Discovering Canadian girl Alison Pill .. and probing women’s constitutional right to go topless in public

Sep 21st, 2012 | By L. Frank Bunting | Category: Entertainment

Alison Pill as Maggie Jordan, on Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom (HBO), 2012.

GANATSEKWYAGON, ONTARIO. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2012. In my advancing age, it takes longer to catch up with the latest trends, racing by your brain at what sometimes seems close to the speed of light, etc.  So my apologies for starting with a post on the Think Progress website from last Friday (September 14, 2012).

It’s by Alyssa Rosenberg and entitled, “Kate Middleton, Alison Pill, And A Tale Of Two Nude Pictures.”  I will confine my own further remarks to Alison Pill. I don’t want to get into trouble by violating the strictures of Heather Mallick at the Toronto Star, against saying anything about and/or even looking at certain recent pictures of Ms. Middleton.

Alison Pill in the lab magazine. Photo by Anna Wolf.

Alison Pill’s particular recent picturesque adventures have been reported in such articles  as “Newsroom Star Alison Pill Accidentally Posts Topless Pic on Twitter,” and “Actress Alison Pill makes Twitter boob and posts topless photo online.”

I have asked the counterweights editors to post the 2012 topless photo that Ms Pill accidentally posted on Twitter fully intact and without any redactions. For at least three reasons : (1) both the photo and Ms Pill are very beautiful ; (2) I don’t myself think she has done anything at all wrong (even though she did take the photo down from her Twitter site, once she discovered her accident) ; and (3) you can discover another topless photo of Alison Pill, from a 2004 movie, easily enough on the world wide web (also posted here — click on “Read the rest of this page” and/or scroll below for both topless photos etc!).

Alison Pill as Zelda Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.

There are those who say that Alison Pill “accidentally” posted or twittered this topless photo on purpose, just to gain more attention for her acting career. All I can say is that, if this is true, it worked in my case — and that’s just one more reason I’m glad she did it.

I had, it turns out, already seen Ms Pill in a number of entertainment vehicles over the past several years, without being quite aware of it, or her. (Though I don’t think I ever have seen, eg, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, also starring Lindsay Lohan.)  But it has been her role as Maggie Jordan, on Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom (HBO, 2012) that finally brought her talents to my conscious attention. (I should say too that I am somewhat ambivalent about The Newsroom generally: to no small extent I have watched it because others in the TV room have wanted to.) Now that the first season of The Newsroom has apparently ended, the twittering of the topless Alison Pill has prompted me to dig a little deeper into her intriguing career.

* * * *

The accidental topless, 2012.

Alison Courtney Pill was born on November 27, 1985 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. According to Wikipedia, her “ father, a financier, is Estonian,” and she “attended Vaughan Road Academy, but her ADHD [Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder], even when treated, made it hard for her to focus in school, until she enrolled in the program ‘Interact,’ designed for students interested in dance, music, athletics and theatre.”

(I can’t resist noting here some personal connections with Ms Pill, in theory at least. I too was born in Toronto, eg — albeit 40 years earlier — and, had my parents not moved to the suburbs of Don Mills, I would have attended the predecessor of Vaughan Road Academy, known as  Vaughan Road Collegiate Institute. My father, however, was neither a financier nor Estonian.)

Alison Pill in Naked Angels at Peter Jay Sharp Theater in Playwrights Horizons, Off-Broadway, New York, NY, 2010.

According to her IMDb biography, Alison Pill “decided she wanted to be an actor when she was age 10. She was a member of the Toronto Children’s Chorus and was chosen to narrate one of their performances. From there, she gained a job narrating children’s audio books … She achieved her first on-screen role as a background performer on Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993), after which, she got herself an agent. She was booking roles successfully from the age of 11. She later moved to New York to pursue roles in [the] theater, where [she] has enjoyed much success.”

