In the last decade or so, I’ve observed that more and more American films with American characters are mostly foreigners playing these roles. Some of the old familiar American faces have all but disappeared into digital movie static and I’m not sure what this is all about? Is it because we don’t have very good American actors available anymore or is American acting not convincing anymore? It’s very puzzling and there is definitely a deficiency in the American acting queue of late.
For example, I went to see Walk Among The Tombstones, last weekend and the main actor Liam Neeson, is Irish, then the third actor you see on-screen is Dan Stevens, British. All playing Americans. That said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people from overseas playing American’s, but can they truly get it right? Thinking about other recent movies and mixed performance like, No Good Deed, with Idris Elba, British, who plays a decent American, and Shadow Recruit, with Keira Knightley as the woman lead, British, playing an American, and doing an awful job of it. With many more names I can come up with like, Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Jude Law, Liam Hemsworth, his brother Chris Hemsworth, and Hugh Jackman, just to name a few. I think my point is clear that we seem to have a shortage of American’s playing American’s in movies these days. Which is unfortunate.
Perhaps the most unfortunate part is, it’s distracting when someone who I know knows nothing about the streets of Detroit, plays a person who is supposedly a local there and not only is not from there but he’s from Yorkshire England? And I know he has a very rich sounding British accent normally, or I just saw him play a bad British villain in a popular recent film. Take the 2013 movie Superman for instance, A Brit playing the most American icon in our country, and his father was played by Russell Crowe from New Zealand? It just seems un-American!!!
It’s baffling this replacement of Americans with Europeans, and the only reason I can come up with for this reality is these foreign actors may have more popularity and are pulling the people into to the movie theaters, or maybe they manage themselves better and don’t demand as much money as Americans. Possibly it’s a little of both, but whatever the reason, it’s kind of sad this commentary on American actors. There is one movie I’m happy to see coming out soon where there isn’t a Brit in the leading role playing an American and it’s the soon to be released Fury, with Brad Pitt, Shia
LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, and Michael Peña, these guys are American but as soon as you get to the co starring characters, the Brits and Aussies start showing up as Americans which is a fascinating phenomenon. My best guess as I said early is American’s more than likely are asking for too much money to play these roles. Or maybe have too many demands for film rights and profits and what not. And if this keeps up, we won’t have any American actor’s in American movies anymore and this will make American movie watching more unrealistic right at the start gate. Because 15 years ago this wouldn’t be the case as I recall. Thinking specifically about the movie Saving Private Ryan where all the main lead roles were by Americans in a historical film from the American point of view of the Battle at Normandy.