Latest Movie News Headlines

C'mon Hollywood: Where is the next generation of great actors?

Oct. 30, 2012by: Paul Shirey

Throughout Hollywood’s history there have always been the go-to names in the industry. Stars who reign for an extended period of time, claiming the throne to superstardom and leaving a strong mark on society and the industry. John Wayne, James Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Steve McQueen, amongst others forged an early alliance of stars who became known not just for their films, but as personalities that embodied the art and their generation as a whole, be it genre specific or not.

Then, the next crop of actors came along, including DeNiro, Newman, Redford, Pacino, Nicholson, Connery, Hoffman, Freeman, Eastwood, and Brando. These weren’t just names in front of a movie or faces on the screen, but men who crossed the barrier from actor to star to icon. The next wave washed over Hollywood as time went on, crashing the shore with the likes of Schwarzenegger, Gibson, Stallone, Denzel, Willis, Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, and Russell Crowe, all of them branching out from niche performances and into the collective halls of cinematic history.

Now, I’m not talking about worshipping celebrities. Let’s be clear on that. What I’m talking about are celebrated artists of their craft, not celebritants like Ashton Kutcher. Men who have taken their work to the next level and achieved something that will be immortalized long past their deaths. Each have contributed to their profession in a manner that signifies the highest level of performance, art, and charisma that makes them more than just a memorable face. Like it or not, we will always celebrate those who embody what we liken to be the best of our world, be it films stars, athletes, or politicians (and rarely teachers, soldiers, or firemen, sadly).

In the last decade or so, a few names have joined the list of viable stars, but nowhere near the caliber of those before them. Certainly the work of Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Jamie Foxx, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., or Mark Wahlberg will cross the barrier to icon status (if they haven’t already), but looking at the current crop of “stars” isn’t exactly getting it done. That’s not to say that there aren’t actors working today with admirable talent and skill, but the power, passion, and intensity of today’s most oft-seen crop is lacking in a big way.

The highest paid actor is still Tom Cruise, who has more than forged his way into icon status, both for his professional work and personal life. And, let’s face it, despite a few muddling duds, he mostly delivers, although he’s become more of an action star than dramatic performer in the last decade. The other actors bringing in the most money (and screen time) are guys like Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Adam Sandler, Dwayne Johnson, Will Smith, Ben Stiller, and Sacha Baron Cohen, as well as the aforementioned DiCaprio. Do all those names feel like they have the same type of caliber as those that have come before? Depends on your taste, I suppose.

I've enjoyed movies from all of those actors. I own many of them, although to be honest, the majority of them are Cruise or DiCaprio films (man, would I love to see those guys team up in a movie, but I digress…). The problem, in my mind, is that the next generation seems to be lacking in actors of diverse skill with a high level of intensity who can match that of the DeNiro’s, Pacino’s, Crowe’s, Nicholson’s, and Eastwood’s. Could you imagine Taylor Lautner, Chris Hemsworth, or Dwayne Johnson tackling a role like GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, GLADIATOR, or DOG DAY AFTERNOON? What about genre pics like COMMANDO, DIE HARD, or LETHAL WEAPON? Not in this PG-13 centric environment.

The point isn’t that these actors are terrible, but that they haven’t shown or broken through in a role that truly makes them a star of formidable skill. They do exceptional work for what’s needed, but don’t expect Oscar nominations for it. So what’s to blame for that? Is it the material? Should we blame the popularity of specific genres? Should we blame directors?

The solution is simple, really. Today’s up-and-coming stars, such as Chris Hemsworth, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie, Chris Evans, Channing Tatum, Tom Hardy, Garrett Hedlund, Joel Edgerton, amongst many others, need to step up their game. Some of them already have and they need to remain on that course; Gosling in DRIVE, Hardy in BRONSON, Edgerton in WARRIOR, Hedlund in ON THE ROAD, and even Pattinson in COSMOPOLIS are examples of taking on roles outside their type or well within it that allows them to branch out. For the others, it’s time to bring the heat.

To me, an iconic actor, one that I get excited to see on screen, is someone who lays it all out there. They rip their heart out of their chest and slam it on the table and let the blood pump out as the credits roll. By whatever means they can, each and every one of today’s “cream of the crop” should be striving to achieve the same kind of stature that those who have come before worked so tirelessly to create. Settling for every franchise pic and one-note indie that comes their way isn’t the way to get there. They’ve got to diversify and push for something that goes above and beyond what has come before or sadly they’ll be stuck in a cinematic rut, leaving us all starved for performances that can transcend the screen.

Extra Tidbit: Which up-and-coming actors do you think could emerge as iconic performers? My money is on Gosling and Gordon-Levitt as two actors who can bring some ferociously great performances to the screen and have the most potential to cross that barrier.
Source: JoBlo.com

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

10:18AM on 10/31/2012

Edited My List

NAMES TO RECKON WITH: Paul Giamatti, Sam Rockwell, Sean Penn, Colin Farrell, Matt Damon, Ed Norton, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jake Gyllenahaal, Kate Winslet, Keiran Knightley, Emily Blunt, Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, Steve Buscemi, Mark Ruffalo...and Bryan Cranston & Tom Hanks

NEW KIDS: Ryan Gosling, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Michelle Williams, Joseph Gordon-Levitt...

