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Phil Rhodes

Being bad on camera

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There was a time when people behind the camera were comfortably anonymous. This is an attractive situation for me, because I'm one of the most ridiculous-looking human beings I've ever seen. I look like a diseased frog that's been blown up with compressed air, then allowed to deflate again, then left to putrify slightly. I also have a voice like a six-year-old girl and the awkwardness of that nerdy guy who's always in every American high school movie as a sort of pathetic comic relief. I am, in effect, Napoleon Dynamite, without the cool irony.

 

 

This worries me, because it's increasingly the case that people who would have traditionally been able to remain comfortably in the shadows are forced into the actinic glare of publicity. In some cases, it's even worse: things like kickstarter can require a group of people who are not only competent and experienced but also attractive and likeable, to a level most people can't reliably achieve.

 

Of course, attractive and likeable people have always done far better than lumpen sacks like me. What's new is that attractiveness and likeability are becoming essential to achieving anything at all. I can't appear in behind the scenes material - it'd be a detriment to the film. I can't use facebook or twitter; I'm too hideous. It's becoming, and I joke not, a very serious professional problem.

 

Yes, my grapes are sour, but whose wouldn't be - and no, this is not a fish for compliments, this is a genuine expression of concern over the way things are headed. If it becomes impossible to achieve literally anything without being a rock star, a lot of worthwhile things won't happen.

 

P

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Don't feel bad Phil, a lot of behind the scenes pics with me and my pot belly made it onto the web from my last project. Even a still of me and Jeri Ryan on set in South Africa, that was used in a promo for Rogers VOD here in Canada. That piece has been run to death here, and everyone has seen it. I find it pretty hilarious.

 

R,

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I don't know, other than a slightly squarish head and an over-pronounced brow, I think you look fine.

 

Seriously, don't you think this has always been the case? Definitely, good-looking people will always have an edge. That doesn't mean that there aren't many successful people who don't fit that bill (I certainly don't fit that bill, but then, I'm not successful). I really think if you looked at a lot of behind-the-lens talent, you'd find that there are many that are not rock stars (have you seen Mick Jagger recently, by the way), I mean, common on...Woody Allen.

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Ohh Phil, you need to remember you're from England. :)

 

Also, you don't look bad mate, stop getting depressed!

 

As I always say, if someone doesn't like the way you look, phuck'em! :P

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I look like a diseased frog that's been blown up with compressed air, then allowed to deflate again, then left to putrify slightly.

Give us a pic.

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Oh dear. This wasn't supposed to be about me.

 

The point is that previously, there was an opportunity for people who weren't film stars to go out and do things. This is about the world becoming more and more obsessed with looks and charm, all too often at the expense of ability. It's about the world becoming, for want of a better word, shallow. That's what Twitter and Facebook try so hard to create: shallowness.

 

Shouldn't that be resisted?

 

 

P

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The world has always been shallow. If anything we've been pushing to become less shallow with stuff like "body positivity" movements telling morbidly obese people they should keep on rockin'.

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Oh dear. This wasn't supposed to be about me.

Yea, but we all love you. :P

 

I get the drift tho and I get sick of it when I see people all dressed and groomed in what I call the "California Producer" style. It just pisses me off and makes me want to wear board shorts, tank top and no shoes to production meetings. I'll say this much, I'm a T-shirt and jeans guy and it absolutely makes it harder to work in Hollywood. People just don't take you as serious unless you dress like a god damn idiot.

 

P.S. I've shown up to a production meeting at a clients house on my Ducati Superbike wearing a full track suit. They didn't realize the canyon road they live on was one of the best in L.A. and I had been riding up and down it for an hour before the meeting! I wound up getting the gig, tho it wound up falling apart in prepro and never amounting to anything. I blame it on their fancy clothes, they should have spent money on making the show better, rather then their wardrobe, fancy house and fancy car. :(

 

I've actually been hired many times for being a motorcycle rider and wearing the right gear to meetings. It's one of those strange things, a lot of top industry people are themselves ex or current riders, so they understand the kind of mentality it takes to ride a bike around L.A. and it clues them in on who you are. It's those kind of connections which form an early bond between people. It doesn't matter WHAT you look like, if you share a common interest and can explore that sharing without even saying a word, then you could be a trout and it wouldn't matter. Sometimes I've lost jobs thanks to the motorcycle thing, but hey, I ride bikes and that's who I am. If they don't like it, well... I ain't buyin' a car! :)

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It's about the world becoming, for want of a better word, shallow. That's what Twitter and Facebook try so hard to create: shallowness.

 

You're just discovering this now?...

  • Upvote 1

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I dont think anyone actually gives a flying $*!)# what an artist looks like if they are creating good works that are compelling and entertain. Why would you even be concerned what people think of how you look. The self involved teenagers on Facebook will not determine who hires you.

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Phil, you display a decent English—inasmuch as I can judge. That should put you above millions of wannabes already.

 

You British are at least Europeans. If it helps you in any way, we Europeans have an inner beauty which shines out everything. Hoping for Brexit and your recovery

 

S.

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Luckily, Phil still has the British accent and dry wit to fall back on. If the film 'Love, Actually' is to be believed, Americans find the combination irresistible.

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I dont think anyone actually gives a flying $*!)# what an artist looks like if they are creating good works that are compelling and entertain. Why would you even be concerned what people think of how you look.

I would never put a talented person over a pretty one.

 

With that said, if I had to choose between 2 people of equal talents and work ethics, I'm taking the pretty one.

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You British are at least Europeans.

 

Not for much longer, I suspect. In fact, I'd better go and vote, for today is the day...

 

P

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Not for much longer, I suspect. In fact, I'd better go and vote, for today is the day...

 

P

 

I guess I have to find a new place to buy my Kodak film, I don't want pay import taxes twice! ;)

 

Ah well, maybe someone from Scotland starts a similar business after they exit GB and join EU? :)

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Try a beard. People soon get used to it and it covers up stuff. In my case, probably a couple of double chins, but who knows? I've had it since before I had a double chin.

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Presence is much more important than whatever your looks are. Confidence, knowledge, body language and communication. All these are more valuable than looks.

 

This can come from dressing well, taking care of your body, good posture and being good at what you do.

Edited by Jan Tore Soerensen

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