You may or may not be aware that I was the first REAL Movie Star (there were those few who technically came before me, but their fame and careers paled next to mine). As such, I take my position very
seriously and consider it my sacred duty to watch over all of the Stars. Think of me as the Mama Star watching over all of my children, whom I love unconditionally.
Although no one knows better than I the stress of living in the Hollywood fishbowl, I rarely feel compelled to interfere and offer advice. However, once in a while there are those Stars who would seem to benefit a bit from my knowledge and experience. After all, we Stars are all "family" and the Pickford family was nothing if not loyal to and supportive of one another.
I lived by 3 simple rules as a Movie Star:
1. Always behave in a dignified manner in public and show gratitude to your public.
2. Respect your craft and your career.
3. Understand your strengths and your limitations.
Although I could take a lot of today's performers to task, I prefer to concentrate on Movie Stars and will offer my wisdom and insight to the four I think it would most benefit.
You once carried my title of "America's Sweetheart" and I have a special place for you in my heart, but you have abdicated this revered designation to Sandra Bullock and others without a fight.
You are a beautiful woman, and I know oh-so-well how hard it is to grow from girlish to womanly before a public that idolizes youth, but there is a distinct lack of joy about you these days that is troubling. Never show that you are unhappy. Never act as though you have something better to do or that you are bored or annoyed by the public's attention. Remember how much you once wanted and needed their attention? Never forget that desire. Always try to look your best. Remember why the public adores you and that they have many choices. You have an enchanting smile. Let's see it more often.
You have made the fatal mistake of believing that the public actually cares what you, personally, think and feel. You forget that your job is to care what they
think and feel. While, as a compassionate woman, I am happy that you are in love, the jumping on the couch episode was not a good move. It also exposed the fact that, while you are a big Star, you are not a great actor. It seemed forced. Stick with a good script & director and do not, under any circumstance, go for spontaneity. It worked for me.
Another thing, Tom: while you are more than free to pursue your religious and corresponding beliefs, keep them, and your notions about mental health and pregnancy, to yourself. You are a big Star and still have lots of mileage left if you don't alienate your fans. Keep the crack-pot factor to a minimum and retain a bit of mystery. One of a Star's biggest strengths is that the public projects its own desires onto you. You must validate them and make their fantasies come true, if only for a few moments, on screen. Don't forget the magic.
You are, as they say today, a hot mess. You, too, have a special place in my heart because you were once an adorable "little girl." I can't stress enough that you owe your public more. If you weren't talented, I'd say leave her on the scrap heap of fame (sorry to be so blunt, dear), but I believe that you have something to offer. There are loads of actresses and actors who fell by the wayside and into oblivion (or worse) because of the same problems you have from my day to the present. Will you join poor Alma Rubens and Mabel Normand or will you learn to love and respect your career? Love and respect means taking care of your mind and body, your working tool box. I am watching over you, dear, but get your you-know-what- together soon or it will be over (See? I can be tough when necessary).
Oh Mel - you are my hardest "child" to love these days. Now, you know I never cuss, but if I did, I would ask you - WHAT THE **&^%!!! HAPPENED TO YOU?????
As they say today (I am really getting the hang of this modern lingo) - TOO MUCH INFORMATION!!!! I am sorry to have to raise my voice, but your public does not really want to be subjected to the outbursts, women and phone messages. You are a smart man, Mel. Think of yourself as your own product (that's what I did). Don't give your public a defective product. Granted, it can't last forever, but a Star should maintain a bit of mystery and dignity.
And so, my Stars, I hope I have been helpful to you. Look to me at any time for a source of inspiration. I am watching over you, so be good, work hard and enjoy your time in the sun.