EDITORIAL: No Americans Allowed

Cavill, Bale, Hemsworth, Jackman, Garfield. All great, but what about American actors? In this editorial I look at some non-American actors that have come to prominence playing various iconic roles, and suggest some up-and-coming young US talent that should be considered instead.

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By Tenaciousbt - 11/26/2012
I honestly believe that all the mentioned actors are phenomenal actors, but surely there are also phenomenal American actors that look the part for these roles. And this whole "No American’s allowed” thing doesn’t just stop with Superhero movies. It translates to other films and television too. If you saw an interview with the lead in your favorite show or movie (Fringe, Walking Dead,Arrow, Beauty and the Beast, House, etc.) you might be surprised to learn that they are not American. Remember this isn’t an attack on their talent (which is Amazing), just an observation of the trend. Let’s look at this list of some of the biggest names right now. Of course Henry Cavill, Sam Worthington, Andrew Garfield, Huge Jackman, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Pattinson, Tom Hardy, Christian Bale, Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Hayden Christensen, Keanu Reeves, Ryan Reynolds, Seth Rogen, Ryan Gosling, Jude Law etc...

That's not to say that there's no current American talent out there.
Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Leonardo Dicaprio, Robert De Niro, Will Smith, Morgan Freeman, Tom Cruise, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Harrison Ford, Joaquin Phoenix, Ed Harris, James Woods, just to name a few.

You might say, yeah but almost all of them minus Will, and Leo are getting old or are not leading man material. So why don't we see young fresh American Talent out there. It’s not because there's no American talent, but has more to do with unknown American actors not being hired despite their talent. I do see young American talent out there such as Jensen Ackles, Jarad Padalecki, Joe Manganiello, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Wesley, Steven R. McQueen, Ian Somerhalder, Matthew Bomer, and Zach Roerig, to name a very, very few, so we clearly have plenty of talent here in America. I don’t buy this idea that we can’t get American talent for these films, such as Superman, Spiderman, Thor, Wolverine, Batman, Green Lantern, Constantine, or even the upcoming Star Wars films. That’s BS. They are out there, just hire them.

One more thing; I just want to say that I “DO” support the casting of Cavill as Superman. And I am more than certain that his amazing talent will show in his portrayal of Superman, but this is just another of a long list of examples where an American was clearly passed over for a part seemingly just because they were America. There seems to be a conscious effort to cast non-American in ever role possible. I will accept this whole, “it doesn't matter who plays who,” the day that an American plays James Bond, or Dr. Who. That'll never happen. Oh, and one more thing for all you hypocrites out there. If it truly doesn't matter that a Brit is playing Superman because Superman isn't American then why couldn’t he have a British accent then? Why does he have to fake an American accent? That was rhetorical btw. Why does Hugh Jackman have to use an American accent for Wolverine? Why does Christian Bale have to use an American accent for Batman? Also all rhetorical. The characters are made in America. If there's a whole wide icon that comes out of China (or Australia or India etc...), I would have no problem with a Chinese, Australian or Indian person playing that role.

To sum it up, I love all the talent that come to American to enhance their career and entertain US and the rest of the world, but I also think that I shouldn’t have to apologize for wanting the few roles that were made Iconic in American before the rest of the world even knew who or what they were be played by Americans. And occasionally when I look up the lead in my favorite shows I wouldn’t mind reading that they are American. That’s all I’m saying.


P.S. I focued on the males because that's where the focus has been but you could eaily see a simlar trend with actresses. I would like to see more American females in leading roles.

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ComicBookMovie - 11/26/2012, 7:45 PM
I inserted the poll after contemplating this question... How about an American James Bond?
Tainted87 - 11/26/2012, 8:39 PM
I have a hard time with the idea of an American James Bond. So few actors, talented as they may be, are capable of pulling off a convincing British accent. And if Bond isn't British, then what's the point?

I remember when Mel Gibson was approached to play 007, based on his action career, and the ability to deliver lines with an impressive accent. He turned it down to avoid being type-cast, but I think he really would have been the only American STAR actor I could imagine playing him.

Speaking of BOND...

