The Gilded Exodus: Hollywood Is Losing Its Luster, Even for A-List Celebrities

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

There was a time when everyone wanted to be a Hollywood actor. Every girl had dreams of moving to LA to be "discovered," and A-listers were so revered by society that the moment they endorsed a product, people went out and bought it. That time is now long-gone, and it would appear that even the Tinsel Town's top celebrities want little to do with it. 

The gilded dream that was Hollywood is turning out to be an illusion. Beneath the smoke, mirrors, and backdrops is a culture of false relationships, political rigidness, and emotional isolation. It does not fulfill like it once did. 

A very interesting conversation was held between "Top Gun: Maverick" star Glen Powell and Matthew McConaughey in Interview Magazine, where both Texans agreed that their time in Hollywood is coming to an end. This might not be too surprising to hear from McConaughey, who has already done everything he wanted in his career, but Powell's star is still rising, and he is swiftly becoming McConaughey 2.0. 

During their conversation, both men expressed a swiftly developing lack of affection for the culture in L.A., and a desire for something more real. According to Entertainment tonight, Powell, a man who appreciates family more than anything, chose his residence to be in Texas not too far from his parents, whom he has a very close relationship with. They often accompany him on red carpet walks. 

McConaughey is Powell's mentor in a way, and McConaughey gave Powell some interesting advice that I found telling about the environment they work in, as Powell said to McConaughey: 

"You gave me a great piece of advice when we ran into each other at Linklater’s ranch. I’m going to misquote you, but you basically said, 'Hollywood is the Matrix. Nothing is real, you have to go back home to Texas and unplug. But in order to know the difference between Hollywood and home, you have to figure out what is the game and what is reality.'”

It's a line that indicates that Hollywood isn't a healthy place to be, not at least for long, and McConaughey and Powell aren't the only ones turning their backs on Hollywood life. 

Emily Blunt also expressed her desire to walk away for a while to focus more on raising her children. According to Bounding Into Comics, Blunt's desire to focus on something more substantial is causing her to drift away from the L.A. scene: 

“But this year I’m not working,” Blunt revealed. “I just need to be– I worked quite a bit last year and my oldest baby is 9. We’re in the last year of single digits, and I just feel there are cornerstones to their day that are so important when they’re little. And it’s, ‘Will you wake me up? Will you take me to school? Will you pick me up? Will you put me to bed?’ And I just need to be there for all of them, for a good stretch. And I just felt that in my bones.”

Hollywood A-lister Mark Whalberg also had enough of Hollywood. He dropped the life to go elsewhere. Joe Rogan also abandoned Hollywood for a multitude of reasons, not all of them political. 

Chris Pratt, Kasey Musgraves and Russel Crowe all spend their time away from Hollywood as well, going there only when they have to. 

The lesson to pull away from here is that Hollywood is toxic. It's an artificial culture that gives rise to stress, distractions, and a lack of emotional support. These actors clearly love acting and plan on still doing it, but the L.A. scene has become something that even the people who thrive in these atmospheres can't tolerate. 

I think interesting things are being said outright, but I think what's only being hinted at is more interesting. Clearly, there's some ideological rigidity here that can't be stomached by many actors. They're choosing the realism of family, friends, and locales where, as McConaughey said, one can be an "honest observer of humans." 

They are disillusioned with Hollywood. 

I think that people need to pick up on this. Hollywood is a sinking ship and the actors know it. It's a dying culture that's fading, not just because its own culture of greed, political nonsense, and elitism is choking it to death, but also because it's being technologically phased out. 

(READ: I'll Never Be Done With Cinema, but I am Done With Hollywood)

It will swiftly become irrelevant, and while it will still be a while before actors and writers become a thing of the past, massive sets and crews are becoming unnecessary, especially as AI finds its feet more and more. 

I think we're witnessing the end of an era, and the cultural response in the West will be something to behold. The question is, how long will it take for America to catch on that the era has passed? How long before everyone is as disillusioned? 

That can't come soon enough. 


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