing yet another film on D/S “Fifty Shades Darker”. She is a beautiful, strong woman, Yet, I’m sure she is mourning Prince right now.. And has never betrayed him again or truly spoke about him.


    • Thread: Alec Baldwin vents on 60 Minutes

      Alec is abusive, psychotic, and quick to fly into an evil rage.

      Kim is manipulative with a few screws loose.

      Nobody should be on either side here. They have both proven themselves to be losers of the highest caliber repeatedly. They don’t deserve to have kids. It was fairly well-known that Alec was very abusive during his marriage. Its fairly well-known that both of them are using their kid for leverage now. They both are terrible, although I tend to lean more towards Kim because I remember all the terrible things I read about him during their marriage and how mean and cruel he is. But that doesn’t mean I give her a free pass, quite the opposite. She stayed with him and had a baby with him, she’s at best an idiot. They both need their heads examined, and need to STFU regarding their personal lives to the press. He doesn’t endear me doing this interview, they need to handle these things privately.


    • Alec Baldwin & His Temper

      I watch him on 30 Rock and like him and then remember how he screamed at his daughter or at Kim Basinger and drove Kim to almost quit the business because she was so shell shocked from their marriage. Think about what he did to Kim. When they met she was at the height of her career and he told her what to do and not to do and she listened and he yelled and she has never been the same person again.

      June 21, 2012 at 1:34 am
      I would love to hear the stories on Kim. I’ve read many times of her having agoraphobia (sp) and she lost a ton of money buy that town (why does someone buy a town?) and she lost a ton of money over that movie Boxing Helena (bad movie anyway) and there were rampant stories during the filming of The Marrying Man and how she and Alec were a challenge to deal with, but the funny thing is, I haven’t heard of Alec being a challenge in recent years when it comes to work. Was that all Kim or were they worse together? I picture Kim now huddled in her house, never leaving, and giving their daughter the third degree anytime she visits him. I don’t dislike Kim, I just don’t think of her as as much a victim as Enty does.

      June 21, 2012 at 1:59 am
      Think about how Basinger is known as very difficult on set, very capricious, “very Marilyn Monroe”, how Baldwin paid her debt after she dropped a movie and that she lost the trial, how she won an Oscar during their marriage and she was more interested to breed her kid than her career, how Basinger was not interested by politics (Baldwin’s passion)

      I remember also how their divorce was nasty (abuse/alcohol trouble for him)

      June 21, 2012 at 2:41 am
      I remember Baldwin being very supportive to her during the trial. I didn’t know he paid her debt, that was huge. I remember her laughing about all the gifts he would give her and described this really pretty necklace with multicolored stones she liked to wear with t-shirts. I remember him being rather devoted to her. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t in the wrong, but it doesn’t mean she didn’t have a part in it. I think she was probably a master manipulator similar to what it looks like Halle Berry is.


  53. Technically, I would call that a comeback though. He was on the verge of being a big movie star after playing Jack Ryan, but took a different path and his leading roles fizzled out. He does 30 Rock and all the sudden everyone was talking about him again. Then it seemed like he was everywhere from The Departed to It’s Complicated to hosting the oscars. Some of the roles were supporting, but to go from being essentially a failed a-lister to starring on a wildly successful tv show and working with Meryl Streep is huge.


    • The Story Behind Alec Baldwin Losing The Jack Ryan Role After ‘The Hunt For Red October’:

      The submarine thriller The Hunt for Red October was a grand slam both critically and commercially for Paramount Pictures in 1990, and it was arguably the first blockbuster of the decade. The John McTiernan-directed film took its $30 million budget and turned it into $200 million at the box office. And when Oscar season rolled around, it picked up three nominations and took home one win for Best Sound Editing. Sean Connery was praised for his portrayal of Soviet Captain Marko Ramius and picked up a British Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

      While the movie would go down as another successful entry on an already long list of hits for Connery, it was Alec Baldwin who had the most to prove with his role of mild-mannered CIA analyst Jack Ryan. The 31-year-old actor had already shown flickers of leading man potential with previous roles in Beetlejuice and Married to the Mob, but Red October provided him with the coveted ticket to board the franchise express. The Hunt for Red October was the first book in Tom Clancy’s series with Jack Ryan to be adapted for the big screen, but Baldwin would never get his chance to reprise the popular character. The part would be filled by other leading actors as the years rolled by: Harrison Ford (Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger), Ben Affleck (The Sum of All Fears), and the newest Jack Ryan, Chris Pine (Shadow Recruit). So, how did Baldwin miss out on assuming the part of Clancy’s CIA hero in a string of films that grossed nearly a billion dollars? Well, as Baldwin puts it, “The studio cut my throat.”

