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Carol the Dabbler

Your favorite (male) actors

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I have ten favourite stars of all time and they are Sean Connery, James Stewart, Harrison Ford, Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, Christopher Plummer, James Mason, Peter o'Toole, Burt Lancaster and Spencer Tracy.

 

Interesting.  I've never drawn up a top-ten list, but yours probably has some overlap with mine, including James Stewart and Harrison Ford.  Some of your others come close, some I'm not sufficiently familiar with, and a few I could happily do without!

 

For me, one problem with making a top-ten list is that there are some actors that I like very, very much -- but only for specific roles.  For example, I adore Leonard Nimoy's Spock, and his summer-theater Tevye was even better, but I've never felt particularly drawn to any of his other roles.  I'd have to include him just for Spock and Tevye, though.

 

The number-one actor on my list would clearly be Martin Freeman, and I'd have to find places for Gene Wilder and Dustin Hoffman.  Well, that's six -- I'm over halfway done already!

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Hmmmm... favorite actors. Interesting question. Well...

 

Like Carol, there are many whom I love mostly for a specific role, and very sorry to say so, but Benedict Cumberbatch falls into that category with Sherlock (and Christopher from Parades End).

 

I guess the male actor I admired the most was Heath Ledger. He was extremely versatile and talented, and it is a shame he died so soon. I saw him in a large variety of roles and films and always found his performance impressive, whether he was doing teen comedy, fantasy goof-off, dark supervillain or Brokeback Mountain - or something entirely different.

 

Johnny Depp is someone whose work I hugely admired until about the Pirates of the Caribbean, but his more recent jobs failed to impress me. Still, I have a considerable collection of his earlier films and if I want to remind myself that the man is really incredibly talented, I rewatch Ed Wood (anyone who hasn't seen it yet: give it a try! Best Tim Burton / Johnny Depp collaboration ever in my humble opinion).

 

Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon are also on my top-ten list, even though I can only enjoy about half the films they have played in (I cannot stomach Scorsese films, for example, I just can't).

 

Martin Freeman is very, very good too. My only problem with him is that whatever he plays, he cannot make me forget that it's Martin Freeman in a costume. He excels at convincing, realistic depictions of emotion and subtle body language, but I've never seen him fade into the background and let the character take over, if anyone reading this can figure out what I mean by that. It's not that I think he's playing himself or all his characters are the same, because I don't and they aren't, but he seems to have a very strong (fortunately also very agreeable) "energy" of his own that all his roles become infused with.

 

I guess one of my major criteria for "good" acting is being versatile and able to really "become" the people you play. I can fake emotion and deliver prepared lines naturally, but I can't change into another being, which is why I consider myself a bad actress (besides, I have massive stage fright, but different story).

 

Among the women out there, I think my favorites are Helena Bonham Carter (watch her in a historic film or literary adaptation and you realize she is so much more than Tim Burton's mad witch - just saw her as Lady Jane Grey the other month and was knocked off my feet), Charlize Theron (what she did in Monster was... I can't describe it. Uncanny. Scary as hell, too) and Emma Watson (even though I am not at all a Harry Potter fan).

 

 

All this has nothing to do with how attractive I think these people are, even though I do consider most of them good-looking and charismatic. I tried to really consider my opinion on their skill as actors first and foremost.

 

 

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Hmmmm. Not sure I can stop at 10 ... but I'll go with the ones for whom I have made an effort to see every movie they've been in, just because they were in it. We'll see how far I get....

 

Jackie Chan

Tom Hanks

Benedict Cumberbatch

Denzel Washington

Peter O'Toole

George Clooney

Morgan Freeman

Jimmy Stewart

Sidney Poitier

Fred Astaire, but for his dancing, not his acting, so maybe he doesn't count?

Charlie Chaplin

Robert Redford

Danny Kaye

Toshiro Mifune

And I would include Paul Bettany, except he's had a couple dreadful roles in more recent years... :cry:

 

 

Should we have a thread for actors whose movies we would avoid at all costs? :P I have a list. (My brother has a file ...)

Edited by Arcadia
Edited to include the inimitable Jackie Chan
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The only actor I can think of offhand that I avoid on general principles is Michael J. Pollard.  It's not that I think he's a poor actor, it's just that something about the characters I've seen him play makes me feel queasy.

