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Being the toast of Hollywood today doesn’t mean things will be the same tomorrow. While some actors remain favorites for years, others seem to come and go after a couple of movies. There’s usually more at play than simply a change in box office receipts. Even bankable performers can find themselves looking for opportunities outside the Hollywood machine. Here are four examples of why some performers may move on to independent studios or forge completely new careers far from the lights of Hollywood.

They Get Older

Ageism is nothing new and is certainly not limited to the arts. Even so, a performer who grows up or begins to gray may find that leading and supporting roles with the major studios becomes a thing of the past.

Consider the case of Christopher Mintz-Plasse who hit the big time when he was still a teenager. Now in his late twenties, this former McLovin from Superbad looks different these days. Some say that one of the reasons he steers more toward music and roles in independent films is that he is no longer suitable for the roles he did a decade ago.

For every actor who is able to make the transition to other types of roles, there is one who disappears completely. The bottom line is that Hollywood was and remains all about money. When the box office returns decrease, the aging actor is likely to find offers to be few and far between.

Their Political Views are Unpopular

Airing political views are fine as long as they don’t drive customers away. Once an actor takes a stand that is unpopular with moviegoers, it’s just a matter of time before the offers go away. The actor can often find work in independent films or by heading for Broadway or television, but continuing in Hollywood just isn’t possible.

They Buck the Hollywood Machine

Most people have read about the degree of control movie studios had over the private lives of their performers during the Golden Age. While the studio system has been history for several decades, there are lingering traces. Anyone who wants to get ahead must play the game or be pushed to the sidelines.

Taking the example of mclovin again, it seems to boil down to an unwillingness to shut up and do as the actor is told. Rejecting roles that are obviously not a good fit or otherwise being viewed as uncooperative is a career killer. The only option is to step away from Hollywood and seek opportunities elsewhere.

They Refuse to Be Typecast

Typecasting has been around since the days of silent films. The public loves an actor in a certain kind of role so the powers that be are happy to meet the demand. When an actor balks because of fears of being typecast, the studios simply find someone else who can fill the void. The actor may find opportunities away from Hollywood, or decide to leave the business altogether.

Remember that all that glitters in Hollywood is not gold. The business of film making can be one of the most grueling and ultimately unrewarding experiences a performer can experience. As technology provides more opportunities that are not controlled by traditional studios, expect to find some of your favorites appearing in smaller but often higher quality roles far from the place that once embraced them fully.

 

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