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"I mean, you can dry clean till judgment day, you are living with those stains."
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August 25 2004

Charisma Carpenter TV Guide Insider interview. She speaks about her upcoming stint on Charmed, posing for Playboy and why she's not interested in returning to the Buffyverse.

It's pretty easy to say you're "done" when your character's been killed off and you're pretty sure you're not going to be asked back.

Also, that Charmed character hardly sounds derivative at all. Not like that show to be bereft of original ideas, eh?
Well i can appreciate her wanting to make the break but by going to a show that has a reputation as being a second rate Buffy the Vampire Slayer and playing a character that will no doubt become known as a second rate Cordy i think she is asking for trouble.

Had i been in her situation i would have avoided supernatural type shows for as long as possible and most certainly any "vision girl" roles.

I've said before though that any work in television at the moment is a good thing due to how difficult reality television has made things for the acting community so i don't blame her for snapping up a two episode gig, especially with the possibility of a regular role in the offing.

Speaking of which does all this talk of her getting a regular gig on Charmed suggest to anyone else that this next season may not be the last? Could they really drag the show out for another year despite suggesting Angel was ready for cancellation after only five?

Would not put it past the WB to do that.
Good for Charisma! Work is work and in an industry where getting said work can be an uphill battle, she's done well for herself.
I've got to say that I think it's sad that she'd accept a role on "Buffy-lite-and-lame".
I'm a huge fan of her portrayal of Cordelia, but I for one will not follow her "no matter what" she does just because she was great on Angel. I have great disdain for "Charmed" and cannot watch it no matter who is cast.

In the TV guide interview she said, "I think WE'RE all just done" (with the Buffyverse, that is). What's that about? She's speaking for the entire cast now? I find that remark bothersome. James Marsters doesn't sound as though he's done, nor does Amy Acker. If David Boreanaz is, well, I think it's his loss. I doubt "Mr. Fix-it" will be as complex or as interesting a role as Angel or Angelus, for that matter.

I wish them all well, but when they talk about reviving their roles in the Whedonverse as though it would be their absolute last choice, it annoys me. Where would D.B. be now if it weren't for that role? Not to mention Charisma Carpenter...would she have been cast as anything more than a hot body? Joss gave her the opportunity to show what she was capable of.

Just my opinion.

[ edited by creepy6 on 2004-08-25 17:50 ]
Agree with the Charmed assessments.

But: "I figured if I did films, I'd have to show my breasts at some point."

Makes no sense to me at all. Tell me, folks, would "Casablanca" have been a better movie if Ilsa and Rick tore each other's clothes off and had a graphic sex scene?

Memo to Charisma: You really don't *have* to bare your breasts (or butt, or whatever) to be a good actress. Honest.
Well, I don't really know how big her fanbase is, but I'd say most of them are Buffy/Angel specific. Like James has a ton of fans from his work on Buffy/Angel. He probably has fewer that will follow him from project to project. What I mean is, they're more Spike fans than James fans. To be sure, he has a large base that WILL follow him, but probably less than like his work on Buffy and Angel. I'd say the same may apply for Charisma. She may be confusing Cordy fans for her fan base. I could be way off here, I have no idea what her fandom is like.
I like Charisma's work on Buffy and Angel, but I have no inclination to watch her on Charmed. I have a feeling there are a lot of her 'fans' that are like that. I loved Oz, but you couldn't drag me to go see Without A Paddle. So while they have their dedicated fanbases, I'm not sure they(she) realize there is a big difference.
"At least I'm not in a coma on this show."

That just about says it all, eh?
Chris in Virginia, i actually do get her point.

This is the 21st century and like it or not they aren't making Casablanca's anymore. These days there is a very good chance that Charisma will end up in a role where she at least appears topless regardless of actual sexual content.

I think her point is "What's the big deal?", it is hardly they end of the world to show a little skin and whether you liked her Playboy pics or not they certainly didn't hurt anybody.

You may not *have* to bare your breasts to succeed but where is the harm if you do?

Rogue Slayer, that is where i don't get Charisma's point.

I think she will come to realise that many of her fans that follow her from project to project do it based on her being a Buffy/Angel star and by making it clear to them that her days as Cordelia are well and truly over she may well see a marked reduction in that fanbase.

It really isn't fair or right for it to happen that way but that is the reality of the situation.
I don't know how big CC's fanbase is either and I don't read any of the CC boards, but SMG, for instance, does seem to have plenty of fans who would follow her to whatever hell dimension Hollywood may send her to (and hopefully, she won't get there).
Personally, I'm more inclined to watch CC's sitcom than Charmed, but I'll probably watch the 2nd half of the Charmed episodes she's on too, if I can get my son to go to sleep early enough...
“You may not *have* to bare your breasts to succeed but where is the harm if you do?”

The “harm” is that unless you are an A-list actress with some say in your contract, you are expected to show your boobs seemingly almost for the sake of it. And if you won’t, there are plenty of eager wannabes who will. She may not *have* to, but then again, why *should* she have to?

Here’s hoping her sitcom makes it a mid-season replacement for her careers sake and so she can spend more time with her son. I think she has a wonderful comic timing and it would be a shame if she were typecast as just another hot body --who occasionally falls into comas.
Check out stranger-things.net and charisma-carpenter.com. CC has a diehard fanbase, many of whom don't ever want her to go near the Whedonverse again.

I figure she's an actress, happy to get a job and the exposure that comes with it.

I'm not a Charmed fan, but I liked her comments about Holly Marie Combs being a mom and a producer. In fact, I liked how she came off, in general. She sounds strong and confident.
Wow! She's blunt! Love ya Charisma, but I'm not watching Charmed even for you.
"The “harm” is that unless you are an A-list actress with some say in your contract, you are expected to show your boobs seemingly almost for the sake of it. And if you won’t, there are plenty of eager wannabes who will. She may not *have* to, but then again, why *should* she have to?"

