The limited fictions used to sell the lives of public figures often form a cloudy chiaroscuro that covers their true humanity.
'Dark Shadows' was the spark that lit the fire of my childhood imagination. It wasn't polished; it wasn't perfect. But it gave us characters with real personalities and complicated motivations.
No one ever cut Katharine Hepburn down to size.
Elizabeth Taylor was the first star for whom an offscreen narrative was equally as important as an onscreen one. Her private life became as much of a driving force of her fame and success as any role she played in the movies.
Here's what's interesting about Katharine Hepburn: she was born a girl but identified as a boy, so she shaved her head and rechristened herself Jimmy.
With its missed lines and falling tombstones, 'Dark Shadows' was sometimes inadvertently funny, but what made the show work was the fact that the actors and the writers took it all very seriously.
Let's be clear about one thing: a film about Katharine Hepburn is an excellent idea. She was one of the most fascinating, complex stars ever to grace a motion picture screen, and she deserves a full-scale, big-screen biographical treatment.
Writing about identity can be like maneuvering through a minefield, even when considering contemporary figures who have discussed the subject themselves.
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