Your Favorite Actors - Who and Why?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Katya Jade, Jun 11, 2002.

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  1. Katya Jade Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 7
    First of all, this isn't a "gush" thread. I want to know who your favorite actors are and why. What actors would you go to see no matter what film they are in? Which of their roles had the most impact on you? When did you first discover them?

    Please note that when I say "actors", I mean men or women.

    The first three on my list are Gary Sinise, Kevin Spacey and Meryl Streep.

    I "discovered" Gary when I saw The Stand miniseries when it came out. There is something about his acting style that is so understated and intense. His film work is incredible, but I've seen some of his stage work (only via video) and he truly is a charismatic, thoughful and brilliant (yes, a word to be overused in this thread, I'm sure) actor.

    Kevin Spacey. What can I say. Again, I think I first saw him when he played Verbal Kent in The Ususal Suspects. Not only was that a great film (yet another discussion topic), I am constantly amazed that I can watch that film over and over and still see new things in his performance. American Beauty, LA Confidential, etc. etc.

    Meryl Streep is definitely one of the most brilliant (there is is again ;)) actors of her generation. I think my favorite role of hers is Sophie's Choice. She helps to define what "method acting" means.

    Okay...there are a few to get us started. Feel free to discuss these actors, or add more of your own. :D

    Check out the new thread, please. A hosted discussion of actors. :)
  2. AgentCoop Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2002
    star 4
    I think Jack Nicholson is just great. The man just throws himself into his roles. He brings such intensity to every character he plays, whether it's McMurphy in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", Jack Torrance in "The Shining" or the Joker in "Batman" he makes every character his own.

    One of my favorite performances by any actor is Dennis Hopper as Frank Booth in "Blue Velvet". This is without a doubt one of the most frightening and disturbing characters ever depicted on film and Hopper's performance brings him to vivid life. He dominates the screen in every scene he's in. He's an 800lb gorilla and you can't take your eyes off him. One of the finest performances ever put on film.
  3. Radiohead Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2002
    star 4
    Here are mine:

    MALE ACTORS:
    Tom Hanks
    One of the most respected actors around is also one of the most versatile. He can play anything from a gay man dying of AIDS (Philadelphia) to a captain in the Marines during World War II (Saving Pvt. Ryan). Ha can play any part and he can play them all well.

    Ed Norton
    The best young actor around right now, in my opinion. Just check out his performances in The Score and Fight Club.

    Denzel Washington
    Extremely underrated as an actor. He injects all his performances with a sort of "fire" that you can only find in a true actor.

    Brad Pitt
    Another highly underrated actor. People can't seem to admit his talent because they can't get passed his looks. His performances in Fight Club, Spy Game, and Seven seem to show that he is a good actor.

    Tom Cruise
    Same thing as Brad Pitt. This guy can be in a gripping drama or an action flick--he's that good. See his performances in Magnolia, Jerry Maguire and Rain Main.

    Harrison Ford
    Come on. Must I list the reasons why he's a good actor?

    Kevin Spacey
    He's a deceptive actor. Sometimes, you think he's miscast for a part, but proves you completely wrong with his performance. Just as versatile as Tom Hanks.

    Ewan McGregor
    The guy is just plain cool.

    FEMALE ACTORS:
    Natalie Portman
    I know what you're gonna say: "You only like her because she's in Star Wars." Not quite; in fact, I liked her before she was even cast in Star Wars. I've been following her for a while now: seen most of her films, seen her perform on Broadway, seen her in person at talk show tapings, I even know her real name. She's one of the few actresses that could do more with a look than most actresses can with a line of dialogue. To say she can't act is indefensible.

    Jodie Foster
    She has standards, intelligence, and a willingness to take chances. Her performances are great without seeming pretentious or dishonest. See her in Silence of the Lambs and The Accused; both movies earned her Oscars.

    I'm probably forgetting more. Peter Sellers is dead, so I didn't put him on the list...
  4. Katya Jade Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 7
    Radiohead - Yes, yes and yes! :D

    Tom Hanks is amazing. He can do comedy very well, but his dramatic work is seamless

    I was so blown away by Ed Norton in American History X. He changed himself so totally for that role. I also thought his portrayal in Fight Club was great.

    Ewan - yup. I watched The Pillow Book a while ago and it was very odd, but he's unbelievable. (and nekkid - that was a plus. [face_blush] )

    Jodie Foster - yup. She works very sparingly and the parts she chooses really showcase her ability.

    Coop - I think Nicholson and Hopper are great, but Hopper tends to freak me out a little.



    Another one - Holly Hunter. She is a Jack Nicholson as well. Gets very involved in her characters that you get lost in the story. The Piano is a fine example of her work.
  5. AgentCoop Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2002
    star 4
    I can't believe I left Jodie Foster off my list! She's incredible.

