It’s that time again! Welcome welcome welcome to the latest Geekstalkers article! The Geekstalkers are a collection of nerds, geeks, bloggers, podcasters and everything in between who are passionate about….well…..pretty much anything! We come together every month to chat about a single topic (of which you can read the previous articles HERE) but we are a lively community, always talking, sharing ideas and generally having a laugh! If you want to be the next Geekstalker let us know! The only thing we ask in return is that you have fun!
This month we discuss our favourite actors and actresses. The question you need to ask yourself is this; do you like an actor/actress because you like the film or is the specific person you like. Does their performance raise the film? Does it change the theme, are they understated or do they take the focus away from the lead? (I’m looking at you Alan Rickman!) Would you watch any film featuring your chosen star regardless of the quality? Or is this person just a joy to watch? Whoever you choose be confident that that person gives you something that no one else can.
Without further ado, here is what the Geekstalkers have to say!
Ben Fenlon from SuperNerds UK – @HailLeviathan
Seb Reeves – @TheRealMrSeb
Without hesitation my favourite actor is Maurice Micklewhite, otherwise known as Sir
Michael Caine. His inclusion in a movie automatically increases my interest; and
motivates me to stump up the cash to go and watch it in a cinema, rather than
waiting for the DVD to come out.
Sir Michael began his acting career in 1956 starting out with the stage name Michael
Scott. It is said that the name change was prompted during a telephone call with his
agent, who told him that stage name was already in use. He was is a phone box in
Leicester Square and glanced at the bill board to the Odeon cinema, the view to
which was partially obscured, leaving the word ‘Caine’, from ‘The Caine Mutiny’, in
clear sight. The rest as they say is history.
He mainly played bit parts in film and television until 1964 when he landed the role of
Lt Gonville Bromhead in Cy Endfield’s ‘Zulu’. Interestingly this character was totally
bereft of his signature ‘Cockney’ accent. After ‘Zulu’, came ‘The Ipcress File’ and
‘Alfie’ as he performed one iconic role after another. However his meteoric rise to
fame did not come easily. He had to fight against the endemic British class prejudice
which expected top actors to speak using Received Pronunciation. Sir Michael was
notable for using his regional accent which seemed to appeal to audiences at home
and in America, if not with those making the films.
It would be tough for me to say which of his films is my favourite. His performance is
equally compelling in a gritty crime drama as it is in a romantic comedy. So whereas
‘Get Carter’, would definitely be at the top of my list, it would be closely followed by
Whoever he has played, be it hero or villain, there is something about his screen
presence that makes me happy he has been cast. Whether he is stealing gold
bullion in Milan or breaking into a stately home dressed as a clown. A movie with Sir
Michael Caine in is a movie that makes me smile.
Sasha aka Chewbasha @Bash2110
When I think of my favourite actor or actress, one person springs to mind above all others: Amy Poehler. If you don’t know, Amy Poehler is an American actress, comedian, director, producer and writer, best known for role as Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation (which she not only starred in, but also directed a few episodes of, had a hand in writing AND produced).
As a woman who finds herself hilarious when others almost certainly don’t (my autobiography will be titled ‘I Think I’m Funny’), Amy is an endless source of inspiration. The woman is hysterical! She was a cast member of the sketch show Saturday Night Live ‘SNL’ for nearly 8 years, co-anchoring the infamous Weekend Update segment with another hero of mine, Tina Fey and, later, Seth Meyers.
Amy’s work with Tina alone makes her worthy of this list. From Mean Girls, as the overbearing ‘cool mom’, to the feel-good Baby Mama, as the con-artist with a conscience, to Sisters, as the ‘sensible one’ to Tina’s ‘problem child’, they prove there is more than enough room for intelligent women in comedy.
Searching through her back-catalogue, there are so many criminally underseen comedic gems – They Came Together, A.C.O.D., The Ex. Not to mention her starring role in the Wet Hot American Summer series, which is an absolutely farcical favourite. She also voiced Joy in Inside Out, literally the most optimistic character put on screen.
