Anthony Hopkins ignited the conversation around green screen acting in 2021 when he called it 'pointless.' Martin Scorsese said Marvel films were not truly 'cinema.'
The Marvel universe has divided lovers of film around the world. While the movies have a massive global following, some critics and filmmakers feel that there's no "real acting" involved in these types of films and that the storylines also feel redundant sometimes. Martin Scorsese was asked a question about Marvel movies once by Empire and he replied that they weren't cinema.
"I don't see them. I tried, you know? But that's not cinema," the award-winning director said. "Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well-made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn't the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being."
Later in The New York Times, he explained what exactly he meant by that. "I said that I've tried to watch a few of them and that they're not for me, that they seem to me to be closer to theme parks than they are to movies as I've known and loved them throughout my life, and that in the end, I don't think they're cinema," he wrote, adding: "Cinema is an art form that brings you the unexpected. In superhero movies, nothing is at risk. The pictures are made to satisfy a specific set of demands, and they are designed as variations on a finite number of themes."
Anthony Hopkins says his MCU role as Odin was 'pointless acting'— Culture Crave 🍿 (@CultureCrave) June 7, 2023
"They put me in armor ... shoved a beard on me. 'Sit on the throne, shout a bit.' If you're sitting in front of a green screen, it's pointless acting"
(via @NewYorker) pic.twitter.com/LkUB96XrrX
Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins also seemed to be uninspired by green screen acting. Speaking of his experience filming "Thor" (2011) and its 2013 sequel "Thor: The Dark World," he told The New Yorker in 2021, "On Thor, you have Chris Hemsworth–who looks like Thor–and a director like Kenneth Branagh, who is so certain of what he wants. They put me in armor; they shoved a beard on me. Sit on the throne; shout a bit. If you're sitting in front of a green screen, it's pointless acting it."
Even Hopkins' "Thor: Love and Thunder" co-star Christian Bale called the process monotonous. "I mean, the definition of it is monotony," he told GQ. "You've got good people. You've got other actors who are far more experienced at it than me. Can you differentiate one day from the next? No. Absolutely not. You have no idea what to do. I couldn't even differentiate one stage from the next."
However, actors like Emilia Clarke beg to differ. The 36-year-old actress has starred in several major franchises, including "Game of Thrones," "Star Wars" and "Terminator," all of which utilize CGI. Also, she's now joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the Disney+ series, "Secret Invasion." The Emmy winner recently argued that "the stigma" of green screen acting stems from the misconception that people "don’t do any acting in" shows that use the effect.
The "Me Before You" star explained to the Los Angeles Times, “The stigma is that people don't do any acting in these shows and then you're like 'well, then why are they asking all these great actors to do it, and why are they saying yes?'"
Clarke, on the other hand, is ecstatic to be part of the MCU. "I get nerdy excited about it. I'm a theater kid. I'm a theater nerd," she said. The actress continued that she's excited to learn more through her career. "I just want to keep broadening and reaching for the things that I haven't had a chance to do before," shared Clarke. "With each new experience [and] every year that passes, you have more to play with as an actor."