Robert Wagner Thinks “It’s Very Difficult” for Young Actors Today

robert-wagner-hart-to-hart
TV and film star Robert Wagner recently turned eighty-four, and though his output has slowed since he headlined television series in the 1960s and 1970s, he still remains popular for his large body of work and his scandalous past. Though much of it did not leak out until his 2008 autobiography, Wagner was a Hollywood ladies’ man who romanced some of the most notable starlets of his era — including Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, and Anita Ekberg — and also faced controversy after the 1981 drowning death of his then-wife, Natalie Wood. In other words, Wagner would have been the focus of tabloid headlines if his glory days were today instead of decades ago. In fact, in an interview with Fox News to promote his new book You Must Remember This: Life and Style in Hollywood’s Golden Age, Wagner spoke about why he thinks actors have it harder these days both professionally and personally.

Though few actors are nostalgic for the heavy-handed “contract player system” of previous decades, Wagner points out that it served as effective way for young actors to get regular work. He explains, “I think it’s very difficult of young actors today. When I started Columbia had maybe 25 young people under contract. Warner’s maybe had 50, Metro had 50. Fox had 40. There were all of these young actors in town trying desperately to get into the movies, trying to get under contract and have a studio groom them and put them in movies. Today for a young actor it’s difficult. They have to find a manager or somebody who’s going to be able to make a movie and that’s difficult to do because of the financing, and taking a chance on a new actor, and then following that up with another actor. It’s very, very difficult for these young actors today.”

Of course, Wagner admits that the system also helped protect young actors from bad publicity. He recalls, “You were protected by people in the studio. You were not bombarded by paparazzi and people running after you, trying to get you in a compromising position, and if they did, sometimes it could be taken care of, sometimes it couldn’t. It wasn’t the intensity that it was now. You go outside with your kids and they’re all over you. It’s very difficult to go to the supermarket. When I was starting off I could go shopping, I could to to a supermarket, get my own clothes. I think it’s very difficult for stars of today to do that.”

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Charlie-Cox-Vincent-DOnofrio-Daredevil.jpg
‘Daredevil’ Stars Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio on Working Together in the Marvel Universe
"I think it was finding how to portray Fisk in an emotional way, as well as a menacing way." - Vincent D'Onofrio on Playing the Kingpin in 'Daredevil'
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/scott-eastwood-the-longest-ride.jpg
Scott Eastwood on His Rise to Fame: “The only thing I can say is that I’ve been doing this for 12 years”
"As quick as somebody can be 'the guy' in Hollywood, he can be gone the next minute. For me, it's about doing great work" - Scott Eastwood
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/steve-coogan-happyish.jpg
Steve Coogan on Filling Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Shoes and Becoming ‘Happyish’
"This is kind of like a vacation for me. All I have to do is concentrate on the character and capture the voice.” - Steve Coogan on Happyish
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/jon-cryer-two-and-a-half-men.jpg
Jon Cryer on Why He’s Only Cast in Comedic Roles: “I’ve always felt I was kind of a ridiculous human being”
"When I get super dramatic, the urge to giggle nearly overtakes me. It’s the reason I think I haven’t been cast in science fiction" - Jon Cryer
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Jason-Momoa-The-Red-Road.jpg
Jason Momoa on ‘The Red Road’, Aquaman and Diversity
"I’d rather play characters than play someone who’s close to myself" - Jason Momoa