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Saturday 26 May 2018

Hollywood mavericks - stars past and present who never quite fit the mould

Orson Welles.
Orson Welles.
Robert Redford.
Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton.
The Coen brothers.
Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Pat Fitzpatrick

We look at stars, past and present, who never quite fit the mould.


Maverick movie-maker Orson actually emigrated to Ireland in 1931 from the United States. Talk about going in the wrong direction. Sure, he probably had the boat to himself. He recounted his experiences to a friend, which emerged in a book called My Lunches with Orson. This revealed that he got a lot of love action from married ladies on the Aran Islands. Dammit. We went there, and all we got was an Aran sweater. And no, we don't mean a local lady who could have done with a shower.


Actor, director, producer, activist, philanthropist and businessman. And you're smug because you started training for the mini marathon. The first thing that stands out in Redford's long and accomplished biography is that his father was a milkman. Imagine having to break that news to a child. "Your father is the milkman." "Oh my God, Ma, how could you?" "No. Your father. He's a milkman." "I heard you the first time. Keep it down or the neighbours will hear."


Two tips. 1: Never miss a chance to see one of their idiosyncratic movies. 2: Never miss a chance to run away from one of their idiosyncratic fans. Unless you think you can listen to someone talking for three hours about The Dude in The Big Lebowski, without going nuts. (You can't). We're not suggesting the entire cinema was stoned when we went to see The Big Lebowski. But the shop ran out of Jonnie Onion Rings very early on.


She famously wore a vial of Billy Bob Thornton's blood around her neck. Of course, they were married before the craze for joined-up celeb couple names. That's a shame. There is a lot to like in Billybobelina. (Billybobelina, Billy-Bob-Bob-Elina. Just try and resist singing that baby all day long.) Angelina told a newspaper recently that her kids find her weird. Well, some of them find her weird. It's not like she has the time to ask all of them. Brangelina. Loads of kids.


There is no course for what Arnie has achieved. Imagine the phone call to the university. "Hello, I'd like to become a world-class bodybuilder, Hollywood superstar and then governor of California. What degree would you recommend?" "Arts." "Why?" "Because you have no hope of doing any of those things. But with arts, there is no work involved, so you can focus on the boozing and hopefully marrying a nice doctor." The cheek of some people.

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