You Gotta Act: The Wild Innocence of Melanie Griffith

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Some actors don’t end up having the careers we had hoped for them. After some early successes, they get miscast a few times and find themselves appearing in less exciting, and less prestigious, films. But Hollywood is a tough and strangely simple place, where nuance and uniqueness are not always well nurtured, and a fizzled filmography can be more a sign of the industry’s lack of imagination than a true indicator of a performer’s talent. For Melanie Griffith, it seems that her very particularity, for which she became famous and gained recognition in the 1980s, may have been the very reason why the rest of her career wasn’t as luminous. Today, it is those earlier roles, where her idiosyncrasies were really put forward, that remain ingrained in our collective memory, and far outshine her more thankless parts in later years.