For the most part, you would not be able to tell the difference between the golden era of Hollywood, and the current day. The stars have shifted a little bit with the times, but aside from that, it seems like a pretty accurate reflection of what went down in Tinseltown in the 1950s and 1960s.
The last decade has seen a massive shift in the industry, with major studios slashing their movie production budgets and relying more on franchises and blockbusters than on individual films. While this has benefited the movie-going public, it has been a challenge for actors looking to make a living in Hollywood, leading to a small number of performers being able to command huge salaries and huge production budgets.
The Biggest Stars in History
While it is hard to pinpoint an exact moment when the “Hollywood Bubble” burst and the financial crisis of 2007 began to loom large, it is clear that by the end of the decade, the industry had changed.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, which severely restricted moviegoing, and the growing popularity of streaming services, the once-mighty studios found themselves struggling to stay afloat.
What’s more is that, even before the pandemic, the major stars had begun to shift towards more individualistic careers, with leading men like George Clooney and Tom Hanks opting out of making television shows and instead focusing on individual projects.
How Robert Pattinson Has Changed
The biggest star of the 21st century so far is undoubtedly Robert Pattinson, who came in at number one on the list of the top 50 biggest stars of all time, as reported by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2012. Since then, he has gone on to star in blockbuster franchises like the Twilight series and The Lost Boys, as well as acclaimed dramas like the aforementioned High Tide, and gritty British gangster movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
The British actor has also invested a significant amount of his time and money into animal causes, specifically supporting the conservation efforts of the giant panda and other endangered species. One of his first movie projects after Twilight was the documentary White Tiger, which follows the story of an Ashanti witch doctor searching for the fabled white tiger skin that he believes will enhance his power. What’s more is that, in 2013, he founded the production company Animals United with Kate Winslet and Jeremy Irons, which aims to create positive change in society through compassionate filmmaking.
Heidi Klum: The “Superstar” That Came In Second
Heidi Klum is one of the original “superstars” of the industry, and it is easy to see why. Not only did she become famous for being the face of Vogue magazine, but she also starred in two of the most successful comedy series of all time, Klumoa City and The Heidi Klum Show. With countless beauty and fashion campaigns under her belt, including multiple iterations of the iconic Victoria’s Secret jewelry collection, it is no surprise that the fashion icon turned entrepreneur is still going strong today.
Klum launched her successful “recreation” of her childhood swimwear line, JOVANI, in 2015, and has since starred in numerous TV commercials and short films, all while helping to promote small, independent businesses.
How Jay Leno Has Changed
While Jay Leno cannot take the crown as the king of late night TV, it is fair to say that he has not faded into obscurity. Indeed, since his retirement from the “Tonight Show” in 2014, the former host of the “Tonight Show” has starred in three critically acclaimed British films, including the 2015 musical comedy Get Up. Most recently, he starred in and co-created the Amazon superhero series The Marvelous Mr. Bean, which saw huge audiences in the UK and across the globe.
Comic Book Legend Jack Kirby
Jack Kirby was one of the most influential creators of the 20th century, creating many of the superheroes we know and love, including the Fantastic Four, the X Men, and the Incredible Hulk. While most of his work was done for hire, Kirby was an independent creator who often clashed with other members of the Marvel Studios’ creative team, eventually leaving Marvel after a falling out with Stan Lee.
Kirby went on to form a company with artist and writer Steve Ditko, but tragically passed away in 1994, just a few days short of his 85th birthday.
What About The Kids?
While the industry has changed, not all stars have. In fact, a number of A-list celebs have either parent or child actors appearing in multiple films and TV shows.
This trend continues today, as many leading men and women have multiple offspring coming through the system. From the Hunger Games to the Twilight series, child actors have become a common feature on screen.
But it was not always like this. Back in the day, child actors were considered to be “uncool” and “distracting” due to the presence of the young tykes on screen, and leading stars did not usually have offspring working alongside them. This was most likely due to the complexity of child labor laws back in the day. To this day, using children in films is still considered to be highly unlikely to get you approval from the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification), and many leading men and women in Hollywood did not have children after all.
In terms of how child actors have changed over the years, they have largely been portrayed as villains or love interests, which is ironic, considering that many of the biggest stars were actually quite maternal, especially during their peak years, creating a large number of adoring fans, known as “Kirbicide”, who named themselves after their favorite creator.
Where Do We Go From Here?
The future of Hollywood is quite uncertain, given the ongoing pandemic and the effects it has had on the mainstream film industry, which has largely shifted to producing small, independent projects and releasing them through non-traditional means, like YouTube and Netflix. This is why it is crucial that we, as a society, continue to support the British film industry, which has been greatly impacted by the pandemic, as it is the country’s number one export, generating billions of dollars in revenue, not to mention the fact that many of our major film stars are British. This is why it is so important that we continue to support British Arts, even when the world seems to be turning its back on us.