Have you noticed that the 007 actors (well, I don't know much about Lazenby) CANNOT pull off a convincing American accent? In the remake of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, he doesn't even try for a Swedish accent, unlike Rooney Mara. Even in Road to Perdition, Craig slips up. Sean Connery has alwaysh shounded like Shawn Connereh, regardless of the nationality of his characters. Timothy Dalton is likewise, himself in everything from Flash Gordon to the Rocketeer.

As for bloody foreigners doing it better, I'm inclined to agree, as all of my favorite actors hail from the UK.
Sanderman - 11/26/2012, 8:41 PM
Even though he has a duel citizenship wouldn't Garfield be considered American since he was born in Los Angeles?
Kalel219 - 11/26/2012, 8:41 PM
Really can't believe this matters to some people
BatLantern28 - 11/26/2012, 8:42 PM
Gibson is Australian, not American.
riddlemethis09 - 11/26/2012, 8:42 PM
A very interesting trend and a great article.
Does it bug me? No, good actors work no matter what. But, I hope actors aren't passed up just because a studio wants to follow this trend or something odd like that!
Funsize - 11/26/2012, 8:44 PM
Like I voted on the poll, as long as they play the part good.
DrHorrible - 11/26/2012, 8:47 PM
@BatLantern28 No, he's not. He's American. Always has been.

I myself don't give a crap what country someone is from or their ethnicity in regards to movie roles. I give them a chance to do the part and prove themselves, THEN I evaluate them. It's as simple as that.
RR51 - 11/26/2012, 8:48 PM
The truth is that most young British actors are better the Americans because they have stage experience. No wonder because British actors can usually do a decent American accent while the Americans can't do a half decent British accent. I am not saying all Americans actors are bad, but the industry is so big here that only the pretty looking ones(models turned actors, exp: Channing Tatum and most of the actors you mentioned) make it into mainstream Hollywood.

Not to mention but Downey Jr. played one the most iconic British characters of ALL time yet no one had a problem with that.
RorMachine - 11/26/2012, 9:04 PM
^^^^ This.
Boekelaar - 11/26/2012, 9:04 PM
Now I'm an Australian so I probably will have some serious bias but I don't agree with that these actors were cast because they weren't American.

There are so many actors in Australia and they all go to school and learn from the best and try their hardest to succeed. But there's only a handful of these actors known to international audiences. And why is this? Because they're phenomenal actors and actresses. They have not only risen up the ranks of their home countries entertainment industry but have also come to the states as unknowns and then conquered that as well. Now this didn't happen because of any other reason than that they were the best fit for the part and they wanted it the most. This goes for any Australian, British, Irish, New Zealand or basically any actor not from North America. Canadians probably have it a bit easier with similar accents and culture (just like how many New Zealanders fit in well in the Australian industry). But I resent the implication that good American actors are being passed over in favour of international talent. Almost all the young talent you named are TV actors who are on networks like the CW. Not exactly where you would a Deniro or Pacino. Though I do really like Supernatural and I like Somerhalder in LOST.

If there's an actor is the best then they deserve the role period. And regardless of that it's not like these "American" roles are being played by communists or by actors who hate the US. Speaking from the point of view of an Australian I can tell you that the vast majority of us love the US and particularly it's culture. During WWII heaps of Americans were stationed here and they rubbed off on us. We're an American Ally and back them in basically everything they do.

If in an Australian movie there was a role of an iconic Australian character was played by someone who wasn't Australian but pulled it off and no one was the wiser because you couldn't tell they weren't from here then I would have no issues with that because it would mean I was seeing a great performance. Hell Mel Gibson played an Australian Soldier in Gallipoli (which is an important moment in Australian history) oh and @BatLantern Gibson is American he came to Australia when he was 12.

So I wouldn't worry because all that's going to happen is that all these young up and coming US actors are going to see this international talent and go "geeze I need to work harder" and it's just going to improve the whole industry. And we're talking about fiction afterall, if a British actors is pretending to be American then that character is American. End of Story.
Preston - 11/26/2012, 9:09 PM
@CBM

You just got me thinking. How about:

Jon Hamm (born in St. Louis, Missouri, USA) for James Bond.

Hamm

Directed by Steven Spielberg (born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)

Steven

Written by Tony Gilroy (born in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA)

some_text

Song by Florence+ The Machine




Bit of trivia: back in 1954, Barry Nelson (an American) was the first to play James Bond in a movie called Casino Royal. Click here to learn more: Casino Royale (1954)
TheRealEnrico - 11/26/2012, 9:10 PM
@Nucklucks Really


Nationality does not = race. So how is the article racist?

And if by your standards opinions based on nationality is racist, you're defiantly racist " I can't believe how racist americans are".

Your statement is both hypocritical and stupid.

I don't judge whole groups of people based on individuals. So I don't know where you are from but you are ether or both a bigot and moron.

Ignorance...
thefilmguy24 - 11/26/2012, 9:12 PM
@ Tainted87....Mel Gibson is actually Australian even though his accent it not always present. But I have never heard of him being offered the role for James Bond. That would have been interested to see.
TheDesertGorilla - 11/26/2012, 9:25 PM
I don't think nationality matters as long as the actor(s) look the part. But if it were a foreigner playing a character like Captain America, then that would be a bit of a joke.
aNarcHy2day - 11/26/2012, 9:35 PM
I support Jon Hamm for James Bond!
TheFirstAvenger97 - 11/26/2012, 9:39 PM
Superman has an American accent because he was raised in America.
luffycapri - 11/26/2012, 9:41 PM
The guy who plays spiderman in the amazing spiderman is actually American.
Franshu - 11/26/2012, 9:45 PM
1)"If it truly doesn't matter that a Brit is playing Superman because Superman isn't American then why couldn’t he have a British accent then? Why does he have to fake an American accent?"
Because Suprman was raised in Smallville, kansas. DUH
2) "That was rhetorical btw."
Nope, it wasn't.
3)"Why does Hugh Jackman have to use an American accent for Wolverine?"
Cause, despite being Canadian, Logan spent most of his lifetime (the bits he can remember at least) in America.
4) "Why does Christian Bale have to use an American accent for Batman?"
Cause Gotham is, according t the comics, somewhere in the US. The same for Metropolis.
5) "Also all rhetorical"
You keep using that word. i don't think it means what you think it means.

Do some reserch before you write an editorial saying nonsense, wouldya?
NextHero08 - 11/26/2012, 10:14 PM
ok...talent vs nationality...hmmmmm..wow, no brainer
NextHero08 - 11/26/2012, 10:15 PM
so wait, are all those actors in the U.S. on like work visas or something or are they actually legal citizens?
alekesam - 11/26/2012, 10:17 PM
I mostly agree with the article but having said that, the author picked a poor choice for an example with that why can't Superman have a british accent.

Um, because his plane crashed in bum***k Kansas and his parents are a couple of hicks? I'd sooner believe Superman would say his classic line like this: Trewth, justis', anna 'merican wey" than this: Trooth Joustice, an de American way."

:)
Tevii - 11/26/2012, 10:20 PM
As long as the actor LOOKS the part and delivers a strong performance I'm not concerned. When they lose the accent it doesn't matter. cavill looks the part.
I'd say a bigger trend that is worse is changing the race of every damn character.
soberchimera - 11/26/2012, 10:37 PM
Talent is more important than nationality.
DoodPool - 11/26/2012, 10:41 PM
I don't care about a actors nationality, i think maybe we are relying too heavily on Foreign actors for these parts but there is a good reason to have them...

They are seasoned actors who the American public is Unfamiliar with and it helps keep up the suspension of disbelief to not have a big american name associated with those roles. It's the next best thing to going with unknowns which i recommend for all super hero movies who don't want to portray a certain cheesiness by slapping like, robert downey jrs head in a iron man suit. Sometimes the absence of a big celebrity helps me to get into the movie more.
Ivy - 11/26/2012, 11:53 PM
It has nothing to do with race but all to do with how good the actor is. Maybe the filmmakers see more progression and skill in foreigners. It's not to push out young American actors but to give the people what is best and right now that is coming from foreigners. Let us not forget that independent and foreign films have greatly impacted American films in a good way. Young American talent will have there time but for now "major superhero roles" will be given to foreigners for there skill and talent. Said with respect to every actor no matter the race.
Banner - 11/27/2012, 12:17 AM
I don't know if this article have some kind of racial undertones to it, but what's the point?
Lobojon1 - 11/27/2012, 12:31 AM
Mel Gibson was born in America but raised in Australia.
Equivocal - 11/27/2012, 12:44 AM
Andrew Garfield IS AMERICAN by birth, we was raise in England but still american nonetheless....

