So Just Why Do Brits Play All the Bad Guys in Hollywood Films?
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BoyElroy

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Very funny article in the Guardian bemoaning the inevitable use of Brits as villains and Americans as heroes in Hollywood. (Jesus is American, Judas is British)

"Vile Brittania"

My favorite Brit-bad guy? Christopher Lee!
 
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penvzila

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Because we give the good guy roles to OUR big stars. Can you imagine Schwarzenegger playing a terrorist and Hugh Grant is the hero? No ****ing way.
 
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Wilson M.

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Other than the fact that Schwarzenegger is Austrian by birth and emigrated when he was 21, I suppose that he's American enough.
(At least that's what the Republicans hope.)

When you really think about it, doing a really good job as a villain requires a great deal more skill as an actor than playing a hero. Films tend to explore the mind and psyche of the villain more so than the hero. The hero is boring. Some innocent fresh faced whatever who doesn't have to have much of a personality. He just needs to be charismatic but that does not equate to complex character.

The article brings up a few things about "British" people that seem appropriate for villains but there's more.

Frankly, there is a way for British actors to just be darn right more menacing than most American ones. A lot has to do with the ability to portray a much cooler and methodical demeanor. The accent certainly helps with that (along with a touch of arrogance if done right). But that's not to say that British actors are any less capable of portraying truly insane, frothing at the mouth types of villains. They also do a better job at the snivelling cowardly types of villains as well.

Villains tend to be much more complex characters in movies and frankly British actors are better at it.

A lot has to do with many British actors having a great deal more formal training in classical drama. Theatre relies on complexity of a character and believable portrayal of emotions rather than gee whiz special effects and gratuitous violence and sex.

There are sub-plots and subterfuge in a lot of drama that most US actors are never really exposed to while it's commonplace for British actors.

I look at the past 2 generations of dramatic actors from the US and England and the majority of truly talented actors are British.

If you want to boil it down to one word: Shakespeare.
 
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Wilson M.

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But when you look at Bond movies, the villain is almost always a hell of a lot more interesting than Bond.

Bond is one dimensional with almost no baring of his thoughts and emotions. But the villains, at least they have some meat on their proverbial bones. Most of it is over the top but at least they are INTERESTING.
 
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The sinister accent.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by Wilson M.
A lot has to do with many British actors having a great deal more formal training in classical drama. Theatre relies on complexity of a character and believable portrayal of emotions rather than gee whiz special effects and gratuitous violence and sex.


More time studying the art and less time advocating some cause? What a concept. IMO British actors in general devote more time to their craft and our actors have too many distractions. I kind of agree Wilson with the difficulty of some of the roles with the villain with having more depth in character for the most part.

 
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Wilson M.

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Actually, KR has probably hit it right on the head.
 
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okay, but why are Dutchies always either Russian or German?
 
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mbriant

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Actually, I've noticed a disproportionate number of bad guys who are bald.
 
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Doesn't matter anyway. Hollywood sucks, as do most of the films. I prefer films made in GB, I like the actors, and I think British music is a few notches above the vast majority of American produced music. ****....maybe I should move to GB
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by BoyElroy
Very funny article in the Guardian bemoaning the inevitable use of Brits as villains and Americans as heroes in Hollywood. (Jesus is American, Judas is British)

"Vile Brittania"

My favorite Brit-bad guy? Christopher Lee!


I think it has to do with an old grudge from the Revolutionary War
 
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