Ire in British film industry as ‘Juno’ lands role of Jane Eyre

LAST UPDATED AT 13:19 ON Thu 8 May 2008

Canadian actress Ellen Page, best known for her role in the teen pregnancy comedy Juno, is to appear in a BBC film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. The announcement has, according to some press reports, been greeted with scorn within the British film industry. The casting of Page, 21, is allegedly seen as another example of the BBC bowing to commercial pressure and handing roles to actresses from across the Atlantic.

Critics cite US actress Anne Hathaway landing the role of Jane Austen in the movie Becoming Jane and fellow American Scarlett Johansson being chosen to play Mary Queen of Scots, despite putting in an unconvincing performance as Mary Boleyn in the recent film, The Other Boleyn Girl.

"No one is doubting Ellen Page's acting abilities but why a BBC movie of Jane Eyre couldn't have a British actress in the lead is pretty hard to stomach," says a 'film industry insider' in the Daily Express.

Some might consider such a view parochial, that it does, in fact, cut both ways. After all US primetime television is festooned with British talent, Anna Friel in Pushing Daisies and Hugh Laurie in House to name but two distinguished examples.

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