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

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Political Editor: Cameron's unexpected tax pledges give the Tories home advantage

Andrew Grice
President Barack Obama walks with U.S. Secret Service agents to Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, Calif., May 8, 2014.  

Obama's Secret Service has become sloppy with its delusions of Hollywood grandeur

David Usborne
Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence