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Best Actors/Best Film Characters


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[color=teal]Well, we have a thread for favourite movies and TV shows, why not actors and characters? Anyway, I'm sure it'll be all right as long we state our reasons and such.

Without a doubt, my favourite actor of all time is Robert De Niro. Even if he's 75% Irish and 25% Italian, it doesn't stop him from dominating the industry by his roles as gangsters in many films. Good examples are Goodfellas and Once upon a time in America, though you'd sometimes see him undertake characters who's roles slightly drift away from the usual, like Meet the Parents, which still rises above standards in the comedic sector, no doubt.

It's not in many films that you'd see De Niro play the role of a total gunslinger--minus his appearances in Heat and Jackie Brown--he's very much more on the sophisticated side of things, and knows how to handle himself well. However, in the light of that, it's not often you see him playing the role of the good-guy either, with the exception of 15 Minutes, I don't think I've ever seen him portray a cop.

Unlike most actors, De Niro is willing to take things to the extreme just to boost his career up a notch. In Raging Bull, De Niro spent eighteen months in training just to live up to the physical expectations to that of his counter part, Jake La Motta. After the scenes involving his boxing career, De Niro then literally beefed himself up by "eating his way through Europe", gaining a further 60 pounds just to match the bloated figure of La Motta when in his retirement. That's pretty bizarre, particularly considering that it's his life on the line. In contrast to his usual films and characters though, Raging Bull still had that mob element in it since his younger brother Joey La Motta (Joe Pesci) was partially involved with it.

Okay, I've got tons of favourites, but I want to restrict myself from making this post any longer seeing as you may get put off but it, heh, so I'll just wait for some feedback before adding to the list.[/color]
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[color=#707875]Interesting thread, BlueYoshi. I like your comments about DeNiro; they're pretty spot-on in my view. ^_^

I've mentioned it on myOtaku, but I think that one of my more recent favourites would have to be Uma Thurman.

As I mentioned on myOtaku, I never used to see her as much of an actress. I think there are a couple of reasons for that.

Firstly, there are two movies of hers that had stuck out in my mind; Batman & Robin and The Truth About Cats & Dogs.

Obviously neither of these movies could be considered her best work. In Batman & Robin, I thought she was pretty awful. She had the right look for Poison Ivy, but her dialogue was pretty poor and in the context of the film, I didn't like it. Having said that, I tend not to blame her so much; I think it was just a bad film in general, with poor writing and directing.

The Truth About Cats & Dogs is one of those sort of no-brainer, mildly entertaining movies that follows some pretty standard conventions. And of course, Uma plays a "stupid" character in that movie, which is obviously completely deliberate.

But these two movies in particular somehow became films that I identified Uma with. And that was a negative thing.

When Kill Bill came along, I recognized several things about Uma. Firstly, the role was designed for her. And it shows. Not only does she deliver the dialogue perfectly, but her reactions and responses to certain situations are amazing. Remember the part where she [spoiler]realizes that she's lost her baby?[/spoiler] In my opinion, her expression there was stunning. And the part where [spoiler]she's being buried alive in the coffin, in Volume 2[/spoiler], we really see a very realistic reaction to such a scenario. When she [spoiler]freaks out as the torch goes out[/spoiler]...I just had the sense that it felt very real. And that not only made her character more believable, but it also served to make the situation [i]feel [/i]more realistic and tangible to me. As a member of the audience, it almost felt like I was in that situation myself.

Based on the strength of Kill Bill, I saw Pulp Fiction...some ten years after it was released. ~_^

Uma's part of the movie was my favourite, by far. Her excellent delivery of lines in the restaurant is one great example...and again, in general, I think the character suited her down to the ground.

So I was glad that I actually decided to go back and watch that movie, because it reinforced the idea that Uma is more talented than I'd ever given her credit for.

And I'm glad that my first thoughts were proven wrong. I hope that Kill Bill had the same effect on others who perhaps hadn't liked Uma as much in the past.[/color]
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These are my fav's right here.

[U][B]Uma Thurman/The Bride:[/B][/U] Silly Caucasian girl plays with samurai swords. Well, she really knew how to handle those swords. The Bride has urned my love because of her style (Game of Death track suit worn in the House of Blue Leaves) and the coolness of her unorthodox sword style. Aswell, what better motivation than cold blooded revenge?

