Gene Wilder died on August 29, 2016.
His death still hurts and remains tragic because of the comedic characters he played, most especially Willy Wonka on the silver screen. And what made his portrayal so memorable and beloved by millions of kids and adults alike is that he possessed a very real three-dimensional quality (and bizarre new dimensions that looked other-worldly in some scenes) that was projected through a wacky two-dimensional character written in a book and screenplay.
Like his famed–and sadly fictional chocolate an candy factory–there was always something more there. There was something genuine lingering above the circus-like atmosphere and quintessential ’70s sets.
Back in March 2007, Gene Wilder gave an interview about his life and career. Portions of this conversation were animated into a condensed video series for PBS Digital Studios called “Blank on Blank.”
The reason for posting this interview today of an actor who died in 2016 is the same as why we will spontaneously watch ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ that was released theatrically in 1971:
A random curiosity for wonder and reassurance of this thing in life called pure imagination.
The following experience is coming from dumb or dumber…
but either way, it’s smart.
How do we remain calm while performing stressful tasks?
Jeff Daniels, seen in the recent interview above, highlighted the necessity of the process and not merely the end result. The expression goes, “Fake it until you make it.” To varying degrees and situations, this is true. In his world, the process literally dealt with the well-known and uncertain “acting process.” For us, the process is likely different in our daily lives, though still filled with comedy and drama. Not to mention unstructured dynamics that are frustratingly opaque. And yet, it’s not unusual for these moments that are absent of control to morph and provide, oddly enough, a surprising path toward control and certainty.
Just a random example of perseverance and perspective from 1/2 of the legendary duo of the 1994 cinematic gold standard in comedy Dumb and Dumber. Take a stand on something (pick-up the perfect snowball) and give it everything you’ve got.
Maybe you’ll get stuck (to a ski lift), but it’ll only be temporary.
Today is one of those days. It (as a wise woman once told me) inhales profusely. We’ve all had them, we’ve all become stressed because of them and we’ve all just wanted them to end.
Except me and except for today.
I want to remember this feeling equally comprised of anger, depression, hopelessness and, oddly enough, reassurance. If you’re doing something and/or are around someone who is constantly making you feel under-appreciated, unwelcome and miserable, then a change, however painful, is necessary for basic human happiness.
Life is too damn short.
And while I am not in the mood for levity at the moment, Chuck Lorre may be the only person who just might get me to achieve this impossible feat today. Not out loud, but inside, where the fire burns. And, apparently, that place deep down where the fire burns is precisely where Chuck Lorre “amateur comedy writer” slowly evolved into Chuck Lorre “sitcom king.”
From feelings of upchucking to Chuck lifting me up a little in a single
That’s a super story of winning made for TV.