We Need To Talk About Anjelica Huston

Huston in "Smash"
Anjelica Huston onscreen is one word. Power. The preview for "Smash" popped up in my Hulu queue recently. Musical theater? Check. Marilyn Monroe? Double check. Anjelica Freaking Huston? CHECK.

"Smash" is a new NBC series that follows the creation of a Broadway show based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. I pressed play without hesitation.

But this isn't a review of "Smash". Though I would highly recommend you watch it. The show has an ease of pace and that goosebump-inducing goodness that only a great show tune can bring.

But it also has something else...Anjelica Huston. Just the sight of her literally makes me sit up and pay attention. There's a shot in "Smash" of her defiantly walking down a hallway and it gave me instant chills.

Her character on the show is Eileen Rand, a soon-to-be ex-wife whose husband is trying to shut her down and shut her up. Specifically, he wants to prevent her from producing a "My Fair Lady" revival on Broadway. But Rand is determined to produce something, so she secretly sets all the gears in motion on the Marilyn musical. Watching Huston portray a character who is so good at what they do is exhilarating.

Every second she spends onscreen is captivating.

One of my mentors, writer Jill Christman, used to approach inspiration from a psychological standpoint. Her theory was that us creative types tend to obsess and fixate. Rather than fight that, we should indulge it and try to get to the root of our obsession so we can channel that energy into something productive. (Think of the fanboy and fangirl lives this theory could change...can you imagine a world where every fangirl was productive? There might be world peace in three weeks.)

So what is it with me and Anjelica Huston? Let's ponder just a few of her memorable roles...


Parody Rock and Mikey Mason's "Impotent Nerd Rage"

Ah...parody rock. The true cornerstone of any healthy marriage.

No wait, that's not right...

To parody anything well, you must first be good at the actual thing you intend to send up.

Yes, that's the thing.

Imagine a Mel Brooks movie that was poorly edited, had a sloppy script or was miscast in some way. Try to picture "Young Frankenstein" with a confusing plot.

Humor only plays when fine-tuned and delivered in a specific format that the audience can understand and enjoy. If they have to ask questions about it along the way, then what's the point? And I know all of this amazing academic sounding stuff about humor because I am an expert at messing up jokes.