Hollywood’s a town where you’re only as good as your last picture, bub.
You’re either hot or cold in show biz. America loves to shoot someone to untold levels of fame, only to revel in their downfall. And if there’s anything viewers love more than that, it’s a comeback. But it’s always arcing, for a lot of stars. They’re either on their way up or on their way down. For most of them, one movie is enough to turn the tide in either direction.
Alan Alda was a bankable name for a decade. After M*A*S*H‘s unprecedented ratings, Alda starred in all sorts of movies, and wrote and directed most of them, too. After a string of success, though, he hit a dud with Sweet Liberty.
“Unfortunately, it was too inside. Not that many people have had that experience,” said Alda. At the time, he was looking back on the flop in preparation for the release of his next film and spoke to the Sioux City Journal about both.
“It was a shock, but actually, it was good for me to get back into the real world. Nobody gets an unbroken string of successes. My god, think of Katherine Hepburn’s career and what it must have been like for her to go through that period when she was called box office poison.
“Look at Orson Welles. He was called the genius of film and then he didn’t work. When you think of that, I’m really lucky that I can make one at a time like this,” said Alda. Then, he paused and flashed his trademark smile. “I feel great.”