Emma Thompson, Michael Caine, Judi Dench Criticize Young Hollywood Actors

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Over the weekend, several luminaries among the British acting community attended and spoke at a reception for British Academy Award-winners. Although it was certainly nice for the likes of Emma Thompson, Michael Caine, Colin Firth and Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith to receive more accolades, the evening took an interesting turn when several of the actors in attendance decided to take the opportunity to sound off on a younger generation of performers. Emma Thompson in particular took a hard stance, saying that the modern crop of A-listers are being cast in films solely for their social media followings.

“We’re casting actors who have big followings so the studios can use their followings to sell their movie,” Thompson said to the audience, according to The Telegraph. “The actors are becoming attached in the sort of business way to their social media profiles, and I think that’s a disaster.”

Dame Judi Dench suggested in her own speech that perhaps the high cost of training for actors was a factor. Michael Caine, on the other hand, had significantly less sympathy, painting the younger generation as money and fame-hungry.

“These days they just say I’m going to be an actor because I want to be rich and famous,” Caine said. “And then they do a little part on television and everyone knows who they are. They can’t really act. They’re very young now. I was 30 before I became well known. I’ve watched it ruin people. By the time they’re 30, they’re through.”

On his own career, Caine seems to own a pair of particularly rosy glasses: “I knew I wasn’t going to be rich, I knew I wasn’t going to be famous, I knew I wasn’t going to be a movie star, I just wanted to be a good actor, that’s all.”

We can’t help but question whether every generation of actors has always had a similar opinion of the next generation, but Thompson certainly has a point with her analysis of social media. It’s not a good sign if Hollywood is truly more interested in follower numbers than talent as a performer.