[U][B]Lucy Liu/O-ren Ishii[/B][/U] Cold, calculating, powerful, and most of all, skilled. O-Ren knew how to protect herself, hiring bodyguards in the skilled leader of the Crazy-88's and the twisted GoGo Yubari. At first glance, you'd think O-Ren would hire them just because she couldn't fightherself. Then, you are proven so wrong when she slices your head off in a clean sweep. Just really a smooth, cool character.

[U][B]Jason Mewes/Jay[/B][/U] A loud mouthed chuckle head without a lick of commen sense due to years of pot smoking and drug dealing. He's the appendamy of the 'funny' drug dealer. Jay is a hilarious character, I just find his element makes any situation that much funnier. I mean, the apocolypse was never better in Dogma.

[U][B]Bruce Lee/Hai Tien[/B][/U] The silent smart-a--. Bruce Lee's character, Hai Tien, in Game of Death was probably his best. Always making some wise crack at the fighter after he socks them one good time. And even when he gets socked. But the best part being that he was a skilled martial artist and could dissassemble any style as he saw it could be adapted. Showing the true power of Jeet Kune Do.

Thats all for now.[/color][/size]
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I'll be common and say Johnny Depp. He's an amazing character actor- always willing to do anything including humiliate himself to fill the part. He's also sexy, and I've had this statement confirmed by both girls and straight guys.

I like watching films- so I suppose it's odd I don't really like many actors/actresses in particular. I'm not much of a celebrity person - They leave me alone, and I respect their privacy.
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Guest ScirosDarkblade
Well, my favorite actor is definitely Harrison Ford (with Tom Hanks a close second). Ford has a tremendous amount of versatility, and he pulls of every role near-perfectly. To me what sets him apart from many other *good* actors is that he can create numerous memorable characters and they are all different. (Sure, people can say that Han Solo and Indy are similar, but you still think of them as Han Solo and Indy, not as Harrison Ford and Harrison Ford.) I find that someone like Kevin Spacey, although he is also one of the best, often brings too much of himself into the role and so you DO end up seeing Kevin Spacey and not whoever he is playing. The same I find true of Jack Nicholson.

Ford is also extremely modest, and I find that a good quality in an actor as popular as he is. He is I believe the highest-grossing actor of all time (correct me if I'm wrong). But if you've ever watched him in interviews, or seen programs about him, you'd notice that fame has not gone to his head in the least. (Spacey, on the other hand, is very arrogant, which is another reason I like him less.) Ford, like Tom Cruise, sees himself as very lucky, and doesn't act like he knows the "true method" of acting. You can see this in the way they handle themselves in Inside the Actor's Studio, particularly at the end when they have a Q & A session with the students.

As for favorite characters, well there are way too many. But my favorite is, as I've mentioned before, Indiana Jones.

Other favorite characters: Gregoire de Fronsac (Brotherhood of the Wolf), Nathan Algren (The Last Samurai), John Preston (Equilibrium), Han Solo (Star Wars). Characters from my favorite films (I like films with characters that I find cool).
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Well few characters are truly amazing or original that don't deserve a sequel. Most of the best characters in film have a sequel.

People here know I love movies. I have probably seen more movies than anyone here. Sad, yes. But it's true. I don't want to make a list that takes up the rest of this thread (Oh yeah, I have that many characters I love. Like Flint or Sarah Conner.)

[B] The Butcher [/B] (Gangs of New York.)- Some may call him a heartless racist scumbag. But he had a sense of honor and admired his opponents. And he was cool as hell. I love the way Lewis carried himself and made himself realistic and both likable and hatable. His entire philosophy and way of handling himself just amazed me.

[B]James Bond[/B] (More movies than god.)- Bond is one of the coolest characters ever. He is so smooth and suave he is by far the ultimate pimp and secret agent. He is the only character in recent memory where a litterary character has more movies than original material. since the early 60's Bond has saved us from Commies, Lasers, Nukes, Global Warming, and other villanous plots. Not only has he survived the test of time (though Die another Day and Moonraker were horrible.) but he has has his mantle passed to many talented and unusual actors. From the kick-*** Sean Connery to the campy Rodger Moore to the cool Timothy Dalton and sbtle and high-tech Bond Pierce Brosnon.

[B]Jules[/B] (Pulp Fiction)- To be honest this like the Bride, The Butcher, or Jack Sparrow is NOT one of the best film characters. No, this is a personal favorite who was done well enough for you to like it.

Jules was smooth, cool and unlike anyone else on this list he was done as if he were a real person. Jackson and Travolta fed off of eachother amazingly as if it were just two buddies talking. It remided me of the opening diner scene in Resivoir Dogs. Kill Bill never had the realism or subtleties (BOTH volumes were lacking this. They were FAR from Tarintiono's best works. They were good but the editing could have been better as well as the overall plot.) of Pulp ficton. Jules was not only smooth and intimitating with his huge presence on screen he was just plain awesome. His quote before killing was simply amazing. But he never proved himself until the resturant at the end where he spoke to Tim Roth. His wallet said it all about his character "Bad Mother ******."

[B]Indiana Jones[/B] (Raiders of the Lost ark and it's preqel and sequel)- Ford's best character ever. Indiana Jones would so kick Han Solo's ***... unless Han had Chewbacca.. but that's not fair.

Indie was the unrealsitic and cool action hero because he had plots that made you think. He was simply amazing in that respect as few action movies ever have good plots (Temple of Doom is debatable though). Indie also brought together one of the best collaborative and imaginative film teams ever: George Lucas and Steven Speilburg. Which allowed the character to rise to even greater heights. Truly one of Films best

[B]Darth Vader [/B] (Just guess the damn movies)- Besides being the Galaxy's most ruthless bad-*** dark lord. Vader brought some of the coolest lines ever and inspired guys who live in basements everywhere to TAKE what they want... which sadly led to many a date rapist.

His skills with a lightsaber and the force are nothing to joke about. Sure he may have looked like an idiot but he made up for it with a cool black voice and some awesome lines like "He will join us or die." Sadly I was dissapointed when Vader went from being this cool black guy to being some fat white bastard at then end of Jedi (I refuse to put spoilers as the movie is over 20 years old and a damn classic! Everyone has seen it!)
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[color=teal]Coincidentally, two of my favourite characters are played by two other actors I think are awesome; Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) and Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) from Reservoir Dogs.

Mr. Blonde was a brilliant character, one who was so simple that almost anyone could have executed his style as a heartless villain with an interest to inflicting pain, but Madsen set the standards for these types of roles. The scene where he [spoiler]mercilessly tortures a cop and douses him with gasoline[/spoiler] became legendary and many other films and directors have tried to use those sorts of violent scenes as a basis of promoting a certain character's humanity, where respectively some have failed, and some have succeeded. The method of it tends to fluctuate, but personally I feel it's all down to the director's imagination, pretty much reducing the actors making them irrelevant or meaningless.

I'm starting to notice that Tarantino's films revert to psychotic or violent characters one after the other, as he's very specific in fitting trademark props and distinct signs in his movies. Practically the main cast from Kill Bill demonstrate their killing abilities quite well, as do John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction--they all sustain the ability to kill or harm others without hesitation. Not a luxury we all have, heh.

Mr. White, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of his co-worker Mr. Blonde. His sophisticated and well-thought plans add up to direct your attention to what sort of a person he really is--well organised, and very precise. To say the least, he resembles Winston Wolfe from Pulp Fiction incredibly. Mr. White however, reveals his sanity by showing sympathy in the killing of innocent people, for example, when he let out a howl at Mr. Blonde for [spoiler]going on a kill-crazy rampage, and his comments towards the poor black girl he shot dead[/spoiler]. It suggests that he will only kill if he is left no other alternative, which he proved after[spoiler] totally unloading on the two cops tailing him and Mr. Orange.[/spoiler] A different and unique breed of character in total.

Winston 'The Wolf' Wolfe is just... bizarre, though. But that's what's striking about Pulp Fiction, the levels of bizarreness. He's very cunning, but at the same irritating in a different kind of way, though you're drawn towards the movie more and more due to his asperity; very demanding and protocol. I thought of his scene in Pulp Fiction as intriguing, even if it was a small slice of the whole movie, but none the less he was the glue of the crew--talent was indefinite, no doubt.

