Actor Owen Wilson, who was recently hospitalized for an apparent suicide attempt, has dropped out of the upcoming DreamWorks comedy Tropic Thunder, which is already six weeks into production. The star of such films as The Royal Tenenbaums and Wedding Crashers apparently slit his wrist on Aug. 26. He was found bloody and dazed in his Santa Monica home by his younger brother, actor Luke Wilson, and joined a long line of Hollywood stars who have hit bottom even as their careers soared.
This shouldn’t come as a complete shock to people, said Anthony Breznican and Karen Thomas on USAToday.com. “A look at Wilson’s collaborations with filmmaker Wes Anderson, which he has called his most personal films, are often comic meditations on depression, alienation and suicide.” In Bottle Rocket, one of the main characters has just gotten out of a psychiatric clinic; in The Royal Tenenbaums, a character attempts suicide by slashing his wrists; and in the upcoming The Darjeeling Limited, Wilson plays a scarred and bandaged control freak that may have wrecked his motorcycle on purpose.
Watching stars crash and burn is commonplace in narcissistic Hollywood, said Lacey Rose on Forbes.com. It’s so predictable that it has created a cash cow for insurance companies. “A star’s downfall translates to higher premiums for the firms that agree to underwrite them.” And film studios have to have insurance, because if an actor can’t work, it “can set movie makers back” up to $400,000 a day. “From Robert Downey Jr. to Courtney Love to the more recent Lindsay Lohan, underwriting companies have long been feasting on Hollywood’s wayward.”