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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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June 23 2015

Amy Acker gets a wonderful shout-out in this month's The Atlantic for her performance in Much Ado. The article laments the decline of the American actor, but comments that, "a handful of younger American actors, mostly women, have been able to stretch themselves in parts like that onscreen."

Maybe the most spectacular recent example of a young American movie and television actor tackling a classical part is Amy Acker's radiant Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Joss Whedon's nimble, and very faithful, 2012 movie of one of Shakespeare's sprightliest comedies. Acker was always a welcome presence on TV shows such as Angel and Alias; in her current series gig, as the blithely lethal hacker known as Root on Person of Interest, she displays the ability to alternate a near-sociopathic sangfroid with unexpected bursts of genuine passion-and she has the best walk on television, besides. But her facility with the tricky verse of Shakespearean comedy is a real surprise; she's at least as formidable a Beatrice as Emma Thompson was in Branagh's 1993 Much Ado, and Acker is, I think, more touching and finally more believable.

You know, it's good to see Ms. Acker mentioned positively but I must confess this is something that has been actively annoying me about the industry for some time. I am genuinely sorry for American actors or students studying acting in the US because while I believe the opportunity to learn the craft exists, I think there are structural problems in that job market if one is so inclined. I was always pleased Joss was able to find as many great American actors as he was.

But on the whole, it is an aspect right now I actively dislike about the movies. That Key and Peele sketch made me laugh the wrong way.
And I forgot another "Whedonesque" snippet:
Acting at its highest level is very, very difficult, but at the end of it there has to be, for the actor, an internal silly grin of satisfaction, whether the role is Captain Kirk or Captain Ahab. Most of the American actors fronting heavyweight Hollywood franchises these days, all those guys named Chris, do not have the air of men who are enjoying what they do. One of the Chrises—Evans, who plays Captain America—recently told Variety that he’s planning to quit acting when his Marvel contract is up. The thrill, it seems, is gone.

Called as formidable in the portrayal of Beatrice as Emma Thompson, that is some high praise. Deserved of course.
"...all those guys named Chris, do not have the air of men who are enjoying what they do." Seriously? Did no one see Chris Pratt's joy in everything he does? And all the others too.

Also, being called as formidable as Emma Thompson is insanely high praise but I agree with that. Thompson's Beautrice may get fairly emotional but Acker really brings the emotion. Her "if I were a man" speech is amazing.
Hooray for Amy - and I totally agree about the comparison with Emma Thompson's Beatrice. (I'm a huge Thompson fan, by the way.)

I felt that this was a very well-thought-out, articulate article. Even if one doesn't agree about "the Chris's," (perhaps the author forgot about Chris Pratt?), the "British Invasion" of Hollywood has been rather alarming, for the reasons the author points out. I've read other discussions of the issue, but this was the best written one I've seen so far.

Meanwhile, I really must watch "Person of Interest." Once I've caught up with "Castle," and a few other things.
Evans wants to direct, he spoke about his anxiety re acting but I understood that he loves playing Cap cuz of the characters and the crew are familiar.

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