SHIT LIST: Marky Mark, Chris Evans, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Chris
NAMES TO RECKON WITH: Paul Giamatti, Sam Rockwell, Sean Penn, Colin Farrell, Matt Damon, Ed Norton, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jake Gyllenahaal, Kate Winslet, Keiran Knightley, Emily Blunt, Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, Steve Buscemi, Mark Ruffalo...and Bryan Cranston & Tom Hanks

NEW KIDS: Ryan Gosling, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Michelle Williams, Joseph Gordon-Levitt...

SHIT LIST: Marky Mark, Chris Evans, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Taylor Lautner, Jason Statham, The Rock, Tyler Perry
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:22AM on 10/31/2012

There are plenty of fine actors making a name for themselves.

I'd mention Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Viggo Mortenson (okay, not as big but he's great in everything he does), Tom Hanks, Hugh Jackman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington and Michael Fassbender, just to name a few.

That said, there is the difference between the British and the American acting schools. The British actors are still cutting their teeth on Shakespeare and classical technique while the American system takes a former underwear model like Taylor Kitsch and calls him an
I'd mention Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Viggo Mortenson (okay, not as big but he's great in everything he does), Tom Hanks, Hugh Jackman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington and Michael Fassbender, just to name a few.

That said, there is the difference between the British and the American acting schools. The British actors are still cutting their teeth on Shakespeare and classical technique while the American system takes a former underwear model like Taylor Kitsch and calls him an actor. It's no wonder he got blown out of the water in John Carter when he was acting opposite heavy hitters like Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds and James Purefoy.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:34AM on 10/31/2012
I'm going to agree with every actor you mentioned, especially Fassbender and Mortenson. Mortenson is the most underrated actor around right now. He completely owns every role he plays and he's a complete chameleon, which is the main reason he isn't a bigger star. Fassbender is the future. He is easily the actor I can see doing some great roles in the future that will make him a huge star. I'm going to also say the Ryan Gosling has some serious potential and also Tom Hardy.
I'm going to agree with every actor you mentioned, especially Fassbender and Mortenson. Mortenson is the most underrated actor around right now. He completely owns every role he plays and he's a complete chameleon, which is the main reason he isn't a bigger star. Fassbender is the future. He is easily the actor I can see doing some great roles in the future that will make him a huge star. I'm going to also say the Ryan Gosling has some serious potential and also Tom Hardy.
11:23PM on 10/30/2012
I'd add Denzel Washington to the list of more contemporary acting icons. Looking forward to "Flight". I think Heath Ledger has also solidified his place as an iconic actor with his parts in Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight...such a shame he was gone so soon.

I think there's a trend of young actors taking on glamourous roles and establishing themselves as heartthrobs or babes before trying to break out of the mould with more "dramatic parts". There's definitely precedence (Johnny Depp,
I'd add Denzel Washington to the list of more contemporary acting icons. Looking forward to "Flight". I think Heath Ledger has also solidified his place as an iconic actor with his parts in Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight...such a shame he was gone so soon.

I think there's a trend of young actors taking on glamourous roles and establishing themselves as heartthrobs or babes before trying to break out of the mould with more "dramatic parts". There's definitely precedence (Johnny Depp, for one), but it doesn't work out well for everyone. Pattinson attempting 'Cosmopolis' comes to mind - sorry, but it seems Edward Cullen is going to cling to him for a while yet. I think less and less actors, particularly those who become big names overnight with splashy first roles, take the job as seriously as they should. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, mentioned many times by fellow schmoes earlier and rightly so, is an exception that comes to mind. The guy seems to genuinely have no delusions about fame and glory, and strikes me as a really honest actor who puts in good work for the love of the craft first and foremost, and whose sex appeal and fame is a by-product of that .
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:48PM on 10/31/2012
I think Heath Ledger has been inducted into the realm of "think what they could've achieved" actors like James Dean and John Cazale.
I think Heath Ledger has been inducted into the realm of "think what they could've achieved" actors like James Dean and John Cazale.
+5
10:20PM on 10/30/2012
I miss the mentioning of Brad Pitt from this otherwise great article.
I miss the mentioning of Brad Pitt from this otherwise great article.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:42PM on 10/30/2012
Stoney said what I was thinking, how did you write this whole article without bringing up Matt Damon?!?
Stoney said what I was thinking, how did you write this whole article without bringing up Matt Damon?!?
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:44PM on 10/30/2012
Also where's Brad Pitt? He deserves some credit.
Also where's Brad Pitt? He deserves some credit.
12:43AM on 10/31/2012
Again, I can't mention everyone. See my comments in the thread below. Matt Damon has done some good work, but let's face it, his best is the Bourne flicks, which he's bowed out of now. They stand as some really kick ass flicks, but...what has he done lately? We Bought A Zoo? Happy Feet 2? Contagion? Meh. I'm hoping Elysium is great and gives him something to do. He's another one that has the intensity, but doesn't use it often enough.
Again, I can't mention everyone. See my comments in the thread below. Matt Damon has done some good work, but let's face it, his best is the Bourne flicks, which he's bowed out of now. They stand as some really kick ass flicks, but...what has he done lately? We Bought A Zoo? Happy Feet 2? Contagion? Meh. I'm hoping Elysium is great and gives him something to do. He's another one that has the intensity, but doesn't use it often enough.
6:41PM on 10/30/2012
Actually, the truth is you don't just become an icon. You earn that title. Tom Hanks, who is absolutely iconic by Hollywood standards, was mainly known as a comedic actor until he won back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards for playing dramatic characters. Our latest crop of actors haven't had that opportunity yet to cement themselves.

