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New Escapist Column! On How “The Suicide Squad” Uses Idris Elba…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the release of The Suicide Squad, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at one of the keys to the film’s success. James Gunn understands how to use Idris Elba as a leading man.

Movie stardom is a fascinating concept. So much of what makes a particular person a movie star is ineffable. It is hard to quantify or gauge. It can also be difficult to harness with intent and purpose. This is particularly true in an era where Hollywood seems to be moving away from movie stars, and films like Jungle Cruise seem to struggle against their leads’ screen personas. However, part of what makes The Suicide Squad so effective is that it understands exactly what makes Idris Elba so compelling as a screen presence, and finds a way to play into that to the movie’s benefit.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

My Daddy’s a Movie-Star: When Do We Stop Thinking of Second-Generation Actors In Terms of Their Relatives?

It occurred to me as I was watching the trailer for Lucky, the upcoming black comedy starring Colin Hanks and embedded below. I was actually thinking of Colin Hanks as a name in his own right, rather than “the son of Tom Hanks, who also acts.” I mean, of course I knew his name, and I also respected his work, but there had always been this rather pronounced association between Colin and his father. I don’t mean anything to diminish Colin’s work, and I know it isn’t fair, but that was pretty much how I had – to a large extent – defined the young performer. I don’t even think I did it consciously. However, in watching the trailer for his upcoming film, I actually found myself thinking of Colin in his own right. Even though he is – honestly – the spitting image of his father, I had to consciously drag that association into my head in order to make it. It got me thinking, when does the child of a successful actor come into their own?

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