Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Top 4 Film Actor’s Actor

Many actors remain in awe at the natural talents of these four actors.  I regard them as the best of the best. Many film actors, no matter how accomplished, will give their right arm to star in a movie with any of these talented thespians.  When an agent asks “Do you want to be in this independent movie? Antony Hopkins is also in it” you can guarantee that the agent will hear a resounding ‘yes’.

They are not an actor’s actor because of their “craft” or stardom, but because of the consistency of their effortless performance. These are people lucky enough to possess a natural gift, shaped by experience.  They can communicate any emotion on celluloid, not as an actor, but as a character. And by communicate, they give their heart and soul to the moment but at the same time, they unconsciously invite the audience into sharing their experience. Their performances are forever cemented on celluloid.

Keep in mind, the word “soul” when watching their performances and you may understand what I mean.

Based from what I have read through various interviews as well as personal opinion, here are the top four film actors that I dare anyone to dispute.

OLD HOLLYWOOD
Spencer Tracy
Ingrid Bergman
CONTEMPORARY
Anthony Hopkins
Vanessa Redgrave

Top4ActorsThey are not as passionate as Marlon Brando or Bette Davis, nor are they as theatrical as Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. They deliver performances that I find to be human and natural.  Never have I watched them on screen and think “oh, they’re acting is wonderful”. Each word and action comes from the depths of their soul. After I watch one of their movies, I gain a much deeper understanding of the human condition.

These actors are not driven by fame nor are do they have such huge egos.  Remarkably, these greats have shared the screen with each other at some point or another. Hopkins and Redgrave in the Merchant Ivory production, Howards End (1992). While Tracy and Bergman matched wits in Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde (1941).

Note: On this list could have been Marie Dressler and Charles Laughton. Yet I do not feel comfortable enough with their body of work to make such an assertion.

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