Tag: tom cruise

American television: land of decent parts

Question: What do Idris Elba David Oyelowo and Eamonn Walker have in common?

Answer: They are immensely talented Black British actors who made their name in America when parts for them in Britain were (and still are) lacking.

I know what you are thinking, Mr Elba was in Luther but make no mistake, he made his name in The Wire and only after proving himself there, British Television gave him something meaty.

We now have David Oyelowo appearing in Jack Reacher and Lincoln. A talented guy who, for me, appeared in Shoot the Messenger, which was the last time the BBC tried it’s hand at controversial drama dealing with the black community. It was a great part for him but the Corporation since then has played it safe with ballroom dancing dramas starring 50-year-old white people. The kind of thing that wins Baftas!

Lastly we have Eamon Walker who starred in The Bill and, again, made his name in the States. Eamonn has been back but only as a star.

See a pattern emerging? Face it, there are no decent parts and if you want to get somewhere you have to cross the pond. This is a shame as we lose so much talent that can make British television great. Check their pre Hollywood IMDB credits and it’s one dimensional television shit-com parts.

Why is an Asian lad talking about black actors? Well, the issue of the lack of diversity goes across the board as we all suffer. Also reading that Lenny Henry commenting on the lack of black (and even Asian) actors nominated at this years Baftas shows a lack of commitment to break the trend.

Even Dev Patel scarpered to America for better parts and good on him. Who knows? If he came back what parts would be created for him? In the current climate, none. In fact an Indian actor i did a short film is looking to go to the States to make his name and honestly, i can’t blame him.

In fairness I am writing my own stuff and looking to get it made but if it doesn’t mean I am trying to ride on the coattails on Lenny Henry’s comments. I would simply like to see the schedules to be as diverse so there is programming much like American television. That would be nice.

Stuart Baird: the unsung film editor

Yes, Sam Mendes directed Skyfall and it’s a fantastic addition to the series but one name that deserves better recognition is the editor Stuart Baird and seeing as the Bond producers wanted to make their mark for the 50th anniversary this is the man to make the film as fast paced as possible. Why should you care? You probably didn’t even notice his name in the funky credits.

This is a man who edited Superman, The Omen, and Lethal Weapon among others to great acclaim and later became editorial supervisor for Warner Brothers. He fixed a lot of films that got into trouble in the edit suite due to runaway budgets and egos like MI:2 in which he was directly cutting the workprint because of the impending release date. Now that is rock and roll. He also tried to fix Tomb Raider but one is only mortal!  His directorial endeavours unfortunately don’t rate as highly as his editorial, which is rather strange when you compare the likes of Robert Wise and David Lean who came up through editing and became very good directors, after all this is the launchpad for directing.

Yes he also edited Casino Royale, which was a previous reboot of the franchise (he is a frequent collaborator of Martin Campbell), but as this is the 50th anniversary of the franchise and they were going full throttle in every department I knew this was going to be a brilliantly paced film mainly down to this man.

Credit where credit’s due and often he is marginalised by the bigger names but this is one man who’s work I find entertaining.

 It is worth mentioning that Eric Idle’s character in Burn Hollywood Burn was apparently based on Stuart Baird.