Michael Douglas: 'Social media obsession is to blame for crisis in young American actors'

Veteran actor says parts that should be going to US actors are going to Brits because young American stars are getting 'too caught up in their image'

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The Independent Culture

A lot has changed in Hollywood since Michael Douglas started acting 50 years ago. But while the 70-year-old is happy to keep up with the young, there's one thing he doesn't like about up-and-coming actors today.

Douglas has spoken out against US actors' obsession with social media, claiming that American talent will suffer as a consequence of young stars "getting caught up in their image".

“There’s something going on with young American actors - both men and women - because the Brits and Australians are taking many of the best American roles from them,” he told The Independent.

“Clearly, it breaks down on two fronts. In Britain they take their training seriously while in the States we’re going through a sort of social media image conscious thing rather than formal training. Many actors are getting caught up in this image thing which is going on to affect their range.

Michael Douglas' actress mother Diana Douglas dies aged 92

“With the Aussies, particularly with the males it’s the masculinity. In the US we have this relatively asexual or unisex area with sensitive young men and we don’t have many Channing Tatums or Chris Pratts, while the Aussies do. It’s a phenomena.”

Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas as Scott Lang and Hank Pym in Ant-Man

The Wonder Boys actor also spoke about how Carey Mulligan had managed to take on the role as a New York school girl, a part which would have traditionally gone to an American actress.

“There’s a crisis in young American actors right now,” he says. “Everyone’s much more image conscious than they are about actually playing the part.“

Asked whether he agreed with Dustin Hoffman’s view that the film industry is the “worst it has ever been”, Douglas said he understood Hoffman but believes other outlets such as Netflix and HBO are now doing what would have been traditionally done in cinema.

“I understand what he’s saying, but I think you have to look at the delivery system. There’s a lot of good stuff being made in the cable area, good writing there. Kramer vs Kramer, those great mainline films he was in aren’t being made anymore [for cinema] but are in a different delivery system.


“Most of the great screen writers have gone into the cable area because that’s where they can also produce. The problem in making a film for cinema is the cost of distribution. People can scrape together money for a movie but not the advertising.“

Douglas also commented on a possible Falling Down remake, saying: “That’s never really come about because [the film] was about a particular time. It was a story about the end of the cold war, and I think it was a time warp, it needed that particular time.”

The actor next stars in Ant-Man, the final film in Marvel's “Phase Two” series, which started with Iron Man 3 and included this year's Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

The movie also stars Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne and Corey Stoll as Darren “Yellowjacket” Cross.

Directed by Peyton Reed and produced by Kevin Feige, Ant-Man is released in UK cinemas on 17 July 2015.