Every time I watch The Godfather I think to myself “What happened to acting in Atlanta?” Marlon Brando and Al Pacino absolutely destroy their roles as Vito Corleone and Micheal Corleone respectively. Then you compare them to the biggest actors today, and I can’t help but wonder when we stopped caring about acting.
Everyone is type cast to play themselves or to draw in their following. People who aren’t even actors are crossing over into the film industry because they can. Truly great performances are few and far between. Which is why I want to recognize actors that are keeping their craft alive and discuss the importance of acting in films.
Acting in the Old Days
We are currently living in a very strange time in film. Gone are the days of the best actor getting chosen for a role. In their place we have celebrities from all forms of media. Anybody that has a large following or fan base can get a role in Hollywood now. This means that movies are moving away from performance based films in favor or more fans and tickets sold. There are several problems with this trend, one of them being sacrificing art for money but the big problem is studios are finding ways to cut corners even more than before.
The studio’s goal has always been clear, make money. Although, the relationship between director and studio is clearly becoming more strained because directors are going to have a lot less to work with. You might have to dumb down a scene because the Instagram model with 8 million followers can’t pull off the same sort of performance as Ryan Gosling could have. This all leads to the major problem which is less good movies getting created and more big budget, skin deep movies are saturating the market.
Actors Make Movies
You might be thinking to yourself, “maybe all movies don’t need to have the best actors, you’re just overreacting” and you might be right, but consider this, take your favorite movie and imagine that the lead actor is The Rock. The movie is probably still good, but it could be great with the right person in the role. That’s the point I’m trying to make, movies can still be good with A list stars that don’t have much background in acting, but they could be better.
Better actors leads to better performances, and better performances lead to the audience identifying with that character more. All of which leads to a better end product. You reap what you sow, in most cases.
The saddest part of this epidemic is that worse actors are overshadowing some of the best actors to ever grace the screen. Some of my personal favorites are Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, and John David Washington. These actors, while still working in quite a lot of movies, could always use more work, they are completely underutilized. Not only that but if we keep using people from other media as actors we’ll never find the new up and comers. Those still lining up for auditions only to be overshadowed by those with millions of followers.
So this is my challenge to you, work with actors that will blow their performance out of the water. Work with those dedicated to your craft, and if you are an actor yourself, keep on trucking. No matter how many models or wrestlers Hollywood hires, we will always need talented artists.