"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" won Jack Nicholson an Oscar and for good reason — he acted the part of a crazy person with frightening precision. But not nearly as crazy as the day a road-enraged Nicholson pulled out a golf club to attack a fellow motorist.
Barbara Streisand played the part of a woman who needed to be institutionalized in "Nuts," and after working with her on a photo shoot several years ago, I think she stayed in character for far too many years.
The poor, but very rich, Anna Nicole Smith (may she rest in peace) could be easily described in one word — cuckoo. In a photo shoot several years ago the desperate, needy-for-attention model insisted on playing Marilyn Monroe's greatest musical hits (a limited selection) all day long. She proceeded to act each song out. Wow — talk about a long and tiresome day.
And now we have the constant erratic behavior of a new generation: Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. We even have their old, male counterpart O.J. Simpson to read about every week in our favorite trash-talking tabloids.
Let's face it, the prison system in Los Angeles is going to have to install revolving doors for its celebrity clientele who just can't keep from coming back to do more time. Just last week, "24" star Kiefer Sutherland was sentenced to 48 days behind bars.
"Prison Break" actor Lane Garrison recently pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter. TV stars like Brandy and Rebecca Gayheart may have to endure their own sentences after getting involved in serious car crashes that resulted in the deaths of innocent victims.
Rappers are getting in trouble. Take female hip-hop sensation Eve, who was sporting the hot and fashionable ankle bracelet to Fashion Week in New York. Atlanta rapper T.I. has been charged with unlawful gun possession.
Unconscious, crazy behavior isn't only limited to these pop culture idols. Lately, the sports world has also had its share of the hall of shame fame. Remember Chris Benoit, the pro wrestler who wigged out after being a steroid addict and murdered his family? Who hasn't heard about Michael Vick and his doggone dilemma? Rae Carruth is still serving time for the execution of his unborn baby's mamma. Not to mention the ex-N.J. Nets player Jayson Williams who is awaiting retrial for the 2002 shooting and killing of a limo driver.
All these folks must have lost their minds because the list goes on and on, embracing countless overprivileged celebs living their lifestyles of the rich and rebellious. If you're a convict or out of control, where does this inappropriate behavior come from? These people are clearly blessed with beauty, talent and oodles of money. They seem to be given everything they could want and more.
When celebs are dazzling on the red carpet, it seems that they have it all and not a care in the world. But often, these stars feel burdened and unable to live up to the status and pressure of their stature. That guilt can cause self- destructive behavior. Celebrities seem to be oh-so in command of their own destiny but what the viewing public doesn't see behind the scenes is that they are puppets being pulled left and right and manipulated by the media and the fans that are overzealously enamored by the false glitter of stardom.
In addition are the studios, networks and record labels that are signing their so-called big checks. These people are then forced to shoot their next film or TV show that will be promoted shamelessly to exhaustion on a 12-hour-a-day schedule rife with press junkets and talk shows. It is as though they are indentured servants to the studios and directors and suffer for their art.
For example, when it's 20 degrees out and the director says "get back in the water for the 20th take," in you go. When they are told to jump, they say, "how high?" There is no room for diva-dom on set. After all, most celebs are insecure people pleasers. (Me too, who doesn't want to be appreciated and acknowledged for their hard work?) And if they are given perks, why not listen to those devilish voices of managers and publicists who constantly over inflate the fragile ego of their talented clients?
Let's face it, we all hear about the rumors of extravagant demands — Evian baths, white furniture in the dressing room, hundreds of orchids. Only a handful of the biggest stars like Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston or Michael Jackson can get away with these extravagant and eccentric demands. So many of these outrageous requests are being demanded by their management— the aiders and abettors, as I call them) and the stars don't even know about the preposterous requests being made in their name.
More often then not, the "team" uses these requests to show how they fought for you when in fact all they are doing is fighting and ruining their reputation just to justify and hold onto their own job. Without the overexaggerated power of their celeb clients, these managers would be nothing. The sad reality is of the numerous times actors, sports figure and singers have to face rejection and keep on going till the next big break, hearing all the while, "you're too old, too fat, too young."
You're either getting your ass kissed or your heart torn out. Perhaps some multimillion-dollar company is haggling over a few dollars in your salary because, once again, not every entertainer is making money like the cast of "Friends" or Julia Roberts. Her character, Anna Scott, says in the film "Notting Hill," "The fame thing isn't really real. In a few years I'll just look like someone who used to be famous."
That unsettling thought would drive any celeb worth their wait in press clippings to go just a little crazy.