Cary Grant had a marvelous analogy to explain the mechanism of fame in Hollywood.
He likened the whole film industry to a tramway car with only so many seats and standing space.
The tramway car is always full. Some people try to step on board from the front door but that can happen only if some people leave the car from the back door.
The prime locations are the seats in the middle. Then come the standing slots in the middle.
Some actors in Cary Grant’s time had a firm seat in the middle of the “Hollywood Tramway, ” like Gary Cooper.
Others, like Cary Grant himself and that other great actor with whom he shared the same initials, Clark Gable, were busy making room for themselves and shouldering their way towards the middle of the moving car.
They were still standing up but they had a firm hold on the leashes dangling from the metal bar overhead.
So their situation was perhaps as not comfortable as the sitting deities like Cooper but it was still stable.
In the fifties Grant would earn a safe seat in middle of the car.
Who are the “standing passengers” in today’s “Hollywood tramway car”?
Tom Cruise, who made the cover of the Premiere magazine lately as the “most powerful actor on earth, " now seems to occupy the same seat once enjoyed by Cooper and Grant.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon are definitely making their way towards those seats in the middle.
And as to those who are leaving the tight little tramway of Hollywood from the back door, that’s not a polite topic to discuss in public, don’t you agree? Such is life.
Ugur Akinci, Ph. D. is a Creative Copywriter, Editor, an experienced and award-winning Technical Communicator specializing in fundraising packages, direct sales copy, web content, press releases, movie reviews and hi-tech documentation. He has worked as a Technical Writer for Fortune 100 companies for the last 7 years.
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