Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Oh No! Constantine Actor Not From Liverpool!

So the new NBC show Constantine has cast its lead - it's Matt Ryan, a Welsh actor who, according to the linked article there, has been "seen in Criminal Minds, The Tudors, Layer Cake and other reputable productions."

Honestly, I don't really care one way or the other whether the actor happens to come from the same locale as the character they're portraying but David T.G. Riches obviously does. He says in the comments on the linked article:
While he is British he is also Welsh and I see visions of people in the U.K. specifically Londoners who will point out to the Star Trek episode of “Futurama” where Scottie was replaced with Welshie it just wasn’t the same.
True it is better than Keannu Reeves in the role but still was their no one from central England available? Maybe someone from Eastenders, Emmerdale, Law & Order U.K., or any other number of programs loaded with talent pool?
Matt Ryan might be British but "he is also Welsh" which, thanks to a handy line from the excellent Futurama, Mr Riches is able to point out that it just isn't the same as being English. Thank goodness it's not another American like "Keannu Reeves", eh Mr Riches, but still . . . a Welshman playing a character who wasn't Welsh? It's almost unheard of, isn't it?

Apart from Ioan Gruffudd who played Mr Fantastic in the last couple of Fantastic Four films . . . I don't know why they didn't get an American to play that part.

And that Rhys Ifans chap who plays Mycroft Holmes in Elementary . . . I don't know why that didn't get an Englishman to play that part.

And that John Rhys-Davies bloke who played Treebeard in The Lord of The Rings . . . I don't know why they didn't get a real Ent to play that part.

And that Anthony Hopkins fellow who played Hannibal Lecter in several films . . . I don't know why they didn't get a real cannibalistic serial killer to play that part.

Oh wait, yes I do - it's because they can act. You don't need to be from the same place as the character you're portraying, Mr Riches - that's part of the joy of being an actor, having the ability to take on different roles. If you didn't allow Constantine to be anything other than what his creators based him on, there would be only one man for the TV series's main role and that would be Sting:

And he hasn't looked like that since 1979 so unless you have a time machine handy, I guess we can discount him.

Am I, as a Welshman, being overly sensitive here, or was there an implication that Welshman just aren't quite as good as, presumably, Englishmen?

And who wants to be the first to point out that James Doohan who played Scotty (not "Scottie") was Canadian? Another example of an actor playing a role who came from somewhere different from the actor.


  1. I've always been partial to James Marsters (Spike on BVS) for the role, but I have no problem with the casting as is.

  2. Keanu Reeves is also Canadian ( born in Lebanon to British mom)


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