She didn't have to, she chose to, and like i said before, why shouldn't she?

She has a fantastic body and quite frankly the fact she has no problem showing it off is neither here nor there to me.

These days when i see a movie where the lead actress goes topless in a scene i barely notice anymore. It's a perfectly natural thing to do because in real life girls actually do walk around with no top on (shock, horror!). The world is a more open place now and movies are reflecting that. I honestly don't think we should be looking at this as a bad thing.

In a movie scene where there are two people in bed together there is nothing more unrealistic than seeing the girl suddenly go all shy and use the covers to keep her breasts hidden or get out of bed taking the sheets with her. Honestly girls, when was the last time you did that in real life?

To me it's not about being more sexually explicit, it's about reality in movies and television. I really cannot understand why an actress going topless in a movie is a big deal anymore.

As for extending that to a photoshoot, again what is the harm? It's just a little extra skin and it increased her media exposure (pardon the pun) which was the main aim after all.

[ edited by The Neopagan on 2004-08-25 17:13 ]
I went to the taping of her pilot and it was far and away better than anything "Charmed" has put on the air during its entire run on TV. Not that that means a whole lot, but it was a funny show. I hope it gets picked up.

[ edited by kdavid323 on 2004-08-25 17:49 ]
Wow. The Firefly guys would do anything to stay with the show, but so many of the top Buffyverse characters don't want to go near it again. Weird.
The Neopagan—A lot of films don’t reflect how it is in real life, I'm sorry to say. How realistic is it to always have the woman naked and the man never has to show anything but the occasional butt cheek? Show us your meat and potatoes, men. It’s only fair.
I have no problem with nudity in film if it’s handled naturally. I do have a problem with, say, the exploitation by a director or studio who tries to coerce an actress into a nude scene that wasn’t in the script because when the film is released the media will be all a-buzz over it. Or being able to treat her like an object because she’s just thankful to have a job.
It’s true Charisma chose to do Playboy, and good for her if it made her feel confident and beautiful. But she--and any other actress--should not have to accept that nudity is almost compulsory if you want a career since it’s mostly men who are calling the shots or are more valued as an audience. I took her statement "I figured if I did films, I'd have to show my breasts at some point" not to mean they were something she couldn't wait to show off, but rather it was something that was almost unavoidable and she'd just have to grin and bear it.
Unfortunately (at least in the United States) nudity is still used for attention or shock value, not as a fact of life and something that everyone is under their clothes.
"Wow. The Firefly guys would do anything to stay with the show, but so many of the top Buffyverse characters don't want to go near it again. Weird."

Firefly was extremely short-lived. I imagine if Buffy or Angel had been cancelled so quickly, the actors would have been anxious to reprise their roles.

Isn't CC the only one who has no interest in being part of the Angel/Buffy-verse again? DB & SMG have qualified their interest, but haven't given a definitive no. Everyone else seems interested in reprising their roles, no matter what the venue.
I remember a review of "In the Cut" in the New Yorker which said that Meg Ryan was "bravely nude" in some scenes?

"Bravely?" She was trying to jump start a badly stalled career as a leading female star...I'd have substituted "desperately" for "bravely". She wasn't appearing nude before her star went into descent.

I think Bloodflowers has it exactly right:

"Unfortunately (at least in the United States) nudity is still used for attention or shock value, not as a fact of life and something that everyone is under their clothes. "
If I were Charisma, I wouldn't return to the buffyverse, unless it was a movie.Most of the actors in the buffyverse, are best known for their roles in Buffy or Angel.They aren't that well known by non Buffy fans.They want to get new roles, so they'll become more famous.For example, Sarah Michelle Gellar, appeared in many movies & tv shows.She was known for her many roles.This helped her stay in the A-List, of Hollywood Celebs.
Hm I wouldn't be quick to say things like 'my fans will follow me anywhere'. It can sound like you're a: like you're taking that for granted and b: like you're a little full of yourself . I don't think she means it that way but I wouldn't phrase it like that. Also, it's often less true than people seem to think.

About her new role, again, any regular work for an actor in Hollywood is good, but I can't see this as anything but a 'step down'. And as for her being 'done'. Well that was Joss' point about Cordelia; she was done. But back then she and a lot of others were a bit mad about it. Oh, and 'at least on Charmed you're not in a coma'? Well at least in Buffy and Angel you were in powerful, well-written and original shows.

And I don't care much one way or the other about her Playboy session but it's an interesting if odd argument: 'If I was in movies I'd have to be naked too, so even though I'm not, I may as well do Playboy'. Not sure I get that one. Well I can see it being useful as a goal to set before you to get back in shape since for an actress here it's still sadly a 'must' to look impossibly hot, but the rest of that I don't see. (Let me say that seeing her in 'You're Welcome'....well she succeeded armirably. Never looked better)

I'm still not sure Playboy was a smart move career wise, because she may have labeled herself a 'boobie girl' before she even 'has' to bear it all in movies, but then again, maybe it doesn't really matter.

Heh, she admits that being a regular on a show is kind of a hard schedule for a new mom. Well, it would've been kinda hard to be on Angel S5 then too, wouldn't it?
"At least I'm not in a coma on this show."
Hello? They put your character in a coma, because you were nine months pregnant.
I didn't like the way they treated Charisma and her character last year, but that was an unnecessary comment. Maybe not all her fans are Whedonverse fans as well, but she shouldn't piss off those who are.
I dont think its just they want to get more famous(though im sure some do), its a fact they are actors they want to play more than just one character in their career, sure many love the show and each other so want to continue but they also want a different challenge after so many years.
To be honest i don't think it is a fair comparison to say if a woman goes topless a man should be prepared to show his "meat and potatoes" any more than a girl going topless is the same thing as a girl going totally naked.

