Reality Bites!

  • Charles Delaney

    Actor

    Does anyone feel respected actors who appear on reality TV shows & frankly don't need the money or profile,are letting the side down a bit? (Especially if they crash out!!)

    • 29th Nov 2010
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  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    In the sense that, by appearing, they are perpetuating the format, and so increasing the willingness with which television companies can promote reality shows at the expense of investing in quality drama?

    • 23rd Nov 2010
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  • Forbes KB

    Actor

    There are no respected actors on I'm a Celebrity, if that's what's you're referring to! Nigel Havers might have been at one point but fell from grace significantly, in my humble opinion, when he joined the cast of Coronation Street!

    Any actor who doesn't see the big picture by appearing in and therefore perpetuating the Reality TV dominance of the ratings needs a slap. There's no denying there's a certain amount of "if you can't beat them join them" going on and I'm pretty sure the £50K+ appearance fee is hard to turn down if you're faced with yet another ex-celebrity face in Panto for the 5th year running!

    Following the farce that is this years X-Factor finals and Wagners apparent popularity depite being 100% tone deaf and quite frankly paibfully awful to watch there's gonna be a huge public backlash against these programs. We just have to ride out the storm!

    Let the war of words commence now I've passed judgement on a British institution...Corrie, not Havers! :-) Actually, I've probably upset a whole load of different people with that posting but, ho hum, c'est la vie!

    :-)

    • 23rd Nov 2010
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  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    To me any celebrity that comes into a reality TV show is trying to make a comeback. I wouldn't advise it for people already in the limelight.

    Vaaaaaagner wants to have a career in TV. I can only see him appearing in small reality TV shows for a while before he disappears.

    • 23rd Nov 2010
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  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I feel like a dinosaur, having never watched X-Factor, Strictly or Celebrity Anything... Am I alone?

    • 23rd Nov 2010
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  • Dan Gregory

    Actor

    No you are not alone!

    • 23rd Nov 2010
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  • Charles Delaney

    Actor

    The 'Wagner' scenario on that reality programme is apparently all about music industry 'insiders' on a mission to halt the reality, so called 'pop music' diesel train as it's ruining originality & the industry in general.

    I agree that a professional actor that goes on any reality show deserves a 'slap'!

    Each to their own & all that but not when it makes the rest of us look dumbed down for a moment!

    Those two idiots who present 'the show' were actually taking 'the pxxs' out of actors in general.

    That's quite ironic coming from them who have tried to succeed in pop music & acting,failed in both & lucked out as presenters to a certain demographic audience!

    There was also some reality show reject on an late afternoon show yesterday saying anyone who has no talent should be on TV because, in her opinion,there are too many talented people in the limelight!!!

    YOU COULDN"T MAKE IT UP!

    I have to say,the real talent on the show had a go at her for being basically.....dumb!

    If Mr 'Wagner' wins 'complete horlicks factor', it will signal the end of that show & will send out a message to all the other reality 'shows' & wannabees....It's all over!

    • 23rd Nov 2010
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  • Daniel Jude Gennis

    Actor

    To be honest, I haven't the time to watch any of the shows mentioned but to stick with the original question, like everybody else I think actors generally are letting the side down. It is one thing to appear on a quiz show if you are an unknown actor (I think Tom Cruise and few others did when they were completely unknown,) but to be honest the people who are appearing on these Reality TV shows from what I have heard anyway, are not really doing anything significant anyway and I guess the fee on offer is too good to turn down.

    On the subject of 'the two idiots' who present this show, lets be clear here. Both gentlemen are a couple of third rate Erne Wise' (without a corresponding Eric Morecombe,) who have never let a lack of talent get in the way of them working in television or doing anything else for that matter. From Biker Grove via a pop music career to presenting. Where did we all go right? The word 'Integrity' comes to mind.

    • 23rd Nov 2010
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  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    In response to Forbes's comments on Coronation Street: I agree, in some sense, with your feeling that, for a well established, classically trained actor who is taken seriously for major roles, to transfer to a soap opera, a format which is often poorly acted and quickly made, might seem like a questionable career choice. And I have no special axe to grind over Coronation Street (though I was brought up to prefer it to Eastenders et. al, as I'm of Mancunian stock!).

