actors

Thoughts on… My Most Watched Actors

I have a Letterboxd account and it’s pretty great. Letterboxd is the movie version of Goodreads so you can log what you watch, write reviews, make lists and follow different users. If you get a Pro account (which is only $19 a year which is about £15 and I think that’s pretty good value to be honest) you get to see what your various movie-related stats are each year you log films and overall on all the films you’ve ever marked as watched.

I’ve been looking at which actors I’ve watched the most overall and there’s some interesting things there but it does make me want to try and change some of my viewing habits.

Out of my top twenty most watched actors, just two of them are women – Rachel Weisz and Scarlett Johansson. Scarlett Johansson was someone I was surprised to be there as she’s not one of my favourite actors nor someone who I’d go to see a film just because they’re in it. Her being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe certainly helped give her a boost and for a younger actor (she’s 32) she’s been in the business for a while and has an eclectic filmography. Rachel Weisz is a new addition because I have been watching more of her filmography recently, trying to get her (and more women in general) into my top twenty. In comparison to Johansson, Weisz is an actor who I love and will seek out films just because she’s in them but she usually stars in dramas or films that aren’t so mainstream hence while she is someone I do really like, her filmography isn’t always to my taste. (more…)

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Y is for Anton Yelchin

Anton Yelchin was one of the actors I’d go on an actor-binge for, just buy and watch films only because he was in them never really mind the genre or reviews. I watched Charlie Bartlett (2007) that way and Middle of Nowhere (2008) which I watched last year and it really is a delightful film.

I think the first film I saw him in was Star Trek (2009) and he made a wonderful Chekov and he was instantly my favourite character. The same year Terminator Salvation was released and while it’s not the most liked film in the franchise, I enjoy it and think Yelchin made the best young-Kyle Reese. It was great because you could see the baseline for the man he’d grow up to be aka Michael Biehn in Terminator (1984).

I don’t know where I got it from but downloaded music from Anton Yelchin’s band – The Hammerheads. It’s loud and manic, very different to what I’d usually listen to but I do like it. I do love Yelchin’s vocals, and another great thing about Green Room (2015) besides it being a brilliant film, is you get to see some of Yelchin’s musical talent on screen.

Anton Yelchin was a really talented actor and it hurt when I heard of his death via social media. It was one of those that I didn’t believe and was in denial about until the news as being picked up on other sites. It was such a freak accident and I couldn’t believe it. His was the first “celebrity death” that really hit me and made me cry. I think it was not only because he was super talented and one of my favourite actors, but because it was such a shock giving the circumstances of his death and how young he was.

I’ve still got unwatched films of his, for an actor so young he’s made a hell of a lot of films, so it’s nice to go back and see him on screen.

W is for Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington is a babe. He’s funny, charming, talented and good-looking. He’s another one of those actors I’ll watch films just because I know he’s in it – that’s how I watched Courage Under Fire (1996), a film that wouldn’t normally be high on my to-watch list.

I’ve not yet watched two of his biggest films American Gangster (2007) and Malcolm X (1992) but I do have the DVDs sitting on my shelves. They’re films I really want to watch but feel like I have to be in the mood to really concentrate and give them my full attention when I’m watching them, recently I just like easy-watch kind of films.

Still, I’ve seen a lot of Denzel Washington’s filmography. He’s brilliant in Training Day (2001), his performance won him an Oscar, making him the second black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, I love the dramas he makes and stars in but I also love it when he stars in action films like The Equalizer (2014) and Safe House (2012). The films he made with Tony Scott directing were some of my favourite, especially Unstoppable (2010) which I talked about a few days ago in the A-Z Challenge.

Denzel Washington’s won two acting Oscars and been nominated for six other Oscars, he’s been nominated nine times at the Golden Globes and won three times, and he’s been nominated for and won so many different awards in different categories at different institutions it’s hard to count. I really do think Denzel Washington is one of the best actors in the business right now.

V is for Viggo Mortensen

I love this man, he’s one of my favourite actors and just generally seems like a good person.

I first saw Viggo Mortensen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and thanks to his wonderful acting and his beautiful face, Aragorn became my firm favourite character. I love all the stories you hear about the filming of LotR, to be honest the entire cast seem peak #castgoals when it comes to being with the same group of people for years. I love hearing about how Mortensen bought the horse he rode in Lord of the Rings because he fell in love with them and even bought Liv Tyler’s stunt double the horse she rode because she loved it but couldn’t afford to buy the horse herself.

I’ve seen a lot of Viggo Mortensen’s films now and he’s one of those actors where I’ll watch a film just because he’s in it. I have Captain Fantastic sitting unwatched on my shelves and I really want to watch it soon. Besides Lord of the Rings my favourite film of his was Eastern Promises, that film is often a tough watch but Mortensen is captivating in it.

One of the best interviews I’ve read with anyone was an Esquire interview with Viggo Mortensen last year. It shows how honest and “normal” he is and his love of art, literature and keeping his private life private. It made me love him even more and his personality shines through.

Remembering Alan Rickman

I’d just got back to the car after going shopping this morning when I heard the news that Alan Rickman had died. I was waiting for my mum to pay the parking ticket so was scrolling through Twitter as you do when I saw all the Tweets. It must have been just as the news broke because a lot of them were linking to news articles and were general displays of shock. I couldn’t really believe it either.

I was born in 1991 and grew up watching Alan Rickman. One of my mum’s favourite films (so therefore it became one of my favourites and a formative influence) was Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Alan Rickman was a fantastic, over the top and evil Sheriff of Nottingham. He had the best lines, stole every scene he was in and was more than a match for Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood. I love that film and it’s one that I’ll always watch whenever it’s on TV.

My next “proper” exposure to Alan Rickman was in the Harry Potter films. I was definitely a part of the Harry Potter generation, I remember starting to read Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone in 2001, just after me and my mum had moved into our new home after my parents had divorced. I loved the books and then loved the films. Some actors were perfectly cast in those films and Alan Rickman as Severus Snape was one of them. He was foreboding and intimidating but when it came to showing the softer side to Snape in the later films he was equally brilliant.

And then there’s the other performance that I will always think of when I think of Alan Rickman – Metatron in Dogma. I watched Dogma for the first time at University, I think I watched it so I could reference in in a film essay but I loved it way more than I thought I would. Rickman’s deadpan delivery and air of boredom when it comes to the ridiculousness he’s found himself involved in are wonderful.

There’s obviously many more roles that Alan Rickman will be remembered for but those three are what made him special to me. I can’t help but feel very sad at his passing, maybe it’s also the sadness from David Bowie’s death is hitting me now as well. To lose two such great and influential people in the space of a week is heart-breaking and a sign of our mortality.

RIP Alan Rickman, thanks for being so amazing.

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Z is for Zoe Saldana

zoesaldanaZoe Saldana is the new Queen of sci-fi. She’s been a blue alien in Avatar (2009), Uhura in the Star Trek reboots and most recently the assassin Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy (2013). I think she’s great in all those roles – obviously some are more developed than others but she does a great job with hat she’s given.

Zoe Saldana can do comedy – as seen in Death at a Funeral (2010) which isn’t exactly a great film but it is a lot of fun and she can do action and drama, as seen in the (seriously underrated in my opinion) Colombiana (2011).

My favourite film starring Zoe Saldana is The Losers (2010) – I could wax poetically about The Losers because I love the film and the comic a ridiculous amount. Zoe Saldana plays Aisha, the daughter of a drug lord who is a total badass and can take on the Losers and the bad guys and come out on top.

Infinitely Polar Bear (2014) is released later this year in the UK and I can’t wait to see it. It looks funny and sweet yet also possibly heart-breaking. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it when it has been shown at film festivals.

Y is for Michelle Yeoh

michelleyeohMichelle Yeoh has been in so many cool films in so many different genres, many of which I haven’t had a chance to see yet.

Sunshine (2007) is my favourite Danny Boyle film and stars a talented and diverse cast. Michelle Yeoh plays Corazon, the biologist who looks after the ships “oxygen garden”. She was definitely my favourite character (closely followed by Chris Evan’s Mace) because she was smart and brave and tried to keep the team together. She was also in the dystopian film Babylon A.D. (2008) where she played a pretty badass nun who could totally hold her own against Vin Diesel.

I watched Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) years ago when I was about ten so I can’t remember much of it – and I haven’t got to it yet as a part of my Bondathon yet – but I’m sure Michelle Yeoh was an awesome Bond Girl in it.

I watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) ages ago when I was about thirteen, I remember it looking really great but I don’t think I cared about it much because it had subtitles. I definitely want to watch it again soon and so I can appreciate it properly.