The Practice
Lara Flynn Boyle In Allure

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The fabrication of a vamp
Whitehead is all bashful in LFB love, explaining that his profile takes a good, long look at the star by getting her to “give [him] a lesson” about how to be a bad girl. Again, I shall make the point I previously made during my discussion of Boyle’s interview in Vanity Fair: if you have to explain to all and sundry that you are a “bad girl,” you really can’t be all that bad. As the article explains, one of the more poignant aspects of LFB’s character is the fact that she is dyslexic. This makes learning lines an incredibly laborious process. And, I would assume, would make hosting Saturday Night Live very challenging indeed. Whitehead’s interview, taking place just after Boyle had wrapped her stint on SNL, at least takes the time to explain how hard she worked to host the show. Apparently, Boyle was so freaked out about the “live” aspect of the show that she wanted to run off the set onto the back elevator. Hosting the show brought up all kinds of memories for Boyle, fears of looking stupid she had when she was growing up, and when the show went well, she was really proud of herself. Sometimes, it’s nice to see Boyle have an honest emotion, if that’s actually what happened. Unfortunately, having no comment from Lorne Michaels, we’ll never know. Get this, though -- on top of being dyslexic, LFB also apparently can’t see very well without her glasses, and the fact that she won’t wear contacts made it even more difficult to host the show. Okay, so she’s not so vain as to keep her disability under wraps, but she’s too vain to ever wear glasses on stage? And she has some “issue” where she won’t wear contacts? Whatever. So not only could she not read the cue cards, she couldn’t even see them? Seems silly to me -- LFB needs to get over her phobia, stick some contacts in her eyes, and save everyone the trouble of having to cater to her irresponsible whims. And the silliness goes on. In doing the “Society for Starving Actresses” skit, Boyle was attempting to undermine the media’s obsession with her weight. The skit, taking potshots at scrawny actresses like herself and Flockhart, was obviously meant to deconstruct the myth that Hollywood box office is ruled by half-starved women with neurotic obsessions with their body image, and it was funny, but that perhaps has more to do with the cast of SNL than with Boyle’s own participation in the piece. However, the article, beyond Boyle’s apparent ability to laugh at herself, states that one of her role models is Calista Flockhart. LFB admires Flockhart because she really knows how to deal “with things.” The “things” in this instance are the negative media attention resulting from the fact that neither actor weighs more than about eighty pounds. Okay, let’s just take stock of Flockhart for one minute: she’s a woman who adopted a child via Rosie O’Donnell’s star adoption process, a woman who is emaciated on a good day, who can’t even feed herself, and who is the star of yet another “show” by David E. Kelley. Does anyone else smell a shameless media manipulation? Apparently, Boyle wanted to do the skit -- not to make fun of Calista, but to prove to people that she has a sense of humour about her “non-eating disorder.” Apparently, only “bright” people get the fact that Boyle’s weight shouldn’t really be an issue. And I quote: “Until we have another freeway chase with a famous person, it’s going to be all about your weight. It’s so stupid.” Um, because the tragedy of Princess Diana is so on par with the whole “don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” argument the author puts forth in his piece. Essentially, Whitehead doesn’t need to summarize because Boyle makes herself sound like an idiot without his needing to editorialize.

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The Practice




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