Abstract This essay argues that Betty's audition scene in Mulholland Drive is the Rosetta Stone for the mysteries of star acting in Hollywood film. By means of an almost moment-by-moment reconstruction of the audition segment, Toles demonstrates how our presumed ironic superiority to artifice and role playing is cunningly exchanged for a believer's faith in movie acting truth.
Auditioning Betty in Mulholland Drive
George Toles teaches film and literature at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. He is the author of A House Made of Light, and has been a long-time collaborator of Guy Maddin's——most recently on the screenplay for The Saddest Music in the World.
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George Toles; Auditioning Betty in Mulholland Drive. Film Quarterly 1 September 2004; 58 (1): 2–13. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2004.58.1.2
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