      The missed opportunity to continue with the Jack Ryan character is something that Baldwin says he’s often asked about by fans, but he usually just gives a “half truth answer.” When Charlie Sheen told Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre to f*ck off, Baldwin felt compelled to write a letter to the TV star, warning him of the mistake he was making. Baldwin recounted that in 1991, he was visiting his mother in Syracuse who had recently been diagnosed with cancer, when he received a call from John McTiernan letting him know that studio executive David Kirkpatrick was talking with an even bigger actor (Harrison Ford) about squeezing Baldwin out of the Jack Ryan role. That’s when things got ugly.

      “On the phone, John told me that during the period of the previous few months, he had been negotiating to do a film with a very famous movie star who had dropped out of his film days before so that he could go star in the sequels to The Hunt For Red October. John further told me that Paramount owed the actor a large sum of money for a green-lit film that fell apart prior to this, and pushing me aside would help to alleviate that debt and put someone with much greater strength at the box office than mine in the role. I sat there mildly stunned because not only was I in an active negotiation with Paramount, but for them to negotiate simultaneously with another actor was against the law.”


    • Re: Actors whose careers you would have thought would have been bigger

      30 Rock is the best thing that could have happened to Alec Baldwin. It let him be reevaluated by the public as a brilliant comic actor who just happens to have movie star looks instead of being the guy who could never quite carry a project on his own.


  54. your right but he had alot of flops during the period such along came polly cat in the hat going from somone who people thought would have a big career to tv star is kind of a down grade and most movies are still flopping


  55. i would put chris o donell on the list he was on verge of being huge with scent of a women and batman forever. then batman and robin and flops later he goes straight to a tv show no one cares about and yet it still stays on


  56. Lebeau, since you were talking about an a-lister opening a movie, do you think it was rachel mcadams’ name that brought people in to see red eye? i’m the first one to admit she’s never had a hit of her own, but i’m just wondering if you thought her sudden popularity after the notebook brought people in for red eye.


    • Short answer: No.

      Longer answer: Well, first of all, Red Eye wasn’t a smash. It was a bit of a disappointment overall. The idea was clearly that McAdams was hot and would sell a bunch of tickets. But that didn’t happen. And while she was a selling point for the movie, she wasn’t THE selling point. You had Wes Craven whose name was above the title of the movie and Cillian Murphy who was hot after 28 Days Later and Batman Begins. So even if the movie had hit big, McAdams would have to share credit.


  57. red eye made twice its budget this was before batman murphy wasnt big rachel was fresh off the success off notebook


    • Twice it’s budget isn’t bad. But when you factor in marketing costs, that’s about the break-even point for most movies. It wasn’t the huge hit a lot of people were hoping for.

      Batman Begins opened Jun 15. Red Eye opened Aug 19. Three years earlier, Murphy had starred in 28 Days Later. So he was a rising actor same as McAdams. If the movie had been a hit, it would have done a lot for both of their careers. But that didn’t happen.


  58. red eye had budget of 26 million made 95 that is a hit she fresh off notebook so maybe her brought some people in


  59. 95 mill on a 26 mill budget is more then twice its cost


    • That’s worldwide. Domestic it was 57 million. Not great. Not a disaster. Not a hit. Not a flop. Just somewhere in the middle. Expectations were higher. I would classify it as a box office disappointment.


  60. so u would sya she has no a list power her name was first in vow that was hit


    • I would say she was never A-list.

      The Vow was big. It set up McAdams and Tatum for stardom. Tatum was able to capitalize on that movie’s success. McAdams still hasn’t done so.


  61. she had hits before like sherlock holms midnight paris wedding chrashers but none of them were really on her name would u say gosling her notebook costar was a list


  62. fracture made a lot of money he turned down batman in the new movie it could gave him oppurtinity to be a lister


  63. it is he had mainstream hits before like notebook but rather hone his craft good for him his career him hes doing good daniel lewis is not a list is an indie king but respected actor a lot of respected actors like oldman bacon dillion


  64. Kim Basinger Joins Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe in ‘Nice Guys’ (Exclusive):


    • Kim Basinger and Keith David to scrap with Shane Black’s NICE GUYS!