It has been perfectly acceptable for men to show their chests in television and the movies for decades despite the fact women obviously get turned on by well developed pecs and abs. Now that would be a fair comparison to women going topless. Men have been topless in the movies for many years and nobody minds, it's just getting to the point where the women are catching up with that.

Now when it will be okay for women to go totally naked in movies and nobody bats an eyelid, then you will be able to compare that to guys doing the same thing.

As for what you said about directors using topless scenes for shock value, maybe that is the case but how will it ever change until we accept it as a part of life and stop worrying about it?

Once nobody cares about it then it ceases to be any good as shock value. See what i'm trying to get at?
""At least I'm not in a coma on this show."
Hello? They put your character in a coma, because you were nine months pregnant."

I think she may also be referring to a guest shot she did on “The Division” that had her character waking up from a coma after being the victim of a crime.
“Men have been topless in the movies for many years and nobody minds, it's just getting to the point where the women are catching up with that.”

Huh? Now you think it’s liberating? A fine man by the name of Joss Whedon recently remarked that “There’s a lot of exploitation disguised as empowerment.”
Breasts have a much more sexual connotation than a man’s chest. Men can go shirtless in real life if they so chose. Unless it’s a part of the culture in someplace like Africa, a woman would be arrested. It’s all fine and dandy to wish that certain people would chill out (especially after the Janet Jackson nipple freak out after the Super Bowl), but it’s always going to be an issue.
Doesn't anyone find it annoying that she said, "I think WE're all just done" in regard to reprising Whedonverse roles?

Who is this 'WE' she speaks of? She's a we?

Also, I could care less if she shows her boobs, doesn't show her boobs, whatever. I think a director who goes for the gratuitous nudity thing will expect her to now. Why not? She did Playboy.
Who does a Playboy spread to feel better about their body? A woman has to show the WORLD her new, improved post-pregnancy body to feel confident about it? That's sad.
Bloodflowers, your comments in your last post suggest you are still missing my point. Everything you said may presently be true, i'm saying it's time things changed.

The only reason that breasts have a more sexual connotation is because society has decided that is the case but in reality there is absolutely no difference. My girlfriend is just as attracted to what is under my shirt as i am to what is under hers. Why else do we guys spend so much time working out our upper bodies?

There really should not be any difference between men and women being seen topless in the world we live in today. If your favourite male actor/singer/footballer can show off his chest in a magazine spread or movie then why are women treated differently when they do exactly the same.

Regardless of current taboos that is a double standard that cannot be ignored much longer. It isn't about chiling out as you say, it's an basic issue of equality.

[ edited by The Neopagan on 2004-08-25 19:55 ]
Theres not really much point discussing the whole boob thing as men can only see things from a mans perspective and a woman can only see things from a womans, hence very little agreement will be reached.

These days woman use their bodies themselves far more than any big bad boss forceing them too, the sheer amount of woman in FHM, Playboy etc shows that they arent forced its even seen as a positive thing at times.

If youre worried about equality for woman there are far more important issues like equal wages and job opportunities among others, which are far more important than if anyone gets their boobs out. I dont know if it depends on where you live or not but in the UK boobs are everywhere the largest selling paper in the country has a woman topless everyday(they had a guy more than topless on occasion but it didnt prove as popular) its not seen as a big deal for a woman to be topless.
“but in reality there is absolutely no difference.”

Can you breastfeed? : )
I think you’re missing my point as well. You may have the view that nudity is nudity, but in certain cultures a woman’s breasts will always be seen in a certain way--as evidenced by the invention of the wonderbra. If you think it’s an issue of equality, I think I’d rather have something like equal pay for equal work before a world conditioned to stifle a yawn at the sight of yet another pair of breasts.
Its also a case of market forces. Theres been quite a few adult magazines launched that were aimed at women and as i said tabloids have tried to balance things up by having just as many men stripping off as women but in every case theyve all failed. Women dont seem as intrested in parting with their money for pictres of naked men so the media doesnt provide it, they have plenty of men showing pecs and so on but if they cant sell men with their willys out they wont bother as they arent getting anything out of it.
"Can you breastfeed? : )"

Hehe, okay, that's a difference, given! :)

But as far as sexuality is concerned the difference is minimal as i've said.

See, the thing is that my argument isn't so much about equality "for women", more just about equality generally and losing the double standards that society has. And whilst i totally agree that in certain cultures things may never change, it's also true that in "certain cultures" a woman cannot show her whole face so i won't even begin to rant on about how i feel about "certain cultures" lol.

In this one though (by which i mean the generally accepted average British and American viewpoint) there should not be that double standard anymore. The upper body of both males and females can be equally sexual and therefore should be treated with the same standards. That is how i honestly feel and how i hope things will develop in our supposedly less prudish society.

Faneater, and why don't those womens mags sell well?

Because a girl can see a guy with his top off walking down the street on any reasonably warm day whilst women are not allowed to do so. The very basis of the lack of equality between sexes that extends to the magazines and movies.

Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free? ;)
The mags were aimed at showing what you dont normally see not the pec and ab shots that there are plenty of about.
I think that our nation as a whole has some huge issues regarding sex and nudity regardless of gender. Just look at the insanely overblown Janet Jackson scandal. It's at the point now where I'm actually impressed when I see realistic sex or nudity in a major motion picture, especially if it's naturalistic and not there simply to exploit. Male or female, there's simply not enough of it if you ask me. Not that I want to see a bunch of celebrities romping in the nude, but a lot of times the effort to hide nudity or sex cuts away from the realism of the picture.

As for Charisma, I would definitely check out her new sitcom at least once or twice. But nobody is going to get me to watch Charmed, unless Joss or Quentin Tarantino writes and directs an episode.
I don't believe that both sexes upper bodies are equally sexual.

I have never seen a women's magazine equivalent of the male magazine "JUGS".
Now, if a man's chest were equally as exciting to women as a woman's chest is to men, why not?