Few will doubt that Tom Hardy is a well of potential, though his real star-turns tend to be overshadowed by the competition. Ryan Gosling has had similar
Actually, the truth is you don't just become an icon. You earn that title. Tom Hanks, who is absolutely iconic by Hollywood standards, was mainly known as a comedic actor until he won back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards for playing dramatic characters. Our latest crop of actors haven't had that opportunity yet to cement themselves.

Few will doubt that Tom Hardy is a well of potential, though his real star-turns tend to be overshadowed by the competition. Ryan Gosling has had similar trouble, still best-known as the guy from The Notebook. JGL, out of all the recent break-outs has the most potential I think to be an acting icon. He's been doing it so long, is adaptable to the movies he's in, and genuinely seems to be trying to do right by his characters.

At the same time there is a greater emphasis on special effects and actors who can be symbols instead of fully-rounded individuals. Jeremy Renner is a fantastic actor, but he's getting caught up in the comic-book action sequel mess, after a break-out that led to back-to-back nominations for Oscars. I hope he doesn't get lost in too many BIG movies.

Over all, I don't think we can honestly compare the current crop to the classics. Or maybe they're alive and well in the bodies of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, and Sam Rockwell, actors who are acting icons minus the celebrity of stardom.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+2
6:29PM on 10/30/2012

Next Gen Legends

The problem is that there is a sheer lack of emotionally gritty storytelling from the character's standpoint. Everything is strung together in a variety of set pieces and pre-sold iconoclastic shlock (sorry, fanboys, but superheroes fit into this category). Actors of old didn't do Budweiser and Buick ads. They were a different breed. A breed that thrived in the celluloid dynasties built on originality and ingenuity.
They don't make movies like that anymore, at least not in droves (see: the
The problem is that there is a sheer lack of emotionally gritty storytelling from the character's standpoint. Everything is strung together in a variety of set pieces and pre-sold iconoclastic shlock (sorry, fanboys, but superheroes fit into this category). Actors of old didn't do Budweiser and Buick ads. They were a different breed. A breed that thrived in the celluloid dynasties built on originality and ingenuity.
They don't make movies like that anymore, at least not in droves (see: the 70's), so the showcase is on a much smaller scale, in terms of character driven films.
That being said, you have to ask yourself: when was the last time I saw a film based solely on the lead actor's star power? You know, you just want to see him/ her do their thing?
I have to say, personally, I'd see just about anything staring Michael Fassbender. Same goes for JGL and Jonah Hill. I just like those guys.
But overall, we're dealing with "meh" talent in show pony pictures. And that's sad.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+3
5:49PM on 10/30/2012

DANIEL DAY LEWIS (the gawd)?!?!

i guess he would fall into the Tom Hanks, Denzel, Johnny Depp, etc. pack, but i'm surprised he wasn't mentioned in the list. don't people consider him the greatest actor living today? i wonder where heath ledger would have fallen in the pack of today's younger actors (maybe up there with Leo)?
i guess he would fall into the Tom Hanks, Denzel, Johnny Depp, etc. pack, but i'm surprised he wasn't mentioned in the list. don't people consider him the greatest actor living today? i wonder where heath ledger would have fallen in the pack of today's younger actors (maybe up there with Leo)?
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:53PM on 10/30/2012
No mention of Matt Damon either. He's a great actor, and I STILL think he was overlooked for The Departed.
No mention of Matt Damon either. He's a great actor, and I STILL think he was overlooked for The Departed.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+2
4:37PM on 10/30/2012

Wow!!!

NOBODY mentioned Tom Hanks. The body of work that man has done is phenomenal. Im not gonna even get into his acting skills. Tom Hanks is definitely an icon in my book.
NOBODY mentioned Tom Hanks. The body of work that man has done is phenomenal. Im not gonna even get into his acting skills. Tom Hanks is definitely an icon in my book.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-9
4:26PM on 10/30/2012
Gosling has zero emotional range. I know people here worship the movie "Drive", but that movie was just plain ass. As in stink ass.

JGL, Fassbender, Bale, Hardy, Charlize Theron, I'll even throw in Justin Timberlake (who can act circles around the emotionally stunted savant, Gosling), Gyllenhal, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Idris Elba, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston. That's just to start.
Gosling has zero emotional range. I know people here worship the movie "Drive", but that movie was just plain ass. As in stink ass.

