Dim the Spotlight on… Audrey Hepburn [#4]

THIS IS A NEW SERIES WHICH CONSISTS OF ME LOOKING BACK AT ARTISTS I LOVE AND HAVE INFLUENCED ME THAT ARE UNFORTUNATELY NO LONGER ALIVE.


If you don’t know who Audrey Hepburn is, then where were you all your life? She was dubbed the most beautiful woman year after year. And, well, look at her!

This is the person in question in the late 1950s. Now you recognise her? Perhaps you might know her from this photo then…

I have seen her most popular movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which is where this photo is taken from, just last weekend and… wow. I can see why people loved her. Her energy, charisma and chemistry on camera with her costars was undeniable.

What some might not know, however, is that behind the cameras, she battled clinical depression and a speculated (therefore not diagnosed) eating disorder.

Let’s get on with it shall we?

Rough Upbringing

A teenage Hepburn bravely ran missions for the Dutch resistance and dramatically escaped from Nazi soldiers herding her off to a labor camp by hiding for a month in a rat-filled cellar, living on scraps.

Although she binged on Belgian chocolate as a youngster, her wartime near-starvation drove Audrey Hepburn to “resent” food: the beginnings, of an eating disorder that would affect the wafer-thin actress for the rest of her life.

“I decided to master food; I told myself I didn’t need it,” Hepburn said of her war years. “Of course, I took it to an extreme. I forced myself to eliminate the need for food.” For years after, she suffered survivor’s guilt, haunted by images of friends and neighbors being dragged off to die.

More on this later.

Love and Depression

While she went on to fame and an Oscar in such movies as “Roman Holiday” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” she was trailed by depression as a result of several miscarriages and her failed marriage to actor Mel Ferrer.

Also chronicled in the book Audrey Hepburn: An Intimate Portrait is her affair with a then-married William Holden, whom she dumped after finding out he had undergone a vasectomy and would never be able to provide her with children. Her second marriage to Italian psychiatrist, Dr. Andrea Mario Dotti, was short-lived, a victim of Dotti’s incessant philandering.

The ED that wasn’t?

One of the biggest sources for the rumor that Audrey Hepburn suffered from anorexia and possibly even depression is her youngest son, Luca Dotti’s, Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen (excellent book with personal insights, by the way). In this book, he states that for much of her life she was very underweight, weighing only 88lbs. He also said that she had very strange eating habits, that were part of her disorder.

Wolders, Audrey’s last partner before she died, totally dismisses the claim about Audrey being anorexic by saying that it is “absolute bullsh_t, she had a good metabolism.”

Even Audrey’s second ex-husband Dotti, a psychoanalyst who specializes in these types of eating disorders, agrees with Wolder by saying she always maintained a “healthy but disciplined diet, based on her youthful training as a ballet dancer.” – Source People Magazine 1994

Up until Luca Dotti’s book was released, most people thought her slender figure was due to her intense ballet training. Ballet dancers are usually slim and slender, and often have boyish figures. It was not unbelievable that this was a natural result of the training and exercise that Audrey Hepburn went through in order to become a dancer.

Audrey Hepburn Anorexia ?

As said above, as a child, Audrey was known for her love of chocolate. She was said to have loved Belgium chocolate so much that her mother had the kitchen staff hide her favorite treat. Audrey herself was even known to have said that chocolate was her one and only true love. It is hard to believe that a child who loved chocolate so much would grow up to be naturally thin. As several people, have pointed out, at the very least Audrey Hepburn had a strange relationship with food. While there is little concrete evidence that she was anorexic, she certainly had some known strange behaviors when it came to what and when she ate.

Reasons that prove Hepburn was NOT anorexic

  • Her closest family members, two sons, two ex-husbands, and last recent partner who spent time with Audrey the most claim that she was not anorexic
  • Her close friends and people who she hung out with on the sets of movies claimed that she always ate pretty good portions and had a good appetite, especially for spaghetti
  • She was a ballerina. In other words, she was an athlete. This is not just some hobby of hers, she trained to become a prima ballerina as her career
  • She was very energetic and didn’t complain about having chronic fatigue, which a lot of anorexic people complain about having

And that’s basically it!

Did Audrey Hepburn have an eating disorder? And why do you think so?

