Brits Take The Lead! 2013 Sees America Ship In Overseas Talent
The biggest Hollywood blockbusters of the past and coming months cast British talent in leading roles.
It used to be that British actors were traditionally cast by Hollywood filmmakers as villains; in endless kids' Disney flicks we'd hear exaggeratedly posh English voices coming out of the most evil of witches ('Snow White'), scary giant octopuses ('The Little Mermaid') and murderous lions ('The Lion King'), and even the creators of some of the biggest blockbusters such as 'Die Hard' and 'The Silence Of The Lambs' scoured the UK for the perfect sinister accent.
However, now the Brits are playing the good guys with a surge of overseas talent showcasing their well-practised foreign accents over the past few years - even one of the most American flicks of 2012, Steven Spielberg's 'Lincoln' cast London born Daniel Day-Lewis as the iconic US President. Here are our four biggest British stars that have been making their mark in Hollywood with seminal roles over the past and coming months.
The new Mandela movie, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom could be the biggest biopic to be released this year especially with news surrounding the anti-apartheid activist's health flooding the media recently. The iconic campaigner will be portrayed by East Londoner Idris Elba who recently won a Golden Globe for his role in the BBC detective series 'Luther'. Although he has had a string of parts in Hollywood movies such as 'Pacific Rim' and 'Prometheus', 'Mandela' could truly see him shine as a leading man in Hollywood this year. His previous work includes the US TV series 'The Wire' which also starred Dominic West, himself becoming an international sensation after appearances in the likes of 'John Carter'.
The Zack Snyder reboot of the Superman film series has become the second highest grossing movie of 2013 with Jersey born heartthrob Henry Cavill starring as the world's favourite superhero in Man Of Steel. It's not the first time he's appeared in an American movie having starred alongside Bruce Willis in 2012's action thriller 'The Cold Light of Day' but it certainly won't be the last. He's not the only Brit to land a major comic book role either; Andrew Garfield is currently enjoyed a lead stint in 'The Amazing Spider-Man' with the sequel coming up next year, while Tom Hiddleston was supervillain Loki in 'Avengers Assemble'.
Chiwetel Ejiofor lands his first major leading role in an American film as Solomon Northup - an educated African-American free man who was kidnapped in the 1800s and sold to slavery against federal laws. He has previously been known for his roles in British movies 'Children Of Men', 'Kinky Boots' and 'Love Actually' but definitely set himself up for an important leading Hollywood role after major roles in the likes of 'American Gangster', '2012' and 'Salt'. He has strong competition in '12 Years A Slave', however, after Jamie Foxx won a BET award for his slave role in Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained'. The question is, who does it better?
This London born star has got to be one of the most versatile and in-demand actors in Hollywood right now. After his leading role in the British TV series 'Sherlock' and playing the insidious villain in 'Star Trek Into Darkness', he is now set for a supporting role in '12 Years A Slave' and will reprise his role as the necromancer in 'The Hobbit: There and Back Again', which also stars Hampshire born Martin Freeman in the lead role. These high profile and very mixed parts have led him to portray Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in the movie biopic 'The Fifth Estate'. Not only has he got the Australian drawl down to a T, but he has also somehow morphed into physically - excellent diversity in every sense of the word and not one Hollywood is going to let go lightly.
Other UK actors that are taking the world by storm are Nicholas Hoult, who starred as the lead zombie in the independent comedy 'Warm Bodies' as well as the title character in Bryan Singer's 'Jack The Giant Slayer; Ben Barnes, who will appear alongside Jeff Bridges in the fantasy book-to-screen film 'Seventh Son' having had huge roles in 'Dorian Gray' and 'The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian'; and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who is set to appear in the upcoming remake of 'Godzilla' next year with Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olsen.
Ben Barnes & Max Irons
Jeremy Irons' son Max Irons is also making his mark overseas with a major role in the Stephanie Meyer adapted movie 'The Host' and an upcoming lead role in 'Vivaldi' opposite Neve Campbell. And all that's not to mention the talent on the other side of the camera! Oscar winning English director Sam Mendes firmly secured his place in Hollywood with 'American Beauty' in 1999, but now he's managed to take UK flicks to the same heights with Bond movie 'Skyfall' which became the second highest grossing movie of 2012
So with British talent, both fresh and experienced, jetting over to the glitz and glamour of LA, has Hollywood finally been taken over? Of course, we haven't even started on the female stars...
Tom Hiddleston & Nicholas Hoult
Aaron Taylor-Johnson & Martin Freeman