Superman SHOULD'VE been american, just because is an AMERICAN ICON, was CREATED in america, and it's been part of the ameican culture ever since its creation !

Bale was a good Bruce Wayne and a TERRIBLE batman, so they could've cast someone better IMO

Ryan Reynolds sucks in ALL of the movies he's in so ....
Hemsworth IS GREAT in Thor, no complaints there !

Tobey was a good Peter but he kinda sucked as Spidey.

Nationalities should count only in cases like Superman & Spiderman, as far as I care, the rest can be 'subjet to approval'

LOL
WeaponX - 11/27/2012, 1:49 AM
The idea that there is some conspiracy against American actors and that when it comes to superhero movies they are black-listed because of it, is tin-foil-hat stupid.

If all these superhero roles are going to foreigners, explain a third of the cast of The Avengers. Ironman, Hawkeye, Hulk, Black Window, Nick Fury all American. Then there is Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, The Thing of the Fantastic Four, Blade and Catwoman (Berry and Hathaway) and Cyclops all played by American actors.

Take your xenophobia elsewhere.
ElApe - 11/27/2012, 1:53 AM
James Bond supposed to be English but was first played by an American, then a Scot and has also been played a Welshman and an Irish man. It's true that Ireland etc are close to England but Canada is close to American.
bw - 11/27/2012, 2:39 AM
I don't think that foreigners playing super heroes has anything to do with american actors not being good enough.
i think it's got more to do with them (americans) not wanting to play comic book carachters, in fear of getting typecast, which is a mistake. i'm glad some of the best foreign actors are a little more open-minded.

i remember chris evans saying that he had a hard time deciding on wether to take the CA role, and his career was going nowhere.
Afterwards he couldn't believe he almost turned down the role. i agree that it should not matter where the actor is from, as long as they are right for the part.
i also don't think it's a big deal having DDL play lincoln, an american president. he is the finest actor going today imo. someone descibed him as a shapeshifter and i agree.
Plus there have been alot of americans play iconic british charachters such as RDJ as sherlock holmes, Streep as Thatcher, rene zellweger as bridget jones and gweneth paltrow and winona ryder played alot of british parts.
As far as james bond is concerened, i know that denzel washington was rumored to play bond, and would have if he wanted to, and i don't think the brits would have minded at all after dalton's lackluster performances. nationality should not matter at all.
hell they all end up coming to america anyway. ;-)
Maxi91291 - 11/27/2012, 2:43 AM
Whats with the uber-murica attitude ? I find your lack of tolerance ... chauvinistic
pepe - 11/27/2012, 3:07 AM
I´m not american... still I´m not in any CBMs... What happend???
jimoakley666 - 11/27/2012, 3:23 AM
And people say Americans are xenophobic pricks. Well done for living up to the stereotype, Tenaciousbt.
Spideyguy94 - 11/27/2012, 3:28 AM
This is stupid and badly written. People are judged on who gave the best audition not there nationality. There is only 2 characters you mentioned that are defined by there nationality and that's bond and captain america. If your portraying them characters then yes they should be played by someone who has the same nationality as them. But your saying it like all of a sudden there are British actors in Hollywood, there have ALWAYS been British actors in Hollywood.
LeonardShelby - 11/27/2012, 4:13 AM
What a joke of an article. Talk about inventing an issue. Look at the Avengers? 4/5 American...
How about the British icon Sherlock Holmes played by an American? It's embarrassing that there are idiots out there that think there is a problem.
dreddhead123 - 11/27/2012, 4:18 AM
I think Americans have an inferiority complex when it comes to their accent. They naturally assume British actors (and to a lesser extent, Australian/New Zealand actors) are smarter because they find their accents more pleasing to the ear.

British actor Stephen Fry:

"British actors may be getting rewarded in the US for their accents and not their abilities, Stephen Fry has said.
In the Radio Times, the actor asked whether US audiences were "fooled by our accent into detecting a brilliance that may not really be there".

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6469651.stm

I reckon there is some truth to this.
Scooby - 11/27/2012, 5:14 AM
Jollem - 11/27/2012, 5:29 AM
ya know, there probably would be much ado and some hissy-fits if there was going to be an american playing bond...
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