Current Magazine

Are Actors Too Posh? Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston and Others Were at Private School – is It Class War?

Posted on the 15 February 2012 by Periscope
Are actors too posh? Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston and others were at private school – is it class war?

Eddie Redmayne, Old Etonian, in Birdsong.

The acting profession is notoriously hard to get into – you need a lot of talent, for one thing. But these days, many young stars of the thespian world are privately educated – look at Tom Hiddleston, Harry Lloyd, Eddie Redmayne, Harry Hadden-Paton – all public school boys. Daniel Stevens of Downton Abbey fame was educated at Tonbridge. Could it be possible that acting will become the preserve of the privileged? David Harewood has recently encouraged young black actors to go to the States to build their careers – should we be worried?

Actors are too posh! Theo Bosanquet on The Guardian thinks so. There are a couple of implications – these actors get a “high standard” of training at their schools. Eton has a 400-seat theater. And it also tells us that “in order to succeed” you need a lot of money behind you. Training fees at acting school cost £10,000 a year; when you start, you often work for free. The rewards, though, are “significant.” Bosquanet did not seek to denigrate the talents of these young actors – and pointed to Dominic West and Damian Lewis, both Etonians with successful and wide acting ranges. But he does think that “fairness and equality” are eroded; also that the theater can’t examine “Cameron’s cabinet when there are more old school ties among its members than on his front bench.” Despite some attempts at reaching out, it seems that theatreland is “a club whose door is open only to the well-heeled and well-connected.”

No they’re not! One commentator on the piece, The HynterYouth, said that he (or she) had trained with a couple of the named actors, and that the fees were two thousand a year. Bosanquet’s article is “insulting” – acting is “down to hard bloody work, talent, a good agent, being very good at meeting people in auditions, and luck.” So what that these guys went to private school? So did loads of their contemporaries, who are “jobbing actors, if they’re still acting at all.” Look at cast lists from the past thirty years – then find out where the actors went, and then you’ll have a better picture.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • “Let It Go” with the Frozen Elsa Magic Snow Sleeve

    My two girls absolutely love Frozen and anything to do with it. They have the DVD, the CD, duvet covers, dolls and much more. Each day Izebella will randomly... Read more

    The 18 March 2015 by   Evette Garside
  • Australia’s Perfect Storm of Negligence

    If, for the purposes of some sick and twisted thought experiment, you were to design policies that would ensure the long-term failure of a wealthy, developed... Read more

    The 17 March 2015 by   Bradshaw
  • Meeting of the Avian Advancement League

    This is a little “literary humor” piece I wrote for the Barnes and Nobel Review. It’s about birds having a committee meeting. It’s very silly.Minutes from a... Read more

    The 17 March 2015 by   Kidfreeliving
  • Dallas Seavey Wins 2015 Iditarod

    Dallas Seavey has claimed victory in the 2015 Iditarod sled dog race. The 28-year old defending-champ has become the first musher to reach Nome, arriving early... Read more

    The 18 March 2015 by   Kungfujedi
  • The Amazing Racist – Chhimi Tenduf-La – Book Review

    Goodreads blurb: Eddie Trusted, an English school teacher in Colombo, wants to spend his life with Menaka Rupasinghe, a vibrant Sri Lankan beauty, but as with... Read more

    The 19 March 2015 by   Jairammohan
  • No, You Don’t Need Rules For Polyamory

    [What follows is an approach to polyamory that isn’t possible or appealing to everyone, which is why this isn’t a “you should do poly my way” article. Read more

    The 18 March 2015 by   Brute Reason
  • He's NOT Perfect - Musings on Fantasy & Idolatry

    I'd like to preface this post with 3 things: The finished product went in a completely different direction than I had originally planned. Sometimes I am just a... Read more

    The 18 March 2015 by   Doulalovelou


By londoner
posted on 04 June at 17:44
Report spam/abuse

Honestly, I don't get what's all the shit about where you went to school. Many talented comics, satirists, actors and directors to grace our screens are public school boys and/or Oxbridge educated (e.g. Fry and Laurie, Monty Python, Goodies, most of the Blackadder gang, Hugh Dennis, David Mitchell, etc) but I can't care less because they've all earned their stripes and they do a damn good job anyway.

Add a comment