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British Star Marketing & Hollywood | Guidance Notes

Rob Miller | Tuesday November 29, 2011

Categories: GCSE, A Level, Film Industry, Film Marketing, Films & Case Studies, Hollywood Films, Non-Hollywood Films, Genres & Case Studies, British Film, Hot Entries


There are two distinct ways of targeting audiences:


Generic Typecasting

Generic typecasting can apply to British or Hollywood film ‘stars’, e.g. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the stereotypical Action Hero, Julia Roberts or Jennifer Anniston as the classic Romantic Comedy lead, Tom Hanks as ‘the good guy’ and Jim Carey as a the fool (Comedy genre). Johnny Depp, for example is known for his ‘character roles’, often as an eccentric male lead (Pirates of the Caribbean, Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) while Tom Hank excels in audiences identifying him as a lead with a fundamentally strong moral code (Saving Private Ryan, Forrest Gump, Da Vinci Code). British stars tend to be less subject to generic typecasting, and stereotypically associated with films that achieve critical rather than commercial success, although there are significant exceptions and this will be explored further below.

Generic typecasting of certain British stars has included Hugh Grant as the middle class, foppish man about town in the Romantic Comedy genre, often produced by Working Title and distributed by Universal. Dame Maggie Smith is known as a ‘grand dame’ of British acting tradition, along with the versatile Helen Mirren. Smith though, for British actor, is (and has) been typecast in many Period Dramas / Costume Melodramas (currently Downton Abbey on ITV). A significant number of specifically English actors have been cast by Hollywood in stereotypically cold, villainous roles – Alan Rickman (Harry Potter, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer), Christopher Lee (Lord of the Rings / Dracula / Wicker Man), Charles Dance (Your Highness, The Golden Child) and Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight, Leon, Fifth Element, Dracula). Many female British actors have succeeded in challenging stereotypical representations and include Dame Judi Dench, currently the fearsome...

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