Sunday, 2 March 2008

The Long Distance Runner Of Hollywood.....

Whether you care or not, ten years have passed since 'Titanic' hit cinemas globally. However, behind that anniversary lies the fact that has been a decade since Melanie Lynskey, the first person to share an on-screen kiss with the star of James Cameron's romantic epic, started her long journey to achieve the same leading lady status as Kate Winslet. Lynskey underwent a two year period going back to the starting line, having made her first splash as the female lead. In a few of the official sites promoting some of the movies she has made since 1998, her career biographies state slightly different versions of the now familiar story to fans of the actress about the lack of acting work post-'Heavenly Creatures', which led to three months of hell in Los Angeles, during which she endured the fruitless labours of trying to get a role in a movie.

To this day, Lynskey has remained cagey about her first visit to America, and will probably continue to do so, as is her right. The information chronicling the years 1994 to 1997 can easily prove to be the basis for a movie biopic in its own right, Trouble is, she is still alive, and given her lifestyle, she will remain that way for many years to come; the bulk of biopics are usually about icons who are dead, or who are not far away from the grave. She fits neither category.

The one she does fit is an actress who runs to win, but the finishing line keeps being moved further and further away. As a metaphor, this might seem pretentious, but I feel it is the right way to describe her career as a whole.

Regarding her comeback, it didn't actually start out as that. Instead, it began with a website designer and aspiring director getting in touch with Lynskey, via internet means. This was at a time when she had got to the point where she knew what was required of her, in order to be more successful in auditions. After two years in the wilderness, she slipped back into the business of acting in front of the camera completely un-noticed, which was helpful, as it didn't heap upon her unfair expectations of what she could achieve. The project, 'Foreign Correspondents' (not to be confused with the Alfred Hitchcock movie) was so low-budget that it did not even register on the outer fringes of Hollywood or the American Independent movie circuit. Financing for the film came through its official website, and for Melanie came the advantage of being in Los Angeles for vital auditions, one of them being for the role of Jacqueline in 'Ever After'. Getting that role was her way of securing a fresh point from where she could start climbing the career ladder again. However, the journey has provided her with other pursuits, besides acting. Spurred on by her close friend, Emily Deschanel (star of 'Bones'), Lynskey has become an active supporter of PETA. She is also a supporter and member of Power Up, an organisation that finances gay & lesbian cinema and television.

The quote that she gave, which seems to affect me is "I don't think I'll ever be a movie star", a verbal acceptance of where she stands in the Hollywood circuit at the present time, but her ten year endeavour to get her big break has allowed major steps forward to present themselves; the most significant of these is her relationship with New York-born actor, Jimmi Simpson whom she married in 2007. It remains to be seen whether she'll get her breakthrough role, but the only comfort her fans can take is that she does enjoy the journey, though she may never becoming a leading lady at the end of it, even if she can sprint that extra mile....

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