 

My mother has a similar thing about Mickey Rooney, except that she says he gives off a "banty rooster" vibe, which leads her to believe that he's the sort of man who resents the very existence of tall women.

 

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:D I know exactly what you mean about Mr. Pollard, he sort of made a specialty of playing snotty nosed punks, as I recall.

 

You probably don't want my list, it starts with every "comedic" actor since the rise of SNL and goes on from there.

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Martin Freeman is very, very good too. My only problem with him is that whatever he plays, he cannot make me forget that it's Martin Freeman in a costume. He excels at convincing, realistic depictions of emotion and subtle body language, but I've never seen him fade into the background and let the character take over, if anyone reading this can figure out what I mean by that. It's not that I think he's playing himself or all his characters are the same, because I don't and they aren't, but he seems to have a very strong (fortunately also very agreeable) "energy" of his own that all his roles become infused with.

 

I guess one of my major criteria for "good" acting is being versatile and able to really "become" the people you play....

 

Yes, that's one of mine as well -- but I think Mr. Freeman excels at it.  Hmm.

 

Back when I first started to wonder "Who is this guy, and what else has he been in?" I did my best to analyze why I like his acting so much, and what his Watson has in common with Nimoy's Spock.  I came up with two answers:  1] They're both subtly played, with very little overt drama, yet somehow 2] they're both very intense.  Maybe the intensity is what you're calling "energy"?  Regardless of what it's called, I love it.  It makes the characters seem more real and more three-dimensional to me.

 

You probably don't want my list, it starts with every "comedic" actor since the rise of SNL and goes on from there.

 

Bill Murray?  Adam Sandler?  I'll see your list and debate it with you!

 

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Eh, Murray, I can tolerate.

 

However, the mere mention of the names:

Adam Sandler

Will Ferrell

Chris Rock

Chris Farley

Either Belushi

Rob Schneider

Dan Ackroyd

Seth McFarlane

Kevin James

Owen Wilson

Jim Carrey

Don Rickles

Gilbert Gottfried

 

is enough to make me run screaming in the other direction. Also:

 

Sylvester Stallone

Steven Seagal

Chuck Norris

Dolph Lundgren

Vin Diesel

Claude Van Damme

Jason Statham

 

You get the drift.

 

But I forgot one who MUST be on my list of favorites ... Jackie Chan! Will go edit now.

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Um yeah, I do see your point.  Most of those would be on my "must avoid" list as well.  And a few of the others used to be until they redeemed themselves in my eyes (e.g., Adam Sandler in Fifty First Dates and some of his other more recent movies -- Schneider and Ackroyd have minor roles in several, but I like them well enough in small doses).  Jim Carrey has gone the other direction, though (in fact, I'm now struggling to recall what I ever liked him in), and I'm afraid the late Robin Williams did as well, along with the late Andy Kaufman.

 

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Is it a good sign that I know almost no-one on the "run away screaming" list? :D

 

Hmmm, Robin Williams... He was a good actor, though. I might not like a lot of his movies (what was the one about the medical student called who tried to cure people with laughter? That one was so incredibly problematic I didn't even know where to begin ranting when I had seen it), but I do think he was very talented. I saw him do stand-up comedy once (live, but on TV, wasn't exactly there) and wow - that was a pretty impressive performance, while of course not everyone's cup of tea.

 

He was also one of those actors, however, who could not make me forget that it was them in a role. It was always very much Robin Williams as whoever he was playing in my eyes.

 

I have an aversion to Tom Cruise. I'm not saying he can't act (people don't become that successful for nothing), but somehow, his presence in a film annoys the hell out of me. (I'd feel bad saying something like this about another person, but he's so rich and famous I am sure he can get along just fine without my approval... :P)

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I keep coming back to this thread and then leaving again, because I'm having a hard time drawing up a list.  Here goes my attempt.  

Names are listed alphabetical by last name:

 

Jason Bateman

Benedict Cumberbatch

David Duchovny (only for X-Files, but David Duchovny why won't you love me?)

