The word retirement always seems like it’s on the lips of actors and directors. Both Steven Soderbergh and Quentin Tarantino have given their directorial skills an expiration date in the last year, proclaiming they’re prepared to leave the industry to try new creative pursuits and/or get out while they're still on top, and the newest player to wave the retirement card is “Red 2” and “R.I.P.D.“ star, Mary-Louise Parker. The 48-year-old star of Showtime’s hit “Weeds” recently expressed her desire to quit acting to Australian press.
While out promoting her latest efforts, Parker took to condemning the entertainment industry as a mean-spirited enterprise intent to thrive on people’s pain; and in turn that audiences are celebrating this by tearing down actors and films. Parker opines that, “There’s way more mean-spiritedness… It’s a mean culture - its reality TV and its watching people suffer and watching people humiliate themselves.” She goes onto allude to shows such as “Toddlers and Tiaras” and “Celebrity Rehab” as proof of this “ugly” culture where entertainment is “like someone just lifted up a rock and that’s all we’re looking at.”
With the entertainment industry changing, Parker believes she’s too “thin-skinned” to handle this jubilant desire to criticize that audiences have taken up. “It’s sport for people, it’s fun to get on at night and unleash their own self-loathing by attacking someone else who they think has a happier life.” While not mentioning specific instances, the actress appears to have been the victim of harsh criticisms, stating “I don’t know if you can imagine a friend sending you something they thought was funny, that was something mean that someone wrote about you and there’s like 50 comments from complete strangers across the world about you… It doesn’t feel nice.” With that being said, Parker doesn’t have a specific end date in mind for her retirement, like Tarantino and Soderbergh do. She has a desire to do more television and a few more Broadway stage plays, but overall, “I’m almost done acting.”
It does sound like Parker is ready for a change of pace and perhaps an outlet that wouldn't put her square in the public. When asked if she would miss making movies she bluntly says, “No, I don’t think so,” explaining, "I would write, still. I write for Esquire (magazine) and writing makes me happy. I would take care of my kids and my goats. That's about it. Bake. Throw my internet in the lake…"
But what do you think? Are Parker’s comments sour grapes, or proof that audiences are becoming increasingly hell-bent on tearing down their idols? You can watch Mary-Louise Parker in the upcoming “Red 2” and “R.I.P.D.” on July 19th. [Herald Sun]