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Actors to the Rescue: Gosling, Winslet, and Pitt Make Cynics Question Their Heroism

Thompson on Hollywood 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?
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Thompson on Hollywood


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:

Actors to the rescue?
Publicity stunt.
Random occurances.
Face it, they're just better than you.
  
pollcode.com free polls 

This article is related to: Headliners, Hollywood, Celebs, Brad Pitt


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.