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Which actors can hit the 4 marks needed for a movie star?


#1

A very interesting point raised by Mr Jim O’Hara of this Parish in another thread…

To be a huge movie star you need to hit as many of these marks as possible and make them work: Drama, comedy, romance and action. 3 can be enough, but some can do 4. I think I’d buy Tom Hanks for example in all 4. Action might be a push, but you can put him in an action-based movie and people buy him as the everyman in that situation (like Apollo 13, maybe Captain Phillips and so on). He doesn’t need to be taking out ninjas personally. Obviously, he can do comedy and romance too and in the mid 90s he shifted gears in what seemed like a huge leap at the time to go Serious Drama Guy.

So I think he can hit all four. I think Ryan Reynolds hits all four too. People liked him in The Proposal, he can do action, he’s showed his acting drama chops in the likes of Buried and his comic-timing is impeccable. Liam Neeson is amazing, but can’t do comedy. The Rock and Arnie can do funny and action, but forget the other two. Stallone can do drama and action and I genuinely think romance too, but you’re not buying him in a comedy. Bruce Willis I reckon can do all 4, though he’s so serious now I can’t remember the last time he looked like he was having a good time in a picture.

In terms of actresses, Charlize Theron can hit all 4 no problem. Young Adult is her masterpiece and she almost hits all 4 in one movie. Sandra Bullock too with The Blind Side, Speed, The Proposal and all her rom-coms that just make a fortune. Margot Robbie I think is going to pull it off too. She can do action, drama, romance and - I have a mad feeling - she could do comedy really well too. Women like her (almost) as much as men and that’s what Bullock and Theron have too, much like Connery was adored by men and women (and could also hit all four marks in his heyday).

Who else can do this? Can DiCaprio do comedy, for example? Will Smith was the world’s biggest movie star for a decade because he did all four so well. Mel Gibson the decade before him. But who else right now?

MM


#2

Ben Affleck is pretty versatile and does comedy well when given the chance. Matt Damon too - although they don’t often get to Stretch all those muscles - so to speak.

Clooney and Ford were both great at both in their day.

Tom Cruise remains a stalwart - the top choice for big directors but I don’t think he’ll ever be regarded as a great actor, more so a great movie star.

Folk like Chris Pine are great and can pull it off, he looks great in the new flick ’ Hell or High Water’ likewise Karl Urban when given more to do than just glower.

Loved the Revenant - but Leonardo still looks like a youngster - it’s hard to buy him in ‘manly’ roles.

Keanu…it all comes back to Keanu…the man just keeps appearing out of nowhere in great films.


#3

Tatum, Cooper, Pitt, Clooney, Damon, Gosling.

Cruise cant do Romance (anymore).

None of the youngens… Andrew Garfield might be the closest.

I reckon Emma Stones a good catch.


#4

I love Matt Damon, but he can’t do comedy in a million years. The Martian is a really funny script and he kills the comedy dead. Imagine IN YOUR FACE, NEIL ARMSTRONG delivered by Pratt or Cruise or Willis 20 years ago. Damon just seems too smart for comedy. It’s like an analyst from Harvard looking at 10,000 hours of comedies and trying to process what makes funny :slight_smile:

I like him though. I mean no slight, but you put him as the lead in a comedy and you’re dead in the water. Willis could do comedy and Will Smith too. Channing Tatum 100% hits all 4. Can’t believe I hadn’t thought of him.

MM


#5

A lot of them can do all four, but are people interested in them doing all those things?

EDIT:
I totally agree about Tatum, but he’s not sold an action film yet, ‘White House Down’ didn’t grab people, even though he was very much a young Bruce Willis in it.

I wonder whether it would’ve done better if they’d played up the comedy? Not as a spoof, but just Tatum delivering one-liners a bit more? Use his charm rather than his muscles?


#6

Never, ever got the Channing Tatum thing - I can only see him as wooden and utterly lacking charisma. A manufactured movie star who can be good as the straight man - for example opposite Jonah Hill in Jump St.

Bradley Cooper has been a revelation, especially in films where he is allowed to act and not relied upon to be the good looking one, was great in American Hustle.

Chris Pratt is only as good as his script. Jurassic World was the biggest letdown in recent years for me, even more than The Force Awakens. Utterly devoid of charisma in that film. Likewise, the weaknesses in Guardians of The Galaxy highlighted that Pratt was great in the opening act, amazing even. But as the film ran out of ideas…Pratt was left flapping around like a fish out of water.

How about Hugh Jackman - he seems to manage all four?

I was chatting with a pal about who could replace Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones…and I could cope with seeing him replaced.


#7

Rose Byrne hasn’t gotten the opportunity to do action, but she’s great at the other three.

Jennifer Lawrence can do all four; ditto Brie Larson.


#8

I second this post – all three of those actresses are top shelf.

Rose Byrne should be way more famous than she is.

I agree that Pratt is only as good as the script. I guess we’ll see how his Oscar-bait goes, but I have a feeling that it could be another “The Tourist” i.e. a contrived piece relying on the strength of it’s two leads that everyone can see straight through. Spaihts could be brilliant, or he could be another Wally Pfister/Christopher McQuarrie.

I dunno - I like Damon. He’s done some funny movies. He’s funnier than Affleck I think.

I think Hugh Jackman is a good call but I haven’t really seen him click romantically - I know there’s a contingent of women that love him but a romantic lead has to have a kind of reluctance to him, where the audience knows they shouldn’t but can’t help it - I haven’t seen Jackman pull that off - he just seems too good-hearted.


#9

Kristen Stewart doesn’t do action, but she’s good at the other three. I don’t think she really wants to be a “Movie Star” though; she seems happy doing critically accalaimed indie stuff.


#10

Damons comedy bits in the Oceans movies work for him. The Informant was a good piece for him, too. But I don’t see him as a “comedy” guy.

I always felt that comedy actors could do dramatic roles better than “drama” actors.


#11

Damon was hilarious on 30 Rock.


#12

I can’t stand Kristen Stewart - she turns me off in everything I’ve seen her in.

I’d put her in the Nicholas Hoult / Jesse Eisenberg camp as “actors lacking natural charm”.


#13

Yeah - his comedy comes from playing the straight man.

That’s like Hamm, who I think could fit quite easily into all four of those categories.


#14

Hamm’s great at comedy and drama, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do action or romance.


#15

I think we see his romantic side on Mad Men a bit - but yes to the action.

He’s obviously been turning down those roles though – he’s said as much in interviews.


#16

#17

Oooh!

Oscar Isaac! He can do anything!


#18

I hear ya. I almost couldn’t watch Mad Max with Hoult in it. I’ve no idea why as I’m sure he’s very nice, but he really puts me off a movie!

MM


#19

I think Colin Farrell hit the 4 marks all along his career, he did very well in comedy/drama In Bruges, i thought he was very funny in Horrible Bosses, some action in Miami Vice ( which is a very underrated movie according to me ) and he also did some romance. The problem is that he loose popularity a few years ago, but imagine if Colin Farrell stayed popular since the early 2000’s, today he still could be one of our biggest stars. I really like him as an actor and i hope that he’s gonna get the credit he deserves in the next years, he’s been doing intresting roles choices ! ( I think he deserves a role in a Marvel or DC movie )


#20

He’s in the new Harry Potter spin-off movie. I think he’s the villain?