      Shane Black’s NICE GUYS has landed the female lead of BATMAN and the co-lead of THEY LIVE.

      Yesterday, we found out that Keith David was going to play a hitman alongside Beau Knapp in Black’s ’70s-set detective movie. The wording makes it seem like David and Knapp are the central villains of the piece, but I’ll bet that they are just hired guns for the real heavy hiding behind the curtain.

      Now, we’re hearing that Kim Basinger will also be playing a significant role, reteaming her with L.A. CONFIDENTIAL co-star Russell Crowe. She’ll be playing “the chief justice who is in be with criminals,” so I guess she won’t be on the side of Crowe and Gosling’s anti-heroic duo.

      David may not command multimillion-dollar paychecks, but he’s got a endless well of love from the fanboy community, and remains a hugely recognizable character actor due to memorable appearances in THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, CRASH, and a ton more. Surprisingly enough, this will be his first time delivering Black’s dialogue, and I have no doubt the two-time John Carpenter vet will acquit himself nicely to the screenwriter’s trademark interplay.

      As for Basinger, it’ll be great to see her in what is presumably more of a tough-girl role than she’s used to. She’s been utilized for her fragile, vulnerable qualities as much as anything else over the course of her career, but she won her Oscar playing world-weary Lynn Bracken in CONFIDENTIAL, so it’ll be cool to see her once-again playing someone who knows the score. If she turns out to be the big-bad of the piece, all the better; I can’t be the only one who would be down to see Basinger go full-on villain against Crowe and Gosling.

      This is looking more and more like Black’s follow-up to KISS KISS, BANG BANG, and the cast is getting increasingly impressive as the names trickle out to the public. Let’s see who else is going to break out the polyester and big hairdos alongside Gos, Crowe, Basinger, and David…

      NICE GUYS hopefully finish first on June 17th, 2016.


    • The ‪#‎NiceGuys‬ behind the scenes
      Interview with ‪#‎kimbasinger‬
      ‪#‎RyanGosling‬ ‪#‎RusselCrowe‬


  65. Kim’s daughter Ireland recently deactivated her Twitter account. I’m guessing that she was tired of people “trolling” and attacking her over or “lesbian” relationship w/ Angel Haze as well as the usual attacks against her father, Alec Baldwin, and her weight. And I thought that I had it bad when Ireland got mad at me (asking me “What the hell was wrong w/ me!”) after I simply sent her the link to this article (Ireland got mad at me for showing her this article about her mother even though I didn’t write it and I deliberately mentioned LeBeau to further avoid confusion) via Twitter.


  66. Derailed Film Stars: Retracing Kim Basinger:

    A Hollywood icon and bona fide movie star, Kim Basinger’s only fault was being a sex symbol — and most female sex symbols come with an expiration date. Throughout her decades-long career, she has starred in some of our favorite most memorable films, but not without some stinkers along the way. While she has laid low for the past ten years, Kim is primed to make her comeback on the big screen with Anders Morgenthaler’s drama/suspense film I Am Here. While her ex-hubby Alec Baldwin was able to relaunch his career with 30 Rock, here’s hoping Kim will return to the spotlight where she belongs.

    Geared Up for No Mercy

    Having established her talents in Barry Levinson’s The Natural and pushed her limits in the erotic drama 9 1/2 Weeks, Basinger had proved she could carry a film, especially when baring more than her soul. Unfortunately she followed them up with No Mercy, a dumb formulaic thriller that plays like a retread of all the other movies that came before it. Basinger plays an illiterate hooker with a heart of gold who helps a cop — Richard Gere — avenge his partner’s death. The dialogue is almost as stinky as the Bayou they traipse around in, and the drama was panned by critics and bombed at the box office.

    Aliens Among Us

    One thing you can say about Basinger, no matter the script or co-star — she always throws herself into the role — even if that role is patently absurd. My Stepmother Is An Alien may not make much sense, but it’s chock full of bizarre moments. Basinger stars as a goofy alien learning to be a woman with a talking, phallic sidekick, while Dan Aykroyd is relegated to playing the straight man — when the roles should have been reversed. Stepmother bombed like all Dan Aykroyd comedies not co-starring a funnier SNL alum do, and Basinger’s career seemed to be veering into a questionable direction. The only silver lining was Aykroyd’s daughter, played by TV veteran Alyson Hannigan, who received an “and introducing” credit.

