Saturday, February 26, 2005

Seeing Stars

Considering the interest drummed up by this post, I thought I'd take a closer look at my own possible list.

After much consideration, I've changed the rules a little. First, the "generation" involved: I've set the parameters at born between 1960 and 1980. This seemed appropriately arbitrary, but it does close off a few actors that don't really feel like the generation older (Spacey, Thornton especially) and a few too young (Gyllenhaal). Then, I drew a line between leading men and supporting actors. I just couldn't compare the ability of a guy carrying a film (including the expectations) and someone who has to make an impression. Also, as I was looking back at potential choices, several of the leading actors had supporting roles that were as memorable as any of the "supporting actors'" performances (like Pitt in 12 Monkeys, or Cruise in Magnolia). So I've created two lists.

The star list is based on each actor's best performances that I've seen. If a great performance hasn't been seen by me, it didn't count. I've also discounted actors for their terrible performances that I've seen. Also, among the stars, being able to carry a movie and make it successful does count for something.

On to the stars.

1. Russell Crowe
2. Johnny Depp
3. Edward Norton
4. Brad Pitt
5. Ewan McGregor
6. Sean Penn
7. Tom Cruise
8. Leonardo DiCaprio
9. John Cusack
10. Ralph Fiennes

Close calls:
Jim Carrey
Will Ferrell
Tobey Maguire
Paul Giamatti
George Clooney
Matthew Broderick
Matt Damon
Nicholas Cage

Others considered:
Steve Coogan
Gael Garcia Bernal
Clive Owen
Jamie Foxx
Sam Rockwell
Will Smith
Adrian Brody
Guy Pearce

Other leading men, but not really considered:
Ben Affleck
Colin Farrell
Matthew McConaughey
Mark Wahlberg
Jim Caviezel
Ben Chaplin
The Rock
Jet Li

Am I missing anyone? Care to comment?