What Inspires You?

Hello, loyal PopWatchers! (And, you too, not-so-loyal PopWatchers!) The issue of EW that will most likely be in your hands Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving (unless you’re Canadian, then it’s, like, the 46th day after Thanksgiving for you), will be devoted to some of our favorite stars — and the artists who inspire them. Which got us to thinking: Has there been a movie, song, TV show, book, actor, or anything entertainment-related that has inspired you in your life? Tell us below, and we’ll choose the most inspired (get it? get it?) response to run on the EW.com page in that issue.


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  • Will H

    Without a doubt, I have to go with “Harold and Maude”. Last weekend, I was sick and kind of depressed and spent all day just watching movies. I saw this for the first time, and it blew my away. It’s message tonot sweat the small stuff and live life to the fullest was JUST what I needed to hear. Besides, what’s better then the “I go to funerals,” line?

  • bubbles

    Regardless of what people think about the writing on Studio 60, I was a huge Sports Night fan, and Aaron Sorkin’s work has always simultaneously made me want to write and want to give up writing because I know I’ll never be able to produce on that level.

  • Ellipsian

    The late, great, Oscar nominated River Phoenix. I was in sixth grade when I saw him in “Stand By Me”, and was so moved and inspired that I began to study acting. I graduated college with a B.A. in theatre and a concentration in Performance. And hopefully, my story is still unfolding…

  • Ep Sato

    I was inspired by the season 1 finale of Lost to start meeting people in Airport bars.
    Less than a year later, I met this amazing woman at the airport bar in Muñoz Marin Airport in San Juan Puerto Rico. The woman is now my fiancé and we’re moving in together this Friday.
    I can say for 100% certain that I would never have met the love of my life without “Lost”. For extra kicks, a picture of me and my sweetie is linked to my name.

  • Mike P

    Hands down, “Memento.” Just when I though there weren’t really any original story ideas left Nolan puts out a story unlike no other. Now, in my downtime at the cubicle farm, I write scripts and stories. My goal is not to develop a working product (although that would be great if it happened), but at least to discover something unique and original. Thanks to that inspiration, the process has been a fulfilling exploration of imagination.

  • Joyce

    The Color Purple. So much of Celie’s life I can relate to. I was molested by three uncles, my father suddenly abandoned us, tried to protect my 2 siblings from it all and my mother turned me into her maid from junior high through sophmore year of highschool and blamed it all on me. It was not til I watched this movie again last year that I remembered my first abuse by a now deceased uncle. Celie somehow found the strength to say enough is enough, deal with all that happened and start living her life. It forced me to deal with the molestation, abuse and to no longer be afraid of my mother. Still working on the latter part. The song “God is trying to tell you something” gets me through my bouts of depression. Thank you Alice Walker and thank you Celie.

  • kinglouieXVIII

    The book: Hemingway’s THE SUN ALSO RISES. I find it truly poetic and tragic. Without a doubt, one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. Plus everytime I read, I’m transported to France and Spain.
    The television show: BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. I have never been consumed so much by a tv show as I have with Joss Whedon’s greatest creation ever. LOST and VERONICA MARS come close, but BTVS resonated with me on so many levels. It had elements of sc-fi, horror, mystery, love, and teen angst, how could I not dig it? I enjoy things when they’re multi-dimensional.
    The music: Anything by Spanish singer/songwriter MIKEL ERENTXUN. His songs stand the test of time like no other when we talk about contemporary music. They have the ability to transport me to other times and places. ERENTXUN is the man!

  • Tiff in the OK

    Without a doubt I’m inspired by Buffy Summers. She was my first “girl kick @$$ once a week” and any time I am in need of a pick me up Buffy does just that. Someone who can’t quite handle her every day problems, but nonetheless can pull it together to save the world (a lot!). What better role model could there be?
    After Buffy left TV, Sydney Bristow helped pull me through. Now its Kara “Starbuck” Thrace and President Laura Roslin. But Buffy will always be the best.

  • Megan Gogerty

    Harold and Maude. Who doesn’t want to learn the banjo and sleep with an octagenarian after watching that movie?

  • Ceballos

    The oevre of Billy Joel. For example, his “Tell her about it” inspired me to tell the girl I had a crush on that I was in love with her.
    Of course, it was just a stupid crush and I crashed and burned badly. Still, never would’ve taken the plunge and become I the man I am today without a little prodding from the Piano Man.
    ps: that’s a nice story Ep Sato. I grew up in Puerto Rico, left 10 years ago when i was 14, and had no idea there was such magic that was possible in Munoz Marin.

  • KVL

    One of the greatest inspirations in memory is the Harry Potter series. The values of teamwork, friendship, intelligence, and courage are in every paragraph. Not only that, but how many books today can be truly enjoyed by family members of every generation? For all its virtues, my favorite (and the most inspiring) is introducing magic to everyday life. While reading a Harry Potter book, I will stop with wonder to watch leaves floating from trees and think, “That’s magic!” Even Muggles can appreciate and embrace the delight of wonder when they are reminded it exists.

  • Angela

    For me I guess it would be ‘Sex In the City’ and ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ (the movie) Both illustrate how difficult single life can be, but also inspire me to hold out for more and not settle; they also make me feel like I’m less alone, other people ashare the smae challenges.

  • Elias

    My earliest inspiration must have been Jerry Lewis. Thanks to all of all his hijinx, pratfalls and wacky characters, he helped everyone who watched him perform feel a little less out of place in this world. And for a chubby kid with glasses who always got mocked in the classroom and at the playground, that left quite an impression. Of course I grew up to be a goofball comic actor, but at least I trip and fall with my self-respect and dignity intact, thanks to Jerry.

  • lsjukim

    Melissa Etheridge singing “Piece of My Heart” at the 2005 Grammys.
    I had recently lost my father to cancer, and seeing her up there after having recently beat it really spoke to me. She was so strong, and she really inspired me to take challenges head on and not let them beat me. I still cry just thinking about it.

  • Josh

    There are two bits of pop culture that have really inspired me.
    “Holy Water” by Big & Rich. This is probably the most beautiful song I have ever heard, and touched me to my very soul. Perhaps it’s the personal connection the singers share with the song (it is dedicated to their sisters, both of whom were victims of abusive relationships), which comes out in every note of the song. I think, for me, it’s the message of the song, which I interpret as a call for all of us to reach out and help each other, and “Love Everybody”, as Big Kenny would happily say.
    Hook. This film feels like it was made especially for me. It’s the greatest father/son film ever made, and I have watched it more times with my father than I can remember. There is a moment, during the wonderful “Neverfeast” scene, which is the most magical moment I’ve ever experienced in a movie. As Peter rediscovers the child inside himself, and learns what living is all about. More is communicated in that scene, in that moment, than in most movies I have ever seen. Hook is a film that I can close my eyes and watch straight through, from opening titles to credits, and it can still make me cry every time. If I ever get my dream of making my own movies, I pray that I make something as amazing as Hook, regardless of what others may say about it. Or maybe it simply inspires me with the line “To live would be an awfully big adventure.”

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