I bitched in this post about the British making us Americans the bad guys and how unoriginal that is, and the same day I posted that, this article below was printed. Wow I was more right about the lack of originality than I realized. I’d forgotten about this. Yes, I was guilty of forgetting about this! LOL!
Why does Hollywood ALWAYS cast English actors as villains?
By Barry Norman
Last updated at 9:25 AM on 20th May 2010
The most dastardly villain in Ridley Scott’s new Robin Hood movie – Sir Godfrey, who plots to betray his country to the French – is played by the British actor Mark Strong.
Well, fair enough: he’s an English knight, albeit probably of Norman descent, so you’d expect an English accent.
But, hang on, Robin Hood and Maid Marian are English, too, and they’re played by Australians – Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett.
And Sir Walter Locksley, Marian’s father-in-law, is played by Swedish actor Max Von Sydow. So what, you may ask.
Good at being bad: Mark Strong as the evil Sir Godfrey in Robin Hood
Well, cast your minds back a few years to another Sherwood Forest epic, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. Who was the gloriously over-the-top villain here?
Yep, another British actor, Alan Rickman, as the Sheriff of Nottingham. And who played our hero, the Saxon Robin of Locksley?
Why, Kevin Costner, whose transatlantic twang was such that he seemed to have arrived in Nottingham only after an extended sojourn in Southern California.
So a disturbing pattern begins to emerge. In the casting of big budget Hollywood movies the rule is clear: bad guys British, good guys anything but.
Helen Mirren sounded off about this in Los Angeles the other day.
‘I think it’s rather unfortunate,’ she said, ‘that the villain in every movie is always British. We’re such an easy target that they can comfortably make the Brits the villains.’
This, however, raises the question of why we’re such easy targets. I mean, why pick on us?
Oh, and he does go on to explain why, in his opinion, and of course it involves us being dumb. You do know that we’re all dummies over here who can’t grasp anything that’s nuanced? LOL!
What had me laughing is that Mr. Norman and Ms. Mirren don’t get when the English are being complimented. So much for understanding subtlety. Sure we could have had an American or someone else playing baddies, and we have. But they’re not nearly as cool as the English baddies. We love those guys! I mean we darn near root for the English baddies. Well, yeah, sometimes we do root for them. I guess I should have known the English didn’t get it when they have such dumbass Americans as their bad guys. By the way, anyone who makes Toby Stephens look like a dumbass ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Really I guess this is turnabout is fairplay. So we’ll have to endure a while of being the baddie to satisfy some notion of fairness. That’s my take on it, but then that might be too literal. ;-)