As noted, early yesterday afternoon Sasha Stone and I had lunch with Chad Newsom, who teaches in the Cinema Studies department at SCAD. As we were about to leave on our bikes for the Live By Night set I asked Newsom about whether his students regard movies from the ’80s as ancient history (which is what I’ve gathered here and there), and Newsom said they actually regard movies made in the early ’90s as dusty classics, and that the ’80s are a little beyond their sphere of interest. And forget the golden age of the ’70s and before that — totally off their radar. It’s not so much that they’ve never heard of, say, Cary Grant, but that Grant and other superstars of the big-studio era hold zero interest.
This is depressingly confirmed in a chat between Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley, 23, and Princess Leia herself (i.e., Carrie Fisher) in a 10.30 Interview q & a: Fisher: “And males? Any crushes?” Ridley: “Not really! I’ve never been one for crushing on famous people.” Fisher: “Cary Grant! Do you know who that is?” Ridley: “Maybe I could appreciate the old-school film stars more.”
13 months ago I lamented that Montgomery Clift was more or less unknown to my older son Jett, 27, and his whipsmart girlfriend Cait, 26, whom I described as “canaries in the GenY coal mine.” But by the standards of classic movie lore Cary Grant is a slightly more legendary figure than Clift — right up there with Bogart, Gable, Lombard, Cagney, Hepburn, Tracy, Wayne, etc.
It’s one thing if a 23 year-old woman who works at Starbucks or for some non-entertainment-industry-related company draws a blank on Grant, but Ridley has been immersed in the performing realm for a long while. Her great-uncle was actor- playwright Arnold Ridley, and she attended Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in Hertfordshire, graduating in 2010 at the age of 18. And she’s never even heard of Cary Grant? The fuck?