Downey's Chaplin was a triumph. I caught a few minutes of Less than Zero recently and glimpsed the same, unmistakeable character: infinitely lovable and self-destructive and deep and innocent. It's a great role.
When writers write great self-destructive roles, they display something true: the blinding beauty of great, self-destructive people. When they cast these roles, their casting interacts with the life of the actor they cast: honor is given to what is only partly honorable.
Plato prohibited the playwrights in his fictional republic from writing psychologically dangerous characters. He was warned, I think, by watching Alcibiades, how beautiful and appealing self-destruction could be.
If I were writing a play about Alcibiades, I would cast Robert Downey Junior in the lead. But I wouldn't write such a play.Posted by shea0017 at March 12, 2005 1:12 PM