Guest Post: Can Gomez Get Away From Her Image?

Getaway stars Ethan Hawke as Brent Magna, professional racecar driver turned professional wheelman after his wife’s kidnapping. Receiving orders through the car’s sound system, Brent must do whatever he’s told if he wants to see his wife alive. With Jon Voight serving as the mysterious “man on the phone,” the film promises to be an adrenaline-fueled joyride.

…It also promises to feature Selena Gomez as a carjacking thug with a gun.

Let that last part sink in for a minute and, if you don’t believe what you just read, check out the trailer.

Selena Gomez is many things to many people, but what most of us remember her for is being one of the innumerable Disney Channel actors who eventually moved onto music. She’s pretty fungible with Miley Cyrus or Hillary Duff in that regard, but now it seems she’s trying to get away from her household image by co-starring in Getaway. The problem is that not a whole lot of people are buying the “tough-girl, streetsmart” archetype she’s laying down in that trailer. And, for someone who has star billing in this piece, that’s a little worrisome for some viewers.

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It all comes down to association and what kinds of expectations you have going into a film. Ethan Hawke as a gritty, hard-boiled racer on a mission? Sure, we’ve all seen Assault on Precinct 13 (or should have) – the man can pull it off. Jon Voight? The Rainmaker, anyone? The guy was ruthless. But what comes to mind when you think of Selena? Chances are good it’s NOT what you just saw in the trailer and that’s the problem some people are having when tastefully penning their initial reactions in the YouTube comments.

Gomez has kind of had a murky history in her entertainment career; her most recent film was Spring Breakers of all things. The premise to Getaway is awesome and interesting, but bringing Gomez into the mix doesn’t seem, ostensibly, like a great idea – not when there are so many other actresses out there that could cover the same role and have the pedigree to prove it.

Of course, there have been actors who have defied their definitions and images, in the past. Look at Jim Carrey and his work in Man on the Moon and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – those were serious roles that required a serious Jim Carrey and he managed to do it in spite of what he’s known for. Obviously, it’s not completely beyond the realm of possibility that Selena Gomez could pull this off – it just doesn’t seem very likely.

Especially when you consider how later promotional material, like this trailer, all but completely erase her existence from the plot.

The point of this article isn’t to knock Selena Gomez for trying to get away from her pop princess image, it’s simply to echo the initial reactions and concerns most have regarding her involvement. If she can manage to rise above preconceived notions of her image, then people will be talking about Getaway for years to come – and it won’t just be about Hawke or Voight. We’ll just have to wait and see.

AUTHOR: Adrian Rawlings

BIO: Adrian Rawlings is a TV and entertainment blogger.  Look to him for the scoop on hit movies and TV shows, sports, tech reviews, how-to’s, and more.

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