Following the legendary David Bowies tragic, unexpected passing this week, theres been tribute after tribute, in print and online: about his incredible music, about his influence on popular culture, about the effect hes had on so many of us, and the huge, impossible space he leaves behind. One thing that hasnt been getting so much love is his creative output as an actor. Theres a negative association with rock stars and acting thats been going on for decades, ever since the unholy trinity of Sting, Madonna and Prince assaulted the silver screen with their vanity projects and failed attempts at Hollywood stardom, and kickstarted the kvetching from an avalanche of critics. Bowies always been a little different, though. You could legitimately use that phrase about anything Bowie-related, but his acting choices in particular have often fallen victim to accusations that he indulged in eccentricity for its own sake. Lets clear this up now: yes, Bowies defining attribute as an actor is his weirdness, but thats not your mate in the pubs version of the word - meaning anyone who wears a scarf indoors and/or drinks halves. Bowies screen personae meshed seamlessly with his stage personae. He projected an exotic aura, unearthly, uncanny, adapting that alien aspect to whatever project engaged his interest at the time and of course, the eerie effect of those eyes didnt hurt. Bowie would play the perennial outsider, a man on a different plane, sometimes androgynous or fey, other times otherworldly and distant. Hed come across better in some roles than others, but thats a description that holds true for the majority of working actors. If Hollywood is a menagerie, Bowies always been a breed apart: a cryptozoological curiosity, the only one of his kind.
Professional writer, punk werewolf and nesting place for starfish. Obsessed with squid, spirals and story. I publish short weird fiction online at desincarne.com, and tweet nonsense under the name Jack The Bodiless. You can follow me all you like, just don't touch my stuff.