Owen Wilson telling his attorneys to stop the sale of that
Butterscoth Stallion T-shirt a day or two ago (which I didn’t even hear about until yesterday) is, of course, character-revealing. Wilson sounds very Zen and witty-cerebral in interviews, but he’s obviously thin-skinned about this aspect of his ascension. It’s a very special, very hard-to-achieve thing to become a kind of legend of the boudoir…for people in Oklahoma and Shanghai and Nairobi to assume a certain familiarity with your exploits and talk about you in…okay, in a joshing way, but also as a swordsman deserving a certain respect. How many actors have managed this in Hollywood history besides Errol Flynn? Would Flynn have stopped the sale of “In Like Flynn” T-shirts if there had been a slogan T-shirt market in the 1940s or ’50s? I’m not saying Wilson is “wrong” to want to try and suppress this whole Butterscotch Stallion thing. Maybe I’m under-acknowledging the clownish echoes. I’m saying this kind of notoriety (and really is a kind of flattery, I feel, at the end of the day…I’m really not going into an aloof put-on mode) is rare.