I don’t know what propelled Sienna Miller to “it girl” status in her day. One moment she was not, and the next she was-like fruit flies materialized from unwishing. She’s been in something like twenty films, STARDUST being the most memorable to my mind, but I’ve yet to discover her as an actress the way I have someone like Naomi Watts, whose penetrating icy blue eyes bore into my soul from frame one of Peter Jackson’s KING KONG. The point is that, I, and in an expanded sense we, the world at large, were given no discernible reason to celebrate her above others but celebrate we did. Perhaps for fear of reprisal at the grocery store where the blonde brit ruled from the magazine rack at checkout, casting aspersions on our choice of frozen peas with a sultry but disapproving glance.
I remember seeing her pop up in the documentary, THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE, which followed Anna Wintour as she put together VOGUE’s annual telephone book sized collection of advertisements. Sienna was the cover model and they did a posh photoshoot in Italy that should have been stunning but… it just… wasn’t. Sienna came across as such a likable but plain girl, incapable of wearing high fashion looks with anything approximating authority. She was pretty, to be sure, but not transcendent. Public opinion eventually turned against her and the witch was burned at the stake for crimes against Jude Law and later for homewrecking (after a thousand years still the most burnable offense.) The tabloids loved her and loved to hate her. So you’d imagine she was going the way of Martin Lawrence when she started accusing her family of selling secrets to the tabloids. Afterall, they had intimate knowledge of private conversations and schedules of times when Jude intended to take his children to the park. What else could it be?
It could be that they hacked her fucking phone! They being the scoundrels at News of the World, who have recently come under fire for hacking over 90 phones of politicians, actors and other people in the public spotlight. Sienna is the one credited with bringing the whole terrible affair to light. You go girl.
This side of the former “it girl,” only recently came to my attention when I was reading an interview from Esquire UK with Ms. Miller. She finally won me over with an onslaught of cheeky Sienna pixie charm. Any girl that gets asked how she and her current fiancee met and answers with “Boring!” is my kind of bitch.
They end the interview with a really great quote that I needed to share:
“Say I achieved everything I wanted to achieve in my career,” she said, “which is to be incredibly prolific and brilliant and moving and successful and to make art, and for people to be affected by it. So my daughter would be really proud of me and her daughter would be, like, ‘Granny made these films’. And her daughter would be like, ‘Oh, my great grandmother made these films I think’. And then her daughter would be, ‘I think three generations ago there was this woman and she was an actress’. And to her daughter I would be nothing.
“I don’t even know my great grandmother’s name,” she said, “let alone my great-great grandmother. I don’t know who she was. I don’t know what she did. And ultimately none of it fucking matters. And when you’re in some massive crisis and you look at yourself in a close-up and then if you visualise pulling back and seeing England and then pulling back and seeing the world, you realise how fucking insignificant you are. I think that’s really the greatest thing I’ve learned recently: that I don’t matter.
That got me thinking about my own situation. Sure, I matter. I matter to the present. To this moment. I matter in so far as I want to be happy and spread love to my family and friends and make things that make people happy for as long as I can. But outside of that? Time will erode me until all I’ve left behind is what I payed forward and how I shaped my little corner of the world. She’s absolutely right. That’s a liberating and intoxicating thought.
I can’t wait to see what this girl does next, although the jury is still out on her acting.