Timothy West: Film roles for pensioners shouldn't just be about old people's homes
Tuesday 19 February 2013
Timothy West has warned that older actors are still being typecast despite a raft of new films featuring them.
The stage and screen star, 78, has just been cast in his first science-fiction film and is appearing in Coronation Street as carpet salesman Eric.
West said that he was pleased to see a recent rise of movies, such as Quartet, set in a retirement home for classical musicians, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which features British retirees taking up residence in an Indian hotel, starring actors of his generation.
But he told the Radio Times: "I do hope they aren't all going to be about old people's homes....older people do have lives in other places.
"It's a nice thing to see happening and it's true that a lot of traditional cinema audiences are older, because a lot of younger people watch the DVD or online."
But the star, who criticised casting directors with short memories, added: "There again, I suspect it'll all be, 'What have we got for Judi Dench? What have we got for Penelope Wilton?"'
He joked: "I suppose some of us may get a look in..."
He criticised casting directors for only signing up faces which they currently see on the TV, saying: "It's their memory - the producers are going for known faces in very predictable characters.
"I think it's unfair to audiences, who get patronised and don't see anything new. And it's extra-ordinarily unfair to writers to feel that whatever they write, it's just going to be played the same old way."
West, who is married to actress Prunella Scales, dismissed all three main political parties' attitudes to the arts, film and TV, saying: "I can't remember the last arts minister who really knew anything about the arts or cared.... it seems to be a sort of parking place for them before they get moved on to something else."
The Brass, Goodnight Sweetheart and Not Going Out star last year appeared in ITV drama Titanic, penned by Julian Fellowes.
He said that Fellowes "surprised us all by saying he was going to write about the ordinary steerage people. We all thought, 'Does Julian know any ordinary steerage people?'
"I thought he was doing a dangerously daring thing in telling the same story four times over. It's intriguing in a thriller when you want to know whodunnit but you know they hit an iceberg...
Review: A panoramic account of the hacking scandalbooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 4 Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
New Netflix releases: Films and TV shows coming August 2014
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Star Wars Episode 7: Simon Pegg hints at role
Guardians of the Galaxy - review: A superficial and half-hearted Marvel film
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >