Saturday, January 21, 2012

British TV

My husband and I have been watching several British TV shows lately.  I'm struck by the difference in the art form of acting from what we see in this country.  I wonder if actors have the type of celebrity status that we afford them here.  I so appreciate how normal the actors on these shows look.  They don't have perfect, bright white teeth.  They don't all look perpetually young and they aren't all a size 2.  It adds an authenticity to their acting that can't be achieved by make up and costumes.  Faces -real faces - tell such stories in themselves.  I think this is why I'm attracted to sketches of faces, particularly old faces.  I have an Indian chief and an old German potter hanging in my home.  Both faces are deeply lined and wrinkled and I feel like the depiction of those faces speak volumes.

I will say that I have noticed a few actors in this country who I feel have interesting faces.  I don't think any of them would be called "pretty or handsome" yet their looks lend believability to their characters.  One is Morgan Freeman.  His face seems to get more and more interesting as the years go by.  Another is Frances Sternhagen.  I was reminded of both of these actors while watching The Dolphin Tale recently.

Wouldn't it be nice if acting could be see for the art that it is apart from physical appearance?  I'm sure there are a lot of people who can act but who weren't blessed with perfect hair or skin or body.  We don't seem to hold other artists to this standard as strictly as actors.  There are singers whose looks are less then perfect, although most of them DO get their teeth fixed for those close ups.  I don't think this will change anytime soon so I'll have to go on getting my fill of regular looking, but well performed acting from the BBC.

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