No one can match Lolo's versatility
Who can even tell what's real?
It's that time of year when great performances are rewarded and lesser actors get to practice their craft in the role of audience member. If Oscars were handed out in the sports world, my nominee for best actor would be:
She is just so versatile. What role can't she play? Sure, she may be naturally inclined to parts that have to do with speed and hurdles, but she likes to stretch herself and, like a television actress who does Shakespeare summer stage in Maine, Jones recently tried on the role of bobsled in a Russian production.
She may not have gotten rave reviews in that one, but unlike her peers, she at least got away from the typecasting.
Do you want a hero? A villain? Jones can play both. Ask some of her hurdling teammates. Jones is the diva as much as Helen Mirren in "The Queen." But if you read her backstory, there is a touch of Sissy Spacek's "Coal Miner's Daughter" in there.
Jones is complicated, loud and opinionated, like Julia Roberts in "Erin Brockovich" ("They're called boobs, Ed"), or pure as the driven snow, à la Kate Winslet in "Titanic." Well, up until that scene in the car. Now 31, Jones has reinvented herself a few times. She's an instigator, a celebrity, a model and a marketer.
She's had to do it all to support herself in preparation for the biggest role of her career -- Olympic champion. No, she hasn't played it yet, but she's not done fighting, like Maggie in "Million Dollar Baby" as played by Hilary Swank: "If I was thinking straight, I'd go back home, find a used trailer, buy a deep fryer and some Oreos. Problem is, this the only thing I ever felt good doing. If I'm too old for this, then I got nothing. That enough truth to suit you?"
Lolo Jones has truth, and I can't wait to see the next role she takes on.
When Ronda Rousey dances around her corner of the cage, in the moments before a fight, the look on her face seems representative of some base human emotion that few of us, at least as adults, ever tap into. She looks at once like a toddler who is angry and wants to appear menacing, and like a bulldog desperate to be unleashed. It is an interesting look for Rousey, one apparently meant to convey a controlled urgency, a laser focus: She is about to pummel the woman in the opposing corner, and you'd better stay tuned to watch it happen!
But the amazing thing about that version of Rousey is that it's just one of many she has perfected. The MMA star is equally adept at posing for magazines, conveying all the different sides of her personality, like she can just become whomever you need at that specific moment. She can do badass, coy, friendly, tough. What will sell your magazine? What will sell this fight?
We have watched her go from the up-and-coming star -- the next face of MMA, someone everyone seemed to be rooting for -- to the villain, someone everyone wants to see dethroned. And Rousey seems willing and able to play whatever role the people respond most to. It ain't about being loved; it's about moving the needle.
In fact, it's reached a point where Rousey is such a good actor that we're not really even sure anymore what is real and what is fake. How much of what Rousey says and does is scripted lines and put-on emotions to promote her fights -- playacting, essentially -- and how much of it is the authentic competitive fire of a world-class athlete spilling over inside and outside the cage?
Who is Ronda Rousey, anyway?
It seems as though we all think we know who she is, but when you actually ask the question, you realize you have no idea at all.
Just like all great actors.