October 26, 2016
        Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams        

James Marsden in the Spotlight at Savannah Film Fest

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: James Marsden moved to Los Angeles when he was 19 to pursue a career in acting. He’s currently 38.

“So I just realized that I’ve been doing this for half of my life, exactly,” Marsden told me during a casual one-on-one Friday evening.

Those years spent honing his craft explain why organizers at the Savannah Film Festival chose Marsden as the recipient of this year’s Spotlight Award, which was handed to him on stage at Trustees Theater prior to the Director’s Choice screening. A montage of clips highlighting Marsden’s work emphasized his range: Stoic superhero in the “X-Men” trilogy; Easter Bunny guardian in “Hop;” exuberant dance-show host in “Hairspray,” and; henpecked husband pushed to the brink in “Straw Dogs.”

“You won’t find more polar opposites than that,” he says with a laugh. “I do think I have been afforded the opportunity to play in a number of different sandboxes.”

Marsden started acting professionally in 1993. He received ample amounts of support from family and friends. “In the luck department,” he tells me, “everything sort of lined up for me. I didn’t have to go and get an agent. My father knew somebody who was a casting director before I moved to L.A., so I had representation when I moved there. I had two parents who were extremely supportive of me. That’s really lucky. And then beyond that, you have to be prepared, have an ability, and perseverance. You just kind of have to get it, I guess.”

Marsden gets it. He has worked consistently since starting in 1993, balancing TV gigs with feature films. Yet the actor says he never really felt like he “belonged” to the professional acting community until recently.

“I’ve always believed that as soon as you get comfortable, you’re done,” he said. “I’ve come to terms with that a little bit as I’ve gotten older. I’ll tell myself, ‘OK. You’re going to find work. You’re going to be fine.’ But as an actor, you can go at any time. And that drives you, too, that one day you can wake up and they’ll say, ‘OK, we’re done with you. We’ve seen everything.’ And thinking of that is a nightmare. Realistically, I think I’ve gotten to a point where I can relax.”

Not too much, though. He has five films in the pipeline, including the recently wrapped “Robot and Frank” and the 2012 comedy “As Cool As I Am” with Claire Danes. But he’ll never get totally comfortable with who he is and what he can do, because to do so would be to give up, and that’s not in his DNA.

“Most of the time, people only remember your last film,” Marsden said. “Especially within the industry. It’s usually, ‘Well, what did he do last?’ So you can’t bank on things you did five or 10 years ago. There were years when I was auditioning, trying to convince people that I could do comedy. Then I got ‘Enchanted,’ ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Death at a Funeral,’ and I started to hear, ‘Well, we like him as a comedic actor, but we’re not sure he can do drama or action.’ And I’d say, ‘Well, I did “X-Men!” And they’d be like, ‘Oh yeah, right right right!’

“So it’s a constant education. You can’t play that game. You always have to do what’s right for you,” he concludes.

Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.

Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards, Movies, News, Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News

Photo courtesy of PRPhotos.com.

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

Follow us

Breaking Hollywood News   


Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.