Before I devolve into total fangirling, let me just mention all the amazing off-screen work she does. She has executive produced several comedy shows, including Broad City, Welcome to Sweden and Difficult People. She also founded Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, which is “dedicated to helping young people cultivate their authentic selves… emphasising intelligence and imagination over fitting in.” Her memoir, which everyone should read, discusses topics such a body image and parenthood, as well as her impressive career in comedy. She also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, whose goal is to advance the art and science of motion pictures (not just put on the spectacular Academy Awards every year!)
The role that puts her firmly on at the top of my ‘top actors’ list though is Leslie Knope. Parks and Recreation is, by a country mile, my number 1 TV series of all time. The character feels so relateable – someone who wants to do well in their chosen field of work, optimistic and enthusiastic to a fault, a believer in the good in people. She is who I aspire to be. The show is my ‘go-to’ whatever my mood, and I find myself often asking ‘What would Leslie Knope do?’ And Amy had SO MUCH to do with shaping the character and the show. I feel such a kinship to both Leslie and Amy – and for this reason, she is my favourite. Perhaps I should start asking ‘What would Amy Poehler do?’
Markus – @TheMarckoguy
In a lot of ways it is quite strange how you could have a favorite actor or actress. “I like this person from this movie/show more than all other people in movies/shows”. But it’s part of our culture, and I have my own favorites as well, which I’m not sure if I should be proud of or not. Anyway, here we go.
My favorite actor is Edward Norton. Born in August 1969, Norton has had a long and very successful career as an actor. Breaking out like a dynamite in 1996 thanks to his Oscar nominated performance in Primal Fear, in which he plays a choir boy accused of having murdered a priest.
And since then he’s seen a lot of success and critical acclaim, having received two more Oscar nominations. One for his role as former neo-nazi Derek Vinyard in 1998’s American History X (my sixth fave movie of all time), and one for his supporting turn in 2014’s Birdman, in which he plays a tough-to-work-with method actor. He’s also starred in such movies as The Score, 25th Hour, Rounders, The Incredible Hulk, and Fight Club (my favorite movie). Sure, it’s been reported that he can be tough to work with, but I don’t think that takes away from the fact that he’s one hell of an actor.
As for my favorite actress, I choose Sigourney Weaver. She was born in October 1949 and is seen as one of the most successful and talented actresses ever. Breaking out with her performance in 1979’s Alien, her career hasn’t stopped moving forward. With three Oscar nominations under her belt, Weaver is a proven success. For those wondering, these three movies she’s nominated for are: Aliens, Working Girls, and Gorillas in the Mist: The story of Diane Fossey.
But she’s of course done a lot more than that, including starring in the financially successful Avatar, the Alien franchise, Ghostbusters (all of them), The Village, and most recently she starred as the villain in Netflix’s The Defenders. She has done a lot more than that, but I don’t have the time to write down everything she’s been in. Long story short: Sigourney Weaver is awesomely awesome, and I love her as an actress.
Jason Kerin – @jasonsmovieblog, jasonsmovieblog.com
Who’s your favorite actor / actress? That’s a question that gets ask many times in conversations about movies, TV shows, and other general discussions about Hollywood. Given the unimaginable number of the millions of actors / actresses that have graced the screen (both big and small) throughout the years. it’s really hard to which one is my personal favorite. However, if I had to highlight one of them and praise this individual for his acting talents would be British actor Tom Hardy….and here’s why.
While Hardy has made a name for himself in Hollywood (becoming a more household name in the ever-growing list of popular actors / actresses of today’s world), his career (like many) started out small and in more minor / supporting roles, including the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers as well as movies like Layer Cake, WAZ, and Sucker Punch. Although, while he gained some theatrical talent credibility with his roles in RocknRolla and Bronson, it was until his performance of the character Eames in Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending film Inception where the general public audiences took note of the British actor. Following Inception, Hardy began to receive more larger roles (sometimes the lead) in more prominent features, including Warrior, The Dark Knight Rises, Lawless, Legend, Child 44, and (mostly recently) in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk.