Is it not true that men are more easily stimulated by visuals than a woman? What's the ratio of strip joints and magazines for men vs. women?
If women were equally as excited as men are by 'looking', then there would be tons more nudie magazines of men. And, more male strip clubs.
“In this one though (by which i mean the generally accepted average British and American viewpoint) there should not be that double standard anymore.”

So you wouldn’t mind being constantly judged by your appearance, or possibly be exploited or treated as an object? It would come with the territory if men were held to the same standard as women. It does happen to men to some extent, but not nearly as harshly. I understand your concern with the double standard and the desire for men and women to be seen as equal human beings in their sexuality, but I just can’t see it ever happening. In a different world, everyone could run around naked like carefree wood sprites, but I fear things are actually going backwards-- becoming more prudish and yet more puerile.
"Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free? ;)”
Pair that with my breastfeeding comment and it’s just too funny!
Although I absolutely agree that female actors do not need to go topless in order to succeed in film, in reality, nudity is Charisma's only option. Frankly, she will never be anything more than a B-list actress and Playboy is the only logical route for someone of her limited acting abilities. She may have a few die-hard fans that will follow her anywhere. But, I doubt most Buffy/Angel fans will watch unless she's involved in Whedon related material. That being said, I think it's great she's been offered a role on Charmed. I personally detest the show, but she should take roles whenever and wherever she can get it.
"So you wouldn’t mind being constantly judged by your appearance, or possibly be exploited or treated as an object? It would come with the territory if men were held to the same standard as women. It does happen to men to some extent, but not nearly as harshly."

I'm not so sure about that. Speaking from a purely personal point of view i can say that i get a lot more attention from the opposite sex now that i work out than i did when i was a 17 year old with teenage skin and no pecs. I'm the same person but with a better body so i'm clearly being judged as an object in that sense, at least initially.

In Hollywood 90% of the male actors are doing well due to what they look like rather than whether they can act. It's no secret that the reasons shows like The OC, Dawson's Creek and One Tree Hill are so successful is because of the male leads.

When one of those guys takes his top off or does a butt scene the girls go crazy, the ratings sky rocket and nobody would care, if one of the female cast did the same there would be uproar.

There may not be the kind of equality i would like to see in the near future admittedly but that doesn't mean you shouldn't put your point of view forward right?

If you want change you have to speak out. If nothing changes then at least you know others know how you feel and that is always the best option.
mai said "Playboy is the only logical route for someone of her limited acting abilities"

'ouch'

Gotta disagree with you there, like everyone else in the Buffyverse, (with the exception of the some of the girls that played potentials) Charisma proved that she was a good actress, though not the best in the 'verse, I'd hardly describe her talents as "limited". I agree that she'll never be anything more than a B-list actress, but that's purely because the mainstream is never fully going to accept a co-star from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it's spinoff, as a serious actress. Amy Acker, Alyson Hannigan and James Marsters deserve to be headlining big blockbuster movies, but it's never going to happen, it's strange that the 2 best actors from both shows (Amy and James in my opinion) are the ones that seemed fully content where they were, and would be more than happy to return.

[ edited by Ghost Spike on 2004-08-25 22:17 ]
"it's strange that the 2 best actors from both shows (Amy & James) are the ones that seemed fully content where they were"

Ghost Spike,
That is funny! Maybe because they are comfortable with their skills and know a good thing when they have it? Maybe being so talented, they realize that characters such as those are rare on both the small and big screens. Perhaps the others don't get that...who knows?
Great point!
A bit of perspective please... an actress' decision to appear in Playboy is exactly that - HER decision, and it is not for us to editorialise. One either buys the magazine or does not. Charisma Carpenter is old enough to make her own decisions, and owes the "fans" nothing in this respect. Equally, if she chooses to appear on Charmed it is up to her - just as it is up to us to continue to avoid watching the show.
I have never seen a women's magazine equivalent of the male magazine "JUGS".
Now, if a man's chest were equally as exciting to women as a woman's chest is to men, why not?


Well, not that I would *know* but I hear that Cosmo has a section in their mag every month called: Guy Without His Shirt.

Granted, it's not a whole magazine, but they regularly have pages full of 'hot' men in very little....towels, underwear, sheets, etc.....

I think just as a whole women aren't as preoccupied with sex as men. And I think men are generally more visual. Yes, exceptions to every rule, but in general, men do more looky loo than women. And I have no idea why it's okay to show a man's chest but not a woman's. But I think some things are more sexy and mysterious if they're a bit taboo, so I don't have a big problem with it. Wow, how did I get on this topic....oh yeah, Charisma....boobs...got it.

but SMG, for instance, does seem to have plenty of fans who would follow her to whatever hell dimension Hollywood may send her to

Unless she suddenly starts making blockbusters with Tom Cruise, Charisma will never be as big as SMG. SMG was rather established before Buffy. Being the title character of a show only gives you that much more publicity. Charisma was always a side character on Buffy. She became more of a main character on Angel, and I believe that had less popularity than BtVS. So all in all, I don't think she'll ever have the standing or fan base that SMG has, rightly or wrongly.
Cosmo has a section in their mag every month called: Guy Without His Shirt.....they regularly have pages full of 'hot' men in very little...towels, underwear, sheets, etc.

I had no idea! I'm out of touch with the magazine world. The only magazine I subscribe to, or read, is "Skeptics Magazine".
I guess I should take back some of what I said earlier!

I am NOT turned on at all by scantily clad men posing in a magazine, in a movie, whatever. Actually, it kind of turns me off. (I'm a girl!)

I guess I don't see why Charisma would not want to play Cordelia anymore. Boggles my mind. If she had the opportunity she'd choose Charmed over Angel? I just don't get it.
I am NOT turned on at all by scantily clad men posing in a magazine, in a movie, whatever. Actually, it kind of turns me off. (I'm a girl!)


