Some Thoughts on Audrey Hepburn

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jason_Els, Feb 14, 2003.

  1. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    If Audrey Hepburn wasn't Audrey Hepburn in real life I don't want to know it. It would be a pity to think that the most charming actress ever to grace the silver screen was anything other than the delightful pixies she portrayed. I also think she was a terrible actress. That's just our good fortune however as I don't know anyone who watches Audrey Hepburn movies for anything other than seeing Audrey Hepburn being Audrey Hepburn. It doesn't matter the role or her age, she is always herself. Before you start flaming me, I must say with the greatest of solemnity that she is also the only actress in Hollywood history who I do not want to act. Her natural personality is so enticing, charming, and yes even sexy, that I would be disappointed if I wasn't constantly reminded throughout one of her films that I was watching anyone other than Audrey Hepburn. I get the feeling that Audrey could cross the lines of the sexes in the way that few actresses could. She could be demure and dizzy but no matter how transparent those affects were, it simply didn't matter. One of those singular, beautiful women who could be one of the guys without becoming one. Such was Audrey's natural confidence that the sheer joy of living shone through whatever dour emotion she had to adopt for the camera and unlike so many actresses, that faltering of character portrayal made no difference what so ever. We are entranced, delighted, and hoping that somewhere down in that bag of popcorn will be a little bit of Audrey's joie de vive for us to take home when we cease to be people out there in the dark.

    As I watch Roman Holiday, I am struck by how lifeless the film is when Audrey's not on screen. Maybe that was her greatest fault. So watchable, so lovable, we unconsciously cherish the moments we have with her on screen and feel empty when her presence isn't there. The films she appears in we liken to works of genius and even her few bad ones aren't really condemned had someone else appeared in them. She buoys everything around her making the pedestrian appear brilliant.

    Audrey aged with supreme grace and style giving her the aura of a much younger woman without pitifully grasping at youth. That she, as an actress, resisted this does not surprise me. I would like to think she wouldn't even be tempted by such things. In her late years she only became more radiant and confident. More reserved perhaps, but always quick to laugh and as is the secret of women of a certain age who maintain their beauty, never trying to be anything other than who she was. Alas, Audrey Hepburn left us too soon. I don't know that there will ever come another like her and I doubt it will be anytime soon.

    Occasionally I go to Tiffany's and browse the windows, admire the Tiffany diamond and search for sterling silver telephone dialers. There is something of Audrey there. Something in the simple beauty of the jewels, in the elegant designs of the pieces, and in the unfailingly friendly salespeople who don't become ruffled at my regret of not buying something. That is what Audrey was. A diamond perfectly happy to be a diamond and to be appreciated not for its cost but for its intrinsic beauty, fire, and supreme durability masquerading as something ever so fragile.
     
  2. SteveP

    SteveP Second Unit

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    For all her natural charm, beauty and warmth--one only has to listen to her original, unused vocal tracks for MY FAIR LADY to realize how completely out of her depth she was to give a complete performance in that role.
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    You need to checkout "Wait Until Dark", "The Children's Hour" and "The Unforgiven" then tell me she couldn't act.




    Crawdaddy
     
  4. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Audrey was an excellent actress as mention above in "The Nun's Story" "Wait Until Dark" "Breakfast at Tiffany's" "Roman Holiday" and "Two For the Road" She was always believeable.

    She was also a much better actress in "My Fair Lady" than people give her credit. Julie Andrews couldn't have acted the role better,(but her singing was ten times that of Audrey's). After hearing many of Audrey's takes on "Wouldn't it Be Loverly" "Show Me" and "I Could have Danced All Night" It's true Audrey didn't have a vast vocal range but she pulled off some of the songs quite well.

    Her later work with Unicief just shows what difference a successful actress can make.
     
  5. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    Robert, I have seen them.

    I still think I'm right. At no time during any of those films do I ever forget that I'm watching Audrey Hepburn acting like Audrey Hepburn. The best actors make you forget who he or she is as soon as possible and so entirely become a character that constant recognition doesn't take place. Her great talent was that it wasn't necessary, or even desirable, for her to be anyone else.
     
  6. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Jason,
    Sorry, but with a quote such as the one above, I don't see how you're right! By the way, was Bogart, Cagney, and Grant terrible actors? Because whenever you watched any of them in their films you instantly recognized their persona as an actor. Anyhow, I'm not trying to change your mind about your opinion, but simply offering up a different point of view.




    Crawdaddy
     
  8. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    You know, people take the mark of someone being labeled as a person who only plays themselves in movies as a view that they can't act. As mentioned above, there are plenty of actors that have made their career on being themselves. It all depends if they are interesting enough as a person that we would want to keep seeing the person like that. an actor like Audrey is a definite yes, on the other hand, you have Kevin Cosner...

    My girlfriend would have to say, tho, that she prefers the other Hepburn, the one that was a little less attractive and charming, but was tough as nails and a hard wit.

