Checklist for the death of a young actor

  • Comparison with James Dean? Yes. And yes. Oh, did you not know Brad Renfro had also died? The kid from The Client? Sleepers? Bully? It’s not all about Heath Legder, you know.
  • Passing mentions of drugs? Check. Oh, and check.
  • Hints of a ‘troubled’ past? Specifically using the word "troubled"? Naturally. Of course.
  • Film crew scrums on the pavement, waiting to get a glimpse of a bodybag? Yes. I’m not even going to attempt to find anything to link to for this, because it’s appalling. Channel 4 News, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Why is the media response to something so unexpected so utterly predictable? Why is the first reaction always to rake over whatever’s left of a life under the cover of lamentation? The poor guy’s dead; if he was as ‘troubled’ as the need to fit the story into a pre-arranged template demands then presumably press attention didn’t help… do they see the problem? The dichotomy? The bone-shattering irony?

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