BY VANESSA THORPE
The invasion of British and Irish leading men in Hollywood has now gone beyond a joke for many in the American entertainment industry. First noticed some time in 2011, the trend was initially dismissed as a novelty: an interesting phase that would pass, rather than as a threat. But this summer actors and directors are calling for action to mobilise American drama teachers and schools to counter it.
In Britain, of course, the same trend is greeted gleefully as another chance to cry out, “the Brits are coming!” One by one, each wave of the invasion has been characterised and cheered off at the dock.
First, a group of talented black stars, including David Harewood, of Homeland, and Idris Elba, of The Wire, felt they had a better chance of good roles and good pay in Los Angeles. Then, a slew of superhero signings was spotted; the British-raised Andrew Garfield was cast as Spider-Man, Welshman Christian Bale as Batman, and the Stowe-educated Henry Cavill as Superman.