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Foreign Actors Dominating 2012 Pilot Lead Casting

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Foreign Actors Dominating 2012 Pilot Lead Casting
Photo Source: Getty Images
The 2012 pilot season is illustrating a growing trend over the last decade in Hollywood: foreign actors are booking the leads that used to go to American performers. This is a not a new development. U.K actors Andrew Garfield, Henry Cavill, and Christian Bale are playing iconic American superheroes Spider-Man, Superman, and Batman respectively in feature films.

There are two pilots based on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale in development, one at ABC and the other at the CW. None of the leads roles in either went to Americans. Irish actor Ruth Bradley was cast as Grace (Beauty) and Scottish actor-singer Darius Campell will play Shiro (Beast) in the ABC project. Canadian actor Kristin Kreuk and New Zealand-born Australian Jay Ryan are playing the leads in the CW pilot. Deadline.com pointed out that of these four actors, Kreuk is the only recognizable name in America thanks to her stint on "Smallville," but the other three are virtually unknown stateside.

In addition to these two pilots, other projects this season are favoring actors from abroad. British actor Janet Montgomery has been cast as the lead in the CBS drama pilot "Baby Big Shot," while Oscar-nominee and fellow U.K. actor Minnie Driver will star as one of two leads in NBC's Kari Lizer comedy. Canadian Stephen Amell has been picked to headline "Arrow," the CW pilot based on the American comic character Green Arrow. Colin Ferguson, another Canadian, will star in Bill Lawrence's Fox comedy pilot "Like Father." Irish actor Amy Huberman will be the female lead in the NBC comedy "Animal Kingdom." According to Deadline, she got the job as a result of her first-ever U.S. audition.

Pilot season is still in full swing, but it's already that home field advantage no longer matters when it comes to casting in America.

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