Can We Just… Stop Casting Whomever is Most Popular in Every Role?

Cara Delevinge in Suicide Squad (2016)

By Pansy Wilde

We often see the never-ending spew of Hollywood sequels, prequels and remakes as lazy and unimaginative. Often times, they are… But it’s also just business. Hollywood is reluctant to try new ideas because they’re risky. They already know moviegoers love a certain type of film so why not just build on that, instead of risking millions and millions of dollars on one people might not like?

This is why they keep casting the same tired actors in the same tired roles. If an average person is interested in seeing a movie one of the first questions they would probably ask is “Who’s in it?” If you reply with ‘nobody you know’, then their interest would sap away quicker than yours in Fantastic Beasts.

Speaking of which, look at Johnny Depp. He had no place being in the recent Fantastic Beasts movie. His acting has been going down the drain for years now. He has not been in a good movie or given a solid performance in years. People know Johnny Depp though! People love Johnny Depp! Well, up until he got into that whole ‘domestic violence thing’… But even now, even after all the image destroying faux pas have proven to be true, and even though his acting is the same in every movie regardless of character, he still gets cast.

Cara Delevingne is great…as a model. As an actress? Not so much. Her acting is wooden, always giving an incredibly awkward delivery. Either that or it’s over-the-top, like something from a high school drama production where everyone is trying to fight for the spotlight while parents sigh and check their watches. This is not an attack on Cara. She is one of the few mainstream models who actually has the talent of being a chameleon for different designers. But when it comes to her acting she’s less than impressive. I really wanted her to be good, I really did. When she was announced for Paper Towns I questioned this choice because she didn’t seem to fit the role at all. Then the trailer emerged and it was worse than I thought. Her acting seemed so forced and unnatural. I really couldn’t buy that she was the cool and mysterious Margo. Then came the absolute steaming pile of garbage, Suicide Squad – an absolute abomination. Cara can’t be blamed entirely for that one, because every single thing was wrong with that film… The editing, the script, the flimsy plot, the weird direction, it was all horrible. That’s a rant for another time however.

Look at Kate Upton! For months she was talked about as the next ‘big thing’ in acting. But was she able to play the part of any other character than the ‘dumb ditzy girl’? Her movies bombed and she was quickly forgotten about, wiped from the media as if she were a bad dream we all collectively had.

There are exceptions to this of course. Some models do transition to acting. I mean look at…Channing Tatum? Okay, bad example. How about Cameron Diaz? No, still a terrible actress. Mark Walberg? Awful… Charlize Theron! There, there’s one who can act.

Many movies cast trendy, popular people in lead roles even though they cannot act or don’t suit the role. Look at Selena Gomez. She’s worth millions but is still mediocre at both singing and acting.

How many times have you heard that there’s going to be an adaptation of a book you really loved? You think about whom you would cast, only to find that the production company has gone with whichever actor is most popular at the time. How many times was Jennifer Lawrence cast in a movie where it made no sense for her to be the lead?

It is the same with Vogue covers or runways. Lately we see these ‘Instagram girls’, who look ordinary and boring. They are only there because their 1.5 million follows will click through the links and get traffic to websites. We see real models losing jobs because Gigi Hadid, who walks more like a newly born giraffe, snaps them up.

I personally believe that the best person for the job should get the gig. Arts are being watered down because producers are more concerned with making the big bucks than investing in their artistic integrity. If you try to tailor make something to suit the masses, it will perhaps be popular for a few months than thrown away like giving a puppy to a spoiled brat. If you truly try to produce something that speaks to you personally however, you are more likely to make something that lasts. Would you like to watch the original Ghostbusters, which had a premise so supposedly ridiculous it was thought to be doomed to fail, or would you rather watch a churned out Hollywood flop with a handful of actors in the midst of their fleeting fifteen minutes of fame? I know which one I would prefer.


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