    Still, I think it's too easy to dismiss soap as an invalid medium for actors altogether - there are some atrocious actors in soap, it has to be said, who can only get away with a 'career' because they are in a soap, where the demands on their versatility are not high, and their performances don't need to attain much depth, but there are also some finely acted soap performances as well, which are expert studies in sustained characterisation, comic timing and/or emotional believability, and one size does not fit all. This can mean there is a huge imbalance in the world of soap as to which actors come across well and which don't (for all that it is a caricature, I hugely admire what June Brown has been able to do with sustaining the character of Dot Cotton for over two decades, whilst I have never yet worked out why Jimi Harkashin, who plays Dev in Coronation Street, can never seem to deliver a sentence without a peculiar sounding inflection in it somewhere, for example), but then, is that really any different to what is often seen in provincial theatre, where the divide between the seasoned professionalism of old hands and the awkwardness of new graduates is sometimes very much felt (or, alternatively, when decrepit old actors embarass a younger cast by forgetting cues, lines etc)?

    It's also true that, as a format, soap is a bit of a cage for the actor - I have always called it anti-drama, which it isn't exactly, but which it has some pretensions to be - because it emphasises long-drawn out hiatuses in the action over moments of actual revelation and/or face-offs within it. As the essence of drama is these moments of conflict, soap has a way of filling in all the gaps that stage plays and films sensibly leave out of the script. But then, that's its purpose: if it wasn't cyclical in the nature of its stories, didn't always tend to make the characters behave in archetypal ways, rather than growing and changing as individuals, and always propelled the story dynamically forward, it wouldn't be soap. It also lays claim to some degree of versimilitude (however spuriously) and sometimes, the fact that an affair or a murder plot feels like it is playing out in real time is part of this! Of course, many actors who are comfortable with their feet under the table stay with soaps for years on end, and it could be claimed they are squandering their talent on this - perhaps, but I think its at least easy to understand the motivation of wanting to stick with a confirmed paycheck at the end of every month.

    As I've said, I don't rate a lot of soap actors highly - many are picked on the basis of being so like their proposed character that they barely have to do any acting in order to convey their personality - and a lot of the younger ones are picked for looks, and appear to have no other noticeable skill. But even this makes a sort of sense in soapland: the shooting turnover is probably one of the most rapid in the industry, and the actors, at least have to attain the skill of being quick to learn and quicker to improvise on set, day in, day out, so I would never make the mistake of saying their job is easy. They can get away with some dire performances because they are shot within a take or two and there is no time to worry about finessing. But, it tends to be assumed, if the actor is just 'playing themselves', then whatever words come out at speed and under pressure, will at least 'feel' right. I don't actually think soap is, in this respect, massively different from things like Holby City and Casualty, and a number of lower budgeted police procedurals, and some documentary reconstructions etc. etc. which most jobbing actors are happy to take credits on, so the line remains pretty thin.

    Whether someone wishes to make the argument that soaps are not what they used to be, and a number of what were initially quite seriously meant sociological reflections on society, have gradually been replaced/transformed into exercises in sensationalism, nonsensical story telling and self - indulgence, is another question (and, no doubt, one for a Phd thesis). Though, certainly, if Coronation Street was, in 1960, a vaguely accurate lens through which Manchester life of the time could be viewed, it nowadays bears virtually no resemblance to actual life whatsoever!

    In a nutshell, I don't know that Nigel Havers appearing in Corrie *automatically* relegated him to the position of 'sell out actor' (though it might have done if you hate the soap). Frankly, I was more surprised by the casting because I thought his performance style clashed rather badly with the overall production style of the programme, and it seemed like celebrity rating chasing on behalf of the production team, rather than a strictly *necessary* bit of casting.

    And that's what I have to say on that. Back to the reality TV debate - which I personally find a whole lot less edifying!

    • 24th Nov 2010
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  • Daniel Jude Gennis

    Actor

    Wow Lee! A lot of very good points there and I hear you on the subject of Soap dreams. Coronation Street and Emmerdale (formally Emmerdale Farm,) were never soaps in the classic sense although they are now classed as such. The same could be said of Eastenders as well. Rather they were twice-weekly dramas that gave an insight into life in that part of the country they were based in. Some would argue Eastenders has never truly reflected life in London's East End but if it is made in Hertfordshire then that is hardly surprising! The other two gave an insight into life in the Greater Manchester area and Yorkshire rural/farming life. As you say Lee, neither does that anymore.

