Gene Siskel had a famous test for actors he observed in movies. If they looked good in close-up, they were stars. George C. Scott had his own set of criteria, three simple questions he asked himself every time he watched someone perform. 1. Is the actor well cast in the role they’re playing? 2. Do they make good emotional choices? And 3. Are they actually enjoying themselves?
Having seen you in Stay Alive and John Tucker Must Die, you easily pass Siskel’s test. And on the basis of watching you portray Brooke Davis on One Tree Hill and Ridley Lange on Nip/Tuck, you more than meet Scott’s criteria. The answer to all three of his questions is the same: an unreserved yes.
Unfortunately, despite thriving professionally, things are not so good for you personally. US Weekly broke the news this week that you’ve just split with Austin Nichols, a fellow actor few knew you were dating off-and-on until E! Online reported it two years ago. In fact, he took the job as Julian, the aspiring filmmaker who becomes romantically involved with Brooke on One Tree Hill, just to be closer to you.
Sophia Bush, I’m here for you. Forget about finding “the one”. That’s a bunch of old-fashioned bullshit that’s gotten you into trouble before. Forget about dating guys you work with. You know firsthand how awkward it can be to work with an ex. And forget about getting involved with guys in the business. They’re nothing but a waste of time.
What you need is someone who is your intellectual equal, not some empty-headed pretty boy who can’t keep up. You need someone you can spar with about politics and entertainment, not someone who doesn’t share your interests. And you need someone naturally monogamous, not a ho-bag.
Why not give this wire-thin Canadian mama’s boy a shot? What exactly have you got to lose? We’re close in age, we both love music and neither of us smoke or have siblings. True, I’m terrified of your pitbulls (I’ve never really been comfortable around dogs) and I’m no fashionista (one look through my dresser drawers and my closet would leave you deeply appalled) but I would be good company for you.
God knows we’d have plenty to talk about. I’d love to learn about your parents who I understand are both photographers. (By the way, which one is from Canada?) How long did it take them to fully accept that you were going to be an actor rather than a heart surgeon or a journalist? (You’ve said they were initially disappointed with your change of heart.) When you got the gig on OTH ten years ago, you were attending the University Of South Carolina and had to drop out. How many credits do you need to graduate and will you go back to finish them? (There’s no guarantee you’ll be a successful actor forever.)
What it was like attending Westridge School in Pasadena, a girls-only private educational institution? (Did you know that Julia Child studied there?) Why aren’t dudes allowed to go? Are we too distracting? Any regrets about not attending public school? How did you become the Rose Queen for the Tournament Of Roses parade in 2000? What was that experience like for you?
With regards to politics I have to warn you that we have very serious disagreements about President Obama. (I’ll never understand why you publicly supported the illegal assassination of Osama Bin Laden.) Although we both supported him in 2008 (you went so far as to become a volunteer helping him secure votes by touring college campuses on his behalf), I’m appalled by his piss-poor record on civil liberties, his paranoid bullying of conscientious whistleblowers (including the still wrongly incarcerated Bradley Manning), his inconsistency on gay issues, his lack of respect for the Muslim world, his disturbing support for Endless War and the Surveillance State, and his disappointing allegiance with the 1%. Last month, you mentioned in an interview how you’ve been disappointed, too, but you really let him off the hook. Based on what I’ve seen and read, Obama was never serious about being a liberal game changer. I could argue with you about this all day long.
I’d love to know more about all your humanitarian pursuits, particularly the environmental causes you’ve been championing in recent years. I don’t know how you find the time to do it considering your work schedule but I greatly admire your passion to accomplish actual positive change rather than just repeat catchy, empty slogans like a certain President I could mention who lacks your commitment and convictions.
As much as I’ve enjoyed your work on OTH and the first season of Nip/Tuck, you need to pick better movies. I mentioned Stay Alive and John Tucker Must Die earlier. The former was terribly unscary and the latter was terribly unfunny. You’ve proven on Television that you can be humourous, sexy, snotty, vulnerable, heroic and lovable in the same role. I’m concerned you’ll never find another part as compelling and challenging as Brooke Davis. I’m hoping you prove me wrong. (Maybe I’ll find a hidden gem in your filmography. I haven’t seen everything.) I hate to see someone as talented as you flounder in films that are beneath you. You deserve better.
On the plus side, I’m glad you got cast in Partners, a new comedy pilot created by the people that brought us Will & Grace. I hope it’s funny enough to get picked up as a series. Best of luck to you. As you know full well, simultaneous artistic and commercial successes are often elusive in this business. Maybe lightning will strike twice for you on TV.
Whatever you decide to do about your career and love life, I wish you well. And with that, I offer you this:
I’m a sucker for a pinkish hue
Sophia Bush, I’m here for you
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, February 18, 2012