Break-Up Bounce Backs
Posted on Monday October 20, 2008, 17:39 by Emily Phillips in Empire States
Divorce is never fun, as Guy Ritchie and Madonna are no doubt realising right now. However, it seems it may have its career benefits.
As the details of their split emerge, it appears that both parties are channelling their energies into work in order to weather the storm. And the result of this renewed vigour for all things business is that some of your best work can come out of the heartache.
A case in point is the recent up in Anne Hathaway’s status, directly following her split from long-term lover Raffaello Follieri. Creating Oscar buzz with her perfect performance as tortured drug-addict Kym in Rachel Getting Married, Hathaway shows that the rollercoaster of personal heartbreak can be directed into the creative to fuel the on-screen emotionality. Similarly, Nicole Kidman earned her first Oscar nomination (for Moulin Rouge) straight after her divorce from Tom Cruise.
And with Guy Ritchie making a return to form with RockNRolla, we can see that flying solo can have its benefits. Now shooting Sherlock Holmes, (which looks to be his most interesting project to date), we can see that the passion and anger connected with a split could help him restore the credibility he lost in the film industry during his marriage.
Michael Sheen has certainly seen a rise in kudos since his split from Kate Beckinsale. Once seen only as a go-to-guy for period productions (such as Bright Young Things) or wolfmen (in Underworld, with Beckinsale and her now-husband Len Wiseman), he is now riding high with acclaimed performances in dramas like Frost/Nixon and currently has five films on the go.
Jennifer Aniston’s career definitely picked up after her divorce from Brad Pitt. Brad and Jen were considered Hollywood’s golden couple in the early Noughties. But when the relationship disintegrated and Brad hooked up with Angelina Jolie, public opinion initially sided with Aniston. At the time, Aniston was making the transition from Friends to the big screen, so the publicity and popularity made her a very bankable property for studios. Her specific success with the aptly titled The Break-Up, not only allowed a cathartic creative outlet, but also sparked a rebound relationship with her co-star Vince Vaughn.
Gwyneth Paltrow too, escaped the state of Brad Pitt’s arm-candy in the late nineties-emancipating her career options. Moving from the previous range of “girlfriend” parts, to quirky starring roles in The Royal Tennenbaums and Sylvia, she won an Oscar in 1999 for her role as Viola in Shakespeare in Love (a movie she made during the break-up of her engagement to Pitt).
Of course a stratospheric divorce does not always spell career heaven, especially if the split is played out heavily in the tabloids. Never the most talented of thesps, Denise Richards’ divorce from Charlie Sheen quashed all hope of big screen success, leaving her to pick up the bitter pieces in her own reality show, and in turn dinted Sheen’s big screen prospects too.
Most of these splits though, have left one party at a disadvantage in comparison to the other. This is generally according to how they were perceived to have been accountable in the end of the relationship, but sometimes a split can be mutually beneficial.
Take Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. Widely seen as one of the most obnoxious celebrity pairings in recent history; their shared film offering Gigli was universally panned. The relationship between a once promising actor/ writer/ director Affleck, and the much-heralded Latina diva Lopez, was responsible for the near implosion of both of their careers. Yet immediately after their break up in 2004, both were back on form. Affleck returned to his slightly indie leanings with Clerks II, Hollywoodland and a storming directorial debut in Gone Baby Gone, while Lopez largely left the big screen to its own devices in favour of music and babymaking, except for turning in a box-office friendly comic performance in Monster In Law.
The biggest benefit of a break-up though, should be that they discovered the person they were truly suited to. Ben Affleck married Jennifer Garner, J-Lo wedded Marc Anthony, and Nicole Kidman found Keith Urban. But whether there are still a few Hollywood bods who would benefit from escaping the fetters of couple-dom is yet to be decided. But for now, Guy and Madonna, take heed: heartbreak is the new film dynamite.
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Posted on Monday October 20, 2008, 18:00
"...with Guy Ritchie making a return to form with RockNRolla..." really cheered me up after a long day. Who says wit is dead eh?
Posted on Monday October 20, 2008, 18:19
Wasn't Ritchie married when he made RockNRolla?
Posted on Monday October 20, 2008, 18:32
[Nicole Kidman earned her first Oscar (for Moulin Rouge) straight after her divorce from Tom Cruise....]
You certainly meant her Oscar nomination, not an actual Oscar right?
Posted on Tuesday October 21, 2008, 11:42
That would indeed be why the blog reads:
'Similarly, Nicole Kidman earned her first Oscar nomination (for Moulin Rouge) straight after her divorce'
Any time the actors are bigger than the movie I think something's wrong. I don't give a crap if Brad Pitt hooked up with Angelina Jolie during Mr and Mrs Smith, it was a pants movie anyway.
I'll believe your theory Empire when posh and becks break up we discover he has a talent for tragic shakespeare, and she can actually sing.
Posted on Tuesday October 21, 2008, 11:45
Wow, three comments and all we've done is point out (factual or critical) inaccuracies...
I absolutely think you've got a point with the link between creativity and relationship status, for movies and for music. But i'm not sure it's that breakups help creativity, more that marriages/long term relationships often harm creativity. Seems like the spark of a new relationship or affair can help a movie (providing some rare on screen chemistry for example) as much as the pain of a break up. Either way I think the blame is more with the cosiness and comfort that marriage brings, that often seems to stifle creativity.
Having said that, I am still quite certain that Guy Ritchie's shit-ness will survive his unfortunate divorce. Like the dude, a lack of intelligence or imagination abides...
Posted on Wednesday October 22, 2008, 13:50
A 'return to form'?
I didn't realise he actually HAD form to being with...
And as for his wife, the cover of her latest album has to rate as one of the most embarrassing pictures I have ever seen!