Toby Stephens: “We Need To Stop Imitating America”

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British actor Toby Stephens criticized the UK film industry insisting it focuses too much on depressing subject matters. He has accused the industry of bringing up the same old topics of “football violence” and “gangsters.”

The actor hailed his new movie The Machine, addressing it as a welcome relief from repetitious movies on housing estates. He told BBC, “Generally, when I get sent British scripts – and this isn’t a generalisation – nine times out of 10 my heart sinks after about three pages… This script came through and it blew me away. It’s not about football violence, it’s not about gangsters, and it’s not about some depressing estate. It’s a no-budget sci-fi movie dealing with really interesting ideas about where we’re headed…”

“We need to stop trying to imitate America. We need to stop trying to do the same movies over and over: the gangsters and football violence. We do these intelligentsia movies about married couples in Hampstead (in London) or whatever.”

He also suggested UK filmmakers to make a step forward, adding, “I think there’s a place for all those things but we can’t keep on repeating ourselves… We need to start writing cleverer and better scripts.”

 “I read a lot of scripts and I find there’s paucity on quality. Whenever I’ve been sent American scripts they tend to be much better. I don’t know why that is because we’ve got a lot of good writers here. When we make good movies we make really good movies.”

“We’ve got fantastic writers, actors and crew here. We need to start being a bit braver about the kind of films that we make.”

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