Tara Reid: Target
“How many more years are [the media] going to pick on me? There’re other new young bad girls. Move on to someone else.” – Tara Reid
Putting it on the table…why Tara Reid?
“But I keep working. I keep moving,” she said. “I’m not going to let these people not let me work because I’m trying to make a living. I’m happy with what I look like. I don’t care what people say about it. Sometimes the people it hurts a lot more is someone like my mom. [Haters] forget you’re someone’s daughter, you’re someone’s sister.” SOURCE
What did Tara Reid do to make people hate her? In the recent wake of sexual allegations against a number of big name male stars and executives, why does this actress continue to get a public drubbing? Has she harmed someone? Killed someone? Abused someone in any way shape or form?
“The media is trying to kill my daughter.” Tara Reid’s father, Tom.
A different type of assault and misogyny gets overlooked and dismissed as “the media being the media.” To me, this is no different than the “boys will be boys” excuse for the reprehensible behavior that’s lately come to light in Hollywood. It’s the ability to assassinate a woman in the name of entertainment. This is done through humiliation. It’s done through the release of compromising personal photos from hacked digital media. You can read it on websites dedicated toward downright hate speech which often translates into verbal assault.
Google Tara Reid. Go on. Do it.
Read the comments about her under any article. What you see is a professional exercise in misogyny. This has been perpetrated by a number of “journalists” and entertainment mavens, many who are the first to decry homophobic behavior. Yet, it’s fine to defame celebrity women in public with humiliating drawings on their photos accompanied by snark-filled hit pieces on them and their families.
This nation is so aware of the bullying issue, why is it acceptable to bully celebrities in the press and online? Why is it okay to body shame them, call out their plastic surgery and be allowed to spew outright venom on a public figure? Most of these targets are women. Read some of the “articles” written and tell me how it differs from bullying.
I met Tara Reid on the set of my first feature film, The Fields, a thriller based on the true events of my childhood on my grandparent’s farm in the late summer, early fall of 1973.
The Fields and JoJo
I was a producer and writer for the film. The directors wanted to do a rehearsal with her. We walked through a scene where Tara drops her son off on the farm where most of the action of the movie takes place. A shrill electronic chirp from someone’s cell phone went off, interrupting the walk through for camera. One of the film’s directors fumbled to silence the phone. He checked the screen and laughed, “Just a Tara Reid Google Alert!” he went to pocket the phone but Tara stopped him.
She stepped out of the group. “What do you mean ‘Tara Reid Google Alert?’ she asked. Our director shrugged it off. He explained anytime her name made the news it sent an alert to his phone. Tara looked him right in the eye and said, “I am your Google Alert, Dave.” She stepped back to her mark and resumed working.
There was a dog on this farm. She was chained to a shed on an iron pole. The ten-foot chain was so heavy it pulled her head down. The owner told me she was tied to that chain when she was about eight months old and never left. He guessed she was about four years old. She had no shelter, and slept year-round in a ditch alongside the shed. She had a metal bowl for daily water and food.
I helped to restore the old farmhouse the summer before shooting. I would let this dog off her chain and she would come into the house with me. I fed her, played with her and then walked her in the neighboring fields to let her chase rabbits and grasshoppers. When I would leave at night she would howl after chaining her back to the pole.
Just before the September shoot I approached the dog’s owner to take her home. If I pissed him off, we could lose our central filming location. “I love dogs, and if you want I could take her off your hands. I have two more at home and they would love her. I’ll give you a few bucks for her.”
He shook his head and never considered it. “Dog can die on the fuckin’ chain.” She was his property and he would not sell her.
One afternoon I thought I would test my professional relationship with Tara. I asked her if she would do me a favor. “Sure,” she said without knowing what it was.
“Just follow my lead. Just act.”
She was so California mellow. She followed me. I found the dog’s owner outside the house. I told him he was looking at a ten thousand dollar fine the next day. “For what?” he asked, alarmed. I pointed out that the Humane Society was going to be onset to supervise the handling of a large raven that was a centerpiece to the next day’s shoot.
“And when they see the conditions that dog lives in, they could fine you up to ten grand as that’s an animal on an official movie set.”
He looked around, and I knew he didn’t believe me. He was right. It was total bullshit. I cued Tara, looking right at her and asking, “Am I right?”
She didn’t miss a beat. “Yes, I’m afraid that’s true.” He thought about it a few seconds more, but because the validation came from her pretty, movie star face, he waved his hand. “Take the fuckin’ dog.”
That dog came home with me that night and lived another five years. She left this world far better than she came in and I will always owe that to Tara.
You never hear those kind of stories about her, do you?
Tara shot a scene with Cloris inside the farmhouse. Her line was, “It was never supposed to be like this.” She said it with real tears and powerful, understated emotion. When done, she took me aside and said, “Those lines mean so much to me because that’s how I feel about my life right now.”
A Major Festival Says No
Flash forward almost a year later. My phone rings with a blocked number and it’s “someone on the ______Film Festival Jury.” They refused to give their name. This gentleman told me that they enjoyed my film, The Fields. For a moment my heart skipped…I got into _________!
The caller said that while they loved the film, “The festival will never give credence to a Tara Reid film.” It took me a few seconds to register this. He went on tell me that as a juror, I was owed the knowledge that my film was so well appreciated and they hope to see more from me down the road
“Do you meant to tell me, if I had cast anyone else…a total unknown actress anyone besides Tara Reid, The Fields would be in the official line up?”
“Pretty much yeah, Mr. Smith. I’ll never go record with that, but yeah, that’s a safe assessment.” That was one of the best shittiest phone calls I ever got.
Why Tara Reid?
There are a lot of actors in Hollywood who have taken their lumps in the press. From the advent of the motion picture industry through the present day, the media will devour anyone.
An older interview with Tara had her rightly reveal this:
“For so many people, it’s so easy to hate and to be mean and to hurt you, but you can get through that. People are mean, they want to hate you, but there are a lot of people out there that will support you, too. … People have to stop judging so much and support each other much more. There is so much meanness and cruelty people have toward each other. … You’ve got to keep going. … There are times you go: ‘Why? Just leave me alone! Just leave me alone!’ And for some reason they don’t want to.”  SOURCE
I have never engaged in any type of sexual relationship or situation with Tara Reid. I have no romantic interest, crush, design or desire on Tara Reid. I am not on her payroll, or have I taken a single dime from her and her reps have not paid me to write this.
I spent several nights talking film with Tara. Her knowledge of film as an art form and the way the industry works was mesmerizing. She knows her stuff and talked of several films she would like to get remade as a producer and possibly participate as an actress. Below is the letter I wrote to her agent almost six months before we shot The Fields.
While onset for a grueling overnight scene, a crew member approached me and said Tara wasn’t coming out of her trailer. She wanted to see me. I went to the trailer, she dismissed the makeup and hair crew to be alone with me. She was on the verge of tears. “I can’t go out there.” She was talking about the pub full of over sixty people for the upcoming scene. “All they see is Tara Reid whose dress fell down, the drunk, the whore. That’s what they think.”
I told her that wasn’t true. She was Tara Fucking Reid and she goes out there with her head held high and kills the scene. It was then she produced my letter to her agent. “Did you write this?” she demanded. I told her I did. She reached out and hugged me tightly. “No one,” she cried into my shoulder, “has ever stood up for me like that.”
