julia and insignificance

“Some people think of it as something very useful to be called a movie star. For me, it’s just insignificant. “– Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts has always been slightly an enigma to me.

Spectacular in Pretty Woman.

Delightful opposite Hugh Grant.

Surprising in selective movies.

I suspect she is a better actress than we give her credit for … just as her attractiveness sometimes isn’t as obvious until you hear her laugh <or see her smile>.

And then I saw something she said in a Vanity Fair interview:

The question: do you let the idea of movie stardom reach you on any level? Is it a cosmic riddle you’ve been given to solve?

Julia:Well. It’s not a riddle but it’s a manufactured external element. I don’t think it’s personal. I don’t think it’s clearly defined. And it’s funny; some people think of it as very valuable. Some people think of it as something very useful to be called a movie star. For me, it’s just insignificant. “

Oh my … “for me it is just insignificant.”

(by the way … I would call that a true enlightened piece of thinking)


Good perspective.

Heck. A pretty refreshing perspective.

Very ordinary person like.

And extraordinarily insightful <in a common sense way>.

I admit. When I think of Julia I think of her standing there in the bookstore in the movie Notting Hill saying “after all …  I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her ” And when I read this quote, in my own little fantasy world view, I almost envisioned we got a glimpse of the real Julia in that scene.


I didn’t write this as an ode to Julia Roberts … but rather a thought on fame and Life.


Do I believe all famous people are like this?


Fame does funny things to people. Ok. Let’s say ‘popularity’ does odd things to people. Not just wildly famous actresses and actors but even ordinary people who gain an aspect of fame on whatever spectrum you want to measure fame/popularity on. It is partially natural because I believe we all have at least a thread of desire to be noticed … and valued.

Paraphrasing a foreign policy expert who was talking about power … “a person who has encountered fame is like a diner sitting down to a full table … until he/she starts eating they don’t realize how hungry they are. Fame changes people. It expands their wants and desires, increases their sense of entitlement, their need for deference and respect. It also makes them more ambitious. It lessens their tolerance to obstacles, their willingness to take no for an answer.”

Here is a truth.

Fame is only insatiable if you permit it to be so.

Fame is only a burden to bear if you give it weight.

Because … as Julia suggests … you can decide it is insignificant … and with that insignificance I imagine it becomes weightless.

Personally I don’t begrudge any person their 15 minutes, or 15 seconds, of fame.

I imagine it is a higher high than any drug could ever provide. In addition I tend to believe it triggers some Maslow like stuff inside you … self actualization & self esteem and … well …. any sense of self stuff. I am not suggesting you get defined by it … just that the moment of fame triggers it.

And, maybe, that is the issue. What happens when it is triggered? Do you become defined by it or simply accept it for what that moment gave you. I only wish more people would put it in perspective as Julia has. Even if you do not have the extreme fame she, and other celebrities, does. Because big or small … stardom, or fame, in the end … is first and foremost is external … manufactured by someone else. Secondly it is insignificant in the real scheme of things.

This is a stimulus & response thing.  You control, and own, the stimulus – the deed. They <someone else> controls, and owns, the fame.

Significance should be found in deeds.

Because deeds are … well … internal. Manufactured by the individual. If you gain fame from the deed, well, I guess that is good. But that is a guess. What isn’t a guess is that you gain self respect for the deed. Oh. And that is significant <just in case you were not sure>.

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Written by Bruce