I think men are sexiest when they're not trying to be. Posing and posturing just looks goofy to me. And I think men look best with flattering clothes or with no shirt on. But not completely naked-usually. Sometimes naked men just look silly. Particularly in magazines. It's pretty much just 'Behold the C*ck'! Of course, sometimes naked men are hot....but those guys will always look better clothed.

I think all people look better with clothes on. Leaves stuff to the imagination. Gives hints of what's underneath. I don't think we need to 'bare all'. Much sexier not to, in my opinion.

If she had the opportunity she'd choose Charmed over Angel? I just don't get it.

Maybe she's never seen Charmed. Or maybe she doesn't care about 'quality' and just wants to work. I know some actors just want a paycheck and don't care what the role is. Michael Caine made Jaws 4 to buy his mum a house! Not always about the 'art'.
I'll admit I've watched Charmed for years although I think it's best season was the first one when its cast still obviously liked each other. I'm not surprised Charisma took a job on Charmed. When in Hollywood you grab your jobs when you can. It's a rather Darwinian place, especially for women in their thirties -- unfortunately. I think I read a Danny Strong interview where he said you can't be too picky if you want to work. I last saw him on the Gilmore Girls! I don't understand why Charisma posed for Playboy, though. She makes it easier for casting agents to say, "Well you posed nude for Playboy."
Again, I agree Rogue Slayer. Thanks for saying what I was thinking but not saying -- ever so eloquently!
Yes, covered 'parts' cause one to be imaginative. Better!
And, yes, men do look silly posing nude. Silly is the word!

The whole Charmed thing is fine, she needs work, yes. But, to say "we're done" regarding Angel...isn't portraying Cordelia work, if she were offered? Exactly, "you can't be too picky if you want to work". So, why not reprise your role as Cordelia? It's work, isn't it? That just bugs me. It's as though she's anti-Angel. Arrgh.
Hmm, okay having read these last few posts it looks like my original meaning has got lost in a jumble of "what sex looks better naked" posts :)

Not that it really matters in the great scheme of things but i didn't want anyone misinterpreting what i said as me thinking exploiting women in the movie business was okay.

Basically i'm not saying that women should have to appear topless just to get roles in movies anymore than i think a guy should be prepared to bare ass in the name of Hollywood.

All i meant was that if an actress has no problem with doing topless scenes or photoshoots herself then she should not be judged anymore harshly than an actor who gets his roles because of the fact he is willing to show off his pecs.

At the end of the day it is the same thing.
To paraphrase the words of Elaine from Seinfeld:

A female body is a work of art...a male's body is rather simian.

Of course male and female alike admire the female shape...while the male's is rather utilitarian. LOL

I'm not going to judge Charisma for posing...or what job she is taking...it's a jungle out there...we're all doing the best that we can.

[ edited by Coll on 2004-08-26 02:27 ]
I simply do not agree that a man's bare pecs are the same as a woman's bare breasts. I've never seen a woman react to a man's naked chest as a man does when a woman bares hers. Do you think woman are as stimulated sexually by a man's pecs as men are by a woman's breasts?

Men don't get breast augmentation to please women...but, as we know, women sure do! Why? Men like the breasts!

I'm tiring of this boob banter, I don't think we'll ever agree! We can agree to disagree rather than fall into this booby-trap. OK, booby?
"Michael Caine made Jaws 4 to buy his mum a house! Not always about the 'art'"

And James of course has said himself he just came to Hollywood to make some money
And James of course has said himself he just came to Hollywood to make some money

I think initially he came to Hollywood not to be a starving theater actor, but now that he has a bit of clout in some sense, he can be more selective. He's turned down roles because he didn't like aspects of the characters. I don't think he could be that selective in his House on Haunted Hill/Northern Exposure days.

And good for David for making money. I'm not saying I'd be more about art or characters, because I'd probably be about the money too. I guess I just expected more of DB, especially how upbeat and confident he was in his movie career options. But hey, maybe being in the last(god please) of a franchise with a name is better than being in 50 Valentines, ya know? I just don't know that this is the way to be a 'movie star', which I think is what he's shooting for.
"Men don't get breast augmentation to please women...but, as we know, women sure do! Why? Men like the breasts!"

Nope, we just spend hours a week working out, doing press ups, sit ups and lifting weights. Why? Women like the pecs! ;)

"I'm tiring of this boob banter, I don't think we'll ever agree! We can agree to disagree rather than fall into this booby-trap. OK, booby?"

With all due respect Creepy6, i'm not trying to get you or anyone else to agree with my point of view, just to understand it. We won't ever agree because you keep turning this back to the sexual aspect whilst my point is the equality of the thing.

However, if that is your argument then i would make the counterpoint that different women find different parts of a man sexy and i can promise you that certain women find the chest extremely sexually stimulating.

Now you yourself may not but equally there are guys who are not especially turned on by a girls breasts, preferring her face, her legs or her ass perhaps.

So you see it works both ways even when you do bring sexuality into it. As such it should work both ways when it comes to something as basic as what area of the body a man and woman are entitled to show on television without it being looked down on.
In my opinion, the two (sexuality and equality between the sexes) can't be separated if we're talking about nudity on TV.
How can we leave sexuality out of it?

My silliness wasn't directed at you, Neopagan. I hope you're not offended. I was joking around. I think the argument can go on forever particularly from both male and female perspectives. I don't care who does what with their chests, or where they do it. Although, the double standard exists, unfortunately.

I really could care less about that part of the Charisma article. What bothers me is the fact that she's 'done' with Angel, even if she were offered a reprisal of the role. Like others have said, work is work. She shouldn't turn down roles just because the show might be awful, but she'd turn down Angel? I don't get it.
Also, she said she figured she would pose for Playboy because she would eventually have to show her breasts in a movie. I think she has it backwards. Well, now, she'll be expected to show her breasts for sure! Any director will say, "Why not? You've showed 'em in Playboy!".
(There I go...back to the boobs...dammit.)
"Maybe she's never seen Charmed. Or maybe she doesn't care about 'quality' and just wants to work. I know some actors just want a paycheck and don't care what the role is."