    Batman Pulls the Strings

    Despite the big name co-stars and Tim Burton directing, poor Kim wasn’t given much to do in Batman besides scream and be a damsel in distress; so much so that there’s actually a combined supercut of all of her 23 shrieks. It’s hard for any female character to make an impact when surrounded by the male-dominated world of superheroes. Despite her limited role, Basinger scored a big hit with the film, which went on to become the biggest movie of 1989, made Michael Keaton a household name and sparked a cultural phenomenon.

    Wayne’s World Megawatt Babeage

    After a series of stinkers throughout the early 90s, Basinger was unable to shed the “dumb blonde” sex kitten image that dogged her throughout her career. In another attempt to skewer her sexpot image, she turned to comedy once again — guest-starring in the 1993 Wayne’s World sequel as Garth’s (Dana Carvey) unlikely love interest and laundromat seductress Honey Hornee. Featuring the same iconoclastic spirit as its predecessor, the film was a relative success — partly due to Basinger’s willingness to go all-in when parodying the same type of made-for-TV femme fatale she got her start in. In addition to providing some “megawatt babeage,” she also gave us one of the most awkward kissing scenes in cinematic history.

    LA Confidential – The Win

    The 90s were a weird time for everyone, but particularly Basinger, who bombed at the box office time and time again, bought a town, embarked on one of Hollywood’s worst marriages and filed for bankruptcy. Battered and possibly broken, Basinger retreated from Hollywood for a few years until she made one hell of a comeback in Curtis Hanson’s gritty film noir, L.A. Confidential. Playing a glamorous, sexy femme fatale but with vulnerability, it was exactly the kind of more serious role she had always sought, and earned her an Oscar for her supporting role. The film also serves as a snapshot of rising talent — with Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe proving their chops to American audiences.


    • 10 Hollywood Careers That Were Ruined By A Divorce:

      Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger

      This Hollywood couple was one of the best looking in the business. They met on the set of The Marrying Man in 1991, and by 1995, the two welcomed a daughter named Ireland. However, the marriage soon started to crumble when rumors about Basinger’s mental health and Baldwin’s inability to control his temper became public. When the couple decided to divorce, their custody battle over their daughter went on for years. Remember when Alec left that angry voicemail for his young daughter, calling her a “rude little pig?” That certainly didn’t do much for his career, and the project he’s most remembered for these days is 30 Rock, which is in syndication. We haven’t heard much from Kim Basinger since the divorce either, which may mean that the mental instability rumors are true.


      • Basinger Denies Leaking Baldwin Rant

        Some of the stuff from “the net”…

        Baldwin was ordered to pay $4,500 to a celebrity photographer after he allegedly punched the man in eye for stalking the couple after Ireland was born and left the hospital.

        From 2005…

        In a statement released late yesterday, Basinger storms, “Everyone knows about Alec Baldwin’s behavioral problems – his anger, his rages – they are, unfortunately, legendary. If his relationship with his daughter is fractured, there is only one person to blame and it is himself.” The warring ex-couple are due back in court in Los Angeles next month to fight the custody battle

        He tells The New York Post, “It’s like being diagnosed with cancer. Something I realize I have to live with. But I’m keeping things in perspective. Not letting it consume me and eat me up with anger as it used to. I stopped that when one late night I was on the street so unhappy and filled with rage that, in a fit, I smashed my phone against a lamppost. A black lady walking by said to me, Alec Baldwin,’ you got to get hold of yourself.’ So I have.”

        From 2004…

        Hollywood beauty Kim Basinger yearned to kill ex-husband Alec Baldwin during their vicious custody battle for daughter Ireland. The 50-year-old actress confesses she found it “nearly impossible” to forgive Baldwin and fantasized about his death during their violent battle for the eight-year- old when she was branded a “black widow spider” and “nutcase” for accusing the Beetlejuice star of drunken wife battery.

