Actors owe us everything but seldom acknowledge it

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As far as fame and notoriety go, actors are probably up there at the top of the list.  They are known the world over, loved by everyone, and hailed for their talent.  The ego of an A-list actor is just about the biggest thing on the face of this earth, closely followed by their bank balance, and their embarrassing emotional baggage.  Everyone loves the actors, everyone has their favourite (even me), and there are countless posts on social media discussing the good and bad of this or that actor’s repertoire.  I know, I’ve joined in some of them.

What no one seems to get, especially the actors themselves, is that if it weren’t for us writers, they’d be gas station attendants, shop assistants, bar staff and car valeters.

Every time I see a red carpet event on the television, I watch the actors sashaying up to the cameras. turning this way and that, and accepting praise for their latest movie with gracious smiles, and I quietly seethe.  I get really irritated by these events, because it’s the actors that get all the glory, when us writers have done all the work.  Without us, there would be no actors.

An actor is a liar, all actors are liars.  It’s the be-all and end-all of their existence.  They spend their working lives pretending to be someone else, pretending to have a different personality than the one they were born with, a different life story.  Never trust an actor, they lie for a living, and some of them are extremely skilled at it.  I digress however, the thing that annoys me is that they all owe every moment of their success, to us writers.  Do they ever acknowledge this fact though?  Do they hell.  You will seldom see any actor thanking the writers who have made them famous.  The nearest they get is to thank their director at the Oscar ceremony, and yet if it wasn’t for our talent and creativity, they would not be enjoying the privileged life they lead.

Writers have to make do with a mention in the credits of movies and tv shows, but how many people outside of the business, who aren’t into writing themselves, can name the writers of any movie or tv shows (Lord of the Rings is exempt from this question by the way)?  I doubt there are many.

This is a situation that will never change of course, so long as actors continue to be so highly paid and so long as they are given so much power.  That doesn’t stop it being morally wrong though.

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6 comments

  1. Agreed. Massively. I’ve always thought this too. The script is the embryo of ANY shoot that goes into production, without it nothing happens. Yet the actors get all the credits (literally). We’ve seen the rise of auteurs and directors slapping their names on promo posters – but the writer is still marginalised, and underpaid.

    1. Exactly, and this needs to change. Writers need to get the credit they’re due, especially when others are getting rich on the back of their creative genius.

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