Archive for August 26th, 2013

Warning: The greatest American heroes, Batman and Superman, aren’t played by Americans!

August 26, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
Aug. 26, 2013

Last week, I watched The Dark Knight for the first time. If you have any interest in superhero or action-adventure films but haven’t yet seen this feature, well, why not? What are you waiting for? Get on that right away!

I don’t particularly want to review the film, but I thought it was everything I’d ever been told it was. I enjoyed it much more than Batman Begins, which was written and directed by the same team responsible for 2008’s The Dark Knight and this year’s trilogy capper, The Dark Knight Rises. In fact, this movie is probably the best superhero flick I’ve ever seen — although I ought to admit that I have yet to watch either The Avengers or The Dark Knight Rises.

What I do want to do is write about two different subjects that The Dark Knight brought to mind. One topic is somewhat serious; the other is rather frivolous.

This post will concern the frivolous. Namely: What’s the deal with British actors playing American characters? In fact, what’s the deal with people born in the British Commonwealth playing iconic American characters?

You know who I’m talking about — or if not, you should. Henry Cavill, who plays Superman in this year’s reboot of that film franchise, Man of Steel, is British. Christian Bale, who (I should note) seems to be done playing the Caped Crusader after the three most recent Batman movies, was born in Wales. Daniel Day-Lewis won the 2013 Academy Award for Best Actor for playing Abraham Lincoln, the American president. The Londoner is the only person to win the best actor Oscar three times; Day-Lewis’ 2007 award, for There Will Be Blood, was earned for portraying an American oilman. (His first best actor prize for was playing real-life Irishman Christy Brown in My Left Foot in 1989.)

Of slightly less import, but still outrageous: Robert Pattinson, who plays American vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight films? He was born in London. Karl Urban from New Zealand plays Bones in the two latest Star Trek movies. That’s right: Dr. Leonard McCoy, physician from the future, the epitome of Southern chivalry of the 23rd century, is personified by a Kiwi! Read the rest of this entry »

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