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?