Tea Kettle Philosophy — The Too Handsome Actor

Time spent waiting for that water to boil in the kettle can be a pure waste. So can that time waiting for the tea to steep in the teapot. Fill the void with another round of Tea Kettle Philosophy, this one inspired by a movie I saw recently (Those Lips, Those Eyes — a sort of Summer Stock-ish movie about, well, Summer Stock!) starring an admirable actor: Frank Langella. The movie reminded me of another role he was in the year before. He played the title role in John Badham’s version of Dracula.

Gorgeous little Dragon Pearls, but will the tea live up to the appearance? In this case, yes! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)
Gorgeous little Dragon Pearls, but will the tea live up to the appearance? In this case, yes! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

While the heat did its job on the water in the kettle, my brain’s gears started creaking. Hm, handsome actor playing the role of Dracula. Too handsome. Missing the point of the character. That, of course, sent my brain off in another direction: actors too handsome for their roles. (Bear with me, since the connection to tea will be shown at the end.)

A few examples:

  • Frank Langella as Count Dracula in “Dracula” (as already mentioned)
  • Hugh Grant as Frederic Chopin in “Impromptu
  • Timothy Dalton as Edward Fairfax Rochester in “Jane Eyre” (one of many remakes) — I mean, this guy was suave and debonair enough to be a James Bond portrayer, for crying out loud!
  • Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff in “Wuthering Heights

In each case, women were supposed to have been attracted to the man for a reason other than appearance:

  • Dracula was known for his power to mesmerize his victims, generally women, and leave them not only powerless to resist but willing to have him drain their… uh, well, you get the idea. Women didn’t get mesmerized by Frank Langella. They swooned. Not the same thing.
  • Frederic Chopin, the Polish composer and patriot living in Paris (at least for awhile) thrilled “George Sand” (Amantine or “Amandine” Lucile Aurore Dupin, later Baroness Dudevant) with his music. He was not “cute” (as some claim Hugh Grant is) or even particularly handsome, but that never stops Hollywood Casting Directors!
  • Mr. Rochester captured plain governess Jane Eyre’s love because she saw his true handsomeness within. He in turn saw her true beauty within. Both roles are generally cast with people who are too attractive, obscuring the point of the love affair.
  • Laurence Olivier and his wife Vivien Leigh were once voted the most beautiful couple in movies. So having him play the dark and brooding Heathcliff is a bit tough to swallow.

Quite frankly, any man who can steep a good cuppa tea is okay by me (and hubby steeps a very good cuppa tea as well as being cute)!

The bottom line here, as I get ready to pour out that first cuppa tea from the freshly steeped pot, is that in reality appearance is not the key factor. Just as a beautiful leaf shape and liquid color is appreciated by tea aficionados, it’s the aroma and flavor that are the true indicators of the quality of the tea. And just as we of the feminine gender can see beyond a not-so-handsome face to the wonders within, so can you appreciate a tea that is less than stellar in appearance.

Cheers!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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