        From 2003…

        Basinger claims her husband was “emotionally and physically abusive”. But after supermarket tabloid National Enquirer ran a story claiming Baldwin beat his wife in April 2002, the actor’s brother Billy Baldwin spoke out, branding Kim a “nutcase”. He told the Enquirer, “Is my brother a saint? No. Is he volatile? Yes. But he is not a wife-beater. I think what may have happened is that Kim may have taken a run at Alec during a fight, and he may have put his arm up to protect himself or push her off. But that’s not beating your wife.” In a statement to Page Six, Basinger’s publicist says, “An independent evaluator in the child custody case of Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin’s daughter, Ireland, has recommended primary physical custody to Ms. Basinger and visitation rights to Mr. Baldwin. The report exonerates Ms. Basinger of all false allegations made by Mr. Baldwin and acknowledges that Ms. Basinger lived in an emotionally and physically abusive marriage for 10 years. Ms. Basinger has accepted this report.

        From 2002…

        Pals of Kim Basinger are blaming the actress’s chronic back problems on her ex-husband Alec Baldwin’s alleged violence. The L.A. Confidential star, who was married to Baldwin for nine years, underwent surgery in August to remove slipped discs and fuse together damaged vertebrae in her lower back. And according to American tabloid the Star, friends of the 48-year-old beauty claim Baldwin was shockingly violent to her during their union, leading to the injuries. Baldwin has always denied he was ever violent towards Basinger. A source says, “She claims he hit her more than once. And there were many instances when Alec was verbally abusive to her, even in public. She has extremely harsh feelings toward Alec. All the stress of being with him aggravated her back problems and led to the operation. The battles were no secret. Look how often Alec was caught on camera fighting with his wife in public.

        29 posted on 4/24/2007, 9:12:10 AM by Issaquahking (Duncan Hunter for president!)


        • What pisses me off about Kim Basinger’s recent interview where she laments that she doesn’t like social media too much as she for one thing, doesn’t feel the need to “share” details about her life, is that she for all intents and purposes, did that with the voice-mail incident. I’m not at all defending Alec Baldwin’s behavior because what he said to their daughter was absolutely out of line. But Kim made the whole thing public and the media made it a circus. Kim didn’t seem to take at all for account, how humiliating in front of the entire world that would be to Ireland. She basically sacrificed her daughter’s name for the sake of getting revenge against Alec Baldwin.


    • What’s interesting is that “The Informers” wasn’t exactly the first time that Kim Basinger tried to do a “Crash”-like movie (instead of racism, the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s). Several years prior she did a film called “Even Money” (where she sports red-hair, ironically like the comic book incarnation of Vicki Vale), which was essentially “Crash” w/ gambling instead of racism:


    • Kim I just realized, did another small, “interlocking stories” movie around this around this time called “Third Person” (incidentally, directed by “Crash’s” Paul Haggis):


    • Al Pacino’s 10 Most Embarrassing Movies

      PEOPLE I KNOW (2002)

      This depressing thriller centers on a New York publicist with one client and a drug problem, who ends up embroiled in both a murder and political scandal. Pacino’s Eli Wurman struggles to understand what happened on a night in an opium den, while simultaneously attempting to put together a fundraising event for a client.

      The film was widely criticized for being derivative, and poorly thought out, despite its incredible cast (Kim Basinger also stars as the widow of Eli’s brother). Some found praiseworthy moments, especially in Pacino’s performance. However, overall it’s a scattered attempt to include too many plot points in a political thriller that failed to really engage the audience.


  67. Black November by Nathan Rabin:

    Half passionate cinematic op-ed, half overheated exploitation movie, Black November opens with titles accounting for Nigeria’s status as one of the most populous, troubled, and explosive countries in the world, and establishing the Western oil establishment’s complicated (read: “evil”) relationship with it. Audiences who forget any of that chunk of exposition needn’t fret, however, as Black November is considerate enough to repeat the information early, often, and with as little subtlety as possible. The film is devoid of subtext, filled with cardboard stand-ins for contrasting viewpoints on the powder keg of social and political issues facing Nigeria.

    According to The Guardian, Black November is actually a radically re-shot and re-edited version of a 2011 film called Black Gold with 60 percent new footage (reportedly to make it more contemporary) with some cast members lost (Black Gold features the likes of Michael Madsen, Eric Roberts, Tom Sizemore, and Billy Zane, none of whom are in Black November) and some cast members gained. (Kim Basinger, Wyclef Jean, Anne Heche, and Akon all appear in Black November but not Black Gold.) Considering the film’s crazy-quilt construction, it’s probably a marvel it makes sense at all, but that’s a minor accomplishment. Perhaps a third attempt at this material would result in a film capable of more than strident sermonizing and action sequences that feel like they belong in a McBain clip from The Simpsons.

