Michael Douglas says social media is ruining young American actors

Technically Incorrect: Apparently young Brits and Aussies work at their craft. The Americans, on the other hand, preen on Facebook and Twitter and have become unisex.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Is Twitter destroying American actors' ability to act? Tony Jamison/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

There are so many crises these days that it's easy to miss one.

They crash into our lives and sometimes disappear like a brief date or a bad meal.

So I've had to catch up this morning to the crisis in American acting. Apparently, young American actors have lost it. Some might not have ever had it.

The culprit: social media.

These aren't my miserable thoughts. They belong to iconic actor Michael Douglas -- he who made being a nasty gent on Wall Street seem strangely palatable.

In an interview with the Independent, Douglas observed that so many young foreign actors are getting the plum roles.

Douglas believes he knows why. He said: "Clearly, it breaks down on two fronts. In Britain they take their training seriously while in the States we're going through a sort of social media image-conscious thing rather than formal training."

Was he really suggesting that contemporary greats such as Taylor Lautner, Zac Efron and others whose names have always escaped me are too busy looking into the social media mirror?

This cannot be true because it would make them just like the rest of us. And we know that actors simply aren't like the rest of us in any way. They have to act in order to pretend to be like the rest of us.

In any case, some might observe that they've always thought actors narcissistic. Douglas, though, believes the juggernauts that are Facebook and Twitter has meant that American actors -- and he really seemed to mean male actors -- have a limited range.

In fact, he believes male American actors have gone all unisex.

He observed: "With the Aussies, particularly with the males it's the masculinity. In the US we have this relatively asexual or unisex area with sensitive young men and we don't have many Channing Tatums or Chris Pratts, while the Aussies do."

Douglas fears that young US actors are so conscious about their image that they don't focus enough on playing the role of someone else. They're too busy ensuring that they are their social media selves at all times: pretty, alluring and oh, so very nice.

The 70-year-old Douglas is starring in "Ant-Man" alongside young(-looking) American actor Paul Rudd. He told the BBC that it's the first special-effects movie he's ever done.

Clearly, though, the effect he really wants to see is a return to true, rugged American masculinity. The sort where men are men and all beings -- even dinosaurs -- genuflect before them.

So if you want to be the next great star, young Justin, get away from Facebook and Twitter, build up your chest and start talking in a very deep voice.