You know, I hadn't heard her comments about things she wanted to do with her career. It's not unusual for young(ish) actors to speak of lofty, idealistic goals towards "serious" work. Some of them are even being honest when they say it. But that goes back to your question about how strong is the pull of Hollywood's money. It takes a strong will (and maybe a stronger bank account) to withstand the lure of all that money out here.
>I do concur that the British film industry isn't in the best >shape presently, but to go back to an earlier reference in >Charlotte Rampling - you think Beckinsale would take on a >role like "The Night Porter" right now?
In a word, no. But maybe I'm just seeing her in the wrong light. It's not even worth mentioning her in the same breath as Rampling. Nowhere near the same class. Obviously, you might say. But the kind of filmmakers who would make The Night Porter or anything as risky as that, they also see it. I can't imagine Beckinsale getting offered those kinds of roles even if she wanted to do them. Not because she isn't a good actress, certainly not because she isn't attractive. But she has no edge. No "dark side" lurking beneath the surface.
This is why I think Underworld is a good move for her. First off, I don't know what kind of mojo her agent was working, but it's the first time her name has appeared above the title. Wasn't going to happen in any larger movies, but having it happen on a smaller on like this, even if it's just a glorified B movie, it makes people in this town take notice. They see her jumping off buildings and "dealing death" in the commercials -- never mind in the movie -- and they say, "hey, different look for her" and "wow, I didn't know she could do that sort of material." Then, if the movie actually perform (and who knows, but it should at least open at #1), then all of a sudden this cutesy little love interest chick can play dark AND open a movie. The world would be her oyster.
What she does with her career at after that is up to her. But she won't have anymore excuses.