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NYCMovieLover


Member

Posted Mon Mar 19th, 2007 9:17pm Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
:'(
I just ran across this news story. I am saddened.
http://www.itv.com/news/entertainment_fb04a7653e0d239f39186131c50fe89d.html

It's not true. Really. Americans are not "fooled" by the accent "into detecting a brilliance that may not really be there".

We really aren't that stupid.

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Crazy_in_a_box


Member

Posted Mon Mar 19th, 2007 10:24pm Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
mmmm.... I dont really agree with him but I see the over all point he is trying to make.... When it comes to Americans (Im generalising here guys, there are always individuals who dont fit in to this) there is a feeling that anything European has an automatic excellence to it.

Take the huge fascination with the Beckhams because they are English, had they been American, I dont think there would have been half the fuss.

In relation to British Actors, I personally believe the general calibre of actors churned out from this side of the pond is far superior BUT not all of the actors are that good; some fall through the net and the Americans believe (maybe as Stephen suggests due to the accent) that all are in the same league. Maybe that is what he is getting at?

Judi Dench is a league of her own btw, you cant fault her.

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Tue Mar 20th, 2007 12:41am Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
I think he's right, actually. I mean, he's not precisely discovering America here, pardon the pun. A genteel English accent carries a lot of cultural baggage for Yanks, and yes, there is definitely a high-society old-world overcultivated-superego quality to it. And that's precisely the sort of accent that tends to make their way to Hollywood.

That's not to say Americans brand *all* British accents that way - no Yank in his right mind would claim anything of the kind for any of the accents in Trainspotting, Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Full Monty etc.

And Dame Dench, well, she just outclasses everyone.

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NYCMovieLover


Member

Posted Tue Mar 20th, 2007 7:24am Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
Take the huge fascination with the Beckhams because they are English, had they been American, I dont think there would have been half the fuss. I have to say that the coverage of the Beckhams here has not been heavy. I think there were a few pictures in the news right after the move to LA was announced. Possible a bit more in LA. There seems to be more coverage in sporting news. In fact, most of the articles I have seen about David Beckham hold the opinion he is bad for American soccer. (I am clueless about that. And, not being a sports fan in general nor a soccer fan in particular, could care less. Just saying what I see in the papers and magazines.)

Most Americans do not follow American soccer. It is not a widely watched on television (are the games even broadcast?). There are only seven teams - including Toronto. I think most Americans would give a bit of a blank stare if asked about either Beckham. Personally, I wouldn't know either one if I fell over them.

The fascination seems to continue in the British press, though. I see all sorts of articles in the UK online newspapers about them.


A genteel English accent carries a lot of cultural baggage for Yanks, and yes, there is definitely a high-society old-world overcultivated-superego quality to it. And that's precisely the sort of accent that tends to make their way to Hollywood.Maybe it's where I am. I meet far more Anglophobes than Anglophiles these days. The Fry article/statement is a bit ironic for me -- last weekend I had no less than three converstations about this same topic.

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meekychuppet


Member

Posted Tue Mar 20th, 2007 8:42am Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
I have to agree with him. America doesn't understand Britain at all but instead of their usual response (bombing the arse out of us) they are fascinated.

Try explaining cricket, or no score/score draws in football, or irony. They simply cannot get it.

I think British Drama is far better than anywhere else. We have a fantastic theatrical heritage and no0-one can touch that. The best performances in theatre that I have seen are from little known actors who love their craft. I think our own critics are as guilty of prolonging the cult of Kristin Scott Thomas et al so I can't really blame the USA for it. I'll take Saved, Shopping and Fucking or Blasted over 24 any day. That's not to say that 24 or Lost are bad, it's just that we're better.

Hollywood movies are sickening. They play out like computer games and to call them formulaic would be a huge understatement.

I agree with you Stephen, you old spudchucker.

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Terri


Member

Posted Tue Mar 20th, 2007 10:51am Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
Can I just point out, having read the article, that it initially read as if he was stating that as a bald fact, when really it's just a pondering/musing in the typically Fry sense: "I shouldn't be saying this, high treason really, but I sometimes wonder if Americans aren't fooled by our accent into detecting a brilliance that may not really be there.

See that "I sometimes wonder if" ? Those are merely the words of someone bringing up a point for discussion.

And having seen Hollywood's Darling Pet Brit Rupert Everett bowing out of Celeb Apprentice so spectacularly:
("I don't like doing this with the cameras"
"But you're an actor"
"Yes, but there's no dialogue ...")


I'm sure Stephen is right to raise that question!

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Tue Mar 20th, 2007 12:46pm Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
What suprises me most is that when Fry's essay was first printed in America's TV Guide last February (to escort his guest appearance in 'Bones') his musings didn't seem to raise a single comment. Yet when the exact same essay was published in Britain yesterday the (mostly British) media are virtually falling over themselves, asking people's opinions about Fry's 'accent snobbery' and reintroducing the old accent-and-class-debate. Very odd.

