With all the media attention focused on Tropic Thunder‘s movie-within-a-movie-within-a-movie send-up of Oscar-baiting actors portraying the mentally handicapped, Simple Jack, the fact of the matter is actual actors are doing this in the real world right now and it’s miserable. I understand that the word “retard” can be offensive to some people and that its use for comedic effect is questionable, but surely it’s not that much worse than Claire Danes pretending she is autistic. From the Hollywood Reporter:

HBO’s long-gestating Temple Grandin project is moving forward, with Claire Danes in negotiations to star and Mick Jackson set to direct the biopic.

Grandin, one of the leading speakers on autism, overcame the limitations imposed by the disorder to become one of the top scientists in humane livestock handling.

I’m sure that Temple Grandin’s story is an uplifting one, full of bravery and the overcoming of adversity, but this sounds like a real disaster. Claire Danes isn’t even that good at acting like a mentally average person. Or is that why they chose her? I Am Zing.

High school was especially harsh for Grandin, who was called “tape recorder” by other kids because she repeated things over and over. She also was hypersensitive to all sorts of sensory stimulation. She eventually graduated with degrees from several universities, going on to write influential essays on animal welfare and designing humane slaughterhouses. Grandin appears regularly on the news talk show circuit and was the subject of a BBC documentary titled “The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow” and Errol Morris’ “First Person: Stairway to Heaven.”

Danes will play Grandin from her high school years to her post-academic period.

NOPE. People know that acting is pretending, right? It’s not, like, an actual skill. I mean, it is a skill, like the way lying is a skill. But it’s just the fanciest kind of pretending. Claire Danes is going to get paid upwards of $5,000 to do the thing that everyone was taught was impolite back in kindergarten. Enough.

Comments (13)
  1. humane slaughterhouses.


  2. Chadams  |   Posted on Aug 15th, 2008 0

    At least the title of this movie (hopefully) is not also “The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow”. Good lord – here I thought VH1 had bad taste all sewn up…

  3. quentin  |   Posted on Aug 15th, 2008 0

    hi mmmikey

  4. Errol Morris did an episode of his short-lived but awesome series First Person about Temple Grandin. It’s on DVD, so I imagine it could be Netflixed. The whole series is great. I think there was a This American Life about her too.

    The Temple Grandin Fan Club

    Also, Claire Danes is a big dumb dummy.

  5. Actually, Temple Grandin doesn’t sound like your “stereotypical” autistic person…

  6. eric  |   Posted on Aug 15th, 2008 0

    Friday Fight: Tom Cruise
    Lindsay: So Tropic Thunder Will Totally Revive Tom Cruise’s Career And He Will Finally Win An Oscar Gabe: you’re retarded.


    • I was simply saying that I knew the word offended some people. I didn’t claim not to use it myself. I’m like the Ben Stiller of blogs (i.e. I am the OK-but-not-that-great of blogs.)

  7. dafs  |   Posted on Aug 16th, 2008 0

    Tape recorder? Man, that’s a crummy insult. I wish that was all I got called, and I’m not autistic.

  8. WJPurdy  |   Posted on Aug 16th, 2008 -1

    Temple Grandin’s story is a totally fascinating fascinating one. Temple Grandin as a person (at least in interviews I’ve seen or heard) is frustrating, distant, and, frankly, unpleasant. And on top of it, she’s a truly unattractive person to look at. I see this movie as nothing more than Nell, set in a slaughterhouse. At least Claire Danes is nice to look at.

  9. sam  |   Posted on Aug 17th, 2008 0

    tropic thunder was awesomeee

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