Real is pretend, and pretend is real

24 May 2008

“If I keep hitting the block, I’ll fuck up this acting business. The only way to leave my fucked-up reality is to throw myself into the pretend version of my fucked-up reality.”

Just getting into The Wire so I’m more than a series away from the arrival of actors Jamie Hector and Felicia Pearson. Liked this interview with them at The Guardian though, esp the stuff around Pearson’s story of going from drug dealing and second-degree-murder prison time in Baltimore to playing a dealer in the show.

The real-life Pearson, meanwhile, felt as though she’d stepped through a looking-glass… but until well into [the show’s] run, in real life she was still dealing in hard drugs – she’d tried to stop, she says but had lost two legitimate jobs because of her prison record – so she had a foot in two worlds, and the experience was disorienting. “Real is pretend, and pretend is real,” she writes of that period in her memoir, Grace After Midnight, co-authored with David Ritz. “I wake up in the morning, get dressed, leave my work on the block to walk into a world about make-believe work on the block.”


Meanwhile and basically unrelated, Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut at Cannes this week – Synecdoche – sounds like it might be fun.

[Philip Seymour] Hoffman plays a theatre director whose life is disintegrating. He begins work on a new project which involves putting his life and world on a vast theatre stage. Hundreds of actors are involved. At one point someone says they’ve been rehearsing for 17 years and they’re still not ready to open the play. What is real, what is created and what is metaphor is deliberately blurred.