When you think of key Hollywood icons do you think of Humphrey Bogart and Gene Kelly or Robert Pattinson and Zac Efron? Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn or Megan Fox and Lindsay Lohan?
Maybe this could be an issue of generations and the sheer scale of the film industry today, but it appears that celebrity culture has already decided the current Hollywood icons. But are they of the same quality or brilliance of those legends who starred in some of the most quoted, loved and timeless pieces of film history to date? Or will they simply fade into obscurity once their star (and looks) fade? Will the fans move on and will society choose another ‘up and coming’ star and/or a member of ‘young hot Hollywood’ to replace them?
It seems as if this is the problem with Hollywood and in general, films today. Not enough emphasis is placed on actual acting ability and remarkable stories, but rather who is the big name at the moment that will draw crowds into the cinema and depart with hard earned cash in return for a mediocre film. But in truth it has become likely that the film or even the actors will fade into the background and won’t be remembered at the end of the year, let alone the end of the decade or century as previous films and icons are.
All this is unfortunate for the film industry and those genuine actors who do make films that deserve to be recognised in the future. So the public flocked to see the latest Twilight film over Harry Brown because they prefer to watch Robert Pattinson over Michael Caine, despite the latter being one of the most prolific and respected British actors of our time. Perhaps this is too harsh as the films are indeed aimed at two different types of movie-goer. However, I haven’t yet had someone ask me what I thought of the portrayal of youth in Harry Brown, meanwhile I’ve had a million questions about whether I’m on ‘Team Edward’, ‘Team Jacob’ or ‘Team Jedward’. In years to come, I still believe that when people list the greatest actors of all time we’ll still be singing the likes of Bogart and Kelly and it will be a case of Robert who? That is indeed the difference of being the actor of the moment and the actor of the best moments in Hollywood.