Or perhaps it's something else ....

'Carpenter: I think working with girls would be great, especially since Holly's a mom and a producer.'

I don't know but I have always felt that some of the 'verse actors might have been upset that they never achieved the producer credit that is quite normally given to actors after being on a program for years, especially if they are main cast. However, in the 'verse it was the writers who got the producer title after a few episodes, none of the actors ever recieved that. Where as on all Spelling shows actors either come in with producer credit or it is given to them after a year. It's more a resume builder than anything but it also means you have the potential of getting residuals of your work once it goes into syndication and even DVD sales now. I found the fact that Charisma pointed out the Holly was a mom and producer rather than a mom and actress, perhaps a rather telling tale on how she viewed working in the 'verse after a while. Even David E Kelly and Chris Carter made their actors producers after a few years. Just my oppinion.

And after all this talk about nudity and how it may impact carreer choices, I came across this interesting tidbit from THR "Driven largely by sales of the unrated version, "The Girl Next Door" sold more than 700,000 DVDs on its first day of release, according to executives at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Wrapped in a brown paper bag, the unrated version of the teen porn comedy, is on fire, Fox executives said, with DVD sales expected to top the film's $15 million box office gross by week's end." So at the end of the day no one will ever know what will happen when an actress bares anything or everything only time will tell but if she's got the goods and wants the world to check them out in print. All I can say is more power to her.

[ edited by RavenU on 2004-08-26 05:01 ]
RavenU, excellent observation on Charisma's comments about Holly being a mom and a producer. I know DB got to direct an episode on Angel but was he the only actor from the verse allowed that priviledge? Maybe he was the only one that asked but having been watching my guilty pleasure of Dallas every day on the soap network I noticed that pretty much every actor on that show at one time or another produced an episode and back when I was watching Charmed I noticed that the actresses each seemed to be the executive producer once in awhile.

Also, I think too much is being put into Charisma's comments. Some of it is probably just saving face on her part knowing that she most likely won't be asked back for any telemovies or big screen movies because they (ME) feel they wrapped up her storyline. Now, that's not to say they feel that way but maybe behind the scenes it was made clear that Cordy's story was all done. I feel she made the comment about being in the coma as a joke but if it was a jab at ME I don't think it was fair because her last couple of seasons she took a lot of time off for various reasons and it's kind of hard to write around a main character, especially weeks ahead. I also had heard she didn't give them a definite answer on whether or not she wanted part time or full time so they took the decision out of her hands. But, whatever, that's all water under the bridge and really between them. I truly think that if they felt they had a story for Cordy and a way to bring her back she'd do it regardless of what she says. There seemed to be a lot of talk before she came back for her final episode that she wouldn't come back and yet she did.

As for her doing Charmed, good for her. I'm not a fan of the show but it does have a fan following and any work is good for any actor or actress, especially tv stars. Too many stars of shows that get cancelled or end, never get work again, no matter how big they were when the shows were on. It's important to get out there and show that you can be something other than that character. Now, in Charisma's case, I don't think she's that great of an actress and she does tend to fall into the same role, she basically played a Cordelia clone on Miss Match and now she's going to be a seer on Charmed, not too much of a stretch there but, hey, a lot of actors play the same role over and over again. Now, because I haven't seen her yet on Charmed it really isn't fair to say it will be very much like Cordy's powers, we'll have to wait and see. And although she tends to play the same type of character, she's very good at it. She was fun to watch on Miss Match and was becoming a frequent guest star on that show, verging on being a regular.

And I think her posing for Playboy was just something to make herself feel better. There were a lot of "fans" making nasty comments about her weight on some posting boards before and during her pregnancy, and that most likely was very hurtful. She looks better now than she did a few years ago. Whether posing nude hurts or helps her career, who knows. She's in her early to mid 30's and for most women in the biz at that age it's going to be hard to find juicy roles unless you do stuff to keep your name out there.
I find it funny that Charisma is saying she is not interested in the Angel Telemovies. Was it not her that was saying that she didn't want to leave and that leaving the show was not her choice?

So which is it? I think her comment is more to save face by saying she isn't interested when in reality they didn't want her back.
blwessels wrote "I know DB got to direct an episode on Angel but was he the only actor from the verse allowed that priviledge? Maybe he was the only one that asked..."

I don't know if he was the only one that ever asked, but he was the only one who got the opportunity but that was only after he had proved himself in doing second-unit directing ever since Season 1 and then a group of regular directors went to bat for him and backed him that he was ready, was he then given the chance to direct an episode. Where as the writers got to direct the episodes when they wanted to, another difference between the 'verse shows and others.
However, in the 'verse it was the writers who got the producer title after a few episodes, none of the actors ever recieved that.

Writers on all shows get producer titles after they've been there for a little while. It's part of the job progression. A writer starts as a freelancer and/or a staff writer, moves on to story editor, then becomes a writer-producer (any title with the word "producer" in it) and possibly an executive producer. (The Writer's Guild of America has a brochure on their website that talks about the different job titles.) Sometimes they're writers with a "producer" title, sometimes they take on additional duties. It depends on the show.

I don't know how common it is for actors to become producers, or what kind of control that gives them.

"especially since Holly's a mom and a producer."

I thought that meant that Holly, as a mom, would understand her needs as a new mom, and as a producer, would have the ability to make arrangements to fit her (Charisma's) schedule and needs. Which I imagine would be very important to Charisma.
Not all writers get production credit, look at the shows on TV now like Charmed it is the actors who have the production credit more so than the writers. If you are an established writer you can negosiate for production credit, but I know writers that worked on shows for years that never got producer credit. An actor producer on a Spelling (or mostly any other) program is primarily in name only and they have no real control but they have the ability to suggest things and have a more flexible work schedule. For actors or writers getting production credit, it's a way for studios to keep the cost down because making them a producer will give them a small percentage of the backend, also it gives their resume more clout. I have seen it mentioned a long time ago that their were a few actors in the 'verse asking for producer credit on the show but it was falling on deaf ears. That's why it struck me as odd that Charisma would point that out.
Kinda unrelated to any serious topic of discussion but still relevant as far as North America goes: In Ontario, Canada women may go topless in the same areas men are allowed to go topless. I've heard the same is true of New York (not sure if that's just the city or the whole state or whether there's even any truth to that).

In most parts of the USA, if a woman is caught three times topless she can go to jail on six months to one year ! Frickin' ridiculous.

The Canadian case:
http://www.fcn.ca/Gwen.html

Rogue Slayer said
"Sometimes naked men just look silly. Particularly in magazines. It's pretty much just 'Behold the C*ck'!"

LOL. Thanks, I needed that laugh. It's funny 'cause it's true. Just don't think I've heard anyone put it quite like that (probably 'cause I don't know more than a couple people who'd admit to looking at naked pics of men).

Coll said

"To paraphrase the words of Elaine from Seinfeld:

A female body is a work of art...a male's body is rather simian."

Heh, funny line, and sorta true. (reminds me of the "box-dropping Man ape gone wrong" line of Simon's in reference to Jayne. Hmm, actually I think Adam Baldwin's pretty hot, so comparing big hulking men to primates doesn't turn me off men one bit). We're definitely the more beast-like of the sexes. But...meh, I'm a guy, I'm bi and pretty much equally attracted to women and men. I would never make the assertion that there's no difference between us, 'cause I think as far as the purely physical goes there're specifically different aesthetic qualities that can be appreciated. I wouldn't say nice breasts are sexier than a man's well-developed pecs or vice versa. They're both nice eye-candy, don't make me choose. :)

This is just one guy's opinion though. I'm sure in the case of someone who's attracted to both sexes, results will vary in instances of leaning more one way than the other. If there're any bi women here though, wouldn't mind seeing them weigh in with their opinions. Just curious. :)
Not sure I have anything very useful to contribute to the boob-related part of this discussion, but I think it's both interesting and a little sad that CC has obviously come to feel so disenchanted with both Cordelia and the whole Buffy/Angel 'verse. Discussion of her acting skills aside, she brought a lot of energy to both series, and I wish she felt better about her involvement with them, and took more pride in the quality of writing she was able to benefit from in ME's employ.

Whatever the reasons for her moving on, it's a shame she won't even consider playing Cordy ever again. I know some of her hardcore followers are no fans of Joss, and who strongly encouraged her not to return for 'You're Welcome', but look how beautifully her character was written in that episode, and what a wonderfully sweet, memorable sendoff it turned out to be. It would have been tragic for Cordy's story to end in a coma, so I'm grateful she returned that one last time. Putting her foot down now, however, means no Queen C flashbacks in future Buffy/Angel-verse movies, unless she relents. Maybe time will soften her attitude, if not the longing of fans who miss her snappy sparkle and think what talent she has is being wasted on lesser material. Of course, if that's all she's being offered...

Re: boobs. Now that I think about it, I wonder if the cultural divergence between men and women displaying their upper bodies is rooted in the fact that women bear children and breastfeed them? Perhaps some men (particularly those who tend to legislate behavior in accordance with the more conservative wishes of mainstream society) feel so internally conflicted about eroticizing the breasts -- a part of women's bodies associated since time immemorial with the innocence of childhood and nurturing -- that they have generated the social and judicial taboos that keep women covered up? As with so many things in our culture, I think it's religiously based, if not in an obvious way.

If you consider early Western religious art, painting in particular, there are many paintings of the Madonna that depict her nursing the infant Jesus*. They were seen, at the time of their creation, as images designed to inspire piety and reverence. The baser (so called) instincts of sexual arousal were to be in no way invoked while viewing these works; to admit thinking otherwise was heresy.

If there's a latent, ingrained abhorrance in our culture of connecting a woman's sexuality with her maternal nature (defined by the oft-mentioned 'madonna/whore' concept -- a contrived polarization of naturally coexisting elements in the healthy functioning female psyche, I think), I guess it makes sense that both social conventions and laws against encouraging such 'prurient' thinking about woman's bodies, especially those belonging to women of a childbearing age, would have evolved.

Not saying I agree with laws restricting women one way or the other, just making an observation that I can see where such thinking might have come from. Charisma has nothing to be ashamed of physically in that department. Who's to say she doesn't see herself as a modern Madonna, albeit in lacey underwear? She is Catholic (if a liberal one, by all appearances); she's likely to have been exposed to the original message encoded in these paintings I've mentioned from an early age, and has probably derived her own sense of personal body image from an awareness of these mixed messages coming from both inside the Church, as well as outer society.

Perhaps posing in Playboy was her way of connecting her body to that spiritual legacy, on some level? She may not be thinking of it in such concrete terms (and not knowing her, I could certainly be wrong about her motivation), but one way of looking at her 'exposure' is acknowledging that she may be refuting the negative connotations of a mother having a healthy sexuality, and using the opportunity to pose after giving birth to reclaim her identity as a whole, unpolarized woman.

* (See another, earlier example here.)

Geez. Long-winded much? ;)
"In my opinion, the two (sexuality and equality between the sexes) can't be separated if we're talking about nudity on TV.
How can we leave sexuality out of it?"


I think for the debate about equality to work you really have to remove sexuality from the equation. There is no surer way of confusing the issue.

Okay look at it like this. Two twenty year old people digging a hole in the middle of a field on a hot, sunny day, one male, one female.

The guy takes his top off, people think he is too warm and leave it at that. The girl, equally warm under the sun, takes her top off and she is being sexually provocative and there is hell to pay.

