Thursday, February 05, 2004

I, Caligula

Sometimes actors -- who generally suffer from identity issues -- begin to become their most successful roles of yesteryear and life imitates art. Think of Robert Downey, Jr's Julian in Less Than Zero. The 3 AM Girls report that John Hurt, who is famous on this side of the Atlantic for his mind bendingly debauched performance as Caligula in the classic (crosses himself solemnly in the cause of Art) I, Claudius, got crunked up and had to be "escorted from London's Spearmint Rhino lapdancing bar for being abusive."

It sounds positively Pagan.

The gals write:

"According to our sources, the 64-year-old luvvie was ejected from the club when management decided they'd had enough of his "disrespectful behaviour" towards staff."

"'... John had been knocking back the drinks and was acting thoroughly rude and unpleasantly,' reveals one insider.

"He'd arrived with a friend and was ushered into the VIP area.

"But while most stars treat the staff with respect, he was being vile. He had one waitress in tears after pointing his finger in her face and shouting and swearing."

And what would you expect Caligula to do in such a situation? The gals continue:

"The only time he smiled was when some dancers started gyrating in front of his table, but even that went wrong. John's hands started to wander and security told him in no uncertain terms he wasn't allowed to touch, otherwise he'd be thrown out."

But how does one explain that to the leader of the Roman Empire?


"As well as shouting and pointing at the waitress, he was screaming for some Rhino chips with which he could buy dances.

"He then kicked up a fuss because his credit card needed authorising and when it came to pay for his bar bill he signed on the wrong part of the slip."

Does a self-made God pay for Rhino chips?

Alas, the story -- myth? -- ends badly:

"By now he was shrieking things like, 'How dare you talk to me like this, don't you know who I am?'

"The club's bosses knew exactly who he was - and decided they'd had enough of him.

"A spokesman said 'We can confirm John Hurt was escorted out of the premises. He had obviously had too much to drink so we stopped serving because he was intoxicated.' Exit Elephant Man, totally drunk ..."

I don't know what is more depressing, the fact that the 3AM Girls are too young to have made the more accurate Caligula reference or the fact that I myself am old enough.

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