One of the many fatalities of Hollywood’s war on conservatism is the career of James Woods. Woods, presently the author of countless conservative tweets is a steeple amongst conservatives on Twitter. His commentary and retorts are bighting, witty, and when they need to be, merciless. But of course, his open display of his political positions has cast a stigma on his career as an actor. And Woods has said as much.
In a tweet from February, Woods said he was blacklisted because he refused to back Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton. Then came word from Woods that The Gersh Agency, which represented him for a great part of his career, would not continue representing him because of his political views.
And Twitter has not been accommodating to Woods, either. Despite having 1.79 million followers, Twitter banned him from his account after he tweeted a meme of three men enthusiastically proclaiming that they were going to make women’s votes more powerful this election cycle by staying home on election day.
Twitter refused Woods access to his account unless he took down the meme. He refused. And he got his account back.
But if his Twitter presence has been remarkable, his acting career has been even more so. Woods, known for his intensity on the screen and his ability to deliver expressions of sheer unbridled anger is one of the giants of modern film productions.
Who can forget the Porsche scene in Against All Odds and the events surrounding it? And if you haven’t seen The Specialist where Woods’s character, Ned Trent, loses it while building a bomb in front of a trailer full of Miami police officers daring them to have him blow it up, then you’ve missed one of the greatest displays of controlled anger on film.
Then there was his portrayal of the Machiavellian politician in Contact, who kept saying, “Continue,” as he intently listened to the report of the missing 8-hours of data from a presumably failed, seconds-long, space mission in a vehicle that was the product of alien blueprint instructions. The missing time sequence was the exact amount that Jodie Foster’s character, the astronaut that actually traveled in the craft, described as she toured the galaxy with an apparent alien. Woods’s silent attention was followed by a single, sinister, controlled utterance from him, “That is interesting.”
But by far, my favorite Woods movie is True Believer where Woods plays a beat up, longhaired, has-been lawyer opposite Robert Downey, Jr. The movie opens with Downey entering the courtroom to meet Woods’s character, Eddie Dodd, for the first time. Woods, his back to the camera, is seated at the defense table when Downey instinctively introduces himself to the shorthaired, well-manicured defendant seated next to him. When Woods actually responds, the audience is duped and falls victim to one of the great displays of irony and double-fakery in film. Few actors other than Woods would have been able to pull off this inherent contradiction in a character.
But, as has become too frequent a case, Woods has been silenced, if not politically, on film. You would think that there would be someone so iconic, so magnificent, so great, that political bias would be insufficient to ostracize.
Well, you’d be wrong.
Yet Hollywood’s coercion was unable to silence Woods, merely to control the only thing it can about him, his career. But over the past week, there has been talk about a sitcom featuring Woods and another discarded actor, Roseanne Barr. Needless to say, I’d love to tune in to that sitcom. Not because of Barr who, although iconic in her own rate, is at best a mediocre actress. But because of Woods, a true giant amongst thespians!
Mr. Woods, If you’re gonna do this, then do it already! I’ll go heat up the popcorn!