    On the subject of Mr. Havers, I never saw his appearance (as I haven't watched Corrie in years,) but thought it an odd casting choice, as being familiar with his work, one would have thought he would have been like a fish out of water or the proverbial sore thumb. He is not Johnny Briggs or Bradley Walsh both of whom just slipped into their roles and position in the series. I did however spot a clip of Sir Ian McKellan's appearance and again he fitted in perfectly for some reason and I suspect it was more due to him wanting to do it, rather than needing to do it. And that may well be the difference between the Sir Ian and Mr. Havers.

    But we are dealing with the real world hear and as the title says, 'Reality Bites' and it does for every jobbing actor who needss to make a living. I am not so sure if I would do a sosp drama if I was a well-respected actor but if I did I would like to think I would follow Sir Ian McKellan's example and do it because I wanted to do it, rather than the need to do it. Whatever lay behind Mr. Haver's decision, I won't condemn him outright for it. The decision was his and his alone. If we were to condemn him, we would have to condemn every well-respected actor who ever did a commercial. I rememeber seeing Tom Conti while I was working on a film called 'Derailed' then shortly after that seeing him in a coffee commercial on TV and wondering did he really need to do it, forgetting previously he had done those highly entertaining Vauxhall car commercials with Nigel Hawthorne. Again does Charlize Theron and Ryan Reynolds really need to do fragrance commercial or George Clooney need to do a coffee or a Martini commercial entertaining as they are? But they do. Real world in play. They help to sell the products, that is why they are hired in the first place. Was this the case with Mr. Havers? Not so sure but who knows?

    It is a strange world out there. There were those who thought (and maybe still do,)that Daniel Craig 'sold out' when he took on the role of James Bond.

    Every actor who embarks on their career to do good, rewarding and satisfying work (soap dramas not included here,) at some point (and more than once,) will have to make the kind of decisions that might deviate from the road they want to take as an actor. If you are an unknown jobbing actor, then fine, it is something you have to do but when you are a well-established, well-respected actor, the decision can be a little bit more difficult, unless you really need the money that is, or, choose to do it because you have never done that kind of work before.

    Like I said, it is a strange world out there.

    • 24th Nov 2010
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  • Charles Delaney

    Actor

    Mr Haver's wife is apparently a billionairess so he doesn't need the money!

    Actor's doing commercials is a completely different 'ball game' to being on a reality 'show' in my opinion.

    It can be argued some commercials are better than the actual programme especially if it's in a reality tv slot, (e.g. 'Yeo Valley' versus 'X factor).

    I thought Havers in 'Corrie' was interesting casting sort of following in the footsteps of Sir Ian.I thought the role was well within his comfort zone;As I recall he played the main role of 'The Charmer' for a few seasons on ITV1 & his stint on the soap was a clear ressurection of this character.

    My respect for him went down the 'bog' when he suddenly appeared on that reality jungle nonsense,refused to participate in the 'games' then walked out.He must of known what he was in for by agreeing to do 'the show ' in the first place!

    Anyway,on a slightly sideways issue, vote 'Wagner' at the Wknd & lets watch the curtain fall for the final time on that other parrasite of society, 'Complete Horlocks 'X' Factor'!!

    • 24th Nov 2010
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  • Charles Delaney

    Actor

    ...Well actually my respect for him went down 'the bog' for appearing on that 'jungle cockroach farce' in the first place!!

    • 24th Nov 2010
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  • Forbes KB

    Actor

    Voting Wagner would make no difference! It's already been announced there'll be no X-Factor next year! Cowell is taking the format stateside in 2011!

    I find it incredible that he's not once been in the bottom 2! Maybe there are bigger forces at play here trying to kill the shows credibility stone dead after last years Jedward farce!

    • 24th Nov 2010
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  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    I quite like Ant & Dec. I worked with them once for a Game Show ident and they were both very polite, professional and nice, down to earth chaps. Whilst I hate some of their actual shows and formats I don't begrudge them their success either.

    At least you never read too much about them acting like utter P---KS - or see them thinking they above the rest of the human race by being complete twats on radio phone-ins etc Unlike quite a few other PWEsenters who seem to have soaked up a vast amount of my TV licence fee!!

    I thgink there are plenty of other tosspots I woudl like to see off the telly before Ant & Dec. What about the vast amounts paid to a certain Dance show presenter who should have bowed out years ago! He was good, but c'mon?!!

