Re: Digest Number 57
- I often feel that casting a British actor in an otherwise american film
tells you one thing about the character -- he (it's always he) will be
a brilliant baddy. Never fails...
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- In a message dated 6/27/99 6:51:31 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> I often feel that casting a British actor in an otherwise american filmtells you one
> thing about the character -- he (it's always he) will be a brilliant baddy.Never
> fails...Sorry, but that rule fails a lot of the time. Yes, it explains most of the
roles that Alan Rickman, Jeremy Irons, Gary Oldman, and Tim Roth have played
in American films, as well as the most famous example of all, the casting of
Anthony Hopkins in _The Silence of the Lamb_. (Also, note that the character
of Hannibal Lecter was played in the earlier film _Manhunter_ by another
British actor, Brian Cox, even though in both cases Lecter is supposed to be
American and is played with an American accent.)
First of all, there are some female (rough) equivalents. Both of the two
roles that won Vivian Leigh Oscars were manipulative Southern belles -
Scarlett O'Hara and Blanche Dubois. These are as close to casting a female
in the equivalent of the brilliant evil role as one was allowed to come. In
fact, there's a tradition of the "British bitch" in American movies and TV
shows. The most obvious case of this is Joan Collins's role in _Dynasty_.
But anyway there have been a lot of British actors cast in American films in
nonvillainous roles. In fact, every time a British actor (or actress)
becomes popular, he (or she) is offered a slew of roles in American movies.
Just within the past five years, look at all the American movies that Rupert
Everett, Ewan McGregor, Ralph Fiennes, Hugh Grant, Ian Holm, Christopher
Eccleston, Kate Winslett, Helena Bonham Carter, and Minnie Driver have