Ralph Fiennes

Colin Firth

Martin Freeman

Mark Gatiss

Tom Hiddleston

Edward Norton

David Tennant

 

So what, 7 of my top 10 are from the UK?  lol

 

 

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See, now I feel bad, because I really like some of the people on your list too, Sitty.... :smile:
 

Um yeah, I do see your point.  Most of those would be on my "must avoid" list as well.  And a few of the others used to be until they redeemed themselves in my eyes (e.g., Adam Sandler in Fifty First Dates and some of his other more recent movies -- Schneider and Ackroyd have minor roles in several, but I like them well enough in small doses).  Jim Carrey has gone the other direction, though (in fact, I'm now struggling to recall what I ever liked him in), and I'm afraid the late Robin Williams did as well, along with the late Andy Kaufman.

You call that a debate!?!?!? :D
 

Is it a good sign that I know almost no-one on the "run away screaming" list? :D

Probably!
 

I have an aversion to Tom Cruise. I'm not saying he can't act (people don't become that successful for nothing), but somehow, his presence in a film annoys the hell out of me. (I'd feel bad saying something like this about another person, but he's so rich and famous I am sure he can get along just fine without my approval... :P)

Oh thank heavens, there really IS another one like me out there! I actually really like some ... well, at least two ... of his movies, but boy do I get what you mean. I do think he's a good actor, but that cocky persona he's perfected just grates on my nerves.

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I have an aversion to Tom Cruise. I'm not saying he can't act (people don't become that successful for nothing), but somehow, his presence in a film annoys the hell out of me. (I'd feel bad saying something like this about another person, but he's so rich and famous I am sure he can get along just fine without my approval... :P)

Oh thank heavens, there really IS another one like me out there! I actually really like some ... well, at least two ... of his movies, but boy do I get what you mean. I do think he's a good actor, but that cocky persona he's perfected just grates on my nerves.

 

Which are the ones you liked?

 

I kind of have a soft spot for "Minority Report" but not because of him in it. It's more a case of me liking the film in spite of whom they cast as the lead.

 

A female actor whom I have a negative gut-response to without being able to justify it is Keira Knightly. I'm sure she's good at her job, but when I see her on a cast-list, I automatically go oh no. Not again. She wasn't exactly bad in The Imitation Game, for example, but I still wish they had chosen someone else (preferably someone less known).

 

 

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My personal dislike for Tom Cruise has pretty much ruined most of his movies for me, except Interview with a Vampire.  But that's about it.  

 

Arcadia, I agree with most of your dislike list except:  Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and Owen Wilson

 

Also, if I had to do an honorary runner-up list b/c narrowing to 10 was difficult...

 

John Barrowman

Daniel Craig

Hugh Dancy

Mads Mikkelsen

Chris Noth (entirely b/c of Mr. Big)

Paul Rudd

Mark Ruffalo

 

 

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Are we doing favorite actresses next?  :)

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My personal dislike for Tom Cruise has pretty much ruined most of his movies for me, except Interview with a Vampire.  But that's about it.  

 

Interview with a Vampire! How could I forget about that? Yeah, he was good as Lestat, that's true. So much so that I had totally forgotten Lestat was played by Tom Cruise!

 

*Sigh*... now, that was a real vampire. Not one of those glittering Volvo-drivers.

 

(I have a thing for vampires. Very juvenile of me, I know, but I don't think I'll outgrow it any time soon. It's filed away with my love of old velvet and lace and gothic stuff and dragons and moody music and Tim Burton films where everyone looks like an insomniac and Helena Bonham Carter has a rats nest for a hairdo. I can't help it, it's part of me, and laugh at it as I will, I can't shake it. :lol:)

 

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Hm, I guess my "phone book list*" is:

 

(*men I'd pay money just to hear/watch read the phone book, on stage or screen)

 

Sean Connery

Pierce Brosnan

Robert Downey Junior

Robert Sean Leonard

Benedict Cumberbatch

David Tennant

 

I know there are others, but those are the ones that come to mind.

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After watching Gatiss' horror movie speicals, I really want to see the Bela Lugosi movies now.

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Hm, I guess my "phone book list*" is:

 

(*men I'd pay money just to hear/watch read the phone book, on stage or screen)

 

Sean Connery

Pierce Brosnan

Robert Downey Junior

Robert Sean Leonard

Benedict Cumberbatch

David Tennant

 

I know there are others, but those are the ones that come to mind.

 

OMG, you reminded me of my love for Alan Rickman.  This is terrible, my list is starting to get out of hand now.  RDJ is such a delight now too that he's gotten his act together.