JGL, Fassbender, Bale, Hardy, Charlize Theron, I'll even throw in Justin Timberlake (who can act circles around the emotionally stunted savant, Gosling), Gyllenhal, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Idris Elba, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston. That's just to start.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:29PM on 10/30/2012
fuck ryan gosling and jeremy renner = NO RANGE. JGL, Tom Hardy, RDJ, Bale, Jackman, and Fassbender, son!
fuck ryan gosling and jeremy renner = NO RANGE. JGL, Tom Hardy, RDJ, Bale, Jackman, and Fassbender, son!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:23PM on 10/30/2012
JGL,Fassbender,James McAvoy,Tobey Maguire,Tom hardy,James franco,Jeremy Renner,Gosling,Daniel Radcliffe,Jake Gyllenhal.now-a-days many r craving for sex-symbol image,rather than concentrating on acting and characters.
JGL,Fassbender,James McAvoy,Tobey Maguire,Tom hardy,James franco,Jeremy Renner,Gosling,Daniel Radcliffe,Jake Gyllenhal.now-a-days many r craving for sex-symbol image,rather than concentrating on acting and characters.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:01PM on 10/30/2012
I think a true icon has to be Leonardo DiCaprio because he's never afraid to challenge himself. Kinda like a sane version of Nic Cage.

I guess the only genre he hasn't tackled yet is Sci-Fi which he would totally nail. I dunno does Inception count or was that more along the lines fantasy?
I think a true icon has to be Leonardo DiCaprio because he's never afraid to challenge himself. Kinda like a sane version of Nic Cage.

I guess the only genre he hasn't tackled yet is Sci-Fi which he would totally nail. I dunno does Inception count or was that more along the lines fantasy?
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+8
1:58PM on 10/30/2012

The past

We look fondly on the past without remembering that back then others were saying "They just don't act like they used to..."

It happens in everything from movies, to sports.
We look fondly on the past without remembering that back then others were saying "They just don't act like they used to..."

It happens in everything from movies, to sports.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:45PM on 10/30/2012
i was actually just thinking about this last week, I am going to say Tom Hardy, Joseph Gorden-Levitt, Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender.
i was actually just thinking about this last week, I am going to say Tom Hardy, Joseph Gorden-Levitt, Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:13PM on 10/30/2012
The headline asks where are the great actors but the article seems to wonder where are the great stars. That's a nuance that wasn't important back then but is very important today because of the gossip press, which is too big and ruining everything. For example, Harrison Ford became one of the biggest movie star ever after the release of Star Wars, and did so while remaining very private. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are also very private people but the abundance of information we got
The headline asks where are the great actors but the article seems to wonder where are the great stars. That's a nuance that wasn't important back then but is very important today because of the gossip press, which is too big and ruining everything. For example, Harrison Ford became one of the biggest movie star ever after the release of Star Wars, and did so while remaining very private. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are also very private people but the abundance of information we got about them after Twilight we got about them is an overkill.

I'm not saying any of those names above belongs in the list but I'm just pointing out that the world of today makes it very difficult for an actor to be both popular and respected at the same time. The greatest actors today tend to stay under the radar and have a low profile career. A movie starring Michael Fassbender, John Hawkes and Cate Blanchett would have incredible acting in it but it would flop big time.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:11PM on 10/30/2012
Odd that you would only include male actors, but whatever. You need only look to television to find some of the finest actors currently alive. I'm not going to make a list, but certainly your favorite cable tv star could easily transition into a promising film career.
Odd that you would only include male actors, but whatever. You need only look to television to find some of the finest actors currently alive. I'm not going to make a list, but certainly your favorite cable tv star could easily transition into a promising film career.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:03PM on 10/30/2012

For my money...

Right now Tom Hardy, Gosling and Levitt are my choices.

All three are terrific and only getting better.

I do think if he was alive though Heath Ledger would be on the top of this list no doubt about it.
Right now Tom Hardy, Gosling and Levitt are my choices.

All three are terrific and only getting better.

I do think if he was alive though Heath Ledger would be on the top of this list no doubt about it.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+2
11:58AM on 10/30/2012

Strangely mental article.

There are loads of up and coming fantastic actors. As well as the ones mentioned, nobody has yet brought up guys such as Benedict Cumberpatch or Tom Hiddleston. It's also a shame that Burton and Disney have ruined the reputation of Johnny Depp, who blew us all away in his indie movies and then hit massively with his original portrayal of Jack Sparrow to the point where it's now become the standard. I still love the man, but it's safe to say he's lost his edge over recent years.

Also I've
There are loads of up and coming fantastic actors. As well as the ones mentioned, nobody has yet brought up guys such as Benedict Cumberpatch or Tom Hiddleston. It's also a shame that Burton and Disney have ruined the reputation of Johnny Depp, who blew us all away in his indie movies and then hit massively with his original portrayal of Jack Sparrow to the point where it's now become the standard. I still love the man, but it's safe to say he's lost his edge over recent years.

