Skip to content

January 16, 2009


Iconic American roles – by Brits!

by quaesitor

On receiving his Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Chariots of Fire, back in 1982, he famously cried ‘The British Are Coming!’ Well, the British film industry hasn’t exactly taken over the movie-making world, so it sounds rather like hubris in retrospect; although British presence at this year’s Golden Globes (and therefore presumably the Oscars too) was not to be sniffed at.

But the funny thing is, his prediction has come true rather in some ways – not on the big screen but on the small screen. I’ve not seen anyone spot this yet, or at least draw the link. But i guess some have. But many have recognized the fact that we seem to have been enjoying bit of a golden age as far as American TV series are concerned. There’s the obvious: West Wing of course, then 24, Alias, Heroes, Lost etc etc. But it suddenly struck me that 3 actors have taken US TV by storm – by playing Americans, utterly convincingly in House, The Wire & Band of Brothers.


But here they are: Hugh Laurie playing House, Dominic West playing McNulty in The Wire (which is being hailed as the greatest and grittiest TV drama ever) and Damian Lewis in Spielberg’s Band of Brothers (and now starring in his own cop show, LIFE).

But you know what – besides all 3 being remarkably good British actors, who all pull off being authentically American (such that American friends simply can’t believe they’re not home-grown), they all have something else in common. They all went to Eton. Well fancy that.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. danmihalache
    Jan 16 2009

    I think British cinema – not to talk about British theatre – is the best in the world. Remember: King and Country, The Hill, The Bridge on Kway, A Clockwork Orange, Blow up… enough?

  2. danmihalache
    Jan 18 2009

    Hey, Mark, am I right with those films?
    It’s true, Michelangelo Antonioni isn’t English, Julio Cortazar even less; but the film is so british…
    King and Country. Joseph Losey, Dirk Bogarde, Tom Courtenay, Barry Foster and James Villiers: English. Leo Mc Kern: Scotish.
    In The Bridge on the River Gwai could not be all British, they needed some Japs.
    The Hill: Sidney Lumet (d); Sean Connery, Ian Bannen, Ossie Davis, Michael Redgrave.

  3. Ross
    Jan 19 2009

    Is it appropriate to highlight Welsh talent under this blog? Ioan Gruffudd, Mattew Rhys and Michael Sheen all hot property in Hollywood these days!

  4. Jan 19 2009

    well, dan, i’m not going to disagree with you that British acting is in a class of its own.
    But Ross, I’m afraid I don’t think it is appropriate. Ha Ha

  5. May 11 2010

    My husband would watch Band Of Brothers every day, for the rest of his life if I let him and after seeing much of it myself, I had absolutely no idea Damian Lewis was British!

    • May 11 2010

      thanks Angela – funny old world, i suppose


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

%d bloggers like this: