Talent, wasted

If you ask me, Elizabeth Olsen’s career path of late is indicative of everything that’s wrong with Hollywood and the way movies are made these days.

The actress first came to everyone’s attention a couple years ago with breakout roles in a number of small, independent, character-driven movies like Silent House and Martha Marcy May Marlene. And now she’s been cast in two massive “blockbusters,” Godzilla and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Two movies where acting talent and the ability to build a believable character and emotional journey are minimally important at best and where the people in front of the camera serve only to wear adequately representative versions of a costume and do their best to believably interact with whatever CGI monsters and action are happening around them.

It’s unfortunate that this happens as it kind of spoils these types of actors and actresses. The machine takes some real talent, feeds it through the talk-show circuit for a couple months, then convinces him or her that hey, now’s the time to get some of that fast cash without trying too hard. All they have to do is swallow their pride, ignore their instincts and sign a three-picture deal so they’re locked in for some sequels.

Props to Jennifer Lawrence, who seems to have found a way to walk this line pretty well. But I’m watching someone like Brie Larson very closely as I have a bad feeling she’s the next to be fed through this unfortunate machine.

By Chris Thilk

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist with over 15 years of experience in online strategy and content marketing. He lives in the Chicago suburbs.