Also I've been wishing for a long while now that someone would give a strong role to Ben Foster, that man's career should be exploding right now and it's pissing away.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:54PM on 10/30/2012
Jack Sparrow is an original character? I thought he was just imitating Keith Richards.
Jack Sparrow is an original character? I thought he was just imitating Keith Richards.
6:33PM on 10/30/2012
By his "original" portrayal, I meant his initial portrayal. As in his role in the first movie before it became Sparrow's franchise (not that I dislike the Pirates movies, I actually actively enjoy them, as bad as they can get)
By his "original" portrayal, I meant his initial portrayal. As in his role in the first movie before it became Sparrow's franchise (not that I dislike the Pirates movies, I actually actively enjoy them, as bad as they can get)
11:51AM on 10/30/2012

My opinion...

I believe that there are some awesome actors working today who can match the greats you have mentioned on any day. For example Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio DDL, JGL and Fassbender are all actors who can get immersed into the character. But I believe today movies are no longer made to showcase an actors talents alone. Movies like Shining and Raging Bull are remembered mostly for the performances of the leads than movies themselves (both of which are great BTW). They just dont make movies
I believe that there are some awesome actors working today who can match the greats you have mentioned on any day. For example Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio DDL, JGL and Fassbender are all actors who can get immersed into the character. But I believe today movies are no longer made to showcase an actors talents alone. Movies like Shining and Raging Bull are remembered mostly for the performances of the leads than movies themselves (both of which are great BTW). They just dont make movies like that no more.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:13AM on 10/30/2012

DDL

Daniel Day Lewis needs to be mentioned in this article. I believe he is one of the best Actors of any generation.
Daniel Day Lewis needs to be mentioned in this article. I believe he is one of the best Actors of any generation.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:26AM on 10/30/2012
I absolutely agree DDL is a phenomenal actor. Again, there's no way to mention everyone. To me, he's a foregone conclusion. I'd love to hear the argument against him. I think he can be scientifically proven as a great actor.
I absolutely agree DDL is a phenomenal actor. Again, there's no way to mention everyone. To me, he's a foregone conclusion. I'd love to hear the argument against him. I think he can be scientifically proven as a great actor.
11:48AM on 10/30/2012
I'll play devils advocate here. While I am in no way saying I disagree with DDL being one of the best actors of any generation (looking forward to Lincoln), I tend to agree with that statement...the issue being, the criteria all these other greats have met is that they're one, a phenomenal talent, and two, recognizable (icons). People who aren't hardcore movie fans, just casual movie fans will always recognize John Wayne or let's say Robert DeNiro. Even some dummies who couldn't distinguish
I'll play devils advocate here. While I am in no way saying I disagree with DDL being one of the best actors of any generation (looking forward to Lincoln), I tend to agree with that statement...the issue being, the criteria all these other greats have met is that they're one, a phenomenal talent, and two, recognizable (icons). People who aren't hardcore movie fans, just casual movie fans will always recognize John Wayne or let's say Robert DeNiro. Even some dummies who couldn't distinguish good cinema from likes of Battleship and Abduction, will still recognize Leo and Brad Pitt (both great actors who have established icon status) I don't feel like Daniel Day Lewis will ever get there because quite frankly the majority of people are dumb. If you ask a dummy who Daniel Day Lewis is, more often than not the Dummy will have no clue. You ask a Dummy who JGL or Ryan Gosling is...the'yre more likely to know. Obviously not a judgment on talent, but on how recognizable they are, which most definitely plays a role in attaining icon status. Hopefully Lincoln will help pave the way even further for DDL.
12:21PM on 10/30/2012
@markgrayson...I agree with you there. DDL is phenomenal. We know this. But, does the average moviegoer appreciate him as such? I don't think so, which is what keeps him back from true iconic status. Plus, he only does one movie every 4-5 years, so it's not like he's saturating the market. He also does a lot of similar roles. Sure, with My Left Foot it was a switch, but you look at the majority of what he's done since then, they're almost all period pieces. He's not someone that
@markgrayson...I agree with you there. DDL is phenomenal. We know this. But, does the average moviegoer appreciate him as such? I don't think so, which is what keeps him back from true iconic status. Plus, he only does one movie every 4-5 years, so it's not like he's saturating the market. He also does a lot of similar roles. Sure, with My Left Foot it was a switch, but you look at the majority of what he's done since then, they're almost all period pieces. He's not someone that diversifies, regardless of his tremendous capacity to bring the fury. Good points.
12:27PM on 10/30/2012
Good points Mark, and great article Paul; the article elicits some interesting discussions.
Good points Mark, and great article Paul; the article elicits some interesting discussions.
2:06PM on 10/30/2012
Thanks, @OK. And thanks for hitting back with your thoughts!
Thanks, @OK. And thanks for hitting back with your thoughts!
11:03AM on 10/30/2012

Good article

I'm thinking that we've just had such a shift in style over the last generation that we have yet to see reflected in film in the past. This generation is almost solely based in diversity and a blending of cultures. Things are a bit less mainstream now than they were, and it gets difficult to find the diamonds in the desert. That said, these actors have really stood out in my mind:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (A personal favorite of mine)
Michael Fassbender
Chris Evans
Ryan Gosling
Aaron Johnson
I'm thinking that we've just had such a shift in style over the last generation that we have yet to see reflected in film in the past. This generation is almost solely based in diversity and a blending of cultures. Things are a bit less mainstream now than they were, and it gets difficult to find the diamonds in the desert. That said, these actors have really stood out in my mind:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (A personal favorite of mine)
Michael Fassbender
Chris Evans
Ryan Gosling
Aaron Johnson (Known mostly for Kick-Ass but his Nowhere Boy performance was astounding)
Bradley Cooper
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:01AM on 10/30/2012

You are forgetting one...

