To the Editor:
Joe Eszterhaus, in his guest column (“Stars must quit on-screen ciggies,” Dec. 18), says some people believe that movie stars smoke onscreen because they are paid off by the tobacco companies. But he says he doesn’t believe it. And others think actors smoke onscreen because actors will grab any prop — even a lethal one — to aid a performance, even if Eszterhaus says he doesn’t believe that either.
He goes on to say that stars smoke onscreen because they are so addicted that they can’t stop — not even for the brief spurts which it takes to shoot a scene.
Are you really that goofy, Joe? I’m starting to believe you didn’t really direct the films you are credited with. I’ve directed features and no actor would just use a prop such as a cigarette if I didn’t think it was appropriate for the scene and made sense for the character.
The reason there is so much smoking in film is because certain filmmakers feel it represents a more realistic view of society. They fear of not succeeding at recreating society as it really is. It feeds itself. No matter, the actors are not to blame. The blame falls directly on the producers and directors.