    The seams of the film’s bizarre production are all too apparent. In one scene, for example, Nigerian heroine Ebiere (Mbong Amata, wife of writer-director Jeta Amata) explains that she’s passionately agitating against the corrupt military establishment’s collaboration with evil Western oil companies, despite having attended a Western college on an oil company-funded scholarship. In the next, an underling explains to nefarious oil CEO Tom Hudson (Mickey Rourke) that Ebiere is passionately agitating against the corrupt military establishment’s collaboration with evil Western oil companies, despite having attended a Western college on an oil company-funded scholarship.

    The film opens with Hudson—who all but strokes an invisible mustache and chomps on a fat cigar to broadcast his status as a classical bad guy—being kidnapped in Los Angeles by rebels (including former hit-makers Jean and Akon) in retaliation for Big Oil’s support of a corrupt military dictatorship and its devastating treatment of Nigeria’s people and environment. Hudson’s company attempts to bribe Nigerians into acquiescence with their evil schemes, but when that doesn’t work, they aren’t above collaborating with a sinister government establishment on campaigns of violence, rape, and murderous deceit. Ebiere emerges as the heroine of the resistance, a firebrand who refuses to be bought or silenced, and becomes even more of a force for revolutionary good after the father of her unborn child is murdered.

    The marketing for Black November plays up the participation of Hollywood stars like Basinger, Heche, and Rourke. But that feels like a bait-and-switch, since Heche barely turns in a cameo, and Basinger, playing a reporter, disappears for long stretches of the film, and seems understandably confused as to why she’s even there. (She isn’t alone.)

    Of the former A-list actors, only Rourke makes much impression, but for all the wrong reasons. Once one of the most beautiful people in the world, Rourke looks more and more like Halloween villain Mike Myers with each passing year, and his villainy as the ghoulish face of American greed makes Myers’ slicing and dicing of oversexed teenagers seem understated by comparison. In his early scenes, Rourke exerts as little effort as possible while still remaining technically awake, but when he sees the errors of his ways late in the film, his feverish overacting incites nostalgia for the sleepy early scenes.

    Amata is appropriately passionate and fiery as a martyr whose strength and courage inspires those around her, but she’s more of an idea—i.e. the nobility of a Nigerian people who refuse to stand down in the face of rampant corruption and greed—than a character, just as Black November is more a manifesto than a movie. It doesn’t help that the film’s special effects, particularly its cartoonish explosions, are more befitting of a Sharknado sequel than a film that desperately wants to be taken seriously as both political advocacy and art.

    As well-intentioned as it is thoroughly inept, Black November would be a serious contender for year-end worst lists if it weren’t so painfully noble and sincere. It also benefits from timing: It’s is unlikely anyone is liable to remember the film in a week, let alone keep its hammy awfulness in mind 11 months from now.


  68. Stop The Press: Vicki Vale And The Superficial ‘Strong Female Character’:

    Ah, I thought, as the camera panned lovingly down Vicki Vale’s high-heeled, black-pantyhose-clad legs — here she is. The Strong Female Character. The 1989 model had fluffier hair than her successors, but that’s really the only significant difference. She establishes her Totally Empowered cred early, makes eyes at the hero, then gets the hell out of the way as he and the (male, naturally) villain go about the business of advancing the plot. She snaps a photo once or twice to remind us that she’s a globe-trotting photojournalist — the kind of photojournalist with no compunction toward sleeping with her subjects, but hey, whatever. She ends the film in the hero’s arms, fulfilling her role as reward for his victory, with nary a whisper of the professional goals that drove her to him in the first place. She is pretty and in need of rescue and almost entirely in service to the male characters’ plot and characterization—but she gets to be vaguely spunky and is slapped with a typically male career, so it’s totally okay.

    I can only imagine the interviews that took place upon the release of Batman, touting her modernity, her break with the damsels of the past, her ineffable 1989-ness. I’m sure the crew patted themselves on the back heartily for providing the women and girls of America with such a vibrant reflection and role model.

    I’m sure of these things because 25 years later, very little has changed regarding how women like Kim Basinger’s Vicki Vale are portrayed: superficially empowered and ultimately disposable.

