Alfred Molina: Villain Roles Keep British Actors Working

  • Alfred Molina, who has been the face of evil in films like Spider-Man 2 and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, does not share Dame Helen Mirren‘s distaste for Hollywood’s history of casting Brits as villains. “I’m proud to say I belong to a very long and honorable tradition which goes back to the silent era,” he tells BBC NEWS. “The British accent sounds foreign enough to be intriguing and in some way threatening. It’s a very fast way of letting the audience know where this character is going to go. The nice thing is it’s created a lot of work for British actors in Hollywood.” Indeed. And you gotta admire the maniacal relish with which Mr. Molina plays his roles – he’s fabulously bonkers, that guy. Love him.

  • Did Emma Watson cut her hair to land the role of Lisbeth Salander in the U.S. adaptation of Stieg Larsson‘s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? A source tells The Sun: “Emma has auditioned with director David Fincher and cut her hair to look the part. The character of Lisbeth is a misfit goth-type girl with spikey hair.” Love you, Emma, but your pixie-cut doesn’t exactly scream “Swedish bisexual badass.” Anywho, IndieWire‘s Anne Thompson says Lisbeth will be played by one of the following: “French Lea Seydoux, American Rooney Mara (who worked with Fincher in The Social Network), or Aussies Sarah Snook or Sophie Lowe. There is an outside chance that Inception star Ellen Page could sneak in if she nails the accent.”
  • Before he was cast in Doctor Who, Matt Smith auditioned for the role of Watson in Sherlock, but Steven Moffat said he was “too barmy” for the role. The part went to the remarkably un-barmy Martin Freeman.(The Sun)
  • Russell Brand has tapped into his unruly, licentious past to take on Dudley Moore‘s role in the Arthur remake, telling The Daily Mirror : “I was a raging alcoholic. There was a time when I was getting in a lot of trouble with the police and getting seriously into heroin and crack. I had six months before jail, prison or death. I had to be forced into rehabilitation, because I thought I might be able to cope with jail, escape from prison and cheat death. But I was forced by people, stronger than I was at the time. I can live life without alcohol. Because I couldn’t live life with it!”

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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