Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Young American Actors Are Losing Roles To Brits And Aussies, Says Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas thinks there's something wrong with the young American actors of today (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Michael Douglas has a thing or two to say about the state of America—well, more about what's going on with young actors in the entertainment industry. The veteran actor believes there's a "crisis" among young American actors because they're losing their jobs to Brits and Aussies.

"There's something going on with young American actors—both men and women—because the Brits and Australians are taking many of the best American roles from them," Douglas told The Independent.

Back in his day (he's 70 by the way), American actors weren't as obsessed with their image on social media, Douglas says. They used to be all about formal training in acting. "In Britain they take their training seriously..." he says.

This isn't the first time Douglas has talked about our self-obsessed actors being in a crisis, as he mentioned this in an interview with EW earlier this year:

Support for LAist comes from
As you say, here we have a picture with a young man out of New Mexico, where he’s spent his entire life, and graduating-of-high-school age—and once again [we] end up with a British actor. The issue I hear from casting agents is that young American actors now are very self-conscious of their image. So rather than playing truthful and themselves—it might be because of so much cable, so much stuff on the internet—they’re almost kind of capturing an image of what they think they should be, rather than playing it.

Douglas also blames this on how our actors aren't as masculine as Australian actors. "In the US we have this relatively asexual or unisex area with sensitive young men and we don’t have many Channing Tatums or Chris Pratts, while the Aussies do."

While Douglas hasn't exactly pin-pointed the young British and Australian actors taking all of our jobs, we thought we'd round up some of the folks we think he may be referring to. And no, we're not talking about actors like Colin Farrell, Idris Elba or Christian Bale, or how British actors are taking on the roles of major American historical figures (ahem David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. or Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln)—we're digging much younger.


Liam and Chris Hemsworth (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Maybe for the masculine Australians, Douglas is thinking about the hunky brothers, Liam (The Hunger Games) and Chris Hemsworth (Blackhat).


Rebel Wilson (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for MTV)
And then there are also Aussie actresses like Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black) and Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) who are killing it in Hollywood right now.


Aaron Taylor Johnson (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
English actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who is theater-trained, comes from Kick-Ass fame and stars as Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Nicholas Hoult is one of those other guys who deftly switches from a British to American accent, popularly known for his role as Beast in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and most recently in Mad Max: Fury Road.

However, when we think about Instagram-obsessed celebrities, it's musicians, not actors who first come to mind—like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. And, we don't know who he's talking about when it comes to "sensitive" Americans. Maybe he just hates Zac Efron.