Thoughts on… My most watched actors (2021 edition)

It has accidentally become a thing where every couple of years I look at my most watched actors ever list courtesy of Letterboxd and see what conclusions I can come to from it.

It’s fun to see how much (if any) change there’s been since I did this in 2017 and in 2019. The first thing I noticed that while their position to one another may have changed; Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Statham, Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman have always been my top four most watched actors since I started looking at these stats.

This year a quarter of my most watched actors are women – the most I’ve ever had on this list. Kristen Stewart, Anna Kendrick and Anne Hathaway making an appearance here for the first time. I definitely would like to see more women on here and I wouldn’t be surprised if Kristen Stewart especially manages to stay on here as I have about half a dozen of her films on my watchlists on various streaming services.

There are also six actors of colour, two more than last year as Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie make their first appearance on this list. Both of whom I’m not surprised about as they’re both the kind of actors I’ll watch a film just because they’re in it.

Having Anton Yelchin on this list is kind of bittersweet. Last year I watched a load of his films I hadn’t seen before so that helped get him onto this list. And while I do still have over a dozen more of his films to see, there will come a time when he probably won’t be able to stay on this list just because he is no longer with us and making films when other actors are.

It seems like every time I do this, this top twenty list gets more and more competitive. Back in 2019 the actors with the least amount of watches to their name were Rachel Weisz, Jim Broadbent, Maggie Smith, and Channing Tatum who all had 24. In 2021, none of them make the list and now my “least watched” are Denzel Washington, Liam Neeson, Scarlett Johansson, Dwayne Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Anthony Mackie, Anton Yelchin and Kristen Stewart with 27 films each.

It’ll be interesting to see in two years’ time who will still be on this list. For instance, John Goodman still has a spot like he did in 2019 but I haven’t watch one single more new-to-me film of his in two years. He often plays supporting characters and sometimes pops up in the most random of films so it’s easy to see why I haven’t seen more of his films but equally I wouldn’t be surprised if he managed to cling onto the list.

My predictions for 2023 is that Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Statham will still be my most watched actors but I think Idris Elba will surpass Morgan Freeman. I think Kristen Stewart will manage to stay in my top 20 most watched actors and I’d like it if more women could join her on this list too. Otherwise, who knows what could happen in two years!

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