Amy Jenkins: Riding through the glen, storming out of the studio

Celebrity meltdown

Share
Related Topics

It's well documented that money – beyond a certain necessary level – doesn't make you any happier.

But what about worldwide acclaim? Surely that kind of recognition and success would make one feel better about oneself. And what about rock-solid A-list movie star status? What about an Oscar, a Bafta and a Golden Globe? Nope. Sorry. It just doesn't wash. You're still hanging in the wind with the rest of us.

This week the towering Russell Crowe – gladiator, hunk, action hero-who-also-plays-intellectuals – was felled by one small question in a Radio 4 interview. In fact, he stomped off in a huff like a recalcitrant 14-year-old. Crowe threw his wobbly when, on Radio 4's Front Row, presenter Mark Lawson questioned him about the accent he uses in Ridley Scott's new blockbuster, Robin Hood. Lawson's question was fairly anodyne. He even implied that the tinge of Irish he'd heard in Crowe's accent might have been due to new research into Robin Hood's ancestry.

Crowe responded, "You've got dead ears, mate," before going into a press-release type monologue about the movie's fresh approach to the legend. Spiel over, Crowe couldn't resist coming back to the Irish slur. "I don't get the Irish thing, brother. I don't get it at all...." Lawson tried to start a new question but Crowe swore to himself audibly. When Lawson then asked him whether – as alleged in a new book – he initially refused to say the famous Gladiator line "I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next", Crowe simply got up and walked out.

You'd think that a movie star with this much success under his belt and this much experience would have developed a slightly thicker skin. But then again you'd think that someone on Twitter with nearly one and a half million followers would be able to stomach a bit of carping. Stephen Fry couldn't. When a lone voice said he was a bit boring, he threatened Twitter suicide. Then there was the almost universally adored Ricky Gervais who went ballistic the other day in a newspaper interview when he was asked about rumours that he'd succumbed to Hollywood pressure to lose weight, raving: "Someone said, 'I saw him in The Ivy and he was having a salad.' 'Yeah, I had a salad. I also had f****** deep-fried scampi and followed it with ravioli, you lying f****** c***!"

And what about the recent Gordon Brown example. After a fairly uneventful encounter with a now famous Rochdale resident, Brown called their brief exchange a "disaster" – the kind of over-reaction that is clearly commonplace in this world of huge and fragile egos. But anyone who knows anything about low self-esteem will know that he was really attacking himself. Psychologists tell us that negative feelings are often projected outwards. When cornered, the voracious ego at bay inevitably snarls and attacks.

All of this is because of the pull of the negative. They say that gamblers get a bigger kick out of losing than they do out of winning. Winning – the euphoria is over in a moment. Losing gives you much more emotional turmoil to get your teeth into. In fact, it gives you a problem, and humans are problem-solvers by nature – that's what the survival of the fittest drives us to focus on. There's not much point – in evolutionary terms – in focusing on areas where you're already winning. So we tend not to do it, which doesn't help our peace of mind. And the ego, for similar reasons, is programmed never to be satisfied.

Success, acclaim, wealth – you might have one or two moments in the sun but, after that – be warned – you'll just be back at the coalface digging out problems. May as well take it easy, folks, sit back, put your feet up – have more toast.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Partitioners / Carpenter / Multi Skilled Tradesmen / Decorator

£28000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Various opportunities are avail...

Recruitment Genius: Trade Marketing Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company leads the market i...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Accountant - Part Time

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity is available for a par...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Breakdown Engineers

£26000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Breakdown Engineer...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

My cancer diagnosis cost me my home

Deanne Wilson
Dov Charney, the founder and former CEO of American Apparel  

American Apparel has finally fired Dov Charney, but there's no reason to celebrate just yet

Alice Nutting
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum