23 April 2010

My 15 Favorite Film Actors of Today

It's only fitting to begin this list with the man who made Mr. Darcy and 'Pride and Prejudice' sexy on screen-- Colin Firth. Before I'd been forced (I used the word loosely because I am certainly NOT complaining) to read the book in school, I had seen Firth in the miniseries where he promptly stole my lonely teenage heart. From then on I've had a love affair with Jane Austen's most famous love story, as well as the work of Colin Firth. He's continued to shine in "Love Actually," "Bridget Jones' Diary" (please don't waste time with the sequel), the animated "A Christmas Carol," "The Importance of Being Earnest," "Circle of Friends," "Girl with a Pearl Earring," and "Easy Virtue" -- a must see! I'm on the edge of my seat to see "A Single Man."

If I were decisive enough to choose a Top 5 list, Sir Michael Caine would definitely be on it. While the entire city of Chicago desperately tried catching glimpses of Christian Bale and Heath Ledger during the filming of Batman, I desperately wanted to bump into Michael Caine. To name a few favorites-- "Alfie," "Children of Men," "Miss Congeniality," "Mr. Destiny," "The Weather Man," and "The Muppets Christmas Carol" (A Christmas Carol is my favorite story EVER). But the best film he's been in: "Noises Off." Hysterical.

Ah yes, the smoldering Javier Bardem. Epitomizing the ideal 'Latin Lover,' Bardem can switch from sexy to creepy in the blink of an eye, showing true acting craft. Like everyone else, I thought him extraordinarily horrifying in "No Country For Old Men," but fell back in love with him thanks to "Vicky Christina Barcelona." Don't forget about "The Dancer Upstairs."

Johnny Depp is probably on every 'top actor' list because he's done such a wide range of films that you're bound to love him in SOMETHING. Never mind his gorgeousness, Depp is a natural, but I believe it's his overall mystery and depth that has both men and women demanding more. My favorites of his are "Chocolat," the Pirates, "Sleepy Hollow," "Finding Neverland," "Benny and Joon," and his sexiest role "Don Juan DeMarco."

Moving on from the offbeat to the charming, my next choice is sure to have ladies nodding their heads in vigorous agreement. I consider George Clooney this generation's Cary Grant: debonaire, charismatic, hilarious, and sexy beyond belief. Fortunately he has the chops to back it up. Check out the Oceans (duh!), "Syriana," "Up in the Air," "Good Night and Good Luck," "O Brother Where Art Thou," and for fun "From Dusk Till Dawn."

Moving right along to Clooney's friend: the brilliant and handsome Matt Damon. From "Good Will Hunting" to "The Informant," he's grown so much in his craft and has no fear of falling into type-casting. Damon is excellent in the Oceans, Bournes, "Saving Private Ryan," "The Talented Mr. Ripley," even his cameos in "Mystic Pizza" and "Finding Forrester." I smile when he comes on screen. Can't wait to see "Invictus," starring my next pick.

Morgan Freeman. My dad cries every time he watches "Driving Miss Daisy" and I have to admit I do too. Everything he does is excellent-- the dramas, comedies, action flicks-- he has the golden touch. If you haven't seen either of the newest Batmans you live in box and are probably not even reading this, but also see "Shawshank Redemption," "Unforgiven," "Chain Reaction," "Bruce Almighty," "Glory," "Prince of Thieves," "Se7en," and "Kiss the Girls."

Oh, Viggo! Mr. Mortensen played Aragon in "Lord of the Rings," the film that inspired me to go into film school in the first place, and I've been a fan ever since. He's truly an artist and takes his job seriously, thus earning my respect as an actor. I also loved "History of Violence," "Eastern Promises," and "A Perfect Murder." Even "Hidalgo" was fun with him in it!

Ah, Russell Crowe. The Australian bad boy who doubles as a musician is known for his temper and his talent. I thoroughly enjoy his films, a few favorites being "State of Play," "American Gangster," "Gladiator," "3:10 to Yuma," and "Cinderella Man." Next up, "Robin Hood" with Cate Blanchett-- a lovely actress on my top 15 list below.

No list would be complete without Tom Hanks. To see his rise from comedic to serious actor has shown great depth of character, yet at the same he's not afraid to be himself. Plus, it's an attractive quality in a man to see him committed to his family and marriage. Follow him on Twitter-- he's fun! I'm sure you have your Tom Hanks faves, so here are a few films I love watching over and over again: "Big," "Bachelor Party," "Sleepless in Seattle," "You've Got Mail," the Toy Story's, and "Catch Me If You Can."

It's possible I could put every member of the Harry Potter cast on my lists. However, Brendan Gleeson not only gets Mad Eye Moody perfectly, but he also has a filmography that deserves recognition: "In Bruges," "Beowulf," "Kingdom of Heaven," and "Braveheart" to name a few.

Awesome picture, no? Liam Neeson is great. The end. "Love Actually" "Les Miserables" "Kinsey" I admit haven't seen "Schindler's List." Don't hurt me.

During my freshman year in film school, I remember bonding over Stanley Tucci with another classmate, both of us convinced he is amazing in EVERYTHING. He has continued to reaffirm my faith in his abilities with films like "Devil Wears Prada," "Julie & Julia," "The Terminal," and "The Lovely Bones." My fave: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

I have forever been a fan of Robert Downey Jr. How could anyone not be? Not only is he charming, funny, and talented, but he also has one of the best Hollywood comeback stories of all time. If you haven't seen them already (I don't know why you haven't), check out "Sherlock Holmes," "Iron Man," "In Dreams," and his guest appearances on Ally McBeal.

Honorable Mention: I need to give a shout out to Nathan Fillion, Denzel Washington, Tim Curry, and Alan Cummings. Unfortunately they didn't quite make the top 15 but I love them all the same and recommend checking out their films and TV appearances.


  1. Marry me. You've hit, I think, all of my favorites. Robert Downey and Stanley Tucci, in particular, have risen on my personal popularity list quite rapidly over the year. Go see "Blind Date" directed by Tucci (also starring Patricia Clarkson). You'll appreciate it and I'd love to hear your take.

  2. I just saw this now. Consider it Netflixed.