Hollywood Muscles Back Stars from Stage???
Date: 26 January 2004
Could the flood of Hollywood stars into the West End soon taper off to a trickle? According to the Sunday Times, American film studio bosses and agents are sick of the amount of time some of their highest paid stars are “wasting” by bunking off to do low-paid stage stints in London and New York and are now seeking to impose restrictions. As a recent example, the newspaper cites Hugh Jackman, currently headlining the Broadway musical The Boy from Oz, who’s keenness to extend in the stage show could jeopardise filming for the third instalment in the X Men series. (Ironically, though his stage interests now seem in conflict with his film ones, it was the theatre – specifically, the National’s 1998 revival of Oklahoma! - which first brought the Australian actor to the attention of Hollywood.) Film actors have often used the stage to resuscitate flagging careers, but since Nicole Kidman’s critical success in the Donmar’s 1998 production of The Blue Room, many more actors at their box office peaks have risen to the challenge. In recent years, Hollywood imports to London have included Glenn Close, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Brendan Fraser, Kathleen Turner, Matthew Perry, Minnie Driver, Hank Azaria, Matt Damon and, in This Is Our Youth alone, a whole roll call of some of LA’s hottest up-and-comers, not least Jake Gyllenhaal. Over the coming months, Luke Perry, Alyson Hannigan, Gillian Anderson and Richard Dreyfuss will also be seen on the London stage. The newspaper quotes one Warner Brothers executive who says that, with this thespian rush, “young stars are throwing away the highest-earning years of their lives”.
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