Gimme Gimme Gimme star James Dreyfus says social media is bad for acting

James Dreyfus says social media is destroying the acting industry credit:Bang Showbiz
James Dreyfus says social media is destroying the acting industry credit:Bang Showbiz

Former 'Gimme Gimme Gimme' star James Dreyfus says social media is destroying the acting business.

The 52-year-old comedic actor - most famous for playing aspiring actor Tom Farrell in the BBC sitcom opposite Kathy Burke - trained at London drama school RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), the institution that launched the careers of the late Sir Roger Moore, Sally Hawkins, Glenda Jackson, Ben Whishaw, Tom Hiddleston among many more.

Dreyfus insists when he attended it was an "anarchic" school where performers were encouraged to try anything, but now he believes the institution has been overrun by social media-obsessed snowflakes, and this is producing less exciting and talented actors.

He told the My Time Capsule podcast: "RADA was everything I expected it to be, it was anarchic, it was rough and you could do anything in rehearsals. And now with the sensitivity being taught, I couldn't stand it, I wouldn't go. It's changed so much."

Dreyfus, whose TV break came in 1990s sitcom 'Absolutely Fabulous', is also dismayed by the trend for auditions conducted over Zoom and castings being made based on how many social media followers an actor has.

'The Thin Blue Line' star - who has almost 75,000 followers on Twitter - says the industry needs to get back to where it was before modern society's obsession with technology.

He added: "Auditions — I have never in my life got a job from a cell phone. Never. And I always think, I'm spending an hour doing this, I'm getting a little bit tired.

"I know when I'm walking into a room whether I'm nervous and it's showing, or whether I'm confident and it's not. But you cannot do anything extraordinary on a Zoom call. I don't understand it.

"We have moved into a sort of authoritarian and divided world. it's all to do with the failed social media experiment. If you put a computer in every child's hand what do you think is going to happen? Do you know the employees who work at Apple, not one of them give their children the phone until they're 16. Why? Because they know."