Sunday, August 3, 2008

Actors and actresses

I was thinking just now of my favorite actors and actresses. I realized that so many people seem to be able to name off a list of their favorites, and I didn't really have a clue. Since I wasted half an hour doing it, I figured I might as well share—I picked three men and three women.

Christian Bale—I think he's proven himself as the action movie star to beat in my books. (I also particularly like best-Bond-ever Pierce Brosnan and forget-that-he's-crazy Tom Cruise.)
Jason Bateman—He's the best consistently-good comedic actor I can think of at the moment. He's the lead in Arrested Development, played a somewhat more serious role in Juno, and I also saw him in Scrubs.
Mary McDonnell—She's great and very believable as a leading lady in Battlestar Galactica, and I liked her as a minor character in Donnie Darko too.
Mary-Louise Parker—Absolutely fantastic as the lead of the Showtime series Weeds, in both comedic and dramatic roles. (Pretty much everyone in the show is fantastic, really.)
Nicole Kidman—She was the hardest one on my list to think of, but I've seen her in a lot of things, and I can't remember seeing a time she's given less than a great performance, so she makes the cut as actress number three.
Robert Picardo—I really only know him from Star Trek: Voyager, but he's my favorite Star Trek character: the sarcastic ass of an emergency medical holograph.

Currently listening: Paul Schwartz, Gavyn Wright, David Theodore, and Lisbeth Scott—Auguries of Innocence Pt. 1


D Wheezy said...

I agree with Forget-that-he's-Crazy Tom Cruise and Jason-I'm-awesome-in-everything-I-do-Bateman. Pierce is great in pretty much everything but is not the best Bond (see Sean Connery). Mary-Louise Parker is great in Weeds but has been in little else of note.

I guess my summary is no real arguments aside from the "Pierce is the Best Bond" thing. And although the majority of his press is related to relationships, Brad Pitt is a fantastic actor if you look at his record. 12 Monkeys in particular.

Travis said...

I actually haven't seen Brad Pitt in that much. Fight Club and Ocean's 11 and 13, I guess; I can't think of much else. I never really thought that Sean Connery fit the Bond role that well, but in full disclosure, I've not seen any of his Bond movies in their entirety.

D Wheezy said...

You should check out 12 Monkeys. I think you'd dig it. He's also fairly fantastic in Se7en. I think I'm legally obligated to type it as "Se7en" and not "Seven".

Everything good about Pierce as Bond is derived from Connery as Bond.

Travis said...

I've seen Se7en, but I don't actually remember much of anything about it or who was in it. I guess it didn't leave much of an impression. I'll add 12 Monkeys to the Netflix queue.

Anonymous said...


It sounds more like you're more associating these actors with specific characters and attributing the personalities of the characters upon the actors themselves... which I think says more about the script-writers than the actors themselves.

I agree with d wheezy re: the bond question. I'm not a bond fanatic, but I have seen every single one, and Sean Connery is *the* Bond. He defined the charisma, the macho-ness and the suave nonchalence of Bond. And I agree with him re: Brad Pitt. He was also in Snatch.

My favorite (living) actor is Kevin Spacey. His portrayal of Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects is probably in my top 10 of movie characters.

Travis said...

Kevin Spacey was awesome in American Beauty. I don't know of anything else I've seen him in. I've tried to list people I've seen in several movies or many episodes of a series; I'm sure that I'd rank him higher if I saw more of him.

I mention character traits in my short little descriptions because I think that it's hard for a good actor to show without good writing, and vice-versa. Surely a great deal of the credit for the holographic doctor character on Voyager goes to the script writers, but I still feel that Robert Picardo plays the part very well, and makes the character so likable in his unlikableness.

Anonymous said...

Watch The Usual Suspects if you get some time. And if/when you do, please let me know your opinions on it.

From Voyager, the doctor was definitely one of my favorite characters. While I think Picardo did a fantastic job in it, it would be difficult for me to list an actor as being one of my favorites without seeing him in more than one role. :)