Celebrity Trauma Ward

Temper, Temper

Acting out on stage and screen

By Steve Wiecking February 3, 2009

You’re nobody until you publicly belittle somebody. Or something like that.

Except for cellulite, multiple failed sitcom attempts, and conversations that don’t revolve around them, there’s nothing actors hate more than being disrupted during a performance.

Exhibit A: Patti LuPone. On January 10, about 45 seconds into "Rose’s Turn" in the Broadway revival of Gypsy, the Tony-winning LuPone stopped the show cold to berate some dumbass audience member she caught taking pictures (whoever recorded the illegal audio of her outburst, meanwhile, escaped unnoticed and unscathed).

Is it wrong to take pictures during a show? Geez, yes, people, you’re not at your roommate’s drunken wedding reception. But I saw Ms. LuPone in Gypsy, and if she had pulled this shtick after over two hours of her overrated ho-hum, I would not have been among the delighted acolytes applauding her theatrics. I would have been delighted later upon regaling my friends with the story—and, of course, reenacting it with relish—but at the time I would have been peeved. The moment, the moment for which people paid well over $100, was lost forever. I know acting is rough. But, come on, like she couldn’t pounce on the schmuck at curtain call?

Here’s the audio (you can also find a fairly hysterical "remix" of this without too much searching):

Exhibit B: Christian Bale. He did LuPone several excruciating minutes and many expletives better by wailing on the director of photography while shooting the latest Terminator film. This is all over the TV now, and I almost feel bad for Bale because many people don’t understand that it takes focus and concentration to create something meaningful. And emotions run very high during such a process. And the d.p. probably was a dolt. And, man, getting into character for a Terminator film probably really takes it out of you. But, sorry, Bale’s still a bastard:

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