Tara has made films ranging in both quality and content. What star has not? Her latest fame comes from the Sharknado SyFy Channel film series. Her official biography tells us she was born in Wyckoff, New Jersey in 1975 to parents Thomas and Donna Reid. She was six years old when she started her film career with a game show appearance and then went on to do commercials. She was classmates with Sarah Michelle Gellar and MacCaulay Culkin and started her film life as a child with the forgettable Return to Salem’s Lot and moved on to teen box office hits American Pie and American Pie 2. The industry anointed her the next “IT Girl” (we will get to that phrase in a bit). She starred in a string of successful box office films like Urban Legend, National Lampoon’s Van Wilder and Cruel Intentions.
At Her Height
By 2003 she was one of the biggest female box office attractions. With natural golden hair and hypnotic blue eyes, she was an ideal Aryan beauty with the “Girl Next Door” good looks and subtle sexuality that aroused and terrified. Her voice brought Lauren Bacall to mind, and just when you thought this package couldn’t get any better, she also had a brain.
An early account of her intelligence has Tara walking into one of the most powerful talent agencies in the world by herself—without legal representation or at the least a manager and listened to their pitch. She was the next Big Thing and this agency had big plans for her. She was “The New IT Girl” for the new century and they wanted her. She listened, talked terms and then left without a commitment, stating she had to think about their offer would make her own decision on her own time schedule.
British author, screenwriter and the first woman to address the market for female erotic fiction, Elinor Glyn, coined the phrase ‘It’ in her 1927 novel of the same name. A passage from the novel defines the ‘It’ concept.
To have ‘IT’, the fortunate possessor must have that strange magnetism which attracts both sexes… In the animal world ‘It’ demonstrates in tigers and cats-both animals being fascinating and mysterious, and quite unbiddable. ‘IT’ is that quality possessed by some which draws all others with its magnetic force. With “IT” you win all men if you are a woman — all women if you are a man. “IT” can be a quality of the mind as well as a physical attraction.
Glyn was a threat to the male establishment, moving to Hollywood to write scripts and is credited with “rebooting” actress Gloria Swanson from trite starlet into an image of cool sexual sophistication. Elinor Glyn scared the hell out of men and women, with her ‘It’ being the power of sexual liberation at time of repression. The word ‘IT’ was adapted into a euphemism for sex appeal and the safe word in 1920s social circles. The silent film adaptation of Glyn’s novel was a major box office smash and turned star Clara Bow into a Hollywood legend and the first ‘It Girl.’
Tara Reid was labeled an “It Girl”after her fourth #1 box office hit in a row and became a major sex symbol for the late 90s and early millennium. Actress Chloe Sevigny, also dubbed an ‘It Girl’ had this to say on the concept:
The original It Girl was the 1920s movie star Clara Bow; then in the 1960s, with Edie Sedgwick and (Andy) Warhol, It Girls turned into socialites, ladies of leisure, people who had it just for being fabulous. But Edie was just a rich drug addict, and when I got called the It Girl everyone thought I was that too… I felt I was doing stuff, not just being a socialite.
Clara Bow broke onto the scene after wining a screen test contest in 1921 at the age of sixteen. She appeared in her first role in Beyond the Rainbow and then solicited studios for parts. She got another break playing a tomboy in Down to the Sea in Ships, where she gained critical praise that elevated her from a mere bit part child actor. One review gushed that she stole the picture.
After working Broadway and mulling about the industry she left New York for Los Angeles, leaving her father and boyfriend behind. Her sassy roles and firebrand look fused with The Flapper image of the time. Bow was deemed “The Perfect Flapper.” She was that independent woman, beautiful, smart and didn’t need a man to validate her life. She smoked, drank and she had sex on her terms. This put her in the crosshairs of the male studio moguls who wanted to leash the powerful Bow who was also seen as a threat to her male co-stars.
By 1927 she was at the top of her game with a list of solid boxoffice hits at 22 years old. Bow was the most powerful girl in Hollywood. Her independent flair and penchant for speaking her mind did not sit well in social circles. IT was a boxoffice smash and of course gave her the title as The IT Girl and set the standard for others after her.
Her presence at Hollywood social parties and galas was rejected, by Hollywood’s women. She was even seen as a negative factor at her own premieres where her wild antics and perceived “bohemian” lifestyle proved too much even by Hollywood’s standards. Clara Bow was the first true Party Girl and she managed to piss pretty much everyone off around her. Bow was seen as an unrefined castoff of Brooklyn trash that just could not be polished.
In the 1930s she described her years in Hollywood as being in a French Revolution film where the women were far more rabid than the men. “Women are hollering and waving pitchforks twice as violently as any of the guys…the only ladies in sight are the ones getting their heads cut off.”
Screenwriter and novelist Budd Schulberg wrote of Bow in his memoir:
Hollywood was a cultural schizophrenic: The anti-movie Old Guard with their chamber music and their religious pageants fighting a losing battle against the more dynamic culture of the Ad Schulbergs who flaunted the bohemianism of Edna St. Vincent Millay and the socialism of Upton Sinclair. But there was one subject on which the staid old Hollywood establishment and the members of the new culture circle would agree: Clara Bow, no matter how great her popularity, was a low life and a disgrace to the community.
Schulberg’s father, Preferred Pictures studio chief and Bow’s manager, BP Schulberg was the man who formulated Clara Bow’s transformation into the “IT Girl” and used her to attack post-Victorian Era inhibition. Bow’s continued boxoffice success and pop culture impact only enraged her enemies while film critics continued to praise her beauty and dynamic energy and her ability to captivate onscreen. She refused to be corralled by the Hollywood agent system, firing agencies and managers at will and in the process burning a number of bridges along the way.
In 1924 Bow fired her studio appointed chaperon/writer/agent/manager Maxine Alton claiming Maxine betrayed her trust. “She wanted to keep a hold on me so she made me think I wasn’t getting over and that nothing but her clever management kept me going.” When her studio head BP Schulberg found out he retaliated by firing Bow’s boyfriend, Arthur Jacobson, claiming it was Jacobson’s fault for getting his star involved in a “major scandal.” When Bow found out about this, according to Jacobson, she tore up her contract and threw it into Schulberg’s face and told him he couldn’t run her private life. Jacobson said, “Clara was the sweetest girl in the world, but you didn’t cross her and you didn’t do her wrong.”
Her power in silent films did not transition well to “Talkies” and it is said that Bow experienced “mike fright” with the prospect of speaking on film. She had issues with the microphone itself, her eyes following it as if being stalked with a gun. According to Hollywood legend, it was director Dorothy Azner who wired the mike overhead of Bow which has become the standard of the industry to this day. Bow’s first “talking motion picture”, The Wild Party, was a flop however critics praised Bow in saying that her voice suited her image. She rebounded and her films continued financial successes.
All this time I was “running wild”, I guess, in the sense of trying to have a good time…maybe this was a good thing, because I suppose a lot of that excitement, that joy of life, got onto the screen.
Her enemies were not happy at her quick recovery and even more enraged over critical praise for Bow’s voice. Her jealous female detractors had the ears of the male power brokers and began to close ranks in a concerted effort to bring down Clara Bow.
Urban Legend Starring Clara Bow
BP Schulberg filed bankruptcy for Preferred Pictures, moving to Paramount as an associate producer and brought Bow with him in 1925. Bow was their crown jewel with less than two years before “IT” would make her legend and Schulberg, despite the personal acrimony between himself and Bow, knew it. “If ever a star was made by public demand, it was Clara Bow,” Schulberg said.
Bow had a penchant for dating her co-stars, directors and producers. Cynema shows when Paramount Pictures, the studio that Bow kept healthy with her revenue stream after Preferred Pictures went bankrupt, quickly moved to capitalize on Bow’s raucous image and had their publicity department feed the press with stories of her loves, flings, flirtations and wild times. A pre-Internet nation became obsessed in the personal life of Clara Bow, and also her judge and jury.