The GREAT Michael Fassbender! He and Gosling are the ones for this generation.
The GREAT Michael Fassbender! He and Gosling are the ones for this generation.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:07AM on 10/30/2012
Agreed. Fassbender is awesome. I would add him to my list.
Agreed. Fassbender is awesome. I would add him to my list.
11:01AM on 10/30/2012
For iconic performers, I'd say Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio. Bale is amazing in most of his movies especially movies that have him transformed himself physically namely The Machinist. His frail physique and his haunting performance of whether what he see is real or not made the movie memorable. DiCaprio is awesome in The Aviator especially when he portrayed Howard Hughes in his downfall.
For iconic performers, I'd say Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio. Bale is amazing in most of his movies especially movies that have him transformed himself physically namely The Machinist. His frail physique and his haunting performance of whether what he see is real or not made the movie memorable. DiCaprio is awesome in The Aviator especially when he portrayed Howard Hughes in his downfall.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:55AM on 10/30/2012

Seriously? Gosling?

I realize it's just an opinion, but Gosling is about as great an actor as Daryl Hanna! If he's in a movie, that's just one more reason not to see hit. Some actors can make a bad movie okay, or an okay movie great. Gosling goes the other way; he makes okay movies bad, just by his presence. Again, it's just an opinion. Drive was a bad movie, but it probably would have been a little better if the lead was ANYBODY else, like Paul Reubens or something.
I realize it's just an opinion, but Gosling is about as great an actor as Daryl Hanna! If he's in a movie, that's just one more reason not to see hit. Some actors can make a bad movie okay, or an okay movie great. Gosling goes the other way; he makes okay movies bad, just by his presence. Again, it's just an opinion. Drive was a bad movie, but it probably would have been a little better if the lead was ANYBODY else, like Paul Reubens or something.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:43AM on 10/30/2012
I gotta agree. This dude doesn't act. He just stands there and broods.
I gotta agree. This dude doesn't act. He just stands there and broods.
+10
10:54AM on 10/30/2012
How the mighty have fallen. In 1999 Edward Norton was seen as the next De Niro and he's nowhere to be found in this article. Also in 1999 Leonardo DiCaprio had the same reputation Robert Pattinson has now, with Titanic as the movie a real man would never ever watch.
How the mighty have fallen. In 1999 Edward Norton was seen as the next De Niro and he's nowhere to be found in this article. Also in 1999 Leonardo DiCaprio had the same reputation Robert Pattinson has now, with Titanic as the movie a real man would never ever watch.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:52PM on 10/30/2012
Edward Norton is on my list talent-wise. but i guess the article is more about icons? people who can draw in an audience with their name alone.... and that's all will smith's category. but he wasn't... what? i'm confused.
Edward Norton is on my list talent-wise. but i guess the article is more about icons? people who can draw in an audience with their name alone.... and that's all will smith's category. but he wasn't... what? i'm confused.
10:52AM on 10/30/2012
Surprised no mention of Ford, who pretty much owned Hollywood from Star Wars up until What Lies Beneath (for instance, had 6 Days 7 Nights come out today, it would have made almost 130 domestic... that is star power). Great article, and something I've thought about recently (particularly after watching Battleship, and noting that Kitsch lacks some of that charisma and presence the role needed.)
I think for an actor/actress to truly become a cinema icon, they need a mixture of acting ability
Surprised no mention of Ford, who pretty much owned Hollywood from Star Wars up until What Lies Beneath (for instance, had 6 Days 7 Nights come out today, it would have made almost 130 domestic... that is star power). Great article, and something I've thought about recently (particularly after watching Battleship, and noting that Kitsch lacks some of that charisma and presence the role needed.)
I think for an actor/actress to truly become a cinema icon, they need a mixture of acting ability and screen presence. Some make it with a bit more of the former (Nicholson, Stewart, etc), while others a bit more with the latter (Willis, Wayne, Bogart,etc). There are plenty of excellent up and coming actors with amazing acting talent; what is lacking, I think in many, is the latter. That commanding presence that cuts through the screen and demands your attention. When guys like Ford, Wayne, Schwarzenneger, Grant, and even Will Smith are on screen, the camera is simply drawn to them (although Smith I think has squandered in thus far, never appearing in anything I would consider a classic, and only a handful of good films). They own it. I hope out of the younger guys you mentioned, one steps up to the plate to continue on this type of iconic cinema tradition.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:14AM on 10/30/2012
Harrison Ford is a mediocre actor who happened to star in big franchises. He doesn't have any star power left, otherwise 6 Day 7 Nights would've been a hit in 1998 when Ford still was a little bit relevant. Today even less people would want to watch a romcom with a senior citizen. I don't think the average joe can name three movies he did in the last decade, apart from Indiana Jones.
Harrison Ford is a mediocre actor who happened to star in big franchises. He doesn't have any star power left, otherwise 6 Day 7 Nights would've been a hit in 1998 when Ford still was a little bit relevant. Today even less people would want to watch a romcom with a senior citizen. I don't think the average joe can name three movies he did in the last decade, apart from Indiana Jones.
11:41AM on 10/30/2012
I'd disagree with you that he is a mediocre actor; far from it, in fact. People brush aside his acting in Indiana Jones (particularly ROTLA), but his ability to create and embody that character is one of the better performances I have seen.

