Recently it was announced that Robert Pattinson will take on the Batman and crown the Dark Knight’s cape. This is the second time that the classic American comic book hero will be played by a British Actor, the first being Christian Bale. Even the all-American “man of steel” Superman was portrayed by British actor, Henry Cavill. It is true that a lot of BBC actors defect from the United Kingdom to come to America for the Hollywood dream because simply put, you can make more money here. So the question becomes what has happened to the American actor in Hollywood?
Why are they losing out and not getting cast for all-American character rolls? I believe that the talent is there, but it’s the focus that has changed. Back in the age of Tinsel Town, Hollywood actors would come from all over and work the grind. Networking, auditions, and performing all over town to get discovered to make it to the next level. Actors would work their way up through one line parts, to co-stars, guest stars, and hopefully grabbing on to a major leading role one day. That was the focus of the American actor, to work the grind of Hollywood from the bottom and become a true “working actor.”
American actors didn’t want to work the grind, because they could now jump over it to instant fame on Instagram and YouTube. This was the beginning of the end to the classic hard-working actor. I mean why drive all over LA doing auditions and having meetings, when you can just go into your living room do something dumb on your phone and become famous. This new style of “insta-fame” is like cocaine to the next generation of up and coming actors in America who are already overdosing.
I’ve heard of actors passing up and even canceling auditions because they want to focus on getting more followers, aka fans, on social media.
The selling point of instant fame has been an issue in Hollywood since the dawn of time as a selling point for many classes and workshops. The famous Second City comedy theatre uses fame on Saturday Night Live as a selling point, so a broke actor will drop four hundred bucks on a class. Or the so-called famous casting director that has you write out the check to him personally, so you can meet him for 5 minutes.
It’s like those old get rich quick Wolf of Wall street infomercials you use to see on TV where the guy is wearing a suit of money and tells you that you can be like him if you buy his book. The only difference sadly is that social media has worked and proved that it can actually make you famous. I guess the only positive is that you don’t have to pay to use Instagram.
So as the American actor chases the new Hollywood dream of being a celebrity, that leaves the market wide open for fresh overseas talent. If you think about it, clearly it has already affected the next generation of actors, because the TV and film market is going through this reboot/revival phase. They are going back to aged working actors and bringing back their shows like “Will and Grace,” “Veronica Mars,” and now another “Terminator” Movie.
I personally don’t believe this is the future, but just a phase that actors are going through. One day they will wake up from this celebrity cocaine matrix and have to learn a British accent so they can audition to be the next Captain America.