Bow was introverted and leaned toward being a recluse. She feared exposure of her childhood rape by her father and initially shunned the press until Paramount pushed her to embrace her “IT Girl” image. She slowly acquiesced and took on the job as being Paramount’s wild child.
She had been a child of poverty and neglect and had suddenly come into money, fame, and if not business or political power, at least an understanding of her own sexual power. She became known for her very colorful off-screenlife, and was eventually brought low by scandal…her many love affairs, madcap adventures, and careless, sometimes drunken exploits were well known. SOURCE
Bow’s “adventures” paled in comparison to the exploits of her fellow Hollywood stars, especially the male ones. Rumor and innuendo, spread by the female power base fanned the flames of alleged scandals and brought heightened awareness to the genuine crises and issues that Bow faced. Stories of lesbianism, threesomes, foursomes, orgies, bestiality, dalliances with male and female prostitutes swirled around her, with none of them able to be proven.
Hollywood required immense amounts of fuel for the publicity machine it created. Bow’s issues were blown out of proportion and hyped with outright slander.
A trash tabloid called The Coast Reporter took the already prurient myths and added a few others of their own, namely incest, drug addiction, alcoholism and Bow’s contraction of at least one venereal disease. The publisher attempted to blackmail Bow, promising to cease printing such stories in exchange for $25,000. He was arrested by federal agents and sentenced to eight years.
She brought her widowed father to Hollywood when her career took off and she saw some money coming in. Her father’s presence became a nuisance resulting in Bow putting out a series of fires that attributed to the scandalous nature around her. His drunken visits to her movie sets often saw his attempt to pick up young girls by dropping his daughter’s name. He squandered money Bow gave him on failed business ventures. Her mother died years earlier after a long struggle with mental illness and abuse from Clara’s father. Bow’s mother was rumored to have dabbled in prostitution, only adding more murk to Bow’s background.
Bow was said to have taken many lovers. Some of Hollywood’s major leading men are rumored to be part of a long and varied list, including John Wayne, Gary Cooper and Bela Lugosi. Lugosi’s wife, Beatrice Weeks, cited Bow as cause for her failed marriage to Lugosi, resulting in a very public trial that put Bow once again at the center of scandal. Bow wrongly accused her personal assistant Daisy DeVoe of embezzlement (around $150,000) and DeVoe retaliated by going straight to the press.
DeVoe, feeling she was accused, felt turnabout was fair play and relayed a series of lies that became the stuff of urban legend. DeVoe told stories of Bow having group sex with the University of Southern California football team, which included the about to be discovered actor, John Wayne. She capped off her wild gangbang tale by saying Bow rewarded her sexual prey with lots of booze, gold cigarette cases and other expensive tokens of her affection. None of this was subsequently debunked by numerous people and experts, but it was printed and DeVoe was convicted and went to jail.
By the late 1920s she found herself overworked to the point of mental and emotional exhaustion.
I worked in two and even three pictures at once. I played all sorts of parts in all sorts of pictures…It was very hard at the time and I used to be worn out and cry myself to sleep from sheer fatigue after eighteen hours a day on different sets, but now (late 1927) I am glad of it.
She was treated for her “nervous exhaustion” by Dr. William Earl Pearson and entered into an affair. Pearson’s wife sued Bow for the “alienation” of her husband, resulting in another highly public trial that pushed Bow further into depression and desperation.
Pressure was becoming too much for Bow and she began suffering numerous mini breakdowns on the set. The press picked up on this thanks to her enemies behind the scenes and in another facet of Cynema, Bow found herself thrown to the wolves by the very man and studio that profited so well from her. Before being released from her contract and checking into a sanatorium, Schulberg and Paramount openly referred to Bow as “Crisis-a-day-Clara.”
Paramount turned on Bow in the face of public disdain for the star’s headlines. In a way to break down the emotionally-frail actress they started a mind screw comprised of canceling her films, docking her pay, charging her for un-returned costumes, and insisting that she pay for her publicity photographs.
 Interesting that the press largely ignored these stories for the men, with none of them suffering like Clara Bow for this total fabrication and libel.
 This urban legend, debunked many times, was given further life in the 1965 book, Hollywood Babylon. Author Kenneth Anger basically admitted his did little research for factual information. He was quoted as saying most of his research was “mental telepathy mostly.” Bow’s sons considered suing Anger for defamation.
Feeling disgraced by the DeVoe stories and the studio mental abuse, Bow had a major nervous breakdown at the age of 25 and was institutionalized. Paramount released her from her contract, concluding a program of destroying the very star they created in 1931.
A conspiracy to assassinate Clara Bow is not hyperbole or crazy.
Bow continued to fight mental issues for the remainder of her life, checking in and out of treatment centers and enduring shock therapy. In a 1951 interview she had this to say of her life in its heyday:
We had individuality. We did as we pleased. I’d whiz down Sunset Boulevard in my open Kissel, with several Chow dogs to match my hair. Today, they’re more sensible and end up with better health. But we had more fun.
Clara Bow returned to the screen in the mid-1930s for Fox Studios and attempted to salvage something of her life with two hit pictures. She permanently retired from acting to raise her two sons. “I don’t wanna be remembered as somebody who couldn’t do nothin’ but take her clothes off,” she said after turning 28 years old.
Clara Bow died in September of 1965, alone, while watching television. After her death, famed gossip columnist and ally, Louella Parsons said she would receive a Christmas card every year from Bow that asked, “Do you still remember me?”
Tara is not the only actor to be singled out, suffer bad press or viewed as hunted or picked upon. As seen with Clara Bow, Reid’s situation draws uncanny parallels. Women have been punished and suffered far worse in the entertainment industry than their male counterparts.
Cynema After Clara Bow
“You have to be self-reliant and strong to survive in this town. Otherwise you will be destroyed.” — Actress Joan Crawford
Tara Reid appeared on the scene just at the time of another power shift. The Internet was making inroads into the homes of average Americans. As AOL and Yahoo were becoming household fixtures, Google was becoming a corporation worthy of a James Bond villain. It would affect more lives than any of the old Hollywood gossip rags and tabloids combined.
I have never seen such virulence and personal as the hate campaign against Reid. Many can argue that previous targets Britney, Paris and even Lindsay all suffered the same if not more, but I disagree. In fact, I will show that Reid has done far less than any of her contemporaries or even stars decades before her. I will also show that her male co-targets outdid her in almost every moral and legal venue and not only rebounded, many thrived in their celebrated “comebacks.”
This is not about whether you “like” her or “hate” her. It’s not about the quality of her films and what was “good” or “bad.” It is about a critical approach to see if the punishment fits the crime, and what…if any…crime was committed.
To approach this as objectively you first have to ask, ”Does the Hollywood establishment really hate Tara Reid?” Let’s find out.
The blue stars represent public and televised appearances. The yellow stars are theatrical film releases. The news topics begin with progress on Reid’s career but slowly turn toward her party girl antics. If you follow the graph from left to right you see a steady incline as Reid’s films score higher and higher with audience and boxoffice success. Beginning with 1998’s The Big Lebowski, Reid’s star brightened with Urban Legend and Cruel Intentions, but spiked with the release of the first American Pie film. From there the chart shows her at the top, flecked with a variety of news articles and projects and appearances.
The meter shows one of the first signs of trouble in October, 2001 with an article from WENN on a handbag search Reid did not take kindly to:
Tara Reid lived up to her reputation for being difficult at a recent Hollywood bash. The American Pie 2 star joined a host of tinseltown celebrities at the Los Angeles one-year anniversary for the Sony Playstation 2 game console. But while most stars were happy to allow extra security checks that meant they handed over their handbags before entering the event, according to the New York Daily News, Tara moaned and groaned at the idea of having to abandon her purse. She even asked to speak with a manager at the ST. Regis Hotel, in a desperate attempt to get special treatment. And when this failed, she instructed her female companion to “Put your purse in mine,” before waltzing off to join fellow celebs Courteney Cox Arquette and Thora Birch.
A December 19, 2003 WENN article shows an escalation:
American Pie wildchild Tara Reid’s attempts to ditch her image as a party girl have failed miserably – after she was spotted inebriated and behaving badly at an Atlantic City, New Jersey nightclub. The blonde bombshell was enjoying a night out with pals at The Mix bar in casino Borgata on Saturday night where fellow celebrities Beyonce Knowles and Jennifer Lopez were also partying. According to website Page Six.com, tipsy Tara had a little too much to drink and accidentally bumped into club promoter Keith Collins – who she reportedly “tried to grope”. On witnessing her raunchy behavior, her unnamed male companion allegedly “grabbed her by the arm and marched her out.”
As early as 2001 Reid had a “reputation” for “being difficult” according to the handbag article. By the time the 2003 article was written she was trying to reform her party image. So what happened just before 2001 and afterwards to 2003 to earn so much hatred she will become the Tinsel Town Pariah? Apparently, The Powers That Be didn’t care all that much when her films were making money.
The Star Meter is just one slice of data. At the time of this writing, Tara is in the Top 500. So why isn’t she doing A-list films again? Exile because of partying? Really? Going through archived articles back to 1997, before Reid was a name in Hollywood (and certainly not an IT Girl), the earliest data I found on her partying reputation started sometime around 1999.
This coincides with the release of American Pie and the attention that film received.
She’ll Do it for a Thousand Bucks
Tara shocked her own mother when she made her infamous proposal to Jeff Bridges in the cult film, The Big Lebowski. She played Bunny Lebowski, a young party girl trophy wife whose character eerily foreshadowed Reid’s image as success bore down on her.
The Joel and Ethan Coen film was a mild box office hit but gained home video cult status for Bridge’s portrayal of consummate slacker, “The Dude.” Reid’s onscreen time amounts to an extended cameo as she is talked about more than she is seen. But the line “I’ll suck your cock for a thousand dollars” became part of the ether and Tara was on her way. Ironically, it is the part she is most respected for today.
She had major roles in Urban Legend and Cruel Intentions, but it was American Pie that made her an “IT Girl” and the next boxoffice sensation. Tara reached this level of Hollywood power at the age of 24.
American Pie’s success is owed more to timing than being a funny movie. It was the perfect “check your brain at the door” summer movie in a landscape overcrowded with heavier and some lesser quality films.
One look on Netflix and the hyperbole is flying: “hilarious, funniest.movie.ever., couldn’t stop laughing”, the list goes on. Once again, it is none of those things. It was a throwback to the 80s teen sex comedy that bridged the gap between Generation X and Generation Y. It invoked Sixteen Candles, Weird Science and even Better Off Dead and Ferris Bueller and spliced it with Fast Times At Ridgemont High and it worked. It had nostalgia for the former 80s teen audience while delivering the racy sexual exploits modern Gen Y’ers had become accustomed to.
While Seann William Scott (another Hollywood exile) stole the show as “Stifler,” Reid was the female thief, walking away as a new pinup girl and FHM and Maxim cover girl. She would adorn high school boy’s lockers and become one of the most downloaded women on the burgeoning Internet.
More like an upper-middle-class “Porky’s,” “American Pie” is unable to transcend its own dirty mind. Among this year’s bumper crop of shallow teen-age movies, it is the shallowest and the most prurient. It may well be the biggest hit. SOURCE
By the end of the summer the public asked for a second helping and a sequel was announced. I am going to use 1999 as the year for the start Reid’s impending Cynematic ride. She was going up the roller coaster, ready to go over the hump on that first thrilling plunge. It was the year she was anointed with “star” status and her financial situation undoubtedly elevated as well–the year Tara Reid arrived.
“What’s Al Capone done? He’s supplied a legitimate demand. Some call it bootlegging. Some call it racketeering. I call it business.
They say I violate the prohibition law. Who doesn’t?” – Al Capone, mobster, bootlegger, racketeer
How can I draw a comparison between 1920s gangster Al Capone and Tara Reid? I mean if she’s such a criminal, let’s go balls to the wall and compare her to not just any criminal. Let’s go for Al Capone himself.
Reading things about Reid you’d think she killed a number of people, supplied drugs and illegal substances to millions and corrupted the political system. I use Capone’s quote, because of its cynical honesty. Capone was a product of his time, shaped by artificial morality that created a demand for what he could readily supply.
So what exactly has Tara Reid done? She supplied a legitimate demand
American Pie was heralded by some critics as the return of the teen movie. America was seeing an end to the Clinton Roaring 90s but the economy and housing bubble continued to swell. There was a general “feel good” atmosphere despite the turmoil Clinton’s personal life brought to the political scene. After blowjobs and a parade of women in Clinton’s White House exposed by Ken Starr’s lurid investigation of the Lewinsky scandal translated to many as a racy soft core porn dime novel, most American’s were willing to kick up their heels and loosen up for their entertainment.
The Internet was graduating from baby steps, and online celebrity sites and entertainment outlets began to populate the dot com universe. Old school rags like Star Magazine and the monolith of Hollywood gossip, The National Enquirer were competing with upstart online columnists through something called a web log or…blog.
Now someone could snap a picture and upload it to their blog or site almost instantaneously (smart phones were still a ways off) while the tabloids, being a little slow on the uptake, found themselves outfoxed by the individual. No longer could a handful of entertainment scandal sheets control coverage in Hollywood. This was a new frontier–the Information Gold Rush of 1998.
Online was the new Wild West in the late 90s and early 2000s. The law could not keep up with the rapid transformation of how we got or shared our information. A new sheriff was needed as music file sharing took the first hit in regards to copyright violation. The Internet would be the end of the music industryand the new DVD format and a source of contention for actors, writers and all of Hollywood as the industry struggled to find a way to make money and fight pirating.
The First Amendment got a kick in the balls. In the rush to be “first rather than right” online publications gunned each other down for the scoop and worried about the consequences later. Legal loopholes allowed accusations, slander and libel to take on the moniker of free speech.
Celebrities were hunted by a new Raptor-like Paparazzi. A trivial outing could now be a fiasco where an exposed nipple, inadvertent underwear exposure, a hint of cellulite or leaving home without makeup could become major, headline grabbing news. Everything was under the microscope and fair game. Infotainment was the new buzzword and a new question would start popping up among the rows of online comments: “Why is this news?”
Old school print letters to the editor were screened. When controversial material was published, there was a paper trail accountability no matter how flawed the process. With the addition of comment areas on digital articles and the ability to post instant responses to online blogs, the “democratization” of speech translated into allowing anyone with an opinion to post whatever they wanted, despite how venomous, proving difficult if not impossible to regulate let alone litigate.
Keyboard Tough Guys
Commentators could hide anonymously behind fake names as they pontificated and spouted their views and venom. This allowed the ignorant a voice and license to spread false information and post outright hate speech and slanderous/defamatory material. There was a deluded self-righteousness that allowed them to judge. Imagine if the public had the ability to watch Clara Bow’s every move and comment on it instantly, with their words spreading worldwide in seconds.
