I know we all aim for gold don’t we? We’d rather be number one.. the leader… head of the pack…first past the post… the lead in the movie. But what happens when the lead role is often the poorer of the two?
I was just watching a clip from Grease when I realised that I usually like the supporting female role much better than the lead. Grease is the classic example. If I’d been asked to play a role in Grease, I would always have chosen Rizzo over Sandy. Rizzo had the best songs in the movie in my opinion. She had the meatier role and much funnier lines. The role of Sandy was a bit bland really. Rizzo’s role dealt with teenage promiscuity, pregnancy, bullying and a whole range of emotions that the role of Sandy just didn’t touch on.
Don’t get me started on the best song in the whole movie. I’m a Grease tragic and know every song, every line, every move in the movie. I love it. I love all the music from it.. but the BEST song by far is “There are worse things I could do”. and you guessed it.. It belongs to Rizzo. As an actor (which I used to do a bit of), Rizzo was definitely the role to have chosen. It had substance. Sandy was a bit boring wasn’t she?
Let’s move on to my favourite stage play of all time, Les Miserables. Three female leads really but two of the roles went throughout the whole movie. The lead being Cossette and the supporting belong to Eponine. Certainly one could argue they were written for very different voices and that is completely true… but Eponine gets the best songs in the movie.
Cossette’s songs are all sweetness and light. Eponine’s speak of heartbreak and turmoil and have so much power that when she sings, I can barely breathe. Until you’ve heard Eponine singing “A little fall of rain” or “On my own”, you’ve never lived. Two of the most moving, heartfelt and beautiful songs EVER written.
Whilst Cosette is being cosseted (pardon the pun) by all the men in her life, Eponine is secretly in love with her best friend and Cosette’s love interest, Marius and is shunned and abused by her parents. Eponine’s plight is simply heartbreaking. Her songs divine. I dare anyone to watch the play, listen to her sing “A little fall of rain” and not cry. Maybe it can be done.. I know I’ve never done it. I sob like a baby every time. Cosette on the other hand is a bit boring! Sigh… I’m going to have to put the cd on now.. Love this musical.
Let’s move on to Ghost. Now I know many of you have fantasised about being Demi Moore’s body double in the pottery scene. I’m not one of them. I like Patrick Swayze but I would have happily given up being covered in clay to have had Whoopi Goldberg’s role. Was that not one of the funniest roles ever in a movie? It was a much better role for an actress than Demi’s.
Anyone could have played Demi’s role in all honesty. That’s not taking anything away from Demi.. It’s just the truth. She played it well but it was a role that hundreds of women in Hollywood could have played. The role of Oda Mae Brown was perfect for Whoopi Goldberg and she played it with relish. Demi’s role was a bit boring!
When we’re talking men… what guy would have preferred to play Batman when they could have played the Joker. A villain is ALWAYS a better role to play, even in a world besotted by super heroes. If anyone says something about the Batman movie, I could tell them that Heath Ledger played the Joker but I wouldn’t have a clue who played Batman, unless my son hadn’t just said it was Christian Bale. Batman’s role was a bit boring!
Let’s go over to TV. I’m not sure about other countries but in Australia, the runner up on Australian Idol has always done better than the winner. I think that is because the production companies involved always try to push the Idols in one direction whereas the runner up is much more free to go their own way but fact is, the runner up still has it better. The winner has to follow a streamlined journey and doesn’t get to experiment like the runner up.. What does that mean? That’s right.. They’re a bit more boring!
So next time you don’t win something, ask yourself, am I better off as the runner up? If you don’t win the main part, don’t stress.. Chances are the supporting role is a better role than the main.
Happy coming second…Livvy xxxx