Issue: Winter 2018

Why I Love Hollywood by Dean Cain

Dean Cain
Dean Cain

Hollywood is the land of make-believe, of hopes and dreams, of inspiration and discovery—a world where anything and everything is possible.  There are literally millions of people who stroll the world-renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame each year, and marvel at their favorite stars, their handprints, their stories.   People line these hallowed streets to watch the Hollywood Christmas Parade every winter.

There’s so much I love about Hollywood, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Everyone knows the familiar story of the young starry-eyed actor who took off for the bright lights of Hollywood, only to return to their hometown, tail between their legs, ego dimmed, pride bruised, heartbroken.  

But there’s always the story of that one hopeful who—against all odds—made their dreams come true. It’s limitless possibilities, and that’s Hollywood!

I was raised in Malibu and grew up in Hollywood. My dad is a film director, and my mom is an actress. I literally grew up on film sets, and thought it was completely normal— everyone did it!  I grew up with many young actors who would later become very famous: Sean Penn, Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen, Holly Robinson, Rob Lowe, and others. My immediate dreams, however, involved college and football.  

After graduating from Princeton University, I had a short stint in the NFL, but a knee injury cut that story short. I returned to LA, screenwriting and pounding the pavement like countless others. In 1993, I got my big break: Lois and Clark hit and for four seasons I was honored to play Clark Kent/Superman.  My career has been incredibly varied and busy and wonderful since then.

What few people outside “the business” understand, is that for every “movie star” there are literally thousands of hard-working, incredibly professional folks whose job it is to make these stars look good.  They come from all walks of life; all colors, shapes and sizes, and they’re among the most dedicated and ingenious people I’ve ever met. They deserve most of the credit for making us actors look good.

I studied history at Princeton and wrote my thesis on the Motion Picture Academy. I learned then that Hollywood is constantly evolving. Today, technology is improving at an unimaginable pace, and there are more and more places to watch movies and television shows.  It’s been said that Hollywood’s borders are worldwide, and that’s true—but Hollywood is still the center of the entertainment universe. Sound stages are buzzing, and the industry is humming along right where it started over 100 years ago.

Perhaps the greatest export America has is its culture, and that comes directly from Hollywood. As I travel all over the world, I see how Hollywood affects even the most remote places on Earth. Everyone knows our films and television shows, because the stories we tell are universal.

I love Hollywood, and once again, I am thrilled to co-host the Hollywood Christmas Parade. Just like my favorite Christmas film of all time, whenever I’m in Hollywood, I think, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” DH