Whatever happened to stars who were also great actors?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian W., Sep 26, 2002.

  1. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 1999
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    Brian
    Forgive the nostalgia, but another thread on the topic of DeNiro vs. Pacino got me thinking.

    During the 60s, 70s and 80s we had an entire generation brilliant young actors who were also great stars -- Nicholson, Hoffman, Pacino, DeNiro, Streep, Jessica Lange, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Vanessa Redgrave, Ellen Burstyn. I mean, back in those days, these actors would be Oscar-nominated practically every year. People would go to see their movies to just watch them work.

    It occurred to me that we really do not have the equivalent nowadays. Today we have what? Denzel Washington, EDIT: Tom Hanks (of course) and maybe Jodie Foster, though she hasn't turned in a really great performance in some time. Ed Norton has the respect, but he's not considered a great star. Denzel and Jodi are the only relatively young actors I can think of who are even in that league -- major star with multiple Oscar nominations.

    Whatever became of the great actor/star -- where practically every movie they do is an event and an almost sure-fire Oscar contender?
     
  2. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2000
    Messages:
    5,719
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    League City, Texas
    Real Name:
    Craig Seanor
    I certainly think Tom Hanks qualifies for this category.
     
  3. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 1999
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    Brian
    TOM HANKS! Of course, he above all. But that's still only two or three.
     
  4. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    1
    One answer: time.

    You know the young starlets and stars that are getting rave reviews now? Wait ten more years and they'll blossom into fine actresses and actors.
     
  5. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 1999
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    Brian
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,689
    Likes Received:
    5,011
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    If you get past his smile and persona, I believe that Tom Cruise is a great actor and star.




    Crawdaddy
     
  7. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 1999
    Messages:
    3,649
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, his smile and persona are some of the qualities that make him a star.

    ~T
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,689
    Likes Received:
    5,011
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert

    Thi,
    In regard to his smile and persona, I'm talking about his acting ability not his star quality. Most people won't disagree about him being a movie star, but some will have issues regarding his status as a great actor.


    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Tommy G

    Tommy G Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2000
    Messages:
    1,233
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also think that Kevin Spacey can not play a role badly. I think he is the finest of the "newer" actors.
     
  10. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hey Tommy G, I remember The Goodies! Especially the episode with the giant kitten and they had to dress up as mice on a balloon driven three man bicycle to inject it.
    On topic, I agree about Kevin Spacey, Edward Norton and after seeing him in Romper Stomper, The Insider & A Beautiful Mind I would have to admit that Russell Crowe is a damn fine actor...I may not like him personally but IMO his is one of our best "new" actors.
     
  11. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2000
    Messages:
    2,371
    Likes Received:
    1
    I was getting worried that no one was going to mention Russell Crowe [​IMG]
    EDIT: Just remembered another guy who's a big star but also a very underrated actor: Bruce Willis.
    Maybe the rise of independent films has something to do with it? It seems like nowadays, actors who want juicy roles to play eventually have to retreat from Hollywood just because they can't get good roles there. So a lot of actors that might potentially become stars never bother with it. Maybe the real problem isn't with the actors but with the creative process in Hollywood.
     
  12. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Messages:
    1,002
    Likes Received:
    0
    Out of the current crop of Newbie female stars, the only one that I can see that might go on to making a great film catalog would be Christina Ricci. I have always admired her since first seeing her in Mermaids. Since she has gone on to many varying roles and from what I have seen has not played the same 'role' twice. I really think that she might be one of the ones that we see great things from.

    As far as the men go, I would say that Guy Pierce is a hell of an actor as well, maybe not some of the right choices, but the man is great at what he brings to the screen.

    A big problem in the terms of actors these days as compared to yesterday, at one time the studio's breathed life into the stars. The Hollywood machine was constantly running with great news, controversary was rare, and the studios protected their stars. The stars were under the wings of the studios for the duration of their contracts and didn't float around like they do now.

    I believe that one of the biggest problems in today's Hollywood is that is seems that people are simply content with acting. They have to have other jobs within the business out of a need to gain a name. There are too many actor/directors/producers/singers/corporate bosses than in the old days. Then, the stars had time to be just that...stars. Nowdays, it seems like a constant rush to stay ahead money wise, and many end up falling into the game of simply taking roles to bankrole another house. Whoopi Goldberg is one of those stars that admits taking roles simply for the money. I have never seen another actor, of whom I DO admire, piss away an Academy Award so easily.

    Another big setback in today's Hollywood I believe is that lack of really good material, plus the cookie cutter-quality of having a star of the year now. Reese Witherspoon I would really like to like as an actress, but I cannot get past the feeling that she is simply going to be this generations Julia Roberts. I have never been a huge Tom Hanks fan, in fact I think that he is rather overrated personally. In the same light, for me, Hanks is this generations Jimmy Stewart. The everyman that everyone simply falls for....BLAH!
     
  13. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2000
    Messages:
    2,483
    Likes Received:
    0
    The stars you mentioned; Nicholson, Hoffman, Pacino, DeNiro, Streep, Jessica Lange, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Vanessa Redgrave, Ellen Burstyn all started out in the late 60's & 70's, a high point for American film. The films Hollywood made them were a lot more mature, intelligent & original than what Hollywood is putting out now and thus there are a lot less challenging and complex roles in Hollywood films today for actors. Today's actors need to stop thinking about the almighty $ and start looking for roles outside of the big Hollywood studios (are you listening Denzel, Robert, Nicholas...?).
     
  14. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 15, 2000
    Messages:
    722
    Likes Received:
    0
    If your sole criteria for "talented star" is Oscars, then I dunno. I disagree frequently with who is and isn't nominated, and I rarely just nod with a smile when I hear Oscar winners.

    But as for talented actors who are very popular, I think there's a good crop walking around these days.

    Tom Hanks - I honestly can't name any living actor as finer than this man. The depth and range he brings to his work is just astounding, and he continues to push the boundries of his portrayals ever further.

    Robert DeNiro - Talented doesn't really seem to be a fair word, as it's not nearly effluent enough with the praise. I'd say his range isn't as broad as it perhaps could be, but he's not narrow and his work is very admirable.

    Robin Williams - I don't always like the projects he picks, but when he's in something to my tastes, he's amazing. His ability to put forth a performance is simply excellent, the emotion he brings is subtle and rich.

    Aside from these folks, whom I gush about over a sentence or two, I'd list these other actors as talented above the vast majority of their fellows:

    Brendan Fraser
    Samuel L Jackson
    Colin Farrell
    Jude Law
    Kevin Spacey
    Brad Pitt
    George Clooney
    Michael Clarke Duncan
    Ben Affleck
    Matt Damon
    Tom Cruise
    Guy Pearce
    Bruce Willis

    These are the major folks I look forward to seeing, and I'm quite sure I've sadly forgotten a few despite having sat here a few minutes trying to make sure I'm not (OMG I almost forgot to add Jude Law, blasphemy). Some of these are "old friends", others are "new additions". There are a couple of actors I'm all but about to add to the list above (like Vin Diesel), but really need another project or two as defense against folks who would argue with me over their inclusion. Or who just flat don't have enough deep projects to go with their simpler projects (like Nicholas Cage, Heath Ledger). A couple of these guys have only impressed within the last several years (like Farrell and Law) ... but DAMN if they're not excellent.

    And if you open up past actors who are 40s or younger, there are gimmie adds like Sir Ian McKellan, Paul Newman and Jack Nichlson who get listed.

    Bottom line, I think either your tastes in performances are much narrower than mine, or you need to have some fun watching some more movies!
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
     
  16. Guy_K

    Guy_K Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm surprised that none of you mentioned Gene Hackman. I put him in the same class as guys like Hoffman, DeNiro, Nicholson and Pacino.
     
  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,689
    Likes Received:
    5,011
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    I thought Mel Gibson showed a wide acting range in "We Were Soldiers".




    Crawdaddy
     
  18. Steven_V

    Steven_V Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2001
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Chuck L above about Christina Ricci being a great actress. I also feel Nicole Kidman and Kate Winslet are brilliant actresses as well.
     
  19. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,689
    Likes Received:
    5,011
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    I thought this thread was about actors being both a movie star and a great actor. Several names mentioned in this thread might be great actors, but they're not movie stars. To me, a movie star is defined as somebody that can carry a film and almost guarantee a certain amount of box office success due to their presence in a particular movie.




    Crawdaddy
     
  20. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    1
    To heavily paraphrase David Lean, "You'd shoot a scene with an actor, and it would take up several frames. When you shoot a scene with a star, you add in a few extra frames to let the moment sink in. That's the difference."

    Remind me to get the book on David Lean. I think that's where I got the quote from.
     

Share This Page