the last day of my beard!!

Thursday 15 Jan 09

Hello everyone

I am very excited to unveil my latest work:  a film entitled A Beard To Remember. It's a bittersweet story about letting go of something very close to you but also looking forward to a smooth, clean future, set against the snowy industrial landscape of Brooklyn. Take a look.

I also want to tell you about an email I got today from my agent in London.  It was an invitation to do a celebrity version of a show called The Secret Millionaire. Here's the premise (and I am quoting from the email here): 

A millionaire leaves their luxury life behind, takes on a secret identity and lives undercover in a deprived area of the UK. Living on a limited budget with no mod-cons they must forge their own way in the community – working and volunteering alongside the locals and finding individuals and projects who they think deserve a cut of their fortune.  On their final day, the millionaires come clean and reveal their true identity to the people they have chosen, surprising them with overwhelming gifts of thousands of pounds to improve their lives.
 Through this unique experience, extraordinary people and heart-wrenching situations inside deprived communities are revealed. As well as highlighting the positive financial and emotional impact of modern day philanthropy, the programme also draws attention to some of Britain's social problems in a touching and personal way.  

and then they finish with

Channel 4 has asked us to produce a one-off celebrity version of The Secret Millionaire - we all wondered if Alan Cumming would like to take part?

Here's what I wrote back:

Gosh I was just fantasising what it would be like if someone came into my life with thousands of pounds and, oh wait...So let me get this straight...I do a show for them and give away my own money. They get a free show and I get the pleasure of lying to people and making them reveal torrid secrets about their awful lives and then I decide which is the most deprived and media-friendly and then give some of my money to them. Is this what rich people do these days? Whatever happened to giving money to charity? And also if it's called 'secret millionaire', isn't the notion of sending someone famous undercover kind of stupid? And someone famous with a camera crew? I really don't think there will be anywhere in the UK I could go where I wouldn't be recognised by someone. Poor people have TVs too now you know! And am I supposed to be honored that this TV company which wants me to give up my own cash for their exploitative fare also sees me as famous enough to be the celebrity in their special one-off version of their show, but not that much of a celebrity that I will not be found out by the unsuspecting paupers I will be judging? Oh my god, this is an outrage! As you may have guessed I would like to pass. I am also going to write about it on my blog.


And so I have!  I am off to the wilds of Utah tomorrow for the Sundance film festival. I will write more from there

Alan x