While reading a recent TNOs column on Janet Jackson’s contribution to a horrible movie (not that I’ve seen it), tnocs.com Contributing Author Pauly Steyreen suggested we discuss actors who play the same role in every movie, and offered Bruce Willis as a prime example.
But what if we went the other way?
One of the greatest conversations I had while hanging out at my favorite dive bar in Philadelphia was on this topic.
And I thought I’d pass it along to the collective. Who is the most VERSATILE actor we have TODAY?
When we had this conversation amongst the suds of Yuengling:
Ben Kingsley was in the conversation.
I mean, his filmography includes Gandhi, and he was a god as Don Logan in Sexy Beast. Comedy? He was amazing in the criminally underrated Without a Clue, among others.
And accents? He has them all in his bag of tricks, including a subdued American in Searching for Bobby Fisher, one of my favorite movies of all-time.
But I haven’t seen much of Kingsley’s later works. Is he still worthy of the discussion?
What about Meryl Streep?
The Academy loves her: having been nominated for 21 awards. And so do I. She gets accolades for her dramas (Sophie’s Choice, Kramer vs Kramer), but solid in Death Becomes Her and Mamma Mia! Accents? Has everyone seen her as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady?
Americans have a reputation for not doing foreign accents well, maybe because of whatever Kevin Costner was doing in Robin Hood, but Meryl Streep (and Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones) seem to have done it right.
My final choice that evening was Gary Oldman.
He has ALL the accents: a Russian in Air Force One, corrupt New York City cop in The Professional, and a variety of English ones throughout his career. In fact, my wife was shocked to learn he was not American (joining Hugh Laurie and Jason Isaacs in that regard).
It’s 2022. You’re an executive producer.
You have three movies in development: a musical, comedy and drama; the main character in each unlike the other two.
But you want to pick ONE actor for all three.
Who’s your go-to?
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