Michael Douglas has boiled down the problem facing American actors to one thing: social media. Or rather, the overuse of social media to the point that image supersedes talent.
Now before you dismiss his claims to just fist-waving from an old timer (he’s 70 years old, but still pretty with it, if you ask us), consider the fuller argument.
“Everyone’s much more image conscious than they are about actually playing the part,” he told The Independent. “Clearly, it breaks down on two fronts. In Britain they take their training seriously while in the States we’re going through a sort of social media image conscious thing rather than formal training. Many actors are getting caught up in this image thing which is going on to affect their range,” he added.
Really what he’s talking about here is having more than just the thin veneer of substance that social media can too often allow. You’re just as likely to see an actor get a write up about something posted on their Instagram account as their actual work. Maintaining a presence in the press for any kind of nonsense is part of the celebrity machine. When it becomes most of what people are talking about, it’s time to take a look at what your talent is posting up.
At this point, you can’t unring the bell; celebrities on social media are just a natural extension of Hollywood. But the message here might be the need to back that up with things that bolster a career with opportunities that promise quality and longevity. It’s much the same as any other brand. It’s great to be clever on Twitter, but if your brand is hot mess, there’s only so far that wit and cool photos will take you.
So while we won’t say that Michael Douglas has got it all figured out, the man’s definitely got a point. One of our favorites is Matt Damon and he doesn’t even have a Twitter account. Then again, when you’re Anna Kendrick or Kerry Washington, you can juggle social media and cool projects like a pro.