Brit Pack (actors)
"Brit Pack" is a term that has been used to refer to specific groups of young British actors who have achieved success in Hollywood, as well as more generally to the entire group of such actors. According to one article, "every decade brings a new Brit Pack, another disparate group of actors backed by the media to achieve simultaneous Hollywood stardom." However, the term is most closely associated with the crop of British actors which emerged in the late 1980s, because of the prominence of the American Brat Pack actors at that time.
1980s Brit Pack
The journalist Elissa Van Poznak interviewed Bruce Payne, Tim Roth, Paul McGann, Gary Oldman, Spencer Leigh, and Colin Firth for The Face magazine, in January 1987. The magazine had also intended to interview Daniel Day-Lewis but he was busy filming The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The title of the interview was "The Brit Pack". The moniker stuck and has been referenced in subsequent articles concerning the actors. An issue of the 1988 magazine Film Comment stated that 'Rupert Everett, Gary Oldman, Miranda Richardson, and Daniel Day-Lewis' were the leaders of the pack.
Differences from other "packs"
Unlike the Brat Pack or other similarly-defined groups of American actors, "Brit Pack" actors have rarely associated with each other socially or in film. As a 1988 article put it, the Brit Pack "aren't seen together at parties or in restaurants or in gossip columns. And since British cinema has had no equivalent to Hollywood's Eighties conveyor-belt youth movies – Weird Science, About Last Night..., St. Elmo's Fire, et al. – they don't keep re-meeting each other on-screen either". Nonetheless, Bruce Payne and Tim Roth had both appeared in the Tales Out of School television series, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth both appeared in Meantime and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and Bruce Payne and Spencer Leigh both appeared in Smart Money.
Later uses of the term
Currently, the phrase 'Brit Pack' is often used to describe any disparate group of young British actors and actresses of rising prominence. No group has emerged which is as readily identifiable as the group from the 1980s.
|Daniel Day-Lewis||29 April 1957||1970–present|
|Bruce Payne||22 November 1958||1982–present|
|Gary Oldman||21 March 1958||1979–present|
|Rupert Everett||29 May 1959||1982–present|
|Colin Firth||10 September 1960||1983–present|
|Paul McGann||14 November 1959||1986–present|
|Tim Roth||14 May 1961||1982–present|
|Spencer Leigh||1963 (age 50–51)||1983–present|
- BRIT PACK: A CLUTCH OF ACTORS, Harlan Kennedy, American Cinema Papers 1988
- "The Britpack - Our new generation of movie stars takes Tinseltown". The Independent (London). 6 June 2008.
- "Publicity release". One Summer fansite. Retrieved 30 December 2011.