He shows off his ability in Witness, Mosquito Coast, Frantic, Presumed Innocent, Regarding Henry, The Fugitive, etc. etc. I could go on. I don't think he is one of the BEST actors of his generation, and much of his success is due to his unparalleled
I'd disagree with you that he is a mediocre actor; far from it, in fact. People brush aside his acting in Indiana Jones (particularly ROTLA), but his ability to create and embody that character is one of the better performances I have seen.

He shows off his ability in Witness, Mosquito Coast, Frantic, Presumed Innocent, Regarding Henry, The Fugitive, etc. etc. I could go on. I don't think he is one of the BEST actors of his generation, and much of his success is due to his unparalleled screen presence, but I certainly think he is darn good actor.

I think he is due more credit than a, "mediocre actor who happened to star in big franchises." I mentioned him in my first comment, as he is one of the first who comes to mind when I think about post-golden age Hollywood icons.
11:47AM on 10/30/2012
I agree wholeheartedly that Ford is an iconic actor. Indiana Jones and Star Wars more than secured that spot for him. Were those his most intense performances? No. Did they make him a household name and cultural icon? Absolutely. I think that Ford has teased his full potential with movies like Regarding Henry and Mosquito Coast, but I've never seen him really explode with emotion. That's not necessarily the prerequisite to being iconic, but it sure as hell helps.
I agree wholeheartedly that Ford is an iconic actor. Indiana Jones and Star Wars more than secured that spot for him. Were those his most intense performances? No. Did they make him a household name and cultural icon? Absolutely. I think that Ford has teased his full potential with movies like Regarding Henry and Mosquito Coast, but I've never seen him really explode with emotion. That's not necessarily the prerequisite to being iconic, but it sure as hell helps.
1:47PM on 10/30/2012
@PaulShirey

Agreed. Although I do like that he approaches his dramatic roles with underplayed subtly. In his Actor's Studio episode, if I remember correctly, they talked about the art of doing just that- conveying emotion not through demonstrative external acts, but through subtle movements and quiet intensity. I tend to appreciate that style over louder, more overtly emotional acting.
@PaulShirey

Agreed. Although I do like that he approaches his dramatic roles with underplayed subtly. In his Actor's Studio episode, if I remember correctly, they talked about the art of doing just that- conveying emotion not through demonstrative external acts, but through subtle movements and quiet intensity. I tend to appreciate that style over louder, more overtly emotional acting.
2:11PM on 10/30/2012
@alex...Yeah, I don't want it to come across that every actor has to yell and scream to become iconic. If that were the case we'd have some pretty terrible performers in that category (shit, maybe we already do). However, I think that they have to be able to go from 0 to 100 in terms of intensity, showing a full range of emotion.

Some have argued that Gosling is too reserved and subtle. I tend to agree. However, his quiet intensity is sharp and strong. To see that unleashed could
@alex...Yeah, I don't want it to come across that every actor has to yell and scream to become iconic. If that were the case we'd have some pretty terrible performers in that category (shit, maybe we already do). However, I think that they have to be able to go from 0 to 100 in terms of intensity, showing a full range of emotion.

Some have argued that Gosling is too reserved and subtle. I tend to agree. However, his quiet intensity is sharp and strong. To see that unleashed could potentially be something great. Look at the THE DEPARTED clip I posted and put Gosling in DiCaprio's shoes. That's the kind of intensity I'd like to see him exude and I think he has it within himself to do just that. He simply hasn't yet. Thanks for your thoughts!
3:26PM on 10/30/2012
@PaulShirey

Totally got what you meant! Out of the new group of actors you mentioned in your article, I think Tom Hardy does that 0 to 100 intensity you describe the best. His turns in Bronson and Warrior really show that off.

I agree with you on Gosling- I am very much looking forward to Gangster Squad, but his performance in the previews seems oddly muted.

Thanks for the articles!
@PaulShirey

Totally got what you meant! Out of the new group of actors you mentioned in your article, I think Tom Hardy does that 0 to 100 intensity you describe the best. His turns in Bronson and Warrior really show that off.

I agree with you on Gosling- I am very much looking forward to Gangster Squad, but his performance in the previews seems oddly muted.

