It’s just another manifestation of how we’re heading back to the 17th century, and of course the nepotism babies all have identikit political views too. As for posh British actors, it’s simple; you can afford to (a) go to RADA and (b) afford to ‘rest’. And, like any top-end public schoolboy, you have an inherited rolodex of people mummy and daddy know to sort you out.
It’s a shame, as a generation of truly great British actors were from humble backgrounds. Caine. Connery. Burton. Stamp.
I doubt we’ll ever see their like again.
Be fair- Mason and Niven went to public schools.
He is not saying public school educated kids are all useless.
He is merely pointing out great actors from poorer backgrounds are no longer making it, while they were common in the 60s.
It’s not very different in other businesses. Nepotism is pretty universal but over time people without connections can rise by their own effort, talent or pure luck. The latter factor is often overlooked because none of us like to believe our lives are hugely influenced by something as arbitrary as chance.
Very unsurprising that young people follow in parents/family footsteps. Have seen so many children of doctors, lawyers, engineers etc follow the same careers. The understanding of how things are done permeates the domestic environment coupled with expectations. That isn’t nepotism at that level.
Great article. I certainly agree that talent outlasts nepotism, privilege, or even luck.
One of my favorite actresses of all time is Rebecca Hall, daughter of the eminent theatre director, Peter Hall. She grew up amid acting royalty and I bet daddy pulled a few strings to give her a start, but pure talent carried her through.
As touched upon in the article, a foot in the door is just that. Although getting that handed to you has given you an enormous advantage over others, it’s what you do with it that counts and whether you have the talent to make use of it.
The acting world is littered with actors with famous and powerful relatives who never amounted to anything: Frank Stallone, Don Swayze, Tori Spelling. They all got a foot in the door, but they all felt it slam on their back on the way back out.
Roedean and Cambridge certainly helped, as they are meant to.
I saw her in,I think it was 2007 in what must be the best production there has ever been of As You Like It at Bath Theatre Royal. She played Rosalind.
Film acting’s not hard, any good looking nitwit can do it. Sport, on the other hand is difficult which is why nepotism is practically non existent.
I suggest you try it, particularly on stage, live. Looks have almost nothing to do with it.
Didn’t we,the UK pass a law a couple of decades ago making nepotism officially illegal but our society,in fact the whole world is rife with it. Its tough on outsiders but it actually makes a lot of sense. I’m not saying I’m in favour of it but I see how it works. In my working life two of the places I worked at only took on people who already had a relative working there. This was the official policy even though it was NOT WRITTEN DOWN ANYWHERE. On the radio that Laurie Taylor talked to a Canadian academic who had studied why nepotism is so rife in TV and film production. That’s the people making the content,not the performers. She explained most tv now is made by small production companies that only employ a core permanent staff so when they are commissioned to make a TV show or series they hire lots of people. It’s all very fast and furious,they don’t have time to advertise,see loads of people etc. Instead the hirer at the company has the phone number of people who regularly work for them plus they offer jobs to their pals sons and daughters leaving uni,to their own nephews and nieces,to friends of friends,its all done on the grapevine and by personal recommendation. They need people they know can do whichever job it is,and they know this one or that is intelligent and hard working (when it’s needed) most of all they want amiable people who get on with everyone,sadly moody geniuses get struck off the list. That’s an old phenomenon. I read one of IK Brunels letters. He needed a new personal assistant. He said in the letter to a friend,he didn’t want an engineering genius (like himself),he wanted an amiable young man who would copy his letters for him,make cups of tea,be smiley and be pleasant to have around.
That sounds pretty much the criteria of these film companies from what this academic was saying. Why employ some stranger who might prove incompetent and cost you money when your niece who you know is both competent and amiable is available.
Its ALWAYS been who you know.
Hardly unusual for children to follow in parents’ footsteps.
I’ve always loved Gwyneth Paltrow. She has become the classiest classless woman in business.
She is as cringeworthy as she is bingeworthy.
Nobody does it better.