TONIGHT!!! CRAIG GLAZER CONSIDERS POP CULTURE GROWING OLD GRACEFULLY!!!
TKC Note: Tonight, our pal Craig Glazer offers a thoughtful missive on age, American cinema and growing old gracefully . . . Check it:
Ageless Wonders: Arnold/Sly
Does this apply to you?
If you are a Baby Boomer or even a Gen X’er then maybe it’s time for a tip of the hat to action movie stars Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Does this mean 70 is the new 40? These two household name movie stars have teamed up to bring you a big action picture out this Friday entitled ‘Escape Plan’. On the face of it, makes sense. However, when you step back and realize that the two muscled up sex symbol movie stars are both nearing 70 years old…wow.
I mean, when you think about it, one might say well there have been movies with former big name stars like Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster and even Cary Grant where they were leading men north of sixty. However, they weren’t teamed up together shirts off with bulging muscles, fighting the bad guys in a big action adventure like this. The only picture that comes to mind is ‘Tough Guys’ with Douglas and Lancaster who played gray-haired, over-the-hill, clearly Grandpa-types past their prime, on their last run.
With Stallone and Arnold, it’s clear that they want to be looked at simply as late middle age movie stars, though they are nearing 70. An example more like the older movie stars would be Al Pacino and Robert De Niro who continue to have leading roles in films, both playing oldster parts, and both men well over 70.
Arnold and Sly are examples of what can be achieved today by most men who choose to try and stay in shape and youthful looking well beyond what was once normal. Let’s face it, a generation ago if you were over fifty, you were just considered old. In today’s modern Hollywood, almost every major film star is fifty plus. That would include Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr. all of them near or over fifty. So, if they can do it, so can you.
I know you guys love this, but guess what example we are going to use to show how it’s done? You guessed it, moi, me. I know how much that excites some of you. To start off with, I was fortunate enough to meet and get to know a couple of these major movie stars. What we all had in common was my dear friend, actor Sonny Landham who co-starred with Sly in ‘Lock-Up’ and co-starred with Arnold in ‘Predator’. Sonny introduced me to Sly at the gym he owned on Olympic Boulevard. We all worked out together for a bit and hung out together a couple times. My ex-girlfriend Sandahl Bergman co-starred with Arnold in ‘Conan’ so she, Sonny and myself were all seated together at a big party that Mickey Rourke gave on the occasion of the opening of one of his friends’ businesses. I’m not trying to name-drop, I’m explaining how I know what I know. This was in the early nineties just after I’d gotten out of federal prison.
One of the big conversations back then was how to stay in shape and look young in Hollywood as everyone was around or nearing fifty years of age at that time. I was already in my mid-thirties and was curious about how these guys maintained. Now your first thought is, well yeah, Craig, these are all multi-millionaires who spend all day in the gym and eating special diets prepared for them by their personal trainers and private chefs. Clearly, this is an uphill battle for the average guy. As I was told in prison by a couple of older-inmates who I weight-lifted with, ‘Now is the time, you’re thirty plus, to really bear down if you want to stay young looking beyond the norm.’ Some of the early tricks of the trade were using Vaseline Intensive Care on your face and around your eyes when you went to bed and got up in the morning. Our metabolism’s slow down dramatically in our thirties, we tend to gain around one pound a year thereafter if we don’t drastically change our diet and work out habits. Translation: a man that weighs 170 at thirty five is going to most likely weigh well over 200 by the late fifties or early sixties if he doesn’t work at it. I know, I know, for the majority of people, this doesn’t seem very important and they have decided to age gracefully, if that’s what you want to call it.
Now you are saying these guys all use steroids. The simple truth is yes they did and do. However, Sly, Arnold and Mickey are the best examples that using testosterone, HGH and other drugs that help build muscle and keep you in shape may be good for you. I know we are told otherwise, but there are more positive examples than negative. Remember, in the case of these three movie stars, they obviously used way more than normal.
What is the payoff for battling the aging process? Well, if you are going to stay single, it sure helps with the younger women. Don’t get me wrong, we’re all going to get old and die. I decided a long time ago, as I am sure these men did as well, to try and extend the good things about looking your best for as long as you can. So with that comes a commitment to the gym, diet, trying to cut back on drugs and alcohol, dealing with thinning hair issues and how you present yourself. Most men are going to lose a good portion of their hair between the age of thirty and fifty. Today, they have come a long way in hair transplants and procedures. Over the years, a large amount of movie stars have had to go through this process one way or another including Bruce Willis, Nic Cage, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Sean Connery, Burt Reynolds, Charlton Heston, John Travolta…you get my drift. So the fact that I addressed this issue years ago just put me ahead of the game.
You can call it vanity or whatever you want to call it, but I see no crime in trying to look as good as you can for as long as you can. Don’t even get me started on women’s issues in staying young, that laundry list is endless. I admire the fact that these celebrities do give us and the general public an example of what can be done with a little extra effort. I especially admire Stallone who they tried to drum out of Hollywood ten years ago for being too old. Sly went out and financed another Rambo and Rocky picture which were both successful and has a new franchise called the Expendables which has done quite well. The other thing I enjoy about Sly is that he employs all the action heroes of the last thirty years including Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger to name a few.
So if you’re over forty and enjoy sitting on the couch eating pizza, drinking beer and watching your favorite pro team on television, there’s nothing wrong with that except it’s gonna be kind of tough to hang out with those hotties. Of course, you might have a great wife serving up that pizza and beer which might even be a better deal than the one I have. Trust me, it ain’t easy and sometimes I wonder just how much it’s worth it. Then again, there are those hotties.