International Fame and Cult Followings

International Fame and Cult Followings

By: Amelia Lozano

Awards season is behind us, but the lingering scent of Hollywood’s favorite popularity contest is still in the air.

While awards season is primarily a publicized bragging contest, it has its merits. It is a great opportunity for filmmakers to advertise their work, plus it gives actors a chance to remain in the spotlight. 

That being said, I’ve noticed a growing trend of foreign actors becoming popular in the United States.

Recently, Sandra Hüller, the German actress starring in “Anatomy of a Fall” and “Zone of Interest,” has achieved great success due to both her incredible talent and her fans on social media.

The only downside to her rising popularity in the U.S. is that her characteristic German bluntness is baffling to American interviewers.

One particular interview with TNT has been circulated around social media for Hüller’s honest take on her acting process: “It’s not so much – I learned the lines.” The words of a true master of her craft.

There’s also Hüller’s “Anatomy of a Fall” co-star, Swann Arlaud. That French man has seen quite the attention recently. Plenty of fan edits have hit TikTok and the like, lovey-dovey music and all.

Or we have Michelle Yeoh, a personal favorite actress of mine. Yeoh is Malaysian and first gained notoriety for her films in Hong Kong, to which she went overseas and established fame in the U.S. as well. From “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” to “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” Michelle Yeoh has only gone further in her acting career, joining a number of Asian-led films and TV shows.

It goes without saying that there’s a plethora of English actors who have made a name for themselves in the U.S. – Idris Elba, Sir Patrick Stewart, and Christian Bale, to name a few – but Americans are losing their fascination with the English to turn their sights towards Irish stars.

There’s Paul Mescal, who starred alongside Daisy Edgar-Jones in the show “Normal People.” He also acted with another, equally famous Irish actor, Andrew Scott (“Sherlock” fans: this is your Moriarty. “Fleabag” lovers: he is the Hot Priest).

Among these Irish icons is also Cillian Murphy, the beloved favorite actor of director Christopher Nolan, who starred in the titular role of “Oppenheimer” as well as John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place: Part Two.”

With how quickly we can spread things through social media, I’d theorize that these other actors are famous in part because they have such an international following online.

If not for social media, I doubt that our modern intake of media would be as saturated with international content.

I love to be exposed to foreign films and television so it’s exciting for me to see this growing cultural exchange, but perhaps it’s not so exciting for my wallet when I start buying merchandise from outside of America… But one of the traits of pop culture is the money-making aspect, so I guess I’ve just fallen into that trap like everybody else.

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