Justin Theroux: Tabloids “Make Every Celebrity Look Like A Schizophrenic”
The star may play the leading man in the new HBO series “The Leftovers,” but Theroux is also an accomplished screenwriter who co-wrote the 2008 hit Tropic Thunder with Ben Stiller.
“Acting, is a job of permission,” he tells the magazine. “Someone has to give you permission to do it. But I have started to be like, ‘I only want to do things that I want to do,’ and writing has afforded me the luxury.”
Theroux recalls the backlash he faced for a controversial scene in Tropic Thunder, noting, “political correctness has become really insidious.”
In the film, Robert Downey Jr. plays a method actor who advises Stiller’s character that a star should never go “full retard” if he wants to win an Oscar.
“I was so saddened that people were offended by the full-r-word scene, because we worked really hard making sure that joke was aimed at Hollywood and actors portraying mentally challenged people,” explains Theroux. “I remember being so bummed out. They literally picketed us. It was like, ‘Really? Satire is allowed to do this!’”
He finds himself irked by celebrity tabloid coverage — partly because of the writing.
“I can’t get over how terrible the narrative is, just how poorly written it is,” he says. “It’s worse than a telenovela.”
He continues, “It’s so dramatic. Like, ‘They’re broken up, they’re together, they’re storming out, storming in, rushing out, rushing in.’ They make every celebrity look like a schizophrenic.”
That said, things are different now that Theroux is with Aniston.
“My life changed a lot,” he says. “More people are like, ‘Hey, man!’ And I don’t think that’s from my role in John Adams.”
Theroux adds, “But it only changed as much as I engaged with it, and I learned very quickly: Don’t ever engage with it.”
“It was a learning curve, but it wasn’t as traumatic as you might expect. It’s just annoying,” he explains. “Occasionally you’ll get a stewardess congratulating you, on, I don’t know, whatever, some three-headed baby we just had.”
What do you think of Theroux’s comments?