Leighton Meester is incredibly talented. There is no doubt about that.
She played the wonderfully b*tchy Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl, she has an AH-MAZE voice, and is currently starring in Of Mice and Men on Broadway, so really, it's clear how talented she is.
But did you know she's also incredibly smart?
The new wife to Adam Brody has penned an incredibly poignant essay on her character in the play, Curley's wife, and we're in awe of how well-written and smart the essay is.
The actress has written her thoughts on the little-known feminist subtext within John Steinbeck's novel/play that she witnesses on a daily basis while playing the part on stage.
Of the incredibly disturbing revelations she's found through acting out this character's fate nightly, there were a couple points that really sit with a reader and make you think.
On an undeserved hate of her character:
'The insults are thrown at Curley's wife: bitch, tramp, tart. The further along in the production we go, the more I realize that the audience agrees. In rooting for our heroes — the everyman protagonists who scorn and demean the only woman — the audience finds themselves unquestioningly hating her, too. But why? …I've found that within the writing, there is both a lack of reason to truly hate this woman, and the inevitable and undeniable urge to do so.
…If this woman is purely a victim, why is she so hated? And if she is truly harmless, why is she so threatening? Without question, it was a commentary on the social climate at the time, which still surprisingly applies today. But if sexism is one of the featured themes, why not say it?'
On people laughing during her characters death:
'But when the dog gets led off to be shot, protests can be heard from the audience, and as a dog lover, I have the same feeling. Complaints can rarely be heard during Curley's wife's death.
On surprising reactions to her death:
The final, eerie moment of her life is often accompanied by the uproar of laughter. She is violently shaken, rendered lifeless. It doesn't seem to get less painful for me, less terrifying, less tragic with time, yet our unusually young audience seems unfazed, if not amused by the savage act. Perhaps it's the only response that comforts them in an awkward or tense moment.'
Yet somehow, each time I enter the stage, as I'm faced with the audience who laughs or sneers, I'm struck with the loneliness that I can only imagine a woman like Curley's wife must feel — the desperation for conversation, respect, and above all, dignity. Each time, I'm caught off-guard when I lose it.
Wow! Reading about her experience, we can totally see how her character is incredibly complex within the parameters of the story!
We LOVE that she decided to pen this incredibly well-thought out piece!
You can read the entire essay HERE if you feel so inclined!
[Image via Joseph Marzullo/WENN.]
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