Roles a particular actor was born to play

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JohnRice, Dec 26, 2002.

  1. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Several years ago I realized it seems certain actors were put here to play one particular role, even though they may be in several other movies. I'm talking about roles it is almost impossible to imagine anyone else pulling off. These are the characters that seem to be eternally attached to the actor.
    Before someone else jumps in with it, and as good as he is, Ian McKellan was not put on earth to play Gandalf. He's very good in the role, but a lot of others could have played it as well. :p)
    My first choices.
    Chaim Topol as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. Even though Zero Mostel was so popular on stage, Topol has absolutely become the character to most people.
    Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. All the fuss at the time about a Brit playing the definitive Southern Belle, but who can imagine anyone else in the role now?
    Ben Kingsley as Gandhi. It's hard to believe that wasn't Gandhi himself on the screen.
    My oddball pick.
    Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty in Blade Runner. I can't even picture anyone else playing that role, and Hauer will always be "Roy" to me.
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Henry Fonda in two very different movies:
    Mr. Roberts in Mr. Roberts and Hopsy Pike in The Lady Eve
     
  3. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    George C. Scott for his role in Patton.
    Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.
     
  4. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York .
    Elijah Wood in Lord of the Rings .
    Ian McKellen in Lord of the Rings . :p)
    Marlon Brando in The Godfather .
    George C. Scott and Sterling Hayden in Dr. Strangelove .
    Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci in Goodfellas.
    I'll think of more. On a side note, I was wondering whether or not Topol had a first name.
     
  5. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I just knew somebody would put Elijah Wood in there. [​IMG]
    My main problem with Joe Pesci is that he has played essentially the same character in several other movies. Get the concept there? Vivian Leigh is inseparable from Scarlett.
    Geez, I diasgree with you on Day-Lewis as well. For one thing, the movie only just hit theaters, so it has not had a chance to become entrenched in the general psyche. Patton? You bet. LOTR and Gangs? I don't think so.
     
  6. Brian Kissinger

    Brian Kissinger Screenwriter

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    I know I'm going to catch a wave of "John-shit" for this one, but I can't see anyone but Mandy Patinkin playing Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride.
     
  7. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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  8. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Whatever you say, Kissinger. I'm sure that was the best you could do, and even at that, you were probably at risk of straining yourself. :p)
    Geez, Steve, tell me about it. [​IMG]
    How about Boris Karloff in Frankenstein, which was jarred in my feeble mind by your suggestion.
    There's also The King and I.
     
  9. Brian Kissinger

    Brian Kissinger Screenwriter

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    In the truer sense of redemption
    There is only thy own mind in which to redeem
    And the fiddler played on
    With true redemption pouring from his strings
    And even though I hate
    I shall not fear
    And if I shall fear
    There is always redemption
     
  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    And having allowed Brian to say that, I do think Inigo is a good example. I for one can't see Mandy Patinkin without thinking of Inigo Montoya.
     
  11. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    And how about Klaus Kinski as Fitzcarraldo? Even after seeing clips of Jason Robards in the role, when I think of Fitz, I think of Kinski.

    Also, I don't think anyone will ever be able to play Inspector Clouseau as deftly as Peter Sellers did.
     
  12. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    Oh boy, not the whole "it takes time for a movie (or performance in this case) to be great" thing again. Isn't anybody else getting tired of it?
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I never once said anything about a role or movie being "Great." I may not have expressed it well enough, but my intention was to come up with actors who "are" that particular character to a large portion of the public. It doesn't mean older stuff is better, but it does require time to develop. I know you only just saw Fiddler for the first time, so you may not be able to see how Topol has become Tevye. Maybe you haven't really had a chance to see many of the others.


    Steve, good call on Peter Sellers. He definitely was Clouseau.
     
  14. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  15. Jan H

    Jan H Cinematographer

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    Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins

    Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine

    Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond

    Peter O'Toole as Alan Swann

    Nicol Williamson as Merlin

    Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones

    Sean Connery as James Bond

    John Malkovich as John Malkovich
     
  16. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    [​IMG] That's a good one.
     
  17. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    I.E.-Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York. Normally, I would say what John is saying. It's hard to make an accurate and convincing argument of something so recent. However, there does, at times, emerge a characterization that is so pure, so perfectly portrayed, that it is easy to be accurate and convincing. Lewis has turned in one of those performances in GONY. Noone could have done Bill the Butcher better.
    As for some others:
    Peter Finch in Network-still, in my mind, the single greatest acting performance ever.
    Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction-robbed of an Oscar, it doesn't diminish the powerhouse personality he brought to life.
    Paul Newman in The Color of Money and The Hustler-obviously, the same role so it makes sense. I would give him the nod in Color of Money but it's almost a toss-up.
    Ray Milland in The Lost Weekend-wonderful, wonderful turn.
    Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's-her showcase film and the image everyone remembers her by and for good reason.
    Juliette Lewis in Natural Born Killers-forget the subject matter and focus on the awesome spectacle Juliette puts on as Mallory.
    Hiep Thi Le in Heaven & Earth-such a strong, sure performance in this overlooked Oliver Stone film.
    Tom Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July-perfectly dramatic.
    Bruce
     
  18. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  19. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Neurotic comment removed :b
    I didn't start the thread the way I really meant. What I really meant was to try to identify roles that have become part of our culture as being that particular actor. I was actually looking for the absolute opposite of subjectivity. For example, if you walked up to some on the street and asked them if they knew who Peter Sellers was, if they knew who he was they would probably say, "Inspector Clouseau," or something along those lines. That is what I was looking for.
    That isn't what is happening, so let's just see where this goes.
     
  20. Steeve Bergeron

    Steeve Bergeron Cinematographer

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