Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Only 30 British Actors?

My sister came up with a theory a few years ago which sounded very credible at the time.  Apparently, there are only really 30 British actors and they rotate them through the roles as they are needed.  OK, there are a few more than 30 but sometimes it seems really plausible.  I mean Judi Dench, Helen Mirren and Hugh Grant alone can account for an alarming number of roles.  My sister took this one step further and made up the game two degrees of Judi Dench.  

Kind of like 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, but if you use British actors, you can connect Judi in two degrees.  Try it.  It is scary.  Ok, here goes.  I picked a name that I thought hadn’t worked with Judi-Emma Thompson. Nope, one degree here.  They did Kenneth Branaugh’s Henry V together in 1989.  I will use Blake Ritson, Mr. Elton in the new Emma.  He has worked with Michael Gambon in Emma who worked with Judi Dench in Cranford. Yowza!

So you see, if you watch enough BBC and British films, you will see the reuse of actors and you will have to try to forget that Hugh Bonneville was the scary Mr. Grandcourt in Daniel Deronda if he is to be believable as sweet but neglectful Mr. Bennet in Lost in Austen or dopey Mr. Rushworth in Mansfield Park 1999.  

So they really have to be good actors if you have seen them many times before in other roles.  Thankfully, most of them really are good actors and they make us forget and they make us believe.

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