I saw “Black Swan” over the holidays and, for the record, this was the email I sent Natalie as soon as I left the theatre:
Natalie, I just saw your latest work, and I have to say, I have never seen such an intense, riveting, sustained performance by an artist. It left me feeling drained emotionally and with my head shaking in admiration. I think you have reached a new level in your career, and if you don’t win an Oscar for this one there is no justice in the Academy.
Of course, as my wife constantly reminds me “It’s not about you.” (At my funeral, I’m sure she will remind those present “This is not about Rupert”)
I first met Natalie in 2003, when she was “almost famous”, having starred in several movies, and won critical aclaim for a precocious performance in the French action film “The Professional” when she was 13. She had just been graduated from Harvard and was about to graduate from “almost” to “very famous”, as she was working on the “Star Wars” prequel. She’s pretty much the dream celebrity spokesperson: brilliant, talented, gorgeous but as approachable as the girl next door. In interiews, she often manages to steer the conversation to FINCA, even as the host tries, unsuccessfully, to pry into her personal life.
Natalie’s and my own movie career intersected briefly in “Stories of Hope” www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-PBFuOu1Xk
which we shot on location in Mexico over the course of 5 grueling days. In it you can see me perched on a hilltop outside of Cuernavaca, sweating through take after take under the tyrannical direction of Juan Carlos Rulfo, an award winning documentarian. There were rumors that I would walk the red carpet for a statue in the category “Best Cameo in a Foreign Infomercial”. It was not to be. Industry politics, don’t you know.
That was my farewell to Hollywood. I never really recovered from the disappointment of being passed over. As a result, I returned to my career as a Social Entrepreneur.
Of course, if Tarentino wants to talk about a “come back role” in Reservoir Dogs II , I’m listening.