Top Ten Things We Learned from an Actor's Typical PerformancesHave you ever seen the same actor in multiple movie roles and though, "This guy is always basically the same character regardless of what the movie is"? Well perhaps we can learn a little about the actor by studying their typical character roles.
First rule is that the actor needs to have acted in multiple movies and/or franchises. For example, if you reference Harrison Ford, you need to mention something representative of both Star Wars as well as Indiana Jones.
Second, the thing learned should be reflective of the actor and not just the character. If referencing Sylvester Stallone, you should reference his acting and not characteristics of Rocky Balboa.
Every Terminator movie, Predator, Commando, Total Recall, True Lies, Sabotage, The Last Stand, The Expendables movies, Red Heat, Raw Deal, Running Man, Eraser, Collateral Damage, the list goes on and on. I know the guy pulled off the near-impossible in that he moved to a foreign country, learned a new language, became a multi-millionaire, married into cultural royalty, became a prominent member of a foreign government, and is a permanent member of pop culture, but still... Rare is the movie where his character isn't compensating for something.
Unforgiven, Gran Torino, Every western movie he's ever been in, Dirty Harry, Million Dollar Baby, Sudden Impact, Heartbreak Ridge, Trouble With the Curve, Space Cowboys... I can hardly think of a movie where Clint Eastwood isn't scowling and being a belligerent racist or sexist. Yet, he somehow always ends up being the hero with a heart of gold. I just don't get the link.
Kevin Costner seems to have a weird fascination with his own butt. Strting with Robin Hood and running through Dances With Wolves and Waterworld, Costner rarely lets us off the hook for seeing his lily-white backside. Unfortunately, his exhibitionism often overshadows his ability to actually act in what could be some incredible movies. Perhaps he feels he's eye-candy enough to warrant big roles with little actual work.
If you've ever seen someone get hit in the face with a 2x4, you've seen a pretty decent Keanu Reeves impression. I think he's possibly just trading in on his Bill and Ted's success without ever getting the memo that not every expression needs to scream, "Whoa..." Maybe he rolled up the memo and smoked it along with his earnings.
He didn't look stoned in Speed...
Whether it be the Transporter series or The Italian Job, Jason Statham can't seem to make a movie without a scowl. Even with the frustrated look of doing long division in his head, Statham's characters always seem to get the girl(s).
Wow! I've noticed this with EVERY film he's been in!
Either Tom Cruise enjoys seeing himself run on the big screen, or he's banking on his sprinting distracting us from the fact that he's only 5'7". While that might not give him Hobbit status, consider the Leonardo DiCaprio is 6' and his former spouses are 5'9" and 5'11". Perhaps he has a bit of a complex he's trying to outrun...
Matt Damon also comes to mind.
We've all seen the "Homeless or Hipster" photo quizzes, but I think the same could be done with Johnny Depp. He somehow transformed himself from the teen idol of the 1980s to the Bohemian trash pile he is today. His acting is incredible mind you, but I fail to understand how a fake accent, androgynous makeup, and a wardrobe that looks like you robbed a New York City bum, equates to sexy.
I can't remember seeing Bruce Willis with hair. Even in his Moonlighting days on T.V. his hairline was almost non-existent. Yet despite his aging looks, he is still seen as a sex symbol by the masses. Guilty of the pursed-lipped thousand yard stare look (along with Clint Eastwood), a look that would normally age a person, Willis seems to have found the secret to sexy, even if it isn't the Fountain of Youth.
"You shall not pass! " of the dozens of movies, Knighthood honors, and countless awards, there is perhaps no actor better known for a single character performance than Ian McKellen. Of his 6 movies as Gandalf, I think it can all be summed up by his command, challenge, and threat mentioned above. Sure he was in X-Men, but can you think of any lines off the top of your head from his character there?
A voice that sounds like gravel, a tragic history in the Special Forces he's trying to forget by performing menial labor in a kitchen, and an atrocious, slicked-back pony tail, all sum up every Steven Seagal movie ever made. He generally poses as a reformed pacifist after a lifetime of dirty deeds, yet at some point, flips the switch into homicidal maniac who destroys every henchman in his path. We forgive him for it though since he talks like sour cream and is always rooting for a tribe of Eskimo or baby seals...
No, he's still ridiculously terrible.