The damage a the 1950s gossip magazine, Confidential wreaked on Hollywood got the US government involved as Hollywood closed ranks to reign in the scandal rag. Imagine the power of the Internet in 1952 and its effects on Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford and politics with John F. Kennedy exposed in a Bill Clinton-esque way.
The Internet gave new power to the angry and disenfranchised. Now everyone was a critic just as in a few years the digital revolution would allow talentless amateurs to believe they were real filmmakers and musicians. Anyone with a blog, vlog or podcast could pass judgment with anonymity.
I found very few early articles chiding Tara Reid for her bad girl behavior. On the contrary, it appears to have looked “fun” or even “cute” by the industry and there was little outcry against her partying antics–while her films were making money. The controversial headlines increased in proportion to Tara Reid’s star power. She would find herself at the center of a perfect storm in the evolution of Hollywood as one more power shift was to upset the industry.
This was a beautiful 24 year-old girl with a large amount of new money. Not making excuses, but how would most people react to being in such a situation? Hollywood was always a notorious party town, and Reid found herself receiving numerous invites to all the best clubs, gatherings and insider parties. This young girl was surrounded by a coterie of advisors, managers and hanger-ons that further insulated her from reality. No one wants to be the “Buzzkill” of the party.
Tara Reid was smart enough to make her own decisions and take responsibility for her actions no matter how many people around her contributed to her chaotic lifestyle. She was also known for her shyness and awkwardness in social situations. She admitted to being a terrible dancer and found alcohol to be a way to bring down social inhibitions while allegedly believing it helped her insomnia. “I have sleeping problems so I would drink to pass out and sleep,” she said in an interview.
Her newfound popularity revealed her to be naïve in her trust of the press and media (not to mention many of the people around her). She found herself divulging too much about her personal life, believing if she were honest the media would respect her for it. She found too late that this would not be the case. The moment she opened up to her sensitivity she was a target “…So maybe when people started asking questions about my personal life I shouldn’t have given so much information,” she reflected.
Drew Barrymore Makes Us All Look Like Pussies
Americans have short memories, and in the pre-Internet era, forgot that Drew Barrymore paved the way for the modern bad girl lifestyle. She started party-hopping when she was seven. Coming from the acting Barrymore pedigree, she was allegedly an alcoholic by the age of nine (accounts vary), doing cocaine by eleven; her first suicide attempt was at twelve and in rehab by age thirteen. Her second suicide attempt was at fourteen. She has been photographed drunk in public, posed nude, flashed her bare breasts to David Letterman and waged a public war for emancipation from when she was just a teen.
A headline from the London Evening Standard in an August, 2010 article says: “People Should Shut Up About My Wild Past. I’m Proud Of It.” This was Gertie, the little girl from ET The Extraterrestrial. Wasn’t she a role model?
I gesture at the clippings on the table and say I’m exhausted reading about her “wild child” past. Does she ever lose patience talking about it?
[Drew] nods angrily. “You should have heard this bitch I had to do an interview with before you. God, I wanted to punch her, she would just not drop the youth thing. I have no problem talking about it. I am not someone who is ashamed of my past. I’m actually really proud. I know I made a lot of mistakes, but they in turn were my life lessons.
Drew’s pretty pissed in that interview. A lot more pissed than Tara Reid during her handbag search or when Jenny McCarthy took pot shots at her on her radio show.
Where was the public outcry against Drew for threatening violence? I am sure it helps when your close with Steven Spielberg.
Drew Barrymore paid her penance, and despite the Hollywood Blacklisting (she was waitressing at age 17 after a string of boxoffice flops and continued hell raising) she made a deserved comeback and straightened her life out. She has a successful production company and is respected within the industry. How much of this rehabilitation is due to greater powers like Spielberg, actress Sophia Loren and rocker David Crosby is unknown. It can’t hurt. For what it’s worth, every time I see Barrymore on a commercial or in another film I am grateful she is still with us. She is a survivor and with whatever degree of help, is still standing.
When asked about the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Tara Reid, Barrymore replied:
There are quite a few tragic circumstances out there right now. But I also know when I was going through stuff I didn’t want to hear someone’s opinion about it in the form of a public decree. They didn’t know me, and I’d just feel like: Oh f**k off, don’t patronize me, don’t give me your cheap sympathy in an interview.’ So I never comment. But I have a great deal of empathy, of course.
Barrymore’s 1990 confession Little Girl Lost put it all on the table as a quasi request for America to forgive her. For the most part America has. Barrymore is one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood, seen as one of America’s sweethearts and is still considered A-list.
The infamous photo of a nine year-old Drew slumped over vodkas inside New York’s notorious Studio 54 is eclipsed by the antics of the new so-called Hollywood party bad girls of the Internet Age. In 2011, Google/Yahoo/Bing/Corbis/Getty Images had hundreds of photos featuring Tara Reid drunk and in various states of undress. However I found only one small poor quality copy of the famous black and white photo of Drew Barrymore hunched over a table at Studio 54, her hand to her head leaning over a vodka at the age of nine. Since, the word was powerful people had “talks” with Google to rid cyberspace of as much damaging material as possible.
Drew Barrymore, in a dark way, had the fortune to self destruct before it could be exploited by the Internet. She had the perfect timing to disappear and rehabilitate during the digital age for the entire world to see she was a Girl Done Good. As Drew was mending and licking her wounds in the mid-1990s, Tara Reid was revving up and the whole world was going to watch.
Early articles of partying served the studio publicity machine and those invested into Tara Reid. Why would anyone want to stop her? Tara generated free press and living her films for all to see was good for business. So she got a little drunk, a little mouthy…she’s sexy and she sells tickets. She was a wild child, but she was their wild child and they were vested in her misadventures.
Joan Crawford once said to a reporter asking her reaction to the vicious rumors and gossip printed about her: “Honey, if they didn’t print those things about me, they’d have nothing to print at all.”
Tara found herself in the company of some influential powerbrokers like Michael DeLuca, Brett Ratner, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, and a host of celebrity socialites that reinvented partying for the Internet audience.
A March, 1999 New York Times articles describes a scenario that would become the norm for Reid. This story reports on director Brett Ratner’s newfound fame after the success of the first Rush Hour film. Ratner has recenty found himself the subject of new headlines, this time facing exile from the Wonder Woman franchise for allegedly bad behavior.
ONE car or two? That’s the kind of question that gets thrown around the week before the Oscars, as nominees, hotshots, never-beens and sharks zip around town, being seen and scarfing up whatever goodies studios (with nominations or not) throw out.
Take Brett Ratner, 28, the hotshot director of ”Rush Hour” with Jackie Chan, billed as ”the fastest hands in the East” and Chris Tucker, ”the biggest mouth in the West.” (No nominations). Mr. Ratner gathered his posse — Chris Penn, who also appeared in ”Rush Hour,” and Joey Krutel, a childhood friend from Miami — …The party was for New Line, the studio that released ”Rush Hour,” and it was being given by Mike DeLuca, the company’s president. Mr. DeLuca’s name will probably remain linked to the Oscar season, after an incident last year in which he famously was caught in flagrante delicto at an Oscar party.
Juggling cell phones, Mr. Ratner first made sure that Mr. Penn would meet him at the right house — not his old one, but the new one high in the Hollywood Hills with the vast view of the city flats below. Then he said good night to his fiancee, Rebecca Gayheart, an actress, as he and his boys headed out…
Mr. Penn compared Mr. Ratner to a kid in the candy store who suddenly owned the store. Why? Because Mr. Ratner’s $35 million movie, released last year, took in $141 million at American box offices for New Line. In this whirlwind week of parties leading up to the Academy Awards, he was clearly New Line’s man of the hour. Mr. DeLuca greeted Mr. Ratner as effusively as if he were running alongside Steven Spielberg and Roberto Benigni.
