There’s a reason actors read other peoples’ lines

Daniel Radcliffe has endorsed Jeremy Corbyn for leader of the Labour party, saying the veteran leftwinger’s sincerity won him over.

The Harry Potter star told The Big Issue that Corbyn’s informal style had excited voters and was a welcome departure from scripted politics.

It’s because they’re entirely incapable of thought themselves.

Something which appears to be true of those running The Guardian as well:

NOTE: This article was published in error. It was based on social media circulation of an interview Daniel Radcliffe gave to the Big Issue in September 2015. It is not known whether he still holds these views. It originally ran with the headline ‘Daniel Radcliffe endorses Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader’ and was published at 4.55am on 4 September 2016. The original article read as follows:

These are the brave new people who will plan our entire lives for us.

29 thoughts on “There’s a reason actors read other peoples’ lines”

  1. It’s worth watching carefully when an actor is faced with the task of playing someone intelligent. It often ends up being farcical, a less hammy version of Stephen Fry.

  2. All the stuff about Corbyn doing the rounds now was known last year. We discussed all of them here. The same Labour people wailing about him now were silent then. What changed?

  3. I’ve never understood why we should pay any particular attention to the views of the small group who haven’t grown out of the phase of playing ‘dressing up’ that most children go through around the age of seven. I realise that they’re slebs and therefore the thought leaders of our age, but we don’t treat professional footballers (say) in the same way.

  4. Rob,

    They were being loyal and quiet. But they can now see the election and maybe their seats being lost.

    I think the party’s doomed, though. When the membership will pick Ed Miliband instead of David Milliband and Corbyn over anyone else, you’ve got a bad membership. They aren’t going to pick a Blair again. They’ll eventually be this small party with seats in places like Islington and Tottenham, while someone more like the LDs will become the main opposition.

  5. I wonder if it because actors are normally heard uttering well thought out lines (well thought out in advance by someone else) that people bother listening when they speak for themselves.

  6. “It’s worth watching carefully when an actor is faced with the task of playing someone intelligent. It often ends up being farcical, a less hammy version of Stephen Fry.”

    Obviously Fry is not intelligent, but his acting has convinced many a deluded soul that he is (probably Fry himself as well)

  7. Perhaps you could explain, Doug, on what basis it is “obvious” that Stephen Fry is not intelligent. I suspect that, as a 2:1 English Lit graduate from Cambridge, he can at least end a sentence with a full stop.

  8. Pat,

    Precisely. You don’t see the screenwriter or the director working with the actor on their character’s motivation and delivery.

    Actors are one of the least important part of movie making. Script, production, direction, editing, director of photography matter more. Actors are about on a par with score and production design after. Some very good films have been made with amateurs, but the best actors can’t do anything with a bad script.

  9. Being able to use words is not evidence of intelligence. The fact that Fry is self evidently stupid and an ass to boot is all the evidence one needs.

  10. Not convinced of Fry’s, self evident stupidity, Andy. Tend to suspect that those claiming he is obviously stupid without providing any evidence are more likely to be the stupid ones.

  11. Got so sick of all the fvckin luvvies sticking their noses into the Yes campaign for Scottish independence, And most of them aren’t even resident here FFS.

    Sean (ill fitting dentures) Connery, Alan (cocksucking) Cumming, Brian (old acne face) Cox, Ken (whisky breath) Stott

  12. DocBud>

    Can’t say I agree with you on much, but you’re quite right about Fry. He’s many people’s idea of a complete arse, but he’s definitely not stupid, not by a long shot. Anyone who’s ever heard him on Just a Minute knows how fluently and knowledgeably he can speak off the cuff (while playing word games) – maybe not the most valuable form of intelligence, but an impressive display of intellect nonetheless.

  13. Fry is stupid and intelligent at the same time. He’said very good with words but crap at technology for instance as highlighted by The Register many a time.

  14. BiW

    “…while someone more like the LDs will become the main opposition.”

    Probably, yes. But the Limp Dicks are almost as bad, if not worse, than Labour. And more dangerous because superficially more plausible and more opportunistic than the Corbynistas.

  15. It depends, of course, on the metric you’re using to define intelligence. Fry is, indeed, quick with the bon mot. But that can simply result from having learned a lot of bon mots. Which is what would expect from a literary grad from Cambridge. The discipline consisting of little else than the study of bon mots.
    All very useful if you wish to be a TV personality.
    But has Fry ever shown any sign of innovation outside his rather narrow field? A retentive memory carries no implication of intelligence.

  16. Bloke in Costa Rica

    “A retentive memory carries no implication of intelligence.”

    They’re extraordinarily highly correlated. In fact, I would say good recall is a sine qua non of intelligence. You could be mentally very swift but having to look everything up or work it out from first principles would hamstring you. A lot of intelligence is making connections between things and to do that you have to remember them. You can have an idiot savant, but that’s a special case. For what it’s worth, I think it’s clear that Fry is of well above average intelligence but not as smart as he is sometimes portrayed.

  17. “It is not known whether he still holds these views”

    Would it really have been that difficult to ask him? Or even to check whether the content they were copying from “social media circulation” was actually anything new?

    It really demonstrates the decline of The Guardian that a once-respected national newspaper is not only reduced to copying celebrity gossip off social media, but can’t even do that right.

  18. You have to remember that Radcliffe is young, luvvy, coddled and sufficiently rich that the disaster that would be Corbyn PM is unlikely to materially affect him.

    The surprise would be if he’d started quoting Hayek.

  19. AndrewZ, “a once-respected national newspaper”; seeing how much of this thread’s given over to Fry, it seems doubly-necessary to ask ‘by whom’?

    And Fry’s a bog-standard lefty Luvvie; no amount of Eng Lit can rescue him – he’s a dumb arse. GPS, DocBud, if you’re still asking.

  20. Stephen Fry Is certainly not stupid. However, he is certainly very tiresome and self-important but he is mercifully less ubiquitous than hitherto.

    Daniel Radcliffe (whom I have never seen on TV or, heaven forfend, at the cinema or theatre) seems to be slipping into obscurity which is something to be celebrated by those who were worried.

  21. “I realise that they’re slebs and therefore the thought leaders of our age, but we don’t treat professional footballers (say) in the same way.”

    Well.. some people do, they’re just not writing for the groan.. who’s acolytes only take time out from telling us that nobody cares what slebs think to either praise a sleb who thinks what is obviously right, or crucify one who thinks what is obviously wrong.

    (That’s really an aside though. Chris’ comment completely nails it.)

  22. Chris Miller ” but we don’t treat professional footballers (say) in the same way.” no we (the Grauniad , BBC et al) don’t because as young working class blokes, their views fuelled by abundant testosterone, might not pass the metrosexual liberal smell test.

    Actors being reliably lefty, frequently gay, but much more used to parrotting other, cleverer peoples’ lines than footballers are much more managable.

  23. “BiCR
    Sure, a retentive memory PLUS intelligence produces the fully functional ‘intelligent’ person. But are you saying tPratchett became a moron when he contracted Alzheimers?
    But someone with a retentive memory can easily ape intelligence by regurgitating others’ intellect. Done it myself. I passed my GCE science subjects with flying colours. Read the textbooks through once ( I found them mildly interesting) Paid absolutely no attention to the subjects, after. Exams were a doddle. But did appallingly at maths. (Bored me rigid*)Because maths requires you to understand what you’ve memorised. Too much hard work.

    * But I’ve always been good at mental arithmetic. Try doing share prices in shillings, pence.& farthings. Or a round of twelve assorted drinks whilst chatting with another customer. S’mostly memory.

  24. ‘Or a round of twelve assorted drinks whilst chatting with another customer.’

    12 drinks at £2 each plus a bit of change, who is going to contradict you ?
    The memory comes in when you want to charge them the same as last time although any difference can be covered with a quick ‘yes, but I didn’t charge you for the coke in that vodka last time’

  25. I think Corbyn’s style has excited voters, with the caveat that here ‘voters’ needs the qualified ‘left wing’. I remember listening to him being interviewed and thinking he sounded like a normal person and warming to him. So based on anecdata N=1 I think there’s some truth in what the actor says. Sadly, whilst most of us wish politicians were more personable and less like badly scripted PR goons, I think Corbyn proves that having one desirable characteristic does not outweigh have a large number of other flaws. Such as daft policies and everything revealed by the decision to hire the execrable Milne on £100k.

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