    I also agree that Brad Pitt is way way underrated as an actor. People can't seem to take him seriously just because he's good looking. Very strange.

    Katya_Jade, of course Dennis Hopper freaks you out...that's what makes him Dennis Hopper. :D
  6. Katya Jade Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 7
    I do agree about Brad Pitt. He is very underrated. I think he brings something to a role that's very believable and draws me in.

    Tom Cruise. Hmmm. Well, he just does nothing for me as an actor. I think he's decent, but, for me, I just don't see him and go "Wow".

    I know I'll keep bringing up more. Oh, how about Stanley Tucci? I've seen him in more of his comedy work, but he's great. Just saw "Big Trouble" and he was hysterical.
  7. LianaMara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2000
    star 4
    Ewan McGregor: absolutely a great actor. He is very good at his roles, and the only one I didn't like that much was as Obi-wan in TPM. I really loved him in Trainspotting and Moulin Rouge, because he was so expressive.

    Cate Blanchett: All I can say is wow. Last year, she was in at least 6 movies, and her performance in each one was wonderful. She really puts emotion into her roles.

    Radiohead, I totally agree with you about Denzel Washington. He is an excellent actor, but no one seemed to pay any attention to him before his role in "Training Day."
  8. Radiohead Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2002
    star 4
    Oh, and I forgot Nicole Kidman! Her performances in Moulin Rouge and The Others puts her on my list.

    Plus, she's real nice to look at. :D
  9. Master Salty Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 1999
    star 6
    Harrison Ford
    Bruce Willis
    Morgan Freeman
    Tom Cruise
    Val Kilmer
    -The Saint is my favorite

    These guys are just awesome actors.

    Liv Tyler
    Natalie Portman
    Angelina Jolie
    Grace Kelly


    I'm a sucker for a pretty face. [face_devil]
  10. AgentCoop Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2002
    star 4
    I'm kind of perplexed that they thought Denzel Washington's performance in "Training Day" was Oscar-worthy. The film he really deserved an Oscar for was "X".

    But then, the Oscars have a reputation for rewarding the right actors for the wrong roles.
  11. ismaren Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 3
    Although I don't particuarly like him outside of acting, Billy Bob Thornton is pretty good. He has an amazing ability to fit a character. Was great as an aloof NASA cheif in Armaggedon, then played the role of the crazy and paranoid theif in Bandits perfectly.

    Of course I have to mention my current infatuation, Viggo Mortensen. He really is talented in acting, along with art and poetry. His role in FOTR was good, but I've seen him do better. He just has this on-screen aura that's very down to earth, and not all dolled up and fake like so much of Hollywood

    I'm not really thrilled with any of the actresses. I guess that Julianna Margulies from ER and Mists of Avalon would be my pick out of any of them. I love her hair [face_love]
  12. Bail-AnBillies Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 4
    Ewan - Now I have the right to say it since I've seen three of his movies, him on ER and on a polar bear special! YAY!
  13. Katya Jade Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 7
    Two "lesser known" actors:

    Guy Pearce - Memento and LA Confidential among others. Intense but able to put a vulnerability to his characters

    Toni Collette - Sixth Sense, Muriel's Wedding and now in About a Boy. She is incredibly versatile and makes each character very likeable.

  14. jedijedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2002
    star 4
    My favorite actors? Hmmm....

    Will Smith: Okay, maybe he was a little underqualified for his recent best actor nomination, but he really put an effort into his role as the revered boxer. His portrayal actually came across as believable. Since he usually plays more comedic characters, I believe that his "Ali" performance was quite impressive.
    And plus, he's a really funny guy. (I LOVED the Fresh Prince of Bel Air) :D

    Julia Roberts: She's a versatile actress and I don't think people take her seriously enough. She's shines in comedy ("My Best Friend's Wedding" and "America's Sweethearts")while also excelling in dramatic roles, proven by her much-deserved Best Actress Academy Award for Erin Brokovich. :)

    That's it for now. I shall think up more great actors later... ;)
  15. big_boss_nass Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2001
    star 4
    Male actors

    Ewan McGregor
    After seeing Star Wars episode I and Star Wars episode II, Ewan became one of my favorite actors because of the emotion he puts into acting, he also does the best with what he is given to work with.

    Mike Myers
    He has the ability to play many different characters in one movie (Austin Powers 1, 2, and 3) He has been funny ever since I can remember. He has the ability to play male and female characters.

    Will Ferrell
    Will is just one of those actors you have to love, he's talented and one of the if not the funniest actors ever. He really developed as a person on Saturday Night Live. Good think he didn't leave the acting business altogether.

    Female actors

    Natalie Portman
    She's beautiful and talented and she can take on any role you give her, action or suttle.

    Julia Roberts
    She can be funny or serious, she's taken on many good roles and did a good job with them. She has been good since day one.
  16. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Kevin Spacey
    Kathy Bates
    Richard Dean Anderson
    Mel Gibson
  17. BOBAFETISH Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2001
    star 5
    Gary Oldman has incredible range.He's probably the most under-rated huge talent out there.

    Jack Nicholson is my favorite. I thought he could only play over-the-top characters, but "The Pledge" showed me otherwise.

    I agree that Brad Pitt is very good actor, as well.


    For the ladies, I really like Juliane Moore. Her turn in Boogie Nights made that movie.

  18. Radionesiac Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2002
    star 1
    Mine are (in order):

    1. Ed Norton - again, his performance in Fight Club was absolutely stunning. AMAZING.

    2. Brad Pitt - Ditto.

    3. George Clooney

    4. Natalie Portman

    5. Denzel Washington - VERY underrated, as previously stated. Have you SEEN Training Day? Can there BE a more believeable character?
  19. Katya Jade Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 7
    Gary Oldman, yes, yes. I love the fact that he just chooses roles a lot for the challenge and fun of it. It gives him such a diverse range.

    I can't believe we haven't mentioned Alec Guinness yet. His body of work is absolutely astounding.
  20. Amidala-Leia Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2002
    star 4
    I love Gary Sinise! He is so talented. I think he can adapt to almost any role be it Lieutenant Dan or President Truman.
  21. Sabes_Decoy Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Well. . .. I did have a list and reasons, but I will just write down their names, My computer deleted my post before I could post.

    Actors
    Tommy Lee Jones-"MIB", "Volcano", "Double Jepordy"
    Victor Garber-"First Wives Club", "Titanic", "Legally Blond"
    Joaquin Phoenix-"Gladiator", "Quills"

    Actresses
    Ashley Judd-"Double Jepordy", "Where the Heart Is"
    Kate Winslet-"Titanic", "Quills", "Hamlet"

    There's my list, I think they are all talented actors and I just can't get enough of them!

    Gar ~*#*~
  22. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Al Pacino
    Harrison Ford
    Tom Hanks
    Mel Gibson
    Meryl Streep
    Natalie Portman
    Thora Birch
    Leelee Sobeski

    Pacino's work is amazing, and even in the past few years, he's come out with a couple great ones (The Insider, Insomnia) to go along with the legendary Godfather performances. Truly a commanding (sometimes in a quiet way) actor. Harrison Ford is great in both action and drama roles. He hasn't done much of note since Air Force One, but he's done a ton in his career. Hanks' run of success is basically unparalleled by any other. You know you're going to see a good film when you see him. Mel Gibson's come a long way, and now he's one of the most versataile actors around. Meryl Streep's name speaks for itself, and her performance in Kramer vs. Kramer should be watched by all. I think the other three actresses I mentioned will all be well-known in 20 years, with some memorable films to their credit.


  23. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    I've got too many to list at once. Here's a few of my absolute toppers.

    Jack Nicholson--as has been said, he injects himself completely into his roles. He brings a touch of dark humour to any role he plays and can elevate a mediocre movie simply by his presence. Not only can he play over the top, he can also completly inhabit a character so that he doesn't even need to act over the top so that we know what he's thinking. J. J. Gittes in Chinatown is a good example of that. I recommend: Easy Rider, Chinatown, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Batman.

    John Cezale--a truly underrated character actor. One of the great tragedies when he died of cancer. Most notable for playing losers and psychos, he never failed to electrify the screen. I recommend: The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, The Deer Hunter.

    Kevin Spacey--brings a sort of everyman appeal to any role he plays. He can be a hero or a conflicted character or pure seething evil in human form. He never fails to amaze, whether he's changing slowly and believably as Jack Vincennes or giving us the screaming heebie jeebies as John Doe. I recommend: Se7en, LA Confidential, Glengarry Glen Ross.

    I suppose I should put one actress at least in this post.

    Jodie Foster--Truly a classic actress, she's followed in the footsteps of the greatest of the great to become a huge name in Hollywood. She's got enough respect for her talents to pick edgy, out there roles and enough talent to pull them off and make them blockbusters. Whether she's walking the streets or making them safe, she's never a dissappointment. I reccommend: The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver.

    Look for more from me in the days to come. :D
  24. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    How on earth could I have forgotten Jodie Foster? Add her to my list for sure.
  25. DUSHONI Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2001
    star 4
    Benicio del Toro
    Brad Pitt
    Robbin Williams
    Gabriel Byrne
    Vinnie Jones
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