Thanks for the articles!
10:52AM on 10/30/2012
Damn, what a F****** GREAT read!!! Thank you. Wish I had time to properly comment.
Damn, what a F****** GREAT read!!! Thank you. Wish I had time to properly comment.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:44AM on 10/30/2012
The next generation of great actors IS already here. I hear what you're saying though, but I think its because we're still living it. In 20 years we'll look back and (hopefully) remember the "classics" just as you did in this article with the past and still current greats. And the guy below me has an amazing list. Agree with the top spot (or have it a tie with JGL). (Also watched Zodiac for the first time in awhile yesterday, think Jake Gyllenhaal deserves an honorable mention)
The next generation of great actors IS already here. I hear what you're saying though, but I think its because we're still living it. In 20 years we'll look back and (hopefully) remember the "classics" just as you did in this article with the past and still current greats. And the guy below me has an amazing list. Agree with the top spot (or have it a tie with JGL). (Also watched Zodiac for the first time in awhile yesterday, think Jake Gyllenhaal deserves an honorable mention)
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:46AM on 10/30/2012
ALSO...noticed a curious lack of Brad Pitt in this article...
ALSO...noticed a curious lack of Brad Pitt in this article...
11:06AM on 10/30/2012
It would be impossible to name every single great actor in the article, which is why I leave it open-ended; the people I've mentioned are all part of a larger group, I just hit the highlights. I love Pitt and pre 2000's Harrison Ford. Both have obviously achieved iconic status. I hope we do look back at this as an early stage, but there's no time like the present for the "hot" actors to up their shit and tear up some scenery like the actors before them. It feels like most of them are just
It would be impossible to name every single great actor in the article, which is why I leave it open-ended; the people I've mentioned are all part of a larger group, I just hit the highlights. I love Pitt and pre 2000's Harrison Ford. Both have obviously achieved iconic status. I hope we do look back at this as an early stage, but there's no time like the present for the "hot" actors to up their shit and tear up some scenery like the actors before them. It feels like most of them are just playing it safe.
11:13AM on 10/30/2012
Great points. Although I feel like Fassbender doesn't necessarily play it safe. Shame was a pretty great performance, but lacks that classic movie quality potential (IMO). You're right, we need more of that from more of these guys today. I think Gosling has it in him, and I'm hopeful that we'll see it.
Great points. Although I feel like Fassbender doesn't necessarily play it safe. Shame was a pretty great performance, but lacks that classic movie quality potential (IMO). You're right, we need more of that from more of these guys today. I think Gosling has it in him, and I'm hopeful that we'll see it.
10:18AM on 10/30/2012

My list: (Just guys)

1. Michael Fassbender
2. Tom Hardy
3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
4. Ryan Gosling
5. Ben Whishaw
6. Leonardo DiCaprio
7. Andrew Garfield
8. Jeremy Renner
9. Idris Elba
10. Chris Evans

Special Mention: Mark Ruffalo & Daniel Craig
1. Michael Fassbender
2. Tom Hardy
3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
4. Ryan Gosling
5. Ben Whishaw
6. Leonardo DiCaprio
7. Andrew Garfield
8. Jeremy Renner
9. Idris Elba
10. Chris Evans

Special Mention: Mark Ruffalo & Daniel Craig
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:08AM on 10/30/2012
Updated mine...too many more are coming to mind. :)
Updated mine...too many more are coming to mind. :)
10:12AM on 10/30/2012

Names left off or Names to keep an eye on...

**** EDITED I Even Forgot Some Names ****

Paul Giamatti, Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell, Sean Penn, Matt Damon, Edward Norton, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen among others not mentioned.

As far as newbies - Michael Fassbender, Gosling and JGL have the best shot.

People I would never consider - Marky Mark, Robert Pattinson, Hemsworth or Chris Evans.
**** EDITED I Even Forgot Some Names ****

Paul Giamatti, Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell, Sean Penn, Matt Damon, Edward Norton, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen among others not mentioned.

As far as newbies - Michael Fassbender, Gosling and JGL have the best shot.

People I would never consider - Marky Mark, Robert Pattinson, Hemsworth or Chris Evans.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:17AM on 10/30/2012
NAMES TO RECKON WITH: Paul Giamatti, Sam Rockwell, Sean Penn, Colin Farrell, Matt Damon, Ed Norton, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jake Gyllenahaal, Kate Winslet, Keiran Knightley, Emily Blunt, Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, Steve Buscemi, Mark Ruffalo...

NEW KIDS: Ryan Gosling, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Michelle Williams, Joseph Gordon-Levitt...

SHIT LIST: Marky Mark, Chris Evans, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Taylor Lautner, Jason
NAMES TO RECKON WITH: Paul Giamatti, Sam Rockwell, Sean Penn, Colin Farrell, Matt Damon, Ed Norton, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jake Gyllenahaal, Kate Winslet, Keiran Knightley, Emily Blunt, Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, Steve Buscemi, Mark Ruffalo...

NEW KIDS: Ryan Gosling, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Michelle Williams, Joseph Gordon-Levitt...

SHIT LIST: Marky Mark, Chris Evans, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Taylor Lautner, Jason Statham, The Rock, Tyler Perry
View All Comments

Latest Movie News Headlines


Top
Loading...
JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!