So, now I think it’s time that I did something on the people I would watch regardless of what ever they were in. Bear with, there’s quite a few…
I have my parents to thank as the reason for why I’m such a fan of Brucie. If ever they happened to be stuck for something to watch and they found a Bruce Willis film, it would be that they would stick with. I remember when I was younger I got sent to bed early after they found Die Hard With A Vengeance one night, just as it got to the infamous billboard scene. Years later, they found Die Hard 4.0 (Live Free Or Die Hard) and I was allowed to watch it. After that, they recorded all the other films in the franchise and I got to watch them, and after that, I was allowed to watch more or less whatever took my fancy. So I not only like Willis as he is almost always a bad-ass action hero, he corrupted the innocence that my parents thought I had kept until I was fourteen and this meant I could watch anything. I have seen 21 of his films to date and will happily watch many more.
Pacino only came to me after recently watching The Godfather Trilogy, and I was blown away by him. As I’m pretty sure I said in my reviews for each of the three films, he was menacing as Michael Corleone and there was an air of real unpredictability about him. I couldn’t quite decide for myself whether he was one of the good guys, or one of the bad. Since watching them, Pacino’s acting really stuck in my mind and I decided to keep an eye out for any of his films to come on TV. So far I’ve only found Scent Of A Woman, but I will hunt down the likes of Heat, Dog Day Afternoon and Serpico as I would love to see more of the man’s wonderful performances.
The story of how I came to know of Bradley Cooper and his acting is remarkably sad. I was watching TV one day and a Haagen-Dazs advert came on and he was in it. At the time, I didn’t have a clue who he was, so I went straight to Google to find out exactly that and what he was in. I’ll put my hands up now and admit that this only because I thought he was rather nice to look at. But after seeing the likes of The Place Beyond The Pines and Silver Linings Playbook alongside many others, I can confirm he can act as well. After first discovering him a couple of years ago, I can definitely say that after a variety of many wonderful performances ranging from from highly comedic roles in The Hangover Trilogy and gritty parts such as his role of Chris Kyle in American Sniper, plus a very charming personality and a handsome face and ripped body, Mr Cooper will, for a long time, be one of my favourites.
Anything this man is in has got to be worth watching. There are so many characters he can play, both good and bad. Again, the main reason I’m a fan of Denzel Washington is due to the fact that my parents are, therefore anything he is in must be watched. My favourite film he has been in that I have seen has to be Training Day. His character was great fun to watch and he says he was great fun to play. Whilst I don’t know too much about Washington, he does seem like a real genuine man who just loves his job, and if that’s the case, he will remain just as enjoyable to watch for years to come.
Clive Owen was someone I only just discovered last year, and in all honesty, I am amazed it took that long for him to come to light. A film I had wanted to watch for ages, Children Of Men, finally came on TV and it turned out that he was in it. I didn’t really know who he was, but I decided to find out more about him and the films he had starred in. I found out that he comes from Coventry, which is probably only half an hours’ drive from where I live. I also learnt that his rise to fame was a real rags to riches story and those are things that just make me happy. I then made it my mission that summer to watch whatever he was in that I could find, and he has been in some terrific film, and also a wonderful TV series called The Knick.
I think every time he comes up, I always at some point in the conversation refer to him as the ultimate hard man, words to that effect. Clint Eastwood is one of Hollywood’s most iconic actors and has been in our screens for more than half a decade now. He has not only acted, but he has directed many great films. He has certainly come a long way from the days of The Dollars Trilogy, now starring in a fistful of modern day masterpieces. The way I see him is always going to be as Dirty Harry, and whenever I watch Eastwood, he always makes my day.
He is someone whose films I’ve only just very recently started to watch, but Matthew McConaughey is already undoubtedly one of my favourite actors. I had watched The Lincoln Lawyer a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it, but it wasn’t until I watched season one of True Detective that I realised how much of a big deal he was. I went on to watch Dallas Buyers Club and Killer Joe and would love to see Mud as I think anything post-2010 from him might just be terrific. Not only is he a great actor, McConaughey seems to be a really chilled, down-to-earth guy who just enjoys the life he was so lucky to fall into. In an interview with the SAG Foundation, he said himself that it was purely by being in the right place at the right time that he got to where he is today, and he appears to be really grateful for the good luck he has been blessed with. However, probably my favourite thing about him is he is very witty, and he has some brilliant stories to tell about his rise to fame.
Robert De Niro
I think he’s been a big thing ever since he won his first Oscar as a young don Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II, but Robert De Niro is also someone whose films I have felt compelled to watch only recently. There is something about him that tells you that no matter what he’s in, or what kind of character he plays, there is no way on this earth De Niro is going to take any crap off of anybody. He is a very diverse actor who has been around a long time, and there are a huge number of his films I am still to watch. I look forward to them.
Jake Gyllenhaal is, as anyone who read my feature on new films I’m looking forward to this year, the most recent actor that I have taken a shine to *wink, wink*. This kid commits fully to any role he is in. The first film I saw him in was the go-to DVD of my school’s science department on the last day of term, The Day After Tomorrow. After that, it was End Of Watch. But it wasn’t until I saw Nightcrawler that I really sat up and paid attention to him, which is rather worrying as he was total psychopath in that. What can I say? I like dangerous men. I really like the very tough roles that Gyllenhaal doesn’t seem to ever shy away from, and I think he pulls them off brilliantly. Plus, he is so, so, so fit – I think I might have forgotten everything to mention that.
The roles most know him for are that of Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men and Raoul Silva in Skyfall, and ever since watching the first film, Javier Bardem has most certainly been someone I’m a huge fan of. It just seems to me that he gives an absolute masterclass is whatever he appears. Take The Counselor, for example – I watched it purely because he was in it, and even though it wasn’t the greatest film I had ever seen, Bardem nailed his part and made watching it worthwhile. I just love his work, possibly because it comes with fond memories. When I watched No Country For Old Men for the first time, I jumped so spectacularly at one particular scene that I threw an entire can of Coke over my mum and we couldn’t play the film for ten minutes after until we’d gotten changed and stopped laughing. Dearest Javier’s wondrous acting has gifted us with good times. I even watched a Spanish film recently because I wanted to see more of his work. A review for The Sea Inside will follow shortly.
So, there’s the list of my favourite actors. A few honourable mentions include Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hardy, Robin Williams, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker and Tom Hanks. They are all so wonderful in their own ways and I am happy to say I have witnessed their work. Do you agree that they are brilliant? Or who would you include on your list?