While his filmography list can speak for itself, Hardy has proven that he is capable of handling his roles, tackling both the physical demands and the theatrical arts. Hardy has always nailed that tough guy persona (i.e hardened / brooding demeanor), but it definitely works in his favor, crafting that ability to produce some memorable roles. He roles like Ivan Locke in Locke, the twisted Charles Bronson / Michael Peterson in Bronson, and the quiet leader of the bootlegger Bondurant in Lawless demonstrate Hardy’s commits to the role as does his dual performances of the Kray twins in the gangster film Legend. As I said above, many moviegoers fell in love with Tom Hardy as Eames in Inception, showcasing his more charismatic side and really became the standout / memorable role of the feature, which is quite an interesting to outshine more prominent co-stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cottillard, Ken Watanabe, and Ellen Page. Hardy has even dabbled in the romantic comedy genre with the film This Means War, which starred Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon. I personally liked this movie as it shows that Hardy in a more “softer” light, showcasing his more comedic talents.
Hardy has even proven himself (as an actor) in the action genre. This includes bulking up and charging head first into the wild fray of the Mad Max dystopian universe by playing the lead role Max Rocktansky in Mad Max: Fury Road, to his extremely memorable and physically imposing role of Bane (an infamous DC comic Batman villain) in The Dark Knight Rises, to the tough-as-nails and internally brooding complexity of MMA fighter Tommy Riordan Conlon in the film Warrior. In these three cases, especially Fury Road, Hardy’s performances demonstrate he’s perfectly capable of letting his physical talents do the acting versus his verbal dialogue.
Lastly, while many actor / actresses first start out on the small screen (television) before jumping to feature films, Hardy, as popular as he currently is, even started to two television series (i.e PeakyBlinders and Taboo) as both series have received critical acclaim. Personally, I never saw Peaky Blinders (have to check it out), but I’ve seen Taboo and Hardy is great in the role.
So, while there are many actors and actresses that like (i.e Chris Pratt, Alicia Vikander, Bradley Cooper, Oscar Isaac, Eddie Redmayne, etc.), actor Tom Hardy does stand out as being one of my favorite ones of the bunch. Skilled, charismatic, and a striking on-screen presence, Tom Hardy has it all and the current 39-year old actor still has a promising career ahead of him.
Ben from #nerdschatting Podcast @nerdschatting, @ben_nerdchat
You know, I struggled with this. I really did. Then I settled on Paul Giamatti…however then I thought to myself.. I’m only choosing him because I love him in Sideways (please watch that film) and in the excellent TV drama, Billions. So no…that wasn’t enough for me.
I wanted to pick someone who has been in several of the films I could watch again and again, and still be enthralled by his performance. He would then easily work out to be my favourite actor right? Sure, probably!
I’m confident that others would have selected this fellow, so I’ll do my best here….
My favourite actor is Kevin Spacey. That’s largely due to the fact that he’s starred in several films I can watch again and again. Four movies that came out within four years of each other. Namely:
· The Usual Suspects
· LA Confidential
· American Beauty
He won the best leading actor Oscar for his role as Lester Burnham in American Beauty. The put-upon husband who decides to turn his life around and recapture some of his youth.
He also won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role as Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects. That’s a film that requires several views to take in all aspects of his virtuoso performance!
His role as John Doe in Se7en may be brief, however the impact that such an incredible actor brings to it, makes the movie that much more enjoyable.
Then we get to LA Confidential. He was given top billing in that movie (his name appears first on the poster!) and he expertly plays the role of Jack Vincennes, a Hollywood lifestyle living detective who develops a conscience when asked to look the other way once too often.
Most recently he’s been playing the role of Frank Underwood on the Netflix series House of Cards. Whilst his southern accent may be a little wonky, the way he ruthlessly embodies a cynical, murderous, 4th wall breaking, politician really does need to be seen to be believed. Then he popped up as Doc in Baby Driver, in a role that could easily have slipped into cliché….he brought something fresh and new to the part.
Kevin Spacey can do it all. He is one of the finest character actors to ever step in front of a camera. I’m dancing across some movies and a TV show that he was excellent in, however there are so many others – just check out his IMDB page.
All that… and he can sing, dance (try and find his opening number at the 2017 Tony Awards) and does a mean Al Pacino and Christopher Walken impression too!
Ladies and Gentlemen, Geekstalkers, for your consideration….Kevin Spacey.
Dave from Jack and the Geekstalk – @Crutchy @JackGeekstalk
I class myself as a fan of film. I have seen more than I care to remember but there are still countless more that I have yet to watch. My favourite actor has appeared in many films I adore but his back catalogue includes many, many more (many I haven’t seen). He is the stand out role in virtually every film he has worked on and continues to give us performances beyond (in my opinion) any other actor. My favourite actor is Gary Oldman.
If you haven’t heard of him then you have missed out on something wonderful. It is very likely that you have seen him in a film and not even realised it was him! This is probably down to the fact that Oldman is a literal chameleon on screen. He has filled so many characters shoes and has such a range of ability that you could give him a script for any role (age appropriate, I’m not saying he could believably be a child!) and he would knock it out of the park! I’ll give a you a sample of some of his films and see if you agree with me;
Sid Vicious (Sid and Nancy), Drexl Spivey (True Romance), Commissioner Gordon (Nolan Batman Trilogy), Sirius Black (Harry Potter), George Smiley (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Stansfield (Leon), Zorg (Fifth Element),Floyd Banner (Lawless). Every single one of these roles has been amazing but utterly different. While I’m not trying to argue that Oldman makes these films great, he certainly helps them along their way!
As with most big names today for every Box office hit there are a few misses. Oldman has appeared in the 2014 Robocop remake, Planet 51, Lost in Space, three films commonly held to be bombs! Regardless of this, Oldman’s performances were appropriate for the films, even the hammy Dr Smith in Lost in Space. I have never been disappointed with his performance and I don’t see an end to that streak. Gary Oldman know how to get the best out of a script having had the experience behind the camera too! Oldman wrote, produced and directed the 1997 film Nil By Mouth which is raw, intense and engaging. A man of many faces and talents, seek him out or forever be cursed by……..a really bad curse!!!
And now for something a little different;
Many of you may know that I (Dave) edit these Geekstalkers posts, collating all the submissions for your reading pleasure. When bringing together this article something strange happened, I received the following submissions from my fellow Jack and the Geekstalk members;
What can I say about my favourite actor! He is super charismatic, always charming and is one of the best character actors out there at the moment.
When I think of the movies he has been in, it is rarely the story I remember but instead the characters he plays. Films like ‘Into the Woods’ or ’21 Jump Street’ come to mind and being made totally amazing by this guy.
When I first saw Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl I pretty much fell in love with the way he acted against my favourite actor Johnny Depp. But that film pales in comparison to ‘The Ninth Gate’ it is a work of art with the artist himself (Depp) being the perfect choice, as with everything he’s in. I just how that he continues to take over the silver screen and that we see him for many many more years to come.
Initially I struggled to decide on a best actor, but a flash of inspiration hit me, much like a head thuds onto the floor in Sleepy Hollow. Johnny Depp is a master, in particular in the Ninth Gate which I fail to believe anyone could have anything but praise for. Clearly the only choice.
My favourite actor has to be Johnny Depp. I think everyone can agree that he is without question the greatest actor of our generation and has never been anything less then perfect in every role he has played.
While it wouldn’t be unusual for someone to pick an actor such as Johnny Depp as he has been in a ridiculous number of films, I feel that I should come clean, I hate Depp as an actor. I do not rate him at all and dislike almost all of his films. I acknowledge there are a couple of performances which are great (Edward Scissor Hands being one), but on the whole his acting range is very small, reduced in recent years to Captain Jack Sparrow and variations of it. As long as he has a little goatee beard that he can periodically stroke or a jaunty hat that takes the focus off his acting then he’ll do any film for the paycheck. I am confident that if it was not for Tim Burton casting him in almost every film he made, Depp’s career would have dried up many years ago. Instead he continues to plague our screens with films like Dark Shadows, Transcendence, Mortdecai and Alice in Wonderland. Stop is Depp, just stop it!
I know plenty of people love him but this is my individual opinion. I also know that my fellow team members have taken great pleasure in the fact that I have included their submissions in this post and if nothing else I am a fair sport but I will get my revenge! You win this round you complete bastards!
We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing the latest utterings from the Geekstalkers as we love talking about anything and everything. It isn’t much of a Community if people don’t get involved and put their thoughts, feelings and opinions across. All our welcome and we would love for you to join the conversation! All our social media links, websites etc can be found below and I promise, you will not be disappointed if you start chatting to some or all of the Geekstalkers. They are a brilliant bunch of people who just love stuff! It just so happens that a lot of that stuff is liked by a lot of other people too!
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