    Jason
     
  9. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    Audrey Hepburn. I love her.:b
     
  10. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    Kathrine Hepburn is, a completely different story, and is the source of inspiration for my assertion that the best actors make you forget who they are.

    I saw the great Kate on stage in The West Side Waltz. At her entrance everyone immediately stood and applauded for nearly five minutes. 10 minutes later, I forgot entirely that I was watching Kathrine Hepburn. The rest of the performance she didn't exist as anyone other than her character. It was simply amazing. I regret I never saw her in Medea it was told to be the best performance of the play in modern theatrical history and one of her best.
     
  11. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Pacino has been a godfather from Michael Corleone to Walter Burke (the Recruit). He doesn't seem to be able to do anything else. On the other hand, 1- I am not sure I would want to seem him do something else and 2- I wouldn't want to see anyone else do what he does simply because no one does it better.

    That said, I do prefer actors who dissapear into the roles.

    --
    Holadem
     
  12. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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    I'm not sure where Audrey ranks as an actress in the grand scheme of things, but I also don't care. I'm just glad she was here. By all accounts a truly beautiful person.

    I was checking on the release date for the American film making stamps and came across the Audrey Hepburn stamp which will be released 5.4.03. [​IMG]
     
  13. cayce B

    cayce B Auditioning

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    I won't get into a debate about Audrey's acting skills. I thought they were fine, but I didn't care about that. I just loved her.

    Pacino, a one-tune wonder? See "Serpico", "Dog Day Afternoon", "And Justice for All", and "Glengarry Glen Ross" (?).
     
  14. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    the most obvious "one-tune actors" must surely be S&S, Schwarzenegger and Stallone [​IMG]

    but seriously, Harrison Ford is also up there, he's generally the ordinary guy in over his head -- Star Wars he was just a smuggler who got caught up in the titanic struggle between good v. evil, Indiana Jones he's just an archeologist who finds himself in larger than life adventures (although to be fair he does deliberately seek them out), Air Force One he's "just a president" (if there's such a thing) who turns into a one-man commando team retaking the plane, Frantic he's a husband who's wife vanishes for no reason, Witness a cop in over his head

    always played with a "what have I gotten into" look on his face. always the reluctant hero.

    I haven't watched What Lies Beneath though, where for once he played against-type, so no doubt some of you will disagree with me.

    back on topic, yes, Audrey Hepburn was absolutely luminous (which is how I would describe her). and I always thought it amazing in her later years how a woman her age and who didn't try to hide it in any way or camouflage it still looked so incredibly attractive. she will be missed.
     
  15. cayce B

    cayce B Auditioning

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    "Absolutely luminous" is the perfect way to describe her. She was all that and, as has been mentioned by others, so much more than just a pretty face. Who else would you want to hold hands with while taking a walk through Central Park on a beautiful day...

    Oh, and do see "What Lies Beneath". That role must have been devilish fun for the normally heroic Ford.
     
  16. Matthew_Millheiser

    Matthew_Millheiser Supporting Actor

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    Watch Audrey play off of Cary Grant in Charade -- so effortlessly charming, beautiful, graceful, comedic, commanding -- and tell me she's a terrible actress. FEH!
     
  17. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    Add me to the list of people who love Audrey. My fiancee will see a picture of her, or a film of hers on TV, and say "hey, there's your girl!" I guess she doesn't fear the competition very much. [​IMG]

    Does anyone else think that Audrey Tautou is Audrey Hepburn reincarnated?

    With regards to Ford, please lets not forget his performance in Regarding Henry. It's so unlike any of his other roles, and it's my favorite film of his (and I'm a big Indy fan!)
     
  18. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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  19. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    I put Audrey Hepburn in the same league with Grace Kelly. Pure and natural,class and sophistication. Something that the leading ladies in movies are sadly lacking. All the makeup and plastic surgery can't replace it either.
     
  20. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    Oh God. Grace Kelly in Rear Window!

    What an entrance!! What a kiss!!

    I believe Grace was at her pinnacle when working with Hitchcock. The man was SO completely smitten by her Greek-statue beauty that he did everything possible to make her alluring beyond description. The subtext of the Stewart's cast and Kelly's "romantic inclinations" only serve to heighten the sexual tension of a film already infused with her hypnotic beauty. I know Stewart was good-looking but did he do the same thing for women that Kelly does for men?

    If anything in that film tips you off to the fact that Kelly really is what she seems it has to be those Chanel bangles she wears with the green suit. At first I was curious why Hitch had them in the movie because they make so much distracting noise but then it occurred to me that the noise wasn't distracting us from the movie but distracting US from the plot! They're used as a ploy to make us focus, once again, on her. To her credit, Kelly wears the bangles as effortlessly. It is her insouciance, her natural chic that carries the jewelry. Such large and loud jewelry almost always wears the woman; not here.

    Am I the only one who thinks that Hitchcock's Vertigo was a somewhat autobiographical story of his desire to recapture Kelly? I never felt he was able to do with any of his other actresses what he did with Kelly.
     

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