James Woods is celebrating his 70th birthday today. He attended MIT but dropped out to pursue an acting career, making his debut on Broadway in 1970, on television in 1971, and in film in 1972. After several years in supporting roles, he first drew notice with his Golden Globe nominated performance as Gregory Powell in the 1979 film The Onion Field (adapted from the novel by Joseph Wambaugh). In the next few years Woods had major roles in films like David Cronenberg’s Videodrome and Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America, before starring in Oliver Stone’s Salvador and receiving his first Oscar nomination.
There is no such thing as bad publicity. Or so they say. Some publicists clearly disagree. In the April 1992 issue of Movieline magazine, Jeffrey Wells detailed ten celebrity profiles that struck a sour note with the subject of the interview. When possible, he checked in with the authors to see what impact the notorious article had on their career. Through the wonders of the internet, I have included links to the original articles that aren’t hidden behind a paywall.
You’ve heard of Box Office Poison? Actors or actresses whose movies always seem to fail. In the April 1991 issue of Movieline, several magazine staffers picked out actors who they considered to be a kiss of death at the box office. For the most part, the list consists of talented actors who were arguably better suited to supporting roles than leading men.
I have long considered myself a fan of director David Cronenberg. So I was surprised to realize that I had never seen one of his better known early films, Videodrome. It’s not like I was unaware of Videodrome. To the contrary, I was always kind of fascinated with it. But somehow, I never got around to actually watching the thing.