British stars fail to top Hollywood bill

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The Independent Culture
British film stars have lost their clout in Hollywood. Not one figures in this year's annual ranking of Hollywood's 25 most powerful actors and actresses, while only one English director makes the film-maker's list.

Last year Daniel Day Lewis and Sean Connery were among the top 25 actors listed in Premiere magazine, but this year they are conspicuous by their absence - as are Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons, Jack Nicholson and Hugh Grant.

In first place is Tom Hanks - "whatever he does, the world loves" - for hits including Toy Story and Apollo 13. Second is Tom Cruise for Interview With The Vampire and Mission: Impossible and third place goes to Jim Carrey for "turning piffle like Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls into massive blockbusters".

The list continues with Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, Robin Williams, Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, Clint Eastwood and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Women make their first appearance at number 15 with Julia Roberts (down from 12th last year). John Travolta - unranked last year - is at number 16 and the next three places go to Demi Moore, Jodie Foster and Sandra Bullock, also a newcomer.

Clearly the British are not coming. Nowhere to be seen is Hugh Grant. Emma Thompson,, his co-star in Sense and Sensibility, also fails the grade despite a clutch of Oscars.

There is also disappointment for Ralph Fiennes, tipped for Hollywood stardom, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth, not to mention Kenneth Branagh.

The 20-strong directors list is little better. Adrian Lyne, director of 91/2 Weeks, squeezes in at number eight. Steven Spielberg continues to rule the roost at number one, while Quentin Tarantino is placed 15th.

Matt Mueller, editor of the UK edition of Premiere, said yesterday that the ranking was done by the American edition of the magazine on the basis of box office takings, ability to ensure a film had a big opening weekend in the United States and the ability to get a film made by agreeing to star.