Mr. Ratner set up court at a rear table, and a procession began as people came to greet him: the actresses China Chow and Tara Reid, and a handful of movie executives. ”This is ground zero Hollywood right here,” said Rick Hess, the head of Phoenix Pictures, which helped produce ”The Thin Red Line.”
…Later, he greeted Madonna, Marisa Tomei, Tia Carrere, Jennifer Lopez and Farrah Fawcett. Only Ms. Tomei had ever won an Oscar (best supporting actress in 1993 for ”My Cousin Vinny”), but Mr. Ratner had had Ms. Fawcett’s poster on his wall as a teen-ager, and that counts for something. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chris Rock and Sean (Puffy) Combs were on hand, too, as was Hugh Hefner, in an open-collared shirt.
Mr. Ratner circled the club, with a stop (quickly aborted) to try out a few dance steps with a couple of girls. Just before midnight, Mr. Penn said he was 34 and wanted to go home. There were meetings to go to the next day, and more parties to attend in the week. And Hollywood is an early-to-bed town. ]SOURCE
An early to bed town…I love it. This is one of the earliest articles on Tara Reid being part of the public Hollywood scene. In fact the article states she is at a gathering where anyone who is anyone is present (“This is ground zero Hollywood right here”).
Let’s look at a number of the people featured in this article. Ratner, who is portrayed as an innocent boy “in a candy store who suddenly owned the store.” Stop there. Why is it acceptable that young Brett Ratner, only several years older than Tara Reid is allowed to be swept up in the moment and it’s all chalked up to childhood wonder and whimsy? ‘Cause he’s a guy in the best Boy’s Club in the world.
Former (fired) New Line President and president of production at Spielberg’s Dreamworks became a legend for the “epic” blowjob he received in front of his guests at a pre-Oscar party at the home of a high profile agent at William Morris the year before. SOURCE
In a business that’s filled with second-guessing, Mike has the courage of his convictions and that’s why so many filmmakers want to work with him.” screenwriter Gary Ross told the LA Times Claudia Eller for her 3/29/98 article. “Almost anyone I know would give his right arm for his track record.
Michael De Luca is best known for receiving a blowjob at age 32 from the sister of actor Cary Elwes and producer Cassian Elwes in front of guests (such as ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGER, EMMA THOMPSON, JOHN MALKOVICH and QUENTIN TARANTINO) at a pre-Oscar party thrown by then head of the William Morris motion picture division, Arnold Rifkin at his home in March, 1998. De Luca and the woman were escorted from the party by security guards.
De Luca exudes a don’t-give-a-damn attitude. He has a record of public fistfights and drunken driving. He prefers to wear denim and leather over suits and ties and enjoys riding a Harley. Ibid
The whole article is cringe-worthy, sounding like one of Hollywood’s own bad clichés—silly, self-important people all knowing their situation is temporary; knowing deep in the back of their minds to live it up because you’re only as hot as your last picture. However, this was a man doing such things and therefore gets a free pass.
Tara continued her press tours, magazine covers and all-expenses-paid partying but never had a public incident of oral sex before a roomful of important people documented unless you count her scene in American Pie.
Timing is Everything
Tara Reid’s fame rose as the Clinton administration was winding down and September 11th was just another post-Labor Day date on the calendar. Although I knew Clinton would survive impeachment, I also knew we would see America swing pretty far right in the next election.
The point is the nation was on the verge of swinging back to a more conservative state of mind with the 2000 selection of George W. Bush. False conservatives were everywhere, preaching “family values” in the wake of the Columbine massacre and calling for a return to “American morals” (whatever that might be). Hollywood was not immune, and while some sections of the town battened down for the oncoming storm other liberals donned their conservative sheep’s clothing to ride it out.
The September 11th attacks threw the country into a hard right tailspin. The political and cultural landscape changed and suddenly America found itself in a neo-conservative tsunami where power was given to conservative political pundits with newfound celebrity and FOX news overtook every other broadcast and “family values” groups like the Parents Television Council and Focus on the Family hijacked pop culture in their bid to sanitize our culture for the sake of the children.
The demand for Hollywood to clean up its act since the Columbine school shootings went into overdrive in the wake of 9-11. If Hollywood wouldn’t do it itself, these new celebrity moral groups would do it for them. We now get closer to the hypocrisy of the business. Under pressure to lessen the sex and violence, studios leaned to the pressure from the Morality Police, lest they be deemed against the American Family, targeting children and the ultimate attack: un-American, thus rebooting the McCarthy Era.
While there is no doubt that the entertainment industry dumped some serious junk into the culture, it was responding to a political demand that brings us full circle to the opening of this book: it was cynically feeding that hypocritical demand.
To stay focused, the antics of Hollywood’s wild children, gone for the most part ignored, now came under scrutiny and studio heads and executives fearing backlash, sponsor boycotts or Internet vilification started reigning in the celebrities they spent previous years investing into their reckless lives of fun and profitable abandon. This was like parents who claim to be their child’s “best friend” and then when they realize their child is out of control because of this ridiculous concept of parenting, suddenly try to be real parents and find themselves faced with stiff resistance and rebellious behavior.
Tara had best friends for Hollywood parents in the form of the executives and management. Few wanted to tell her “no” and as long as the moral and political climate tolerated it, so would the studios. Then things changed and it was time to tell her to cool her jets but it was a little late to start playing parent.
The Internet allowed the hypocrites to take to the web and celebrities found themselves under severe and sudden scrutiny almost overnight. As the fallout from 9-11 and the surge in patriotism that led to the 2003 Iraq invasion continued to build, Hollywood was under increasing pressure to get its act straight.
By 2000 Reid was romantically linked (not accurately) to a number of male celebrities, but she made a serious mistake in linking up with the Dick Clark of Generation Y—Carson Daly. Daly was the host of MTV’s wildly popular Total Request Live. The show was a springboard for pop talent and soon through the crossing of entertainment streams, Daly and Reid began dating.
Public backlash was almost immediate, mostly through poison blog posts and Internet comments from pre-teen girls who felt robbed of their vanilla male fantasy. Reid was assailed as “Tara Rude” and described as “ugly, disgusting” and there were open calls for her to die. Reid and Daly’s relationship became the stuff of tabloid dreams and studios took a sigh of relief to see that their golden goose was now making headlines for her romance woes rather than for her night life.
One old website by an apparently scorned Carson fan dedicated itself to trashing Reid. Using the title: Carson Daly’s Secret Love Life, it is a supposedly humorous attack on the Reid-Daly relationship by alleging through bad grammar and obliviously faked photos that Daly is engaged in some sort of secret homosexual affair. SOURCE
Everyone knows that Carson Daly and Tara Reid (Or as I prefer to call that evil freak: Tara Rude) have been dating for quite a while and are engaged to be married later this year. Or are they? I have startling evidence that Carson is cheating on Tara! Yes its true! Carson has been seen walking around with and kissing….get this….A GUY!!!! Yes- believe it or not! Oh you DON’T believe me?!?! Well then see for yourself! The following are pictures that do indeed prove that Carson is cheating on Tara Rude with a man by the name of Steve.
With the craftsmanship of a twelve year old the site delights in its assumed cleverness and continues with more Oscar Wilde flavor: The reason for Carson preferring [sic] the company of men? Two words: Tara Rude. Her stupidity, ugliness, retardity, hyperbolishness, and disgustingness has made him swear off the whole female gender. Sorry girls. 🙁 Yes I know- this is a sad event for us all.