Here's a basic example of what happens in the movies. In a scene where a guy is getting changed he can take off his t-shirt, exposing his most likely well developed chest and walk over to get his clean top without anyone saying "that was just blatant eyecandy for the girls".

A girl does exactly the same thing and she is accused of using her body to get a role or boost her career.

Both examples there totally non sexual in what they represent but still viewed by the public as being sexual in nature. That is why i feel you have to remove the sexuality from this before you get to the real double standard.

A guy can and does use his body to make it in the movies, a girl does the same and she is condemned. I'm not saying either sex should do this, all i'm saying is if we accept one gender can do it then the other should be okay too.

And don't worry Creepy6, you didn't offend me at all, promise ;)
Uh, Neopagan, I think you have it backwards. First, women have to achieve equality and only then can sexuality be removed from the equation. The reality of the world we live in is that women are the second sex - a female body is far more fetishised (is that a word?) than a male body and when a male body is objectified (I'm thinking of Brad Pitt in Troy, for instance), people say that's homo-erotic (latent or otherwise). In other words, it is 'normal' for a female body to be a fetish and 'other' (as gays, like it or not, are 'other's in Western/US society) for a male body to be a fetish. It's not that I don't want to get to the point where we are equal, but I think you're (way) ahead of your time :)

Re. producer credits on the 'verse: DB did a great job of directing Angel and I think SMG will be a fantastic producer one day (it always sounds like she knows everybod'y business better than they do), but actors are actors, not writers. In a number of group interviews that I've read, actors have suggested that they have ideas for storylines and Joss always shuddered at the thought of giving them control. We know the actors wanted a Buffy-Xander romance, I didn't. We know the actors weren't happy with the Spuffy relationship in S6 - tough, that was one of the best seasons IMO. I'm sure thatthe separation between the interpretative artists and the creative artists in the Buffyverse has been a factor in the quality of the writing and the storylines.
Charisma will do Cordelia again. She's an actress. They hit her personal money button hard enough and she'll be there, quips and sarcasm intact.

Come on, its not like she all of a sudden got these big tall anti-Joss morals and decided to do "Charmed." Like she's better off? I.dont.think.so....

Come back, Cordy... all (bad career choices) is forgiven!
And don't forget Neopagan, guys can have their shirts off in the movies and it can still be rated G. But if a woman bares her breasts, I'm pretty sure it's an automatic PG-13. There's definitely a double standard in Hollywood. Of course, women can also go full frontal in a film and it'll get an R rating (see 'Eyes Wide Shut' for a recent example), but if a man wants to drop trou and yell "Behold The C*ck!" it gets an NC-17.
"It's not that I don't want to get to the point where we are equal, but I think you're (way) ahead of your time :)"

Finally somebody notices that! hehe ;)

As to the rest of your post WWBD and to MindPieces' too, yeah i realise that is the way things are and no matter how much i would like it to be different there won't be any changes anytime soon.

It honestly just really annoys me though (if you hadn't noticed lol) that girls are not given the freedom to use their bodies as they see fit in the same way that men are.

Getting back to the very start of where this all came from i just think that Charisma has every right to show her breasts without it being looked down on or being considered desperate or degrading. Regardless of the comparison of how "sexual" male and female upper bodies are the end result is still the same.

Guys use their chests to sell themselves, just don't judge girls for doing the same thing, y'know?

[ edited by The Neopagan on 2004-08-26 16:52 ]
“Nope, we just spend hours a week working out, doing press ups, sit ups and lifting weights. Why? Women like the pecs! ;) …and i can promise you that certain women find the chest extremely sexually stimulating.” –Neopagan

So this is all about you, is it? ; )

“I don't know but I have always felt that some of the 'verse actors might have been upset that they never achieved the producer credit that is quite normally given to actors after being on a program for years, especially if they are main cast.”--RavenU

While I am a little surprised that Sarah or David never did, I can see where it might turn into a “too many cooks spoil the soup” situation. From what Joss has said in the past, it seems that he communicates with his actors and collaborates to an extent that they may have felt they did have a voice and weren’t just told to shut up and say their lines. But truthfully, if I were the creator of the show, I would want the most imput to come from my writers who would have a more objective view of story arcs and what would best serve the story.

As for Charmed, I can only stand to watch about three minutes when I happen to flip by the channel. It does seem like a step back career-wise, but I don’t think Charisma is at a point in her career where she can pick and choose. She’s just trying to make a living as an actress.
A guy can and does use his body to make it in the movies, a girl does the same and she is condemned. I'm not saying either sex should do this, all i'm saying is if we accept one gender can do it then the other should be okay too.
Just to weigh in briefly on this.... As I've understood it, people's earlier comments on this weren't about whether women (or specifically Charisma) should be condemned for baring themselves onscreen, but about the problems with an industry that requires them to do that.
The subtext behind Charisma's remarks that she assumed that if she was in movies, she'd have to bare her chest anyway, so why not start with Playboy, was that it's impossible for all but the most top A-list actresses to refuse to take their shirt off on screen. The (male-run) industry makes it a virtual requirement if they want any decent roles. And that I think is a problem, and does the opposite of promote equality. I'm all for a woman having the right to choose to take her shirt (or everything) off if she likes, in Playboy, on screen, wherever. Charisma's decision was fine with me, and gotta hand it to her for having an amazing post-pregnancy body.
But no actress should feel like baring her chest, or sleeping with her producer, or anything else that reduces her to a sex object, is a necessary prerequisite to acting if she doesn't feel comfortable with it. As was noted, guys aren't required to take their pants off and bare the part of their anatomy that, like breasts, gets frequently commented on for size and sexuality. Women shouldn't have to bare their breasts if they don't want to.
Ultimately, I'd love to see the point where nudity is recognized as a natural and not necessarily sexual thing, and I think it's ridiculous that male nudity gets an automatic NC-17, but until that day comes, there's a very different standard out there for women and men actors.

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