The Smoking Gun got its hands on a contract Uma Thurman signed for Eloise in Paris, which she was supposed to shoot last year until litigation stopped the production cold. As part of her $4.5 million deal, she required the usual big-star perks like the best dressing facilities, per diem and travel, control over images, the option to buy wardrobe items for half price, and then -- a clause that her name and likeness wouldn't be used in merchandising deals with the likes of tobacco, weapons, religious items, personal hygiene products, intimate apparel, porn, gambling, pet food, and "stomach or rectal medications." That last bit puts an amusing spin on the list of requirements, and is making many wonder about her fear of rectal aid, but the whole thing makes me wonder how invested we'd be in Hollywood and its stars if we knew the truth.
Some of the demands make perfect sense, not just from a comfort standpoint but a reputation standpoint. What would it say if the rest of the actors had better accommodations? And shouldn't she have at least some control of her likeness? I understand the why, but that doesn't stop the possibility of forming an opinion of her based on those demands.
Imagine if we saw the contracts each actor signed -- discovered every reasonable and wild demand a star made. If we heard every terrible comment or request a studio executive uttered -- those creepy attitudes we only catch glimpses of in rumors. Add that to actors chastising their own projects, troubled folks getting arrested, drunk driving, familial altercations, and the rest of the Tinseltown messes, and I wonder if the system could survive.
As much as we love a little voyeurism and drama, there's always the comfort of rumor. What if it was all laid out in black and white? Would it still be as irresistible? Could we still love and follow our favorite celebrities, or would that ever-important star power fall by the wayside? Would it all stay the same, or would Hollywood fall to pieces? And hell, would that be a bad thing? The system could definitely use its own fresh air, if not an all-out dismantling.