Hollywood on the Paris attacks

By Michele Manelis

Cast member Fonda poses at the premiere of "Youth" at Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles
It’s hard to talk about movies in light of last week’s tragedy in Paris, but Mindfood asks some Hollywood celebrities to weigh in on this very serious and frightening situation that affects us all.

During some interviews to promote their upcoming movies, we talked to Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell, all of whom star in The Big Short, about the financial crisis of 2008.  We also talked to Rooney Mara, who stars in the upcoming drama, Carol, with Cate Blanchett. Mark Ruffalo, who stars in the drama, Spotlight, surrounding the cover up of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, had some strong words to say, and we chatted to Jane Fonda, who stars in the drama, Youth.


It’s just so terrible and awful and it makes no sense and it makes all of this just seem really silly and unimportant.  As someone who loves to travel and loves being an active part of the world and seeing other parts of the world, it’s really scary and it’s really sad.  I don’t even really know what to say. There’s a lot we humans need to do to make our world a better, safer, happier place for a lot of people.


I think like everyone, the morning after I woke up hoping it was a nightmare.  But unfortunately it was a nightmare; it’s just not one that you can wake up from. It’s just heartbreaking and my heart goes out to all of the families that have been affected.I can’t imagine how they feel right now.


It’s insanity. I was talking to my wife about it last night.  What sense can you make of any of it? It doesn’t register to me as something, it seems inconceivable – and so utterly horrific. I mean, what can you say about it? Obviously you condemn it. You try to understand or make any sort of sense of it, but you can’t. I just think it’s utter insanity. And it’s heartbreaking. And it just makes you question, everything. And even coming here (Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills), it’s odd to be talking about entertainment. It’s difficult when you look at the world around and the things that are, are happening. It’s sobering.But what sense can be made of any of it?


I have family in Paris so my first thought was to them, and my wife is Parisian, so we have a lot of family there. I made phone calls immediately, as soon as I found out. I was doing the Stephen Colbert show when I found out. And immediately, my wife was with me and I said, ‘Did you hear what just happened?’ And she called and everyone is okay and that’s good. I think it’s a horrible tragedy and I don’t assume to understand why this is happening. I see what is happening and there is a movement to deal with this problem with sheer military might. And I don’t think that that is going to get us there. It didn’t work with Iraq and the same people who want to approach it sheerly as a military problem were the same people who brought us into Iraq. And I am very confused about it to be honest with you. But I think that as a whole, the world understands that this is wrong. And that transcends all religious boundaries.  This is not an Islamic problem, this is a problem of geopolitics and they are using religion as a way to push geopolitical beliefs, ideas and I think there’s a way as a whole that we can approach this.  That includes many different things, culture, social, economic and many, many different fronts other than just military. So I am afraid it’s bringing up a lot of the trauma that I think we all experienced after 9/11 and the bad decisions. And I hope we have learned from 9/11 and Iraq and Afghanistan and what is happening in Israel and Palestine and I hope that as a whole, we are not so quick and childish to move without some serious thought without deliberation as a whole. And not just as one country moving on its own but as a whole world coming together and banishing hatred as it appears in every manifestation.


You know, I was married to a Frenchman; I lived there for 8 years. They’re okay. A bomb went off on the street of my stepson but he wasn’t home. My first thoughts after my family were about the refugees. It’s going to make it so much harder for the refugees. Like it could possibly get harder? I think it’s really scary and we just have to be really vigilant and brave.  I was going to go to the Paris climate summit but then for health reasons I had to cancel the trip. I was going to go to Paris and then to Turkey. Maybe it’s fortuitous that I am not going now but I kind of wish I was going just in solidarity.


Obviously I felt absolute horror, and it’s a ridiculous and strange irony that we are doing this interview at this moment when people are going through the worst grieving ever. And so I am reading about it as everybody is.  It can’t get out of your head and this has become something that is so hideously regular.  This is the very worst kind of tragedy and I think that once you are actually able to take a deep breath and be able to think straight because how can you help but put yourself in the position of the people that it has happened to and the family members who are seeing their children murdered, then you have to start and look and say, ‘Okay.  Can we please get a little more serious in our debates about moving on from bloody, little silly quips.  There is horror going on.  Let’s have a very serious follow up to Obama, someone who really can soulfully try to deal with this because it’s so much healing that is needed and so much hatred around. And yeah, it’s appalling and it should stay in our minds and how can it not?  You can still laugh and you can still talk but how could it not be right there?  The world has become smaller and smaller. I know being English, and all the people who have gone and joined fundamentalist organisations, they sound just like my friends did growing up, and these are people who grew up in the same culture that I did, but clearly there is something very lacking.  And in terms of hope for the future beyond the path of psychopaths and these people who are so easily manipulated into believing that this is a cause that has any credit whatsoever, it’s heart wrenching.




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