DECONSTRUCTING ALFIE – James Cameron on Marriage

“Anybody can be a father or a husband. There are only five people in the world who can do what I do, and I’m going for that” – Linda Hamilton, quoting her ex-husband, director James Cameron.

In the October 26, 2009 issue of The New Yorker magazine, there is an exhausting profile on director James Cameron, he of Aliens, Terminator (1 and 2), Abyss, and Titanic fame. The story’s author, Dana Goodyear goes into great detail about not only Cameron’s filmography and career but his personal life as well. In an interview with Linda Hamilton (most fans will remember her for her role as Sarah Connor in the two Terminator films), who was once married to Cameron, she talks about what kind of man he was and in doing so recalls the quote I wrote above.

When I came across it, I just had to put down my laptop for a quick second and think about what I read.

As egotistical as Cameron’s quote is, he kind of has a point. After all, name nine other directors who have accomplished in their career what Cameron has in his, bet you only get to five. Even outside of film, where Cameron won Oscars and broke box office records for the same movie (Titanic), most men will never be able to reach a similar amount of success.

But what the quote really made me think about is the male ego and how we men, no matter how successful or unsuccessful we are, allow it to take over our lives and affect our common sense. Cameron would like to believe that women, as great as they are, are a distraction to accomplishing his goals. Most men at some point or another, believe the same thing. As my Dad once told me, “Whatever you do, don’t fall in love too early. Go to school, get into University, graduate, then worry about her, whoever she is, later.”

As good as my Dad is at his chosen profession and as brilliant as he is, he is no James Cameron of his field. Maybe he felt he could have been were it not for the women who came into his life early on, and got in his way.

The differences between my Dad and someone like Cameron are probably an ocean wide, but when Cameron said this quote, I realized no matter how different two men are, women will always be the great equalizer. The quote made me think: If I want to be as successful as Cameron is, must I choose my career over being a good husband or father like he has? If I don’t, will I end up like those talented, but frustrated “could’ve-beens” who coach their kid’s football teams?

But then I thought about men who have done a pretty good job at being both career-focused and family-focused, men like, Barack Obama. From the looks of it he’s a pretty good father to his two daughters and a good husband to his wife. He’s also President of the United States and won a Nobel Peace Prize. And though I don’t think there’s even five people in the world who can do that, myself included, it’s worth a shot.

If interested, here’s the story: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/10/26/091026fa_fact_goodyear

Puffy.

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