Batman Begins - A British (Isles) Invasion

Some mundane and pointless (but film-related) that I must share:

I was watching Batman Begins the other night when it occurred to me that a lot of people in it are from the UK or Ireland. A few I didn’t know by name, but recognized them from various other things. Between them you almost have the full cast of characters you might actually be able to name from the film, and I’m sure a few of the other minor roles were filled with British and Irish people, too. Obviously the director (Christopher Nolan) is British, but I wouldn’t expect that to have such a big effect on the cast. Here’s a list:

Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman): British
Liam Neeson (Ra’s al Ghul): Irish/British (he was born and raised in the UK but calls himself Irish)
Michael Caine (Alfred): British
Gary Oldman (Gordon): British
Cillian Murphy (Crane/Scarecrow): Irish
Tom Wilkinson (Falcone): British
Colin McFarlane (Loeb): British
Linus Roache (Thomas Wayne): British
Sara Stewart (Martha Wayne): British
Jack Gleeson (some kid): Irish

That last name is Joffrey, for those who didn’t know. I didn’t realize he was in it until he popped up.

Has anyone else noticed this? Or something similar in other films? Did anyone notice the accents? I thought a few sounded pretty bad, but not being American, I’m not sure. There’s a particular moment that always stands out to me where Gary Oldman’s accent really deserves to be hauled before HUAC, but I’m mostly thinking of the more minor roles.

The one that really floored me was “L.A. Confidential” where the two main protagonists, Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe are from Australia/New Zealand.
They hid their accents well, in my opinion.

When I heard about Batman Begins having a mostly British cast and seeing the Batmobile with Interco Super Swampers, I thought it was going to be terrible. It’s still my favorite Batman movie.

What tips can you give for someone who is starting a website for the first time?


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Hire a lot of Brits, apparently.

A few I didn’t know by name, but recognized them from various other things. Between them you almost have the full cast of characters you might actually be able to name from the film, and I’m sure a few of the other minor roles were filled with British and Irish people, too. Obviously the director (Christopher Nolan) is British, but I wouldn’t expect that to have such a big effect on the cast. Here’s a list:


GuL

For what it’s worth, most of the time I really don’t think us Americans remember that Bale is British (same as Hugh Laurie)…

Game of Thrones is an American TV show that has been on for 5 seasons/50 episodes and has had about three (3) American cast members, among the primary, secondary, and tertiary characters. I’m sure that there are some extras, and I’ve probably missed someone, but: Peter Dinklage, Jason Momoa, and Pedro Pascal (Chilean born, but listen to his normal accent). Otherwise, tons of Brits, a few Irish, Scandinavian, a few Dutch (at least one lives in the US). Apparently almost no antipodeans (Keisha Castle-Hughes, guy who plays Locke, flashback Cersei). Don’t think there are any Canadians.

ETA: Googled, apparently at least one “direwolf” is Canadian… :dubious:

Wasn’t the movie mostly shot in the UK? Maybe it was just easier to hire locals.

A similar case is Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There are surprisingly few Americans in the cast. Of course Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill couldn’t be recast, and they are American. Carrie Fisher’s daughter has a minor role, and she is American. Adam Driver is the only other American in a major role. Go down the list of actors in IMDb and notice how few are American.

What’s going on is the globalization of everything, and that includes casting of actors in movies and TV.

Hollywood studios just don’t dominate any more. Many countries offer tax incentives for movies and TVs shows to be shot there. The UK is apparently highly favoured because it has great locations, great studios, great local skills behind and in front of the camera (the creative industries are the Uk’s third biggest business sector), and is cheaper.

So, both Game of Thrones and Star Wars were filmed largely in the UK.

The so-called Hollywood studios are often multinational corporations and not really American either. It’s amazing how little Americans complain about this in comparison to how often they complain about other jobs being taken by non-Americans. They’ll whine about how the people working at McDonalds are foreigners, but they won’t complain about how the people who make the money from the movies they see aren’t American either. As long as the people on the screen do convincing American accents and the scenery is labeled as being in the U.S., they don’t care. They don’t complain that many of those working as actors, directors, writers, crew members, extras hired locally at the film site and those who own the places where the film is shot, the producers, the studio heads, and everyone working for the film distributors are, in effect, taking jobs from Americans, but it’s all right as long as the cashier at McDonalds isn’t a foreigner.

Well, even US based shows seem to have a lot of non-Americans. Hugh Larie is the tip of that iceberg.

Even entertainment … James Corbin, John Oliver, the scottish guy who just stopped …

The OP missed Gus Lewis, who played Bruce Wayne as a child. Lewis was born in the United States but lives in England.

Other British or Irish actors who had minor roles were Christine Adams, Joey Ansah, Khan Bonfils, Tim Booth, Richard Brake, Risteard Cooper, Karen David, Charles Edwards, Jon Foo, Tamer Hassan, Larry Holden, John Kazek, Dave Legeno, Gerard Murphy, David Murray, Andrew Pleavin, Lucy Russell, Joseph Rye, Mark Rhino Smith, and Spencer Wilding. Christopher Nolan also gave his uncle, John Nolan, a small role.

Are non-North American actors willing to take less money than their North American peers, especially of film/tv shoots are done locally?

Craig Ferguson? Well he’s a US citizen now, not that his accent is affected.

I don’t think that Bale is working for pennies. One factor is that up until about 5 years ago, US actors considered TV acting a big step down from film, and foreign actors had fewer qualms here and took the roles. Also TV often required a bigger commitment and could potentially typecast them. Of course now it’s about equally prestigious to sign up for a show, and with multiple-picture deals becoming common, TV doesn’t necessarily “lock you down” for an appreciably longer time.

or his place of birth.

And? I didn’t say he stopped being Scottish.

“And” American citizenship means fuck all unless you happen to pay a lot of tax.

I think that the other issue, besides a general move to globalization, is that it’s easier for British and Oceanic actors to rise through the ranks. In the US, movie making is big business and in big business you’re dealing with big money on each production, so you don’t want to throw money after an actor who hasn’t been proven to be a money maker.

In the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and elsewhere making films is more something that people do for artistry than for big money. Or even if it is for money, the stakes are still lower. They’re more willing to cast someone new. So when one of those films becomes a hit, the actors are suddenly on the radar for Hollywood. All the actors working in Hollywood itself, working a job as a waiter, are doomed to work as extras because (outside of Disney TV) there’s no desire to develop new talent, locally.

The same thing happens with directors. And since you don’t need to be a strong English speaker to work as a director in Hollywood, the range of nationalities represented at the directorial level is even more wide.