Let me know in the comments below 🙂 See you in the next one

XXX

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20 Signs You Love TV Series More Than People

Another relatable list of things you know you are and cannot help admit to but it’s okay because we are all these kinds of people who makes us human so it’s okay.

Did I say it’s okay?

Continue reading “20 Signs You Love TV Series More Than People”

“It started like any normal conversation would.” – An Account of an Abuse of Title

Someone I know approached me to write this story about an experience she had. * Names have been either omitted or changed to protect the people’s identities. I only ask for respect in the comments. There may be sexual content, so viewer discretion is advised.

Post is really long, sorry!

Continue reading ““It started like any normal conversation would.” – An Account of an Abuse of Title”

Reasons to love Princess Leia

In a world filled with complacent and passive Disney princesses (and technically, Leia IS a Disney Princess now), it’s refreshing to see a lady royal who is so thoroughly a badass.

So in honor of the realist herself, here’s 7 reasons why Princess Leia is the awesome princess that we should all aspire to be.

Continue reading “Reasons to love Princess Leia”

“A Tale as Old as Time” – ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Movie Review 4/5

Director: Bill Condon.

Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Josh Gad, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Kline.

PG cert, 129 mins

Cast

Starting off with the obvious: the cast. When I found out they were doing a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, I searched long and hard for actors that could play Belle, Beast, Gaston, Maurice, Mrs Potts, Chip, Lumiere, Cogsworth et al.

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First promotional photo of Emma Watson as Belle

Let’s start off with the protagonist: Belle. Upon the announcement that Belle was being portrayed by the queen of feminism herself, Emma Watson (do I NEED to mention the movies she’s been in?!), I could not have screamed “YES!” louder than anything. Then I frowned and thought to myself, “Okay how the heck didn’t I see Emma Watson as Belle?!” And then, this promo photo was released, and I saw it. That was not Emma as Belle. That was Belle herself.

The next character I’ll be discussing is Gaston. Like, okay… he’s not as important of a character as Beast (played by the handsome Dan Stevens), but when I saw the promo photo of Gaston, the first thing I said was, “Oh, I get it now… Gaston loves himself so damn much, he actually auditioned to

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Gaston played by Gaston… ahem… I mean Luke Evans

play himself.” But alas, that was just a fantasy of mine. It was actually Luke Evans playing Gaston. Sigh.

And what can be said about Ewan McGregor and Emma Thompson playing Lumiere and Mrs Potts respectively? A definite match made in animated movie heaven! Same could be similarly commented on Ian McKellan as Cogsworth.

The pitfall comes here… the portrayals of Maurice, Belle’s father, and Lefou, Gaston’s right-hand man. Now this is NOT – and I repeat, NOT – about the actors’ abilities to portray the characters, but their physical appearance. I thought Josh Gad looked too good to be Lefou (and I also keep having these Olaf vibes every time I hear Gad’s voice… is it just me??), and I thought that Gerard Horan (who played Monsieur Jean Potts) looked more like Maurice than Kevin Kline did!

 

Plot: Compare & Contrast

We all know the plot of the story… but just how accurate was the live-action remake to the animated classic? It actually was, surprisingly enough, but there were these 8 differences that I could note:

  1. “There must be more than this provincial life,” sings Belle at the beginning of both movies. The animated villagers couldn’t understand the “most peculiar mademoiselle” because of her affinity for books. Yet the live-action version sees Belle not only feeding her own knowledge, but also opting to share that knowledge with others. The classic opening scene now has those villagers scowling at her for using a makeshift washing machine (remember, this is France in the 1740s) and teaching another young girl how to read.
  2. The live-action movie shares more about the Beast’s life before the curse that transformed him after he refused to be kind to an old woman. Not only is his scathing personality shown to audiences, but the household staff further explain how he came to be so cruel (and how they didn’t try to stop that from happening). Furthermore, it is revealed into further detail that it’s not just the castle that’s enchanted, but also the entire city, leaving everyone to forget that the royal family ever existed (and making sure no one looks for them). Also, a magical woman who is present at the end of the film witnesses the titular characters’ love and reverses the curse.
  3. Director Bill Condon revealed that LeFou, Gaston’s sidekick played by Josh Gad, is gay, making him Disney’s first-ever LGBTQ character. Of this, Cordon explains that, “LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” and that “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
  4. Both films see Maurice get lost while riding through the forest and seeking refuge in the Beast’s castle. In the animated version, the Beast walks in on Maurice’s intrusion and therefore imprisons him. But the live-action version has Maurice initially entering and exiting the castle freely, but getting caught red-handed while trying to steal a single rose for Belle — an annual tradition between the father and daughter.
  5. Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts and Chip have a new friend in the castle: Maestro Cadenza, a musician who is transformed into a large and ornate harpsichord on the first floor. He is married to Wardrobe — now named Madame Garderobe (pictured above) — who is housed in Belle’s room on the second floor. Cadenza and Garderobe are voiced by Stanley Tucci and Audra McDonald, respectively, and their subplot of constant separation has viewers empathizing with characters.
  6. Another new character is Belle’s mother, as the live-action movie explains that she died from the plague when Belle was very young. The reveal occurs when the Beast shows Belle a magical book that lets them travel to anywhere in the world, and she wishes to see her childhood home in Paris with fresh eyes. The two then discover a beak-shaped plague mask, and Belle later reassures Maurice about the truth he was never able to discuss.
  7. In the animated version, Gaston is a goofy egomaniac who pays off Monsieur D’Arque, the head of a local insane asylum, to pronounce Belle’s father insane and lock him away, leaving Belle free to marry Gaston. But D’Arques’ role in the wrongdoing is minimal in the retelling, as Gaston, played by Luke Evans, handles his evil doings against Maurice with his own two hands.
  8. The new movie gives the Beast his musical moment. “It would’ve been perfect to have Beast sing in the animated movie, but we just weren’t able to find that moment in that particular medium,” composer Alan Menken explained. “But on Broadway and in the live-action film, it’s essential that the Beast sing. The Beast is really the protagonist of the story, whose life has changed in the most dramatic way.” The ballad Evermore takes place after the Beast lets Belle go, knowing that doing so means his curse will never be broken. Still, he sings that she remains with him. Josh Groban sings another version on the soundtrack.

 The Final Verdict?

I give this movie 4/5 because of the poor portrayal of Maurice and Lefou, but overall, one of the most enchanting movies of modern times. Of a tale as old as time (pun definitely intended).

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Live-Action Cast VS Animated Characters
Credit to The Hollywood Reporter and Google for information and photos.

“Privacy is a Privilege”… or is it?

But to what extent?

In a society where social media outlets, particularly Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and more recently Snapchat, just how private is our privacy?

I live in a small country, where everyone knows each other, and nothing that happens here goes unnoticed. My battle with mental health spread like a viral disease in just minutes of posting an article about it on my blog. Then, after posting on a local popular website, it went viral within seconds. I can no longer with this… secret… something people think is a secret anyways (The stigma of mental health).

I agree that some things are better kept secret, but then again, if one keeps something secret, how can it help? I kept my battle with depression secret for half my life (11 years), and b r o k e me. Coming out not only helped me, but also others going through the same thing as myself. I may be recovered, but things can always change.

Hollywood Stigma

What does the Hollywood stigma have to do with privacy? In the world full of glitz, glamour, fame and wealth, everyone knows everything about you. Who A-listers are dating or cheating with, what they’re eating, where they went shopping, even if they did something an average person would do, like walking their dog or taking out the trash.

Privacy doesn’t really come within the lines of work of a famous person. Once you’re in, wave your privacy goodbye. People will know everything about you, which is why some were driven down a downward spiral, even resulting in an untimely death.

Some, however, are luckier than others. Their ‘private’ life is so private you sometimes lose track of them. Let’s take Ryan Gosling for example… Did you know he recently had his second child with his wife Eva Mendes? Bet you were as shocked as I am, because Eva announced she was even carrying a second child after they were born! Similarly, some celebrity moms hid their pregnancies throughout the whole nine months!

So how do they do it?

Think before you Speak

If you think your private life can be jeopardise din any ways, whether you’re famous or an average Joe, just think before you speak. If your secrets or some things that people would not probably understand, don’t talk about it at all.

Or be careful who you trust.

via Daily Prompt: Privacy


This is probably the worst post I’ve ever written in my entire existence. My apologies.