March 9, 2007

Top 5 Currently Working Actors with Untapped Potential

I like making Top 5 lists for movies. I often attempt this with my friend Scott. But every time, we quickly realize that I watch mostly old movies and he watches mostly newer movies and we aren't gonna get anywhere. So I'll do it mah damn self. These lists will always be in no order of importance, unless otherwise specified.

Top 5 Currently Working Actors with Untapped Potential

1. Bruce Willis. Yeah, I know, he does the action thing really well, and I liked him in Sin City and such. The Whole Nine Yards was a little contrived. But somewhere deep in there, there's an Oscar-winning role, I feel it. It'd be a dramedy about life - kinda Little Miss Sunshine-y. You couldn't domesticate him too much, but let him sit back, not blow things up, and ACT.
2. Denzel Washington. Before anyone punches me, YES, Denzel Washington is a very accomplished actor and he's won lots of awards. Okay. But I am SO TIRED of seeing him play cops. "Coming this summer: Denzel as a cop for the 967th time!" Stretch him a little. Get him out of his element. I can see him as the straight man in a quirky comedy - almost a bit of a self-parody of how intense he is.
3. Halle Berry. Maybe this one is more hopeful than truthful. I couldn't believe she won an Oscar for Monster's Ball, a role that solely consisted of her screaming and crying on the floor, and then proceeding to fuck Billy Bob Thornton. Then of course came the post-Oscar blues of Catwoman, Gothika, etc. I think she has a bit of the same problem as Denzel - taking herself too goddam seriously. I want to see her in an intelligent romantic comedy about a woman with more relatable problems than her husband P. Diddy being on death row or being a cat-based superhero.
4. Penelope Cruz. I thought she was kind of a lightweight from her work in English-language movies, but holy shit, that girl packs a punch in Spanish. (Exhibit A: Volver.) So this is my direct plea to Miss Penelope: DO ONLY SPANISH MOVIES! Preferably with Pedro Almodovar. (Exhibits B and C: Live Flesh and All About My Mother.) I guess that isn't so much untapped potential as potential that needs to continue being tapped.
5. Tom Hanks. I would threaten to gouge out my own eyes if Tom Hanks stars as another all-American good guy, but that would ensure my own blindness in a matter of weeks. Here is my proposed career therapy for Mr. Hanks: play a bad guy. I don't mean rob a store to feed your children bad, I mean seriously fucked up and disturbed bad. Impossible! you say. Oh, it would definitely be a long shot, but it'd be the ultimate test of his acting ability. Look at Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet - he looks like he could be your grandpa, which makes it all the more disturbing when he gets high and absuses women. I want to see Tom Hanks play a guy who rapes children in a dark alley. Because honestly, the guys that usually do that don't look like Marvel supervillains - they look like Tom Hanks, your average all-American guy.


Scott said...

Hanks - Road to Perdition. Not totally fucked-up bad guy, but I don't think America's ready for him to turn on us like that. Hanks is an icon now, and for him to betray that would get us some trouble.

Willis...probably the closest we'll get to Oscar potential was Sixth Sense or Unbreakable (so underrated). He might strike gold in old age, but someone would have to really believe in him.

Halle Berry is all hope.

Denzel should do a romantic comedy just because he's too damn hilarious in every drama he's in.

Cruz I have no idea on. She was a babe (and quite good) in Vanilla Sky.

Aaron Eckhart is probably the actor in most need of being tapped right now (so to speak). I'm predicting it to happen with the next Batman.

Also Harrison Ford...there's something there in his golden years.

Anonymous said...

Dennis Hopper is a creep in pretty much all of his movies. And he's a weird guy in real life, I saw him on inside the actor's studio once. If he were my grandfather I'd run away or cut wrists ASAP.


Brook said...

I agree wholeheartedly re: Cruz. Compare Abre Los Ojos to Vanilla Sky. She plays the same character in both movies, but in Amenabar's film, she comes off as cool and collected (almost evil, even), and in Crowe's, she's a bumbling ditz.

Bruce Willis has done the dramedy thing before (The Story of Us), and it was a gigantic failure.

Most of the actors you list are well-established stars who've already tried their hands at a variety of different roles, to varying degrees of success. True untapped potential lies in someone like Ryan Reynolds, an actor who has all the charm, charisma, and talent to be a great actor, but thus far has been stuck doing stupid comedies or genre films (ie the Amityville Horror remake). Soon, though, mark my words, he'll do something fantastic and become a well-respected actor and major star.

After all, who really thought that George Clooney would be where he is now when he was on ER? Or that Heath Ledger, the star of 10 Things I Hate About You, would one day be an oscar contender?