Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Love for Natalie Wood

All of this Natalie Wood news is really bothering me. Natalie Wood is part of the reason why I became an actress. As a little girl, my mother showed me "West Side Story" and "Rebel Without a Cause" and I wanted to  see more of her films, so my mother showed me "Love With the Proper Stranger", which solidified my adoration of her.  To this day, "Stranger" is one of my favorite films of all time.

But one must understand where the upset comes from. Almost the entire time I've been alive, I knew Natalie was dead. She died when I was a baby. I was born that February, she died in November. So, at some point, we were alive at the same time, so unfortunately, no, I guess it's impossible for me to be the reincarnation of her...but all jokes aside, all of this news of reopening her case is almost like I have to deal with her death! I watched Inside Edition yesterday, and after all of the news of Regis' last day on the air, the news shifted to the depressing story of Natalie's death...and they showed news footage from 1981 of the body bag that held her body. It fucked me up! It felt like dealing with Selena's death all over again.

And it's so sad to have to deal with the death of someone who inspires you, the reason why you dream of greater things...just last week I was in Hollywood, at Grauman's Chinese theater, putting my hands in Natalie's handprints. It was surreal. I felt her presence! It was amazing! I wanted to thank her for being so amazing and giving me these dreams of being an actress and thinking that it was possible to be like her, so adored, so respected. And then seeing her star on the walk of fame, of course, I had to take a picture with it! And now, I come home, to the reality of packing and being more than 3000 miles away from the place I belong, and I'm sidetracked by all of this news of her death! It feels almost like she just died!

What is also weird is, I always, to some extent, felt like Natalie belonged to me! I know that sounds mad crazy, but when you ask people who their favorite classic Hollywood actresses are, they never really say Natalie Wood! Not everyone in the world knows who she is! People usually say Marilyn Monroe or Audrey one ever says Natalie Wood! But me! And my auntie Carolyn, who said she cried when she found out Natalie died. She was old enough to have dealt with her death in 1981. I feel like I have to deal with it now.

So in the meantime, while packing and preparing to move, I'm going to watch "Rebel" and "West Side Story" and teach my daughters about who she was and why she was amazing. And I'll shed a tear or two, and always think of her when I'm dreaming of someday being a classic Hollywood actress.

On a side note, my Auntie Martha says I remind her of Natalie because we both always wear too much eye make-up. She says we both have such pretty eyes, we shouldn't wear such thick black eyeliner! Auntie Martha is hilarious, right?!


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