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Tue Mar 20th, 2007 1:50pm Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
What suprises me most is that when Fry's essay was first printed in America's TV Guide last February (to escort his guest appearance in 'Bones') his musings didn't seem to raise a single comment. Yet when the exact same essay was published in Britain yesterday the (mostly British) media are virtually falling over themselves, asking people's opinions about Fry's 'accent snobbery' and reintroducing the old accent-and-class-debate. Very odd.

Right, Soupy. I didn't even know Stephen had essayed in TV Guide until you said so. Certainly caused no stir over here.

There is national pride and national self-conciousness on both shores, of course. I'm sure it can be said that American film producers are wowed by the English accent, but I don't think that carries over to the general public.

Surprised to see so many sweeping generalities from this forum, though. Americans do get irony really, we just don't congratulate ourselves on getting it.

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Nataly)


Member

Posted Tue Mar 20th, 2007 3:14pm Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
Fry has told that thinks.
You it surprises?
Me does not surprise.
And where tragedy?))

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trouser material


Member

Posted Tue Mar 20th, 2007 6:16pm Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
I heard this on radio 2 earlier. His comments are not exactly controversial are they? If anything they're complimentary TO the Americans rather than insulting.

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boffinbabe12


Member

Posted Tue Mar 20th, 2007 8:20pm Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
I always find it amusing how on cheesy american tv programmes, any 'british' person on it has a badly mimmicked, posh, private school voice. I think it is perfectly shown in The Simpsons when they come to England... just in my experience of Americans they seem to have that stereotype of an Englishman.

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Tourmaline


Member

Posted Tue Mar 20th, 2007 11:35pm Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
The complete article (as published in TV guide recently) is in the issue of Radio Times, published today (with Hugh Laurie on the cover), and has attracted considerable attention elsewhere in the press it seems - although mostly with just the "Would you notice if Dame Judi gave a bad performance...?" line, which throws it completely out of context. As has already been pointed out, it's more of a Fry-musing on the different styles of acting that have become embedded in British and American culture.

I'm torn between trying to decide whether the reports taking Stephen's article out of context are general media Fry-bashing or an attempt to fabricate a jealousy between Stephen & Hugh in the wake of the success of House (as House begins its 3rd season later this week in the UK).

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Wed Mar 21st, 2007 2:03am Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
The complete article (as published in TV guide recently) is in the issue of Radio Times, published today (with Hugh Laurie on the cover), and has attracted considerable attention elsewhere in the press it seems - although mostly with just the "Would you notice if Dame Judi gave a bad performance...?" line, which throws it completely out of context. As has already been pointed out, it's more of a Fry-musing on the different styles of acting that have become embedded in British and American culture.

When has Dame Judi ever given a bad performance? I can't recall one. The last thing I saw was a pre-release version of Mrs Henderson Presents, and I thought the movie overall sucked, but she was still good in it... nothing to do with accent, really. She ain't a Dame for nothing.

I'm torn between trying to decide whether the reports taking Stephen's article out of context are general media Fry-bashing or an attempt to fabricate a jealousy between Stephen & Hugh in the wake of the success of House (as House begins its 3rd season later this week in the UK).

The thing is, if they *really* wanted to fabricate rivalry and unpleasantness between the boys, there are much better quotes to be had for the purpose. For instance that time Stephen talked on Craig Freguson's show about Hugh playing House and how hard it was for actors to "play smart." That was the most spectacularly catty WALLOP of a back-handed compliment I've ever heard.

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trouser material


Member

Posted Wed Mar 21st, 2007 8:11am Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
I always find it amusing how on cheesy american tv programmes, any 'british' person on it has a badly mimmicked, posh, private school voice. I think it is perfectly shown in The Simpsons when they come to England... just in my experience of Americans they seem to have that stereotype of an Englishman.

Precisely, well put young lady. Itwas the same with Titanic - anybody remember all the posh horrible bastard English who were effectively responsible for sinking the bloody ship and letting the happy jiggery stupid Irish blissfully drown in the lower decks?

Ok i'm tangenting slightly but the point is this...The Americans stereotypical view of the English is bowtie wearing, Oxford educated, arrogant smug bastards.

For instance that time Stephen talked on Craig Freguson's show about Hugh playing House and how hard it was for actors to "play smart." That was the most spectacularly catty WALLOP of a back-handed compliment I've ever heard.

X-D X-D X-D Excellent description.

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Aoibheann


Member

Posted Wed Mar 21st, 2007 6:13pm Post subject: Oh Stephen... really??
letting the happy jiggery stupid Irish blissfully drown in the lower deks?
not sure i like the stupid bit......

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