these top 5 lists are fun. i needed a fun break as i write.
so today, i’ll go with my top 5 actors. i don’t know if my list is on par with others, but it’s my opinion, and i like what i like.
5. Jack Nicholson
just the incredible diversity and body of work he has done makes him one of my favorites. he’s been nominated for Academy Awards 12 times and he has won 3. he’s played the entire spectrum of roles from the Devil to a Marine Colonel. i mean he was the Joker for goodness sakes, and a great one at that. it really comes down to 5 words for me. “You Can’t Handle The Truth”. Brilliance. Genius.
4. Johnny Depp
reclusive and just strange is how a lot of people describe Depp. i’ve been a fan of his for a while, Edward Scissorhands is personal favorite, long before his turn as Cap’n Jack Sparrow (which is a brilliant character). if you haven’t seen his work in Ed Wood, Donnie Brasco, or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, you’ve missed a master actor in some of his best moments. the character George Jung in Blow is unreal and his 3 Oscar nominations are way too few for this versatile and amazing actor.
3. Bill Murray
a brilliant comedian, his delivery and demeanor early on probably cost him some serious roles, but when you think of iconic cult classics like Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, and What About Bob, his characters take front and center. then add in his collaboration with Wes Anderson and you begin to see his brilliance. it’s a shame he has only been nominated for one Oscar and has never won. his portrayal of Franklin D. Roosevelt was overshadowed this year by another presidential performance. i think we might not have seen his best yet. “It’s in the Hole!!”
2. Morgan Freeman
the man who could make a living on voicing Visa commercials alone is one of the most brilliant actors of his time. i mean he played Nelson Mandela. he was Easy Reader. he’s been nominated for five Academy Awards with one win, and how he didn’t win for Shawshank Redemption is beyond me. that might be one of the most brilliant and convincing performances i’ve ever seen on film. all amazing performances aside, the one line that sticks out to me is from his role as Lt. William Somerset in Se7en. “There are seven deadly sins, Captain. Gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, pride, lust, and envy. Seven… You can expect five more of these.”
1. Christoph Waltz
pretty much an unknown Austrian actor who spoke German until he was featured as SS Colonel Hans Landa in Quentin Tarrantino’s Inglorious Basterds. i remember leaning over to my friend after the opening scenes of the movie in which he masterfully flushes out a family of Jews being hidden under a farmhouse, and saying, “that is an Academy Award winning performance.” Waltz is 2 for 2 in Oscars with his second win this year for Django Unchained. i can’t explain how i just love to watch him take over a scene. his attention to craft and accuracy is amazing. it is frightening to watch him as he brings a calm, almost comedic presence to very dark characters. he is also probably one of the best interviews you will ever see on talk shows. an amazing character actor who will probably never be a leading man, but it doesn’t matter.
who are your top 5 actors? honorable mention on my list are Kevin Spacey, Robert DeNiro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt.