Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The aging actor's life

An astonishingly honest article written by the great actor Frank Langella deserves to be read by anyone who acts or anyone who wants to act.

Frank Langella - then

Frank Langella - now
I feel my own mortality reading it and the revelation about the fate of Oscar-winning actors 20 years past their prime is sobering.

Our industry, our culture is so youth-oriented that TV, at least in Canada, is filled with 25 year old homicide detectives and brain surgeons.  My father, who is a retired brain surgeon, didn't start practicing until he was 40.

The problem is not merely an actors' problem.  I was once told by the network executive of a hit Canadian TV series that they don't hire writers over a certain age because they don't believe they can write for the young demographic they want as the audience.  This is  akin to saying you need to be Danish to write Hamlet, but that's the reality of our business.

Ageism, sexism and racism exists.  As long as the audience doesn't care, it won't go away.

1 comment:

Sheila said...

Excellent blog post, Sugith! I read the essay by Langella several years ago. Thanks for bringing it back to my attention.