It’s a sad event for the webmaster of this site.
The “hilarity” of this high comedy ensues when it turns on Tara Reid:
Although I utterly despise Tara Rude, and I wish she would die, to make this story complete I must tell you what happened to Tara Rude when she was told about Carson’s cheating, gayness, and cross-dressing abilities [sic]. Well let’s just say that Tara has been emotionally scared by Carson’s rejection. But she has now found contentment with her new girlfriend (yes: GIRLFRIEND), Ashley Poole of the terribly horrible “music” group “Dream.” (Or as I call them: NIGHTMARE!)
Something tells me this wannabe Perez Hilton writes reviews for Netflix now. Because Reid is a celebrity such things can be freely written and masked by satire and anonymity. Nowhere on the page is the author’s name or even a contact to respond. Not once does the author list a reason for his/her (something tells me ‘him’) psychopathic hatred for Tara Reid. Let something like this be posted on Facebook now between non-celebrity high school students and watch the lawsuits fly, hear the cries of destroyed self esteem and lives destroyed. SOURCE (This footnote documents three Facebook-related articles featuring two students in trouble for posting potentially slanderous material about fellow classmates and a third article about Roger Ebert posting material of his recent facial reconstruction from cancer surgery on his site. That material is labeled as “abusive content” but if you look for a page called “I Hate the State Farm Guy” there are fans dedicated to killing or sodomizing in a variety of ways the pitchman for the insurance company.)  SOURCE
Reid’s party life was reported on an almost daily basis, creating a small cottage industry for the new media. “I mean, everyone does it. I don’t know why I’m the one who gets so much attention,” she said in an interview.
Tara was offered the lead role in Josie and the Pussycats but turned it down, rightly believing if the film failed it would be perceived as “her” movie. Instead she opted for the secondary lighter role of cartoon ditz, Melodie the band’s drummer. Josie and the Pussycats cynically boasts having the most product placement in the history of filmmaking.
The movie “Josie and the Pussycats”…A send-up on the music industry… manages to satirize name-brand integration throughout the film. To get an idea of just how saturated with brands, logos and products this movie is, here’s a taste of what you can see in just the trailer alone (Keep in mind that the trailer is only two minutes and twenty-five seconds long!): America Online, American Express, Bebe, Billboard Magazine, Bugles, Campbell’s Soup, Coke, Entertainment Weekly Magazine, Evian, Ford, Gatorade, Kodak, Krispy Kreme, McDonald’s, Milky Way, Motorola, Pepperidge Farm Cookies, Pizza Hut, Pringles, Puma, Ray-Ban, Sega, Starbucks, Steve Madden, Target, and T.J. Maxx. SOURCE
It was a box office bomb and Reid survived, but it was proof that the wild child was not impervious to failure. The lumps she received put enough blood in the water to draw the sharks living vicariously through her life via the Internet. Reid needed to get back into the boat and American Pie 2 was the life raft.
The People Magazine article displayed here acknowledges her party lifestyle, her breakup with Carson Daly and her relationship with rich socialite and celebrity publicist Lizzie Grubman. Grubman made headlines in 2001 when she was asked to remove her Mercedes SUV from a fire lane at a posh restaurant in The Hamptons. In a fit of rage she drove the vehicle into a crowd of patrons injuring 16 and later indicted on charges including reckless driving while intoxicated endangerment. She faced 37 years but reached a plea bargain that resulted in 37 days in jail and five years probation. SOURCE
The trial was public and tabloid jet fuel. Allegations of special treatment combined with the alleged story that Grubman called the people she ran down “white trash” before plowing her vehicle into them. This turned into a spectacle of class warfare as celebrities were called out to testify at the trial. One of them was Tara Reid who was partying with Grubman the night of the SUV incident. One article from iVillage Entertainment in 2002 acknowledged that Reid never really did anything wrong except show occasional bad taste in fashion and hairstyles.
Since her split from fiancée Carson Daly last summer, this New Jersey native has taken a turn for the trashier. Her alliance with infamous — and even more orange-hued — New York PR princess Lizzie Grubman last summer certainly hasn’t raised Reid’s stock. She was one of Grubman’s sidekicks the night she mowed down 16 people outside a Hamptons nightclub. SOURCE
Reid refused to trash Grubman publicly, standing by her friend (regardless f right or wrong). She went silent as Hward Stern grilled her on his show, trying to get her to say something inciting against the embattled socialite. Reid would not and as a result refused to go back on Stern’s show after lucrative offers and when she knew it would be a boon to her career.
Was this first major “moral” misstep enough to earn her such hatred and disdain and exile within the industry that she experiences now?
Aside from over-glorified partying which never and has yet to result in any kind of legal action (Reid has never been arrested or even cited) what we have is a breakup with Carson Daly and supporting a friend who is an alleged elitist asshole.
Reid, Daly are smiling like Cheshire ‘Pussycats’ The two worked together on the movie Josie and the Pussycats, opening today. [Tara Reid], an old acting pro at 25, offered tips to neophyte [Carson Daly], 27, the MTV host who makes his film debut playing a dastardly version of himself. “I’m doing what I love to do, so it’s not too treacherous,” says Reid, who stays in contact with Daly via her Motorola two-way pager. “I’m not sleeping too much, but besides that, I’m really enjoying myself. USA Today, 2001
‘TRUST IS BROKEN,’ SAYS TARA – SO SHE BREAKS UP WITH CARSON. Reid quickly picked herself up and darted back into single life over the weekend: She was spotted with some guys at two Hamptons hangouts, Jet East and Conscience Point. Clearly, it was time for her to move on. “I’m going to spend most of the summer in the Hamptons and maybe go to Europe with friends,” Reid said. “And mostly, I want to enjoy life.” Daily News, 2001
Reid Took Lessons for ‘Josie’ Role. ** Interestingly, this article about Reid taking drum lessons to play Melodie in the 2001 film is right alongside an article about Vince Caugh and Steve Buscemi getting into a barroom brawl while filming a movie called Domestic Disturbance in Wilmington, DE. Buscemi was actually stabbed in the throat, head, and arm. Another article features the rapper Jay-Z held on a weapons charge. The Robesonian, 2001
These are the types of articles that would define Reid and her career until 2005. Until then, the articles focus on her love life and party-hopping. There was not a single article about Tara shutting down or jeopardizing a single production. Not a single article by a fellow co-star, director or producer bad-mouthing Reid or finding her “difficult” to work with.
In an April 5, 2001 article of The Bryan Times, Reid is interviewed under the title: Five Questions For Tara Reid. The article is revealing, allowing Reid to address the rumors and gossip with a journalist who seems to listen.
The almost daily coverage of her social life in the tabloids has included her engagement and subsequent breakup last year with Carson Daly…”Everyone is forgetting I have done 15 movies,” says Reid who co-starred in both American Pie movies and Josie and the Pussycats. “People take quotes when I say ‘work hard and party hard’ and just print ‘party hard,’”the 26 year old actress says. “But the one thing I care more about than anything is my work ethic.” SOURCE
Alone in the Dark and Left for Dead
Every great actor has their share of boxoffice duds. Tom Hanks had The Man With One Red Shoes, Volunteers and Bonfire of the Vanities to name a few. Bruce Willis had Hudson Hawk, The Story of Us and others, Harrison Ford detonated The Mosquito Coast, Sabrina, and a profitable bomb in the widely despised Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls. Nicholas Cage continues to stay working with one bomb after another. For the ladies, Halle Berry took on Catwoman and Swordfish. Julia Roberts floundered on Broadway and films like I Love Trouble, Charlie Wilson’s War and the high profile Eat, Pray, Love. Michelle Pfeiffer even survived Grease 2 and Dark Shadows.
