At the beginning of March, Tom Hanks reached a new level of acting stardom, joining a select group of actors who can propose Golden Blackberry Awards in addition to his Oscars. That “honor,” best known as the Razzie, is usually given for what voters consider the worst entry in a film category. Needless to say, actors struggle to avoid recognition, but Razzie co-founders Mo Murphy and John Wilson say it’s all in jest.
“We don’t consider it a slap in the face,” Wilson said. “We think we’re banana peels on the floor. We’re not saying, ‘How dare you? We’re saying, ‘Why did you do it?’
Murphy said the Razzies were appealing, but he didn’t buy it. As a movie industry veteran herself, she understands that filmmaking—especially acting—is tough, and she thinks of the Razzies as a nice touch.
“We were treated like, ‘What do you do? We know you’re good. Why did you make this choice?’ says.
Historically, the Razzies have chosen the industry as a high-profile part of the industry, based on low-hanging fruit, provided by unknown and inexperienced filmmakers. In 2023, for example, Jared Leto – another member of the Oscar/Razzie club – received the Worst Actor for his star in the movie “Morbius”. The Razzies also hit Hanks, who is one of the most famous actors in film history. Not only did Hanks win Worst Supporting Actor for his role as Col. Tom Parker in “Elvis” won, part of the Most Important Screen Combo Razzie. For the latter’s help, the co-winners were Parker’s oddball accent and latex facial prosthetics that made him look overweight.
“They have choices,” Wilson said. “Of course they have talent or not as well known as they are. This is how we say, ‘This time, you kind of rang.’
Murphy and Wilson said the Razzies are saturated, thanks more to “Saturday Night Live” than anything else. They were born in 1981 after Wilson paid 99 cents for a double recording of “The Music” and “Xanadu”. He found both letters so appalling that, although he changed his pocket, he wanted the money back.
“When I’m walking to my car, I’m thinking, ‘You know, there really should be a consideration like this,'” he said. “In my head, on the way home that night, I came up with a dozen possible contenders.”
Inspired, Wilson to the opposite party at the next Oscar ceremony, invites between 30 and 40 friends to watch the Academy Awards, then mourn the Razzies in categories including Worst Actress (Shields Brooke for “Venice Lagoon”) and Worst Director (Robert. Greenwald for Xanadu).
“That’s very silly,” said Wilson. “But it was a lot of fun.”
Four decades later, the Razzies have become part of the pop culture landscape. For Wilson and Murphy value that point of pride, even if they take it too seriously.
“One of the things that has changed in the 43 years we’ve been doing this is the whole idea of satire, parodic humor is not as popular as it was in 1981,” Wilson said. “I think it’s unfortunate, and some people think they’re taking the Razzies far more seriously than we certainly intended to take them. they are fun. We are a joke. It’s supposed to be funny. It’s not meant to be a bucket of ice water in the face.
While some filmmakers stumble upon and win Razzie nominations, there are those who humbly acknowledge the awards. This list includes Rock, who is hilarious accepted responsibility for his part in the 2018 feature film adaptation of “Baywatch.”
Wilson and Murphy particularly love the memories of Halle Berry, another Oscar winner who owns a Razzie. Not only did Berry elegantly accept the costume, she showed up and gave a live performance an eight-minute speech His Worst Actress win for “Catwoman.”
“He was happy, he apologized, he brought his manager on stage, he brought Oscar on stage, one of his co-stars,” Wilson said. “And she just went to town on it. She was slightly angry, but she was hilarious. It was the perfect Razzie speech.
Other stars have publicly acknowledged their Razzies James Dornan, Tom Green, Allan Menken, tom selleck, Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck. Both Bullock and Affleck have Oscars to match the sting of their Razzies, but Affleck can also celebrate a rare part on the back of the Razzies. In 2015, he received the Redeemer Award for his “worst” performance following directing the critically acclaimed drama “Argo”. Affleck also gets kudos from Wilson and Murphy for his 2004 Worst Actor award after breaking down on air during the “Larry King Live” interview.
“We went back, picked it up and put it on eBay, and sold it to Razzie winner Ben Affleck,” Wilson said. “It also paid for the court the following year.”
Jeffrey K. Howard, president of the Las Vegas Film Critics Association, says the Razzies sometimes go after a film he enjoys, but he doesn’t take it personally.
“This is art, so art is in the eye of the beholder right? Some of my favorite movies are some of the worst movies of all time, and I know that,” Howard said. “I love” the Congo. I think it’s the biggest movie in the world, and one of my guilty pleasures.
“Congo” was nominated for seven Razzies.
“I think the Razzies are necessary because if you’re going to have the best picture you’ve got the worst picture,” Howard said. “I think it’s all in fun.”
In 2023, the Razzies broke new ground when voters decided to give themselves — or at least their organization — the award. Why? The company’s more than 1,100 voters initially nominated 12-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong for Worst Actress for her role in the 2022 remake of “Firestarter.”
Wilson said Murphy immediately secured the nomination, but argued that voters had spoken. It didn’t take long for online critics to complain that it was cruel to name a pre-teen. It soon became clear that Murphy’s move was correct.
“We’re press releases, apologizing to the actress, taking that card away, saying we’re changing our rules from this point forward, and there will be no more room at the Razzies for anyone under 18,” Wilson said. he said. “Afterwards, Maureen (Mo) decided and maybe we can go one step further, and in her place on the card we put, “Should we give her a Razzie?”
He answered: Yes. In fact, he received more Razzie votes than any nominee in any category.
“Individually, it’s an example of making mistakes, owning and improving,” Murphy said. “And it’s not like we won’t make a mistake again. We don’t hope, but it’s really the way to act. You know, great people make mistakes constantly, and it’s so simple to say, “Hey, you’re really right”, and it means, of course.
The “Firestarter” controversy isn’t the only time Razzie organizers have admitted blowing it. The group also awarded the 2021 Razzie to Bruce Willis, noting that voters were unaware that the actor had been diagnosed with aphasia at the time. Even Shelley Duvall’s 1981 nomination for “The Shining” was revoked due to allegations that director Stanley Kubrick intentionally traumatized the actress during filming.
Wilson and Murphy say they cast a critical eye on their ranking, with Razzie’s sentiment concurring: “You’ve got it wrong.”
“Our mission statement now is, we bring humanity to celebrity,” Murphy said. “We all make mistakes. Look at us. We’re Razzies, and we’ve certainly made mistakes. We hope it’s an example of what it’s like to make mistakes. That’s life. Make mistakes. Admit it. Correct it. Move on.”
Hartman’s forest Magazine’s Highbrow a critical leader
For Highbrow Magazine