Moving on, the only reason I thought Uma Thurman was so great in Pulp Fiction was that a supporting actor, John Travolta who played Vincent Vega, accompanied her throughout their entire scene, and him being the great actor that he is obviously was a major positive angle. Incidentally, I wouldn't blame her previous attempts in films on her; it's more of a result of crappy directing. She was on scene for almost 100% of the time in Kill Bill and managed to pull off a stunning performance cinematically and with her smooth dialogue. I can't help but wonder how the restaurant scene would've ended up if Michael Madsen had gotten the part for Vincent Vega though... but I guess we'll never know, heh?[/color]
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Well, it's hard for me to pick a favorite actor, but I really like VIn Diesel(sp?). Sure, he's not the most talented actor ever, but he does an excellent bad*ss, especially in Pitch Black. Riddick is just great, and I don't think many actors could pull off that role. SUre, it isn't that hard to do an action starr, but a great bad*ss character does take talent to do right. And Vin Diesel can do it right. I'm looking forward to Chronicles of Riddick.
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[color=teal]Tony Montana from Scarface is also another of my favourites. He has a very rough attitude and isn't scared to show it off no matter who he's confronting. Tony sees his view of life as primarily the only reason to keep on living, and he followed that view all the way [spoiler]to his death.[/spoiler]

Some might compare him to 'lil Ze from City of God; they both behold a murderous intent and strive power amongst the vicinity of the other crime lords, but they definitely aren't one in the same to me.[/color]

[quote name='Shiguru][B]Jules[/B'] (Pulp Fiction)- To be honest this like the Bride, The Butcher, or Jack Sparrow is NOT one of the best film characters. No, this is a personal favorite who was done well enough for you to like it. [/quote]

[color=teal]Yeah Jules is a pretty cool character. I like the 'inner-self' attitude he has, even for a hitman it seems as if he has his own set of morals and principles that promote his self-esteem. His scene with Ringo (Time Roth) was really intriguing and had me hanging from a thread throughout every second of it.

That's a good way of putting it though Shiguru; Travolta and Jackson really did work well with each other, particularly the opening scene in the car, but I believe it's not all down to great acting skills, merely just the influence of perfect directing, just like the rest of the film.[/color]
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It was all acting. A director can only do so much to influence. It was raw talent that MADE you think these were just two guys having a normal conversation in a car. Tarentino has some excellent writing of dialouge (with the exception of Kill Bill) by making it seem as if anyone can say these things.

A perfect example is the car scene in RD when they are discussing Pam Grier. It sounds like many a conversation we have all shared in the past and you forget these are supposed to be thieves.
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[color=teal]It's a fifty-fifty argument and depends entirely upon the viewer?s opinions.

I've said this many times before, but Michael Madsen was the original Vincent Vega, he got held up in another audition and so couldn't make the part, it was then decided that John Travolta should take the role. It's due to the director's instincts that conjure these little facts. Obviously, actors have to look the part in accordance to their roles and other than that, they just do what directors and screen players tell them, and how to do it.

That's an interesting point about the car scene since it completely reposes the fact that they are thieves, but the film can't emphasise on the heist in total, there has to be some sort of side attraction to keep viewers interested. However, you're forgetting the fact that the script is the work of the director, and granted that not anyone can pull off such a scene to his satisfaction; the way it's handled is strictly embarked so as the result is perfect--just as it is in Reservoir Dogs.[/color]
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[color=darkblue]I have a few faves, here:

[b]Brad Pitt:[/b] Okay, I know what you're thinking, but I actually don't find him all that physically hot. It was only until I saw Twelve Monkeys that I recognized his true genius. Then I saw my favorite movie of all time, Fight Club, and I was a goner. Tyler Durden is my all-time favorite character.

[b]Edward Norton:[/b] [spoiler]See above[/spoiler] He was also wonderful in American History X, very sexy. He was especially powerful in that shower scene right after he has gotten out of prison, with the water is washing all over him and you can tell he hates that Nazi tattoo.

[b]Jim Carrey:[/b] The funniest man this side of the galaxy. He is so crazy, just so completely out there, that no one even has the