In 2016, aspiring actress Claire Glassford was given the opportunity of a lifetime: to play a supporting role in a massive Hollywood movie. She got the chance to act alongside a slew of Hollywood’s biggest stars, like Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, and Kate Winslet. Glassford was ecstatic— after years of hard work, disappointments and heartbreaks, she finally had a vehicle to showcase her talents and take her career to the next level.
That movie was called Collateral Beauty, and when it was released, it was universally panned by critics, with Sophie Gilbert of The Atlantic saying it had “no endgame in mind other than simple profit.” If that wasn’t enough of a disappointment, shortly after, Glassford was unexpectedly dropped by her agents because the relationship wasn’t working. It was almost as if her career had actually taken a step backward instead of forward.
This narrative is very different than the narrative of last year’s Best Picture nominee, La La Land. Unlike Emma Stone’s character, who followed her dreams and became an A-list star, there is no guaranteed fairytale ending for Glassford. For the vast majority of Hollywood dreamers, their aspirations will never come true. Even Stone’s character initially gave up and moved back in with her parents. For the lucky few, however, one role can catapult them to stardom — and that’s what Claire still strives to achieve, every day. Two years after Collateral Beauty, she’s still hustling, heading to audition after audition and memorising lines after lines.
Watch Glassford navigate the highs and lows of Hollywood life, and go deeper into what makes her tick as an actress, in the first episode of L.A. Land.
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