Alone in the Dark was her movie and it was a high profile project allegedly paying the biggest paycheck yet. It seemed to have all the right ingredients for a major summer hit. It had a well known action director, it had a cult following from the shoot ‘em up hit video game that served as source material and it had Christian Slater who had a solid reputation and could make the transition into action hero as his performance in True Romance showed great promise.
Reid scored another hit in 2002 with Ryan Reynolds in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, solidifying her status as A-list power girl and commanding over one million dollars per film.
Alone in the Dark was plagued with problems. Issues with the original script being revised by director Uwe Boll. Blair Erikson, author of the original script had some sarcastic praise about the inception of the project:
The original script took the Alone In the Dark premise and depicted it as if it were actually based on a true story of a private investigator in the northeastern U.S. whose missing persons cases begin to uncover a disturbing paranormal secret. It was told through the eyes of a writer following Edward Carnby and his co-worker for a novel, and depicted them as real-life blue-collar folks who never expected to find hideous beings waiting for them in the dark. We tried to stick close to the H. P. Lovecraft style and the low-tech nature of the original game, always keeping the horror in the shadows so you never saw what was coming for them.
Thankfully “Dr. Boll” was able to hire his loyal team of hacks to crank out something much better than our crappy story and add in all sorts of terrifying horror movie essentials like opening gateways to alternate dimensions, bimbo blonde archaeologists, sex scenes, mad scientists, slimy dog monsters, special army forces designed to battle slimy CG dog monsters, Tara Reid, “Matrix” slow-motion gun battles, and car chases. Oh yeah, and a ten-minute opening back story scroll read aloud to the illiterate audience, the only people able to successfully miss all the negative reviews. I mean hell, Boll knows that’s where the real scares lie. SOURCE
There is no question Reid was miscast in this movie. She is not the first to be miscast and I would like to think the idea was to cast her against type. By making her an anthropologist type scientist, she would gain some respect and show her range. Cynema tells me it was the paycheck. Perhaps the review (I can’t remember the author) that made me wince the most was one that simply said: Tarable.
The attacks on the film are just. However to the Internet audience, no one cares about the behind the scenes issues. What matters is what plays up on that screen, and to be fair, it is what these actors get the big bucks for. If you are going to put yourself out there and accept big bucks for a high profile movie, you better make sure you read the script.
…asking the viewer to accept Tara Reid as a scientist is pure insanity, requiring a staggering leap of faith that I can’t even begin to contemplate. SOURCE
It wasn’t long before objective, professional reviews turned personal, attacking Reid for her alleged plastic surgeries and then outright barbs of alcoholism and drug-induced behavior. Nell Minow of MovieMom at Yahoo Movies wrote: “Reid delivers her lines as though she is calling for another round of Mai Tais for the house.”
Reid was savaged by the critics and the general movie-going public. She was also dissed by the film’s director, Uwe Boll. The irony is Boll is considered by many to be one of the worst filmmakers of all time.
Along with the numerous Razzie Nominations, she snagged one for worst actress. No actor in the film took shots like Tara Reid. She was thrown to the wolves and this time she was torn apart. Film and video game blogs and forums lit up with hatred for Reid. She was the Spoiler.
Saying Uwe Boll’s Alone in the Dark is better than his 2003 American debut House of the Dead is akin to praising syphilis for not being HIV. SOURCE
She signed on to the ill-fated E Channel disaster, Taradise which was cancelled in less than a year. It became more fuel for tabloids and late night comedy TV. An E ! True Hollywood Story promised to be a turning point in her downspin, but instead was edited to highlight Reid as a self destructive mess and contributed to her further decline.
In 2005 after publicly refuting plastic surgery, the front of her dress fell down at a birthday gathering for Sean “Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy, Vodka Spokesman” Combs. Her left breast was exposed to show fresh surgery. Humiliated, the press jumped on the fact that she was delayed in reacting to the famous “nip slip.”
Reid tried to respond (why she had to justify her dress slipping is beyond me) by saying with a flood of camera flashes and numbness from pain medication for the surgery, her reaction time was delayed.
Accusations of being stoned, drunk or just stupid were everywhere and added to Reid’s humiliation. She was forced to admit she did plastic surgery (she’s the only one?) and found herself stalked by the press awaiting further wardrobe malfunctions.
Soon a new kind of photo genre became a fixture on the Net…the exposed private parts. Shots of Reid getting out of a car, plane, sitting down all for a sneak of her panties or hopefully without became tags with her name. How is this not some form of sexual assault?
The advent of YouTube allowed video of her being denied access to a famous club while Paris Hilton and non-entity but somehow celebrity Kim Kardashian are quickly admitted with Tara’s former BFF not even giving her more than a bitchy glance.
It was the War of the Bad Girls as Paris, Britney, Lindsay and Tara became the focus of the media with Tara taking the brunt of the hits as Britney’s self destruction peaked with her famous umbrella assault on an SUV and Lindsay was arrested, fired, shut down movies and TV shows, arrested again and experimented in lesbianism.
Reid was in freefall and by 2007 had not seen a theatrical release of one of her movies since Alone in the Dark. She was now a Hollywood pariah. The business that made her, that reaped hundreds of millions in profits from her image abandoned her. Old friends and powerful executives she once drank champagne with and partied at their homes and hugged at premieres and kissed in restaurants now denied her. Where were all these fair-weathered friends now?
Reid withdrew from the scene, tried to stay off the radar while being openly humiliated by the likes of Perez Hilton (who also took swipes at her family) and various online video sites that replayed her exposed breast, denial to the club, drunken New Years countdowns and avoiding paparazzi in the streets.
In 2008 she checked into Promises rehabilitation center for exhaustion, alcohol and drug related issues. The vultures were circling, with the media now openly wondering if Tara’s career could recover and if so…how?
Meeting Tara Reid
That’s how I met Tara Reid.
I wanted her to play my mother in The Fields. I thought she was a fine actress and had a terrific voice. I reached out to her reps and wrote that letter to them passionately explaining why I wanted to secure her for my first motion picture. Her rep agreed and a deal was worked out. She was conscientious, emailing me regularly with questions on her character, about my mother and how she would portray her.
I opened this piece with some anecdotes of Tara’s first day on set. I end with this.
A horror website came to the set of The Fields. They wanted interviews, and besides the celebrities, they wanted one with me as this was my true story. I wrote it. I was shooting it in my home town and I had the real deal on the project.
I was outside watching the crew set up the next shot when one of the reporters approached me. She was very nice and polite and she asked if she could interview me.
“No.” I replied. She thought I was joking and asked again in a “no, seriously,” kind of tone. I didn’t smile and said it again. I had no interest in being interviewed, even if it helped my film. I told her this:
“One of my stars is sitting inside that farmhouse right now. You guys have written some pretty nasty personal things about her and you have specifically. I understand professional criticism but what you and some others on your staff wrote went beyond personal. If you walk in there and give her a sincere apology, I’ll give you a great interview with details no one on this set can tell you.”
To her credit, the reporter and her photographer went inside and gave a sincere apology and I granted the interview.
So now, I ask, after all of this, just what has Tara Reid done? When you look at the almost daily accusations headlines, what has this woman done to incur such backlash and online scorn?
Mel Gibson was recently declared “safe again” for Hollywood. He has been forgiven for his “sins.”Is Sharknado all the redemption afforded to Tara Reid? Is that as good as it gets for her?
Compare her to her male counterparts and the bottom falls out of the tub.
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