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I have an aversion to Tom Cruise. I'm not saying he can't act (people don't become that successful for nothing), but somehow, his presence in a film annoys the hell out of me. (I'd feel bad saying something like this about another person, but he's so rich and famous I am sure he can get along just fine without my approval... :P)

Oh thank heavens, there really IS another one like me out there! I actually really like some ... well, at least two ... of his movies, but boy do I get what you mean. I do think he's a good actor, but that cocky persona he's perfected just grates on my nerves.

 

 

Which are the ones you liked?

 

A Few Good Men, because the script is simply awesome, and War of the Worlds, because Spielberg utilized him perfectly -- took that cockiness and made you see the down side of it. Even by the end he's still not exactly an admirable character, but a very human one.

 

At one time I liked Lestat pretty well, but it wore off. :smile:

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Hm, I guess my "phone book list*" is:

 

(*men I'd pay money just to hear/watch read the phone book, on stage or screen)

 

Sean Connery

Pierce Brosnan

Robert Downey Junior

Robert Sean Leonard

Benedict Cumberbatch

David Tennant

 

I know there are others, but those are the ones that come to mind.

 

OMG, you reminded me of my love for Alan Rickman.  This is terrible, my list is starting to get out of hand now.  RDJ is such a delight now too that he's gotten his act together.

 

Yes, indeedy, I was just going to name Alan Rickman for my "phone-book list" (great term, Boton!).  He's been ever-so-good in just about everything I've ever seen him in.

 

And I'm glad to see RDJ on the wagon.  I loved him in Ally McBeal, and was really sad when he had to be written out.

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Jim Carrey is a no list for me, but I actually really like his performance in Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind.

Indifferent about Tom Cruise, but I kind of like his sense of humor by appearing in Topic Thunder.

 

My list:

- Benedict Cumberbatch. Do I have to explain?

- Liam Neeson, especially in Schindler's List.

- Ralph Fiennes, can't say Amon Goeth, but English Patient and Constant Gardener

- Christian Bale, he is great in Flowers of War and The Machinist

- Johnny Depp, no recently but older movies like Edward Scissorhand and Chocolate

- Bryan Cranston, seeing him as goofy comedy actor turns into Walter White, he is definitely tallented

- Hugh Laurie, of course as House, but he also always leave impressions even for smallest roles.

- Peter Dinklage, most notably Game of Thrones

- Andrian Brody (Edit: replacing Ewan McGregor)

- Tom Hanks I guess, like The Terminal

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Yeah, Hugh Laurie, there's another one I hate to leave off the list.

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Hm, I guess my "phone book list*" is:

 

(*men I'd pay money just to hear/watch read the phone book, on stage or screen)

 

Sean Connery

Pierce Brosnan

Robert Downey Junior

Robert Sean Leonard

Benedict Cumberbatch

David Tennant

 

I know there are others, but those are the ones that come to mind.

 

OMG, you reminded me of my love for Alan Rickman.  This is terrible, my list is starting to get out of hand now.  RDJ is such a delight now too that he's gotten his act together.

 

 

Yes!  Rickman!  How could I forget Rickman being on the list?  

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Oh-Kay -- guess it's about time I posted my top-ten list.  My criterion, by the way, is actors whose acting moves me -- which is different from actors whose movies or shows I enjoy, or actors whose voices I like, or ones I think are sexy (though there would be a fair amount of overlap).  I'm limiting this to actors who qualify in at least two different roles.

 

Martin Freeman

Leonard Nimoy (as Spock and Tevye)

Alan Rickman

Ian McKellen (having recently seen Mr. Holmes)

Mark Lenard

Harrison Ford

Gene Wilder

Adam Sandler

Timothy Hutton

Tony Shalhoub

 

I see that most if not all of these gentlemen have a flair for comedy as well as for drama -- maybe that's why they're able to affect me so deeply.

 

List subject to change, as I think of more actors who might belong here.

 

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I love Ian McKellen as Gandalf. I haven't seen him in any other role (haven't checked out "Mr Holmes" yet and probably won't for a while because I have an irrational reservation about Sherlock Holmes adaptations in general), so I have no idea how versatile he is, but his Gandalf is one of my favorite people in a movie ever.

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