By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood August 29, 2011 at 7:21AM
What better way to kick off a competitive Oscar season than saving a life?
Charity work just isn't enough these days. In recent news, Kate Winslet saved Richard Branson's momma from a fire; Ryan Gosling kept peace on a New York City street, and Brad Pitt (saved an extra from a human stampede. These are just the latest movie-stars-turned-super-heroes, joining the likes of Werner Herzog (saving Joaquin Phoenix from a car wreck), Harrison Ford (saving a hiker via helicopter) and Tom Cruise (delivering a hit-and-run victim to the hospital, saving two boys from a movie premiere crowd, and rescuing stranded rafters in Capri).
What's going on here? Are these events and their timing too perfect to be true (Gosling's Drive hits theaters September 16), or are we becoming too cynical? You can watch Herzog's video recounting of what happened with Phoenix and Gosling's peacekeeping efforts and vote in our poll below:
Of course, some cynics scream conspiracy, believing that these publicity stunts are designed to boost each stars' profile, heading into awards campaigning. Moviefone says: "We're so cynical that, when we hear of a story like these, our first instinct is to wonder if it's some kind of a publicity stunt. But what if these heroic acts are not only genuine, but tied somehow to what makes these people good actors?"
If not publicity stunts, lets not call them coincidences, either. It's an actor's job to be more empathetic than the average human being, to behave on instinct rather than social conditioning, to break walls down, not build them up, to allow fear to be a motivator, not an inhibitor. Where you'll stand on this matter is tied to whether you believe human beings are innately good or evil. Some heroes are real, people...
Vote in our poll below: