I don’t think there’s anything Hollywood loves more than when a celebrity fucks up and has to make a big comeback. That being said, it’s a pretty rare occurrence that a celebrity fucks up as badly as Claire Danes did back when she was promoting Brokedown Palace.
So Claire Danes won a Golden Globe the other day for Best Actress in a TV Drama this year, an award she also won in 1995 for My So Called Life. But do you guys remember that time she got banned from the Philippines?
For those of you who don’t remember, let’s step back in time to when she said this in an interview with Premiere magazine:
The place just fucking smelled of cockroaches. There’s no sewage system in Manila, and people have nothing there. People with, like, no arms, no legs, no eyes, no teeth. We shot in a real [psychiatric] hospital, so takes would be interrupted by wailing women — like ‘Cut! Screaming person.’ Rats were everywhere.”
I had all these defenses up throughout filming, but in the last week I just started to crumble. I was on the phone to Ben [Lee, remember when they were dating?] at four in the morning and I saw a cockroach on the wall. Then I saw another one crawling toward me, and I just started screaming like a maniac. I was afraid to move. And Ben was like, ‘Just turn on the lights.’ Finally, after half an hour of discussing the situation, I went screaming into the bedroom and turned on every light and ran back panting, ‘I did it, I did it.’ I was so afraid. I was going to have to hotel staff turn the lights on for me, but I braved it. I didn’t sleep the entire night.
This wasn’t even the only time she talked about Manila. She called it a ‘ghastly and weird city,’ in an interview with Vogue.
Consequently, all her movies were banned in the Philippines and she was declared a ‘persona non grata,’ until she publicly apologised for her remarks.
She (read: her publicist) issued the following statement:
Because of the subject matter of our film Brokedown Palace, the cast was exposed to the darker and more impoverished places of Manila. My comments in Premiere magazine only reflect those locations, not my attitude towards the Filipino people. They were nothing but warm, friendly, and supportive.
But they weren’t takin’ any of her shit. Councilor Kim Atienza dismissed the statement as an
excuse made by Hollywood press officers and not a genuine apology,
We are not hard to appease, but we know if an apology is true or not. We will lift the ban only if we are satisfied.
Aside from that, Bruce Willis, Lisa Kudrow, Denzel Washington, Rose O’Donnell and Oprah all encouraged people not to go see Brokedown Palace, with Oprah adding
I can only hope she chokes on [her acerbic tongue].
You know you’re in deep shit when Oprah publicly hopes you choke on your own tongue, s’all I’m saying.
Anyway, I guess Hollywood has either forgotten or gotten over this grand career mis-step, but lucky for me, I don’t forget anything that I read 12 years ago in an issue of Big Hit magazine.