This Week’s Best Profile

I hate to do this, but you have to get through the bad to get to the good.

First up, Purple Alert. Esquire takes an interesting concept – a guy can’t eat, literally – and drowns an even more interesting narrative – how does his family react – in a sea of what I found to be suffocating metaphors and overwrought prose:

Earlier, I languished at dinner, cuffed by the incessant TPN pump on the love seat, while across the room my family chewed on the gift of another well-made meal. A knock comes at the door, an upstairs neighbor, a woman whose exquisite brisket has actually compelled me to a Passover table. She enters the apartment carrying a chocolate Bundt cake that has been soaked in rum, spraying the air with an intoxicating allure. A few whiffs raise me to the kitchen, and I plow my nose down to the cake to inhale, anteater-style. Woozy on the fumes, I breathe deeper. Smell alone won’t cut it, so I touch the wet cake with clumsy fingers, running them through dark chunks that crumble impossibly. It’s like chocolate rain falling in a desert. Just as my wife walks into the kitchen, I plunge my hands into the delicious cake. I should be embarrassed, or at least try to hide what I’m doing, but I am too far gone. A sensible person, she is stunned by the mess I’ve made, bothered by the violation of the family’s dessert. “What are you doing?” she asks urgently and hushed, so as not to alert the kids in the next room, her face a disagreement of pity and scorn. I look at her, shake my head, shrug, and laugh weakly, the chocolate caking my hands like blood.

The whole thing’s here.

In the same issue, Esquire takes a vomit-inducing concept – Is This Man The Greatest Actor Of His Generation? – and finds a celebrity saying some mildly interesting things:

When Worthington works, he insists on turning his scripts inside out, making them his own. He doesn’t relent. He’s a collaborator, not a puppet, he says, and he has no qualms telling the director how his part should be played. He told director Geoffrey Wright that Macbeth isn’t in doubt after he kills Duncan. That’s Hamlet! Macbeth is actually a sociopathic dickhead — the ultimate knob — who can do whatever he wants and can’t stop. So that’s how Worthington played him in Wright’s 2006 movie. It’s the same with the Clash of the Titans shoot. He’s been confronting director Louis Leterrier every day with a rubber sword in one hand and script changes in the other — ready to fight. Because he doesn’t think the myth is right for today. It feels old, dated, irrelevant. Men shouldn’t desire to be gods. They should desire to succeed as men.

The rest, beyond.


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