    As for the whole reality thing: Well, who is at fault here? Simon Cowel for producing the garbage or, the idiots who put themselves on it, or the vast majority of viewers who seem to lap it up?

    My suspicion is, if you provide nothing other than to feed the viewers crap to watch, in order to maximise profit, and or to titillate some worthless fame and scandal, then the reality format of this nature will be here for a good time to come. Also, half the UK's Panto producers casting dep's would be in complete melt down without reality stars!!!

    The amazing thing is….everyone seems to hate it….but everyone seems to watch it???? Give or take one or two of you….though I am slightly suspicious of those who say they never ever watch this stuff!

    Caaaaammmmm off it!!!!

    • 24th Nov 2010
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  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    Everything has a shelf life - in which case it goes without saying X factor couldn't last for ever. Yeh, I watch it, but there's a limit to how much I can take before it really starts to get on my nerves. I hate the contestants who have rubbish jobs and create a big drama out of it to demonstrate how much 'this' means to them - it's their own fault for not trying harder at school - INNIT!!!!

    • 24th Nov 2010
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  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Totally agree with Forbes and Lee(fellow Mancunian)

    Have to say though, Corrie has definatly lost it's way. Dev, Sunita and Shawn are no better than an amateur Punch and Judy show! I personally think the acting standard in Eastenders is far superior, despite me being an northerner and born a stones throw from Granada Studios!

    Eliza x

    • 24th Nov 2010
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  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I've never watched The Jungle show or Big Brother but am guilty of watching X Factor co there is SOME talent on there!!

    • 24th Nov 2010
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  • Daniel Jude Gennis

    Actor

    Work is work in my opinion. People make their choices. I wasn't aware Nigel Haver's wife was a 'billionairess' which beggers the question why he decided to do Corrie and the other show. Like I said before, I am not going to condemn him because of the choices he makes, I just think given his past work like 'The Bounder' which was a one off series on ITV, kind casts him as a quality actor. But the history of the small and big screen is full of strange casting decisions. Mr. Haver's while a little strange is not all that odd, though baffling.

    Commercials versus Reality TV? Does there have to be comparison? It comes down to choices and whether one is lucky to be cast in a commercial in the first place. True some are more entertaining than the actual programmes but having attended many a casting session for a commercial and not getting cast, then seeing the final product, I was more than pleased not to be cast at all. Again this is the reality of the situation as it stands. Times have changed. I was not in the business in the 'Good Ol'Days' so I know no better, apart from the stories I have heard from colleagues with a longer history than I have. I can only deal with the issues of today and tomorrow. Casting directors and their clients seldom like me in their casting choices (though there is the odd exception), Reality TV is a no-no (very personal choice,) so that leaves Theatre, Film, Television, Corporate and the Internet productions, where I have a productive histories. I can live with that.

    • 24th Nov 2010
    • 17
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Linda (and others) you are not alone!! I don't watch any reality type stuff it's just awful voyeuristic, manipulative, contrived nonsense masquerading as "entertainment". It surprises me how the average joe doesn't realise how stage-managed most of it is, which I guess is to be expected but just a bit sad that they can be duped so easily. We don't have a TV actually (but do watch stuff on iPlayer etc..) just because there's so much dross on there I was wasting my time watching! You should see my DVD collection though!! (And I have to confess to a secret "Merlin" habit - obviously it's the children who are really watching it, but I just feel obliged to join them! Of course, I also joined them for Robin Hood when that was on.... :)

    • 24th Nov 2010
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  • Kirk Moore

    Actor

    Unfortunately, my home country of New Zealand helped kick start the whole revival of the talent show/reality show format when TVNZ created 'Popstars' waaaay back in the late 90s. *shameshame*

    Like others on here, I don't watch television either, mainly because of the glut of cheap clip shows and all the reality rubbish... its also my little protest at how the big bad corporations are taking jobs away from us poor starving destitute actors...

    I have seen some of the reality shows - whenever I do a tour, the rest of the company usually seems to sit, cross eyes, slack jawed and drooling, in front of 'BigXPopJungleMasterCelebrityDancingFactor', or whatever dreck happens to be on at the time, and I'm forced to undergo indoctrination...

    No, I'll stick to my DVD box sets, thank you very much! (Its Mad Men, at the moment...)

    Right, now I'm off to draft a letter to the Mail or Express, to complete my transformation into 'Old Misery, from Surrey'...

    • 25th Nov 2010
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