    The Strong Female Character sucks. She is not strong, and she’s barely a character at all — although she is, as we are abundantly reminded, female. She is never the hero of the story, but nearly always the love interest and rarely a being of true agency. She is usually the only significant female character in the whole story, if not the only female character period. She is often introduced in ways that highlight her sex appeal (long, slow pans up her body as she strides sassily towards the camera seem perennially in vogue), but don’t you get any ideas, silly boys, because she’s an astrophysicist! Or a journalist, or a businesswoman, or a spy, or a hacker, or some other typically male, banally “badass” job that allows the director to feel his job is done as it regards positive female representation.

    She might die or suffer sexual assault to further the male character’s motivation, she might spend the last act in her underwear, most of her lines might as well be “TAKE ME NOW, YOU MUSTY STALLION,” but hey, she’s a five-time MMA champ fighter pilot who donates her salary to an orphaned ponies preserve! And she probably gets a feisty one-liner in about how no man tells her what to do!

    Sometimes she gets to punch a background mook, or kick a bad guy in the balls, or use her feminine wiles to distract the villain at a key moment, or some other inessential but highly-touted moment of violence.

    She is often sarcastic; the straight man in contrast to the male characters’ goofiness. In theory, these things excuse the fact that everything about her revolves around the male characters and the plot that they engage in — in practice, they slap a “Girl Power!” sticker on the same old crap we’ve been fed since man developed storytelling.

    She is always the love interest. Her goals and dreams, if they are mentioned at all, are left by the wayside by the story’s conclusion. She is often in need of rescue. She has no inner life. Quite frankly, she’s lucky if her characterization extends beyond “spunky and indistinctly intelligent.” She is eclipsed by the other supporting characters, who are free to develop actual personalities. She is no one’s favorite.

    Vicki Vale is a Strong Female Character through and through. We are informed that she is a celebrated photojournalist, but her ambitions go largely unsaid after her first few scenes — lost, as they are, in the wildly unprofessional whirl of her affair with Bruce Wayne, ostensibly the subject of her next project. Overcome by the erotic power of Michael Keaton’s perma-pursed lips, Vicki goes from competent woman of the world to hysterical schoolgirl before the movie is even half over. You can practically pinpoint the moment director Tim Burton threw up his hands and said, “Okay, I won at feminism! Let’s move the hell on.”

    Vicki spends the rest of her screen time being menaced by the Joker with increasingly sexual overtones, screaming in terror, screaming in surprise, occasionally snapping a photo and getting herself noticed by the bad guys, and swooning over Bruce.

    Even her wardrobe serves Bruce Wayne. She spends most of the film in girlish white dresses, symbolizing the sweetness and light she stands to bring to Bruce’s dark world as Batman (as Alfred notes, “There’s a certain weight that lifts when she is here.”) If there is a low point — and, simultaneously, an emblem of her role — it is when Bruce, struggling to admit that he is Batman to a confused Vicki, snaps, “You’re a real nice girl and I like you a lot, but right now, shut up.” Oh Vicki, no matter what your resume says you’re just a moody little miss at heart!

    There’s also the fact that Vicki is one of the only women in the movie. There’s, um, “Sugarlumps,” the Joker’s dotty moll played by Jeri Hall, who is later mutilated, presumably drugged into oblivion, and commits suicide. There’s also the ill-fated anchorwoman who spends most of her three minutes of screen time dying and dead. And… Bruce’s mom? Sure, let’s count Martha Wayne, who’s murdered on-screen, and the Martha Wayne-like woman who’s mugged at the beginning of the film. Collectively, these women account for maybe fifteen minutes of screen time and serve as decoration or plot device.

    Beyond their meager contributions, the movie is almost bizarrely devoid of women — shots of thronging reporters and bad guys are a sea of white dudes, and only a few female faces pepper crowds of confused bystanders and partygoers. Vicki isn’t just the main female character — she is the only female character of substance. She stands for her entire gender, for half the population — and she does so really, really badly.

    Strong Female Characters like Vicki Vale are the result of creators wanting the credit without doing the dirty work. They know relying on the wilting princesses and buxom housewives of yesteryear no longer flies, but they don’t actually want to think of women as people. So women, in movies (and books, and TV shows, and everything) are placed upon a different pedestal — one that allows them to be everything and nothing at all. They karate chop without ever delivering the deathblow, they suffer for other’s characterization, their bodies are splayed alluringly across any and all promotional material, but they will never be the star.

    Born, as I was, in 1990, I spent my early years confronted with Vicki Vales at every turn — though in children’s media they’re more commonly known as Good Role Models For Girls. They were frustrating when they weren’t boring. I clung to them at first, waiting for the moment when they would do more than just dance vaguely around with a wrench, proclaiming loudly that girls can fix cars TOO, you dummies! But the moment never came, and I grew bored. I gravitated towards stories like Sailor Moon, where the plethora of female characters are, by their manifold nature, allowed to develop naturally. I eschewed comics for the Warner Bros. cartoons based on the DC Comics heroes, where at least there were two girls on the Justice League and the Teen Titans. I learned to grit my teeth through otherwise interesting media that indulged the omnipresent flaw.

    And, in time, I learned that I was not alone in my frustration. No one really likes the Strong Female Character. No one leaves the theater talking about how fantastic her back story was or how moved they were by her heroism. She is, as female characters have been throughout history, a fantasy object for men — to be enjoyed, then disposed of (note how easily she is replaced by Catwoman in Batman Returns — although Vicki Vale warrants at least an awkward conversation about her absence, unlike countless Bond girls of cinema history).

    To women, the Strong Female Character is, under a particularly benign interpretation, a model to aspire to. More truthfully, she is an agent of control, albeit one in disguise. But her Krav Maga skills don’t liberate her — they just add to the laundry list of things women are supposed to be for men. She’s sexy, but not slutty. She’s smart, but not nerdy. She’s spunky, but not a bitch. In the years since Batman ’89 she’s become a badass — but never at the expense of the male hero.

    I am not the only person (and definitely not the only woman) to call bullsh*t on this, but the Strong Female Character endures. In superhero movies, she’s pretty much the only mold for female characters of any elevated prominence. She is nearly every major female character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She’s probably going to be Gamora in August’s Guardians of the Galaxy. I’d bet cold hard cash that she will be Zack Snyder’s Wonder Woman. In these kinds of films, the Strong Female Character is, effectively, all women. And yet year after year the reviews roll in, naming these characters as the weakest parts of the film, the romances they are so defined by boilerplate, and their scenes dramatically leaden.

    There is profit to be made in actual characterization. Witness the massive female following Mako Mori of Pacific Rim inspired nearly overnight. The parameters were barely shifted, but in getting a little more screen time, a little more independent characterization, and in being freed from the constraints of Love Interest, Mako gained a soul and made the movie better.

    Along those lines, we are asking, as we have always asked, to be afforded the respect so unthinkingly given to men. We are asking to be seen, and depicted, as individuals on our own terms. We are asking creators to make, in effect, more nuanced, more carefully crafted, more thoughtfully considered movies. Which is what they’re supposed to be doing anyway.

    There were a lot of things I enjoyed about Burton’s Batman. His Gotham felt right to me in a way no other director’s ever has. The art direction was incredible. I totally, shamelessly enjoyed Prince’s soundtrack. But Vicki Vale wasn’t just irritating to me as a feminist — she was irritating to me as someone who enjoys well-told stories. The Strong Female Character does not represent women, does not inspire girls, and does not entertain moviegoers. Twenty-five years after Batman ’89, It’s time for her to hang up her boxing gloves, put up her perfectly waxed legs, and retire for good.


  69. Alec Baldwin’s Daughter Ireland Checks Into Rehab:

    Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger’s daughter Ireland Baldwin is in rehab.

    The 19-year-old model has checked into Malibu’s Soba Recovery Center, a drug and alcohol treatment center, for a two-week stay to “deal with some emotional trauma,” she said via her Twitter on Monday.

    Reports suggested that Ireland was seeking treatment for excessive partying, but she laughed off the speculation.

    Ireland, who reportedly checked into the $20,000-a-month rehab facility over the weekend according to RadarOnline, later explained her stay in a series of tweets.

    “I checked myself into Soba for two weeks to just get away for a little bit,” she tweeted. “I’m not much a party cat but I am here deal with… some emotional trauma and getting the intensive therapy I needed in order to recover.”

    “Someday I’ll feel ready to share my story… openly without feeling the way I do,” she continued. “Right now I just needed a breather. I need a change to work on myself and gather all the tools… I need to overcome everything that I had been through and rid myself of all the pain I locked away in unreachable places.”

    Before her official announcement, Ireland hinted at her new journey with several cryptic tweets over the past several days.

    In 2014, Ireland Baldwin sat down with ET to chat about getting into modeling. Watch the interview below.