As already noted, Ms. Pill appeared with Lindsay Lohan and others in the 2004 movie, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. Then it was in Dear Wendy the next year (or some accounts also say 2004), that she first showed her attractive bare breasts in public. In 2008 she “had a major supporting role as campaign manager Anne Kronenberg in the Oscar-winning 2008 film Milk (with Sean Penn etc). According to her IMDb bio : “Her breakthrough film role came with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010).” Then in 2011 she played Zelda Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. In 2012 she appeared in the Woody Allen film To Rome with Love.

Alison Pill and Anna Chlumsky hangin’ out at New York Fashion Week party, September 2012.

To bring things right up to date, at a New York party this past Monday, September 10, 2012, Alison and her friend and fellow actress Anna Chlumsky were judged by “The Cut” website as “the most fun women at Fashion Week.” More exactly: “Pill was ‘falling down drunk,’ ‘yelling and telling everyone she was farting every time she moved.’ Chlumsky, meanwhile, ‘calmly lit, then extinguished, a cigarette she had stashed in her handbag for intermittent use.’ …  As for Pill, Anna was like, ‘Oh, she’s fine’ …”

From (or to) the same source (and at the same New York party), Alison Pill also confessed : “‘The best birthday in the world is to have, at most, five people over for a barbeque’ …Leaning toward ‘The Cut’s’ audio recorder she elaborated, ‘I want a birthday that involves me … and some marijuana — and I’m speaking into the microphone because it should be legal’ … Her birthday, she said, is on November 27. If you’d like to send her a care package, ‘that would be awesome!’ Her voice rising to a shout, she concluded, ‘Yeah, put this shit in the magazine!’”

* * * *

In a scene from the movie Dear Wendy, 2005.

I have just two very quick last notes on Alison Pill, for the time being at any rate. First, for those aging wearers of gentleman’s cut shirts such as myself, who might be prone to fantasizing that what Ms. Pill really needs is a real man who is too old to smoke marijuana without inducing significant health hazards, I should note that she is apparently engaged to the Canadian actor, Jay Baruchel, who resides in Montreal.

(And for more on this, you can watch a  George Stroumboulopoulos CBC TV interview from this past February 15, 2012 — “Jay Baruchel and Alison Pill … Check out Canada’s movie power couple — Alison’s an accomplished actor, and Jay both acts and writes — talking about their relationship, Canadian film, and their new feature Goon.”  It is intriguing that the Comments section to this You Tube feature include this from one ameelia73, who is presumably a citizen of the USA today : “Canada is so weird.” Watching the interview it’s not too hard to grasp what ameelia73 means, even if it is also true that Americans by definition find Canada weird.)

Finally, when I contemplate the Alyssa Rosenberg article with which I began my ruminations here (“Kate Middleton, Alison Pill, And A Tale Of Two Nude Pictures”), I can’t help also thinking about “Women’s constitutional right to go topless in public … GO TOPLESS DAY 2012:  SUNDAY AUGUST 26 Topless demonstration in Washington DC and all around the country.”

Go Topless Day 2012 in Toronto, Canada.

I note as well that the Go Topless Day demonstrations for 2012 included some action in Alison Pill’s birthplace of Toronto, Ontario, Canada — as well as other cities in “Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and France.” In almost all seriousness, I do think there is an important principle at stake here. In this day of almost global equality (well in North America, Europe, and Japan at least — and maybe India too?), if men are allowed to go around with their shirts off in hot weather etc, exposing their bare breasts in public, why can’t women do the same thing???? Women’s breasts are of course more interesting and certainly more beautiful than men’s. But isn’t that just one more reason why those women who choose to do so ought to be able to expose their breasts in public, without fear of any condemnation, for any reason and from any source? And another three cheers to Alison Pill, for putting this shit on Twitter, even if it was for only a short but very beautiful time. (Which has nonetheless lasted on such highbrow international publications as The Sun, from Canada’s ancient and second weird European mother country, the United Kingdom of etc, etc, etc, etc!)

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  1. Very good actress. Like many good actresses, she’s a bit nuts. Whenever she is on camera something seems to be not quite right with her, boyfriend beware (unless he is crazy too). Perfect, perfect breasts though…The crazy ones always seem to be just pretty enough, good enough in bed, rich enough etc. to offset the loco (until you marry them).

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