"I Drive Around L.A. and Try to Make People Like Me"
Well, the May issue of Esquire turned out to be a disappointment, at least as far as the cover was concerned. I knew several months ago that they were going to be doing a story on Bradley Whitford, because one of my best friends, photographer Chris Buck, had been hired to shoot the photos for it. I also knew that Whitford's brother was writing the profile, eventually titled "The Secret Life of an Actor," and I had vainly hoped that they would feature Brad's charming mug on the cover. Little did I realize that Esquire is apparently obliged not only to festoon every cover with some nubile starlet or other, but also to feature Charlize Theron thereupon no less than twice a year. (The article on Brad is relegated to the headline, "That Guy from The West Wing.") On the May cover, Theron and her right nipple appear wrapped in a strapless chiffon-y thing of a colour that tones with her alabaster skin, so that, at a cursory glance, she appears to be naked, although, of course, she's not. (I understand that the contractual difficulties with her left nipple have since been resolved and that you can expect a full complement of nipplage in her next appearance.) Her hair is curled and frizzed to within an inch of its life, obscuring her right eye. As far as I can tell, they're going for a sort of gauzy late-1920s/early 1930s-ish look. The silly/scary photos of Theron inside accompany one of the thinnest excuses for an article I've ever read, even if the only thing I'd ever read were celebrity puff pieces. But The Man from F.U.N.K.L.E. has already addressed that idiotic article more than adequately, so I'll move on to the reason you're all here, which is to lap up more information about Joshua, Josh, Josh...I mean, "Bradley Whitford."
The article is written by Brad's brother David Whitford. I can't imagine being able to write very objectively at all about any of my siblings, never mind if said sibling were a celebrity. (I wonder if David was at all tempted to provide the literary equivalent of a wedgie?) In fact, David Whitford does quite a good job of moving smoothly between the unavoidable familial intimacy and the necessary journalistic distance. He admits right off that while Brad makes about fourteen times as much money as he does (which sounds good, although the pay for writing being what it is, I don't know if I'm all that impressed with that...but perhaps the author does extremely well for himself), he's never seriously envied Brad the fame, the freebies, the glamour, and the glory. But it turns out Brad loves his work so much, and gets such a bang out of what he does, that he describes it in this way: "It always feels like batting practice felt to me...I always wanted more." And his brother envies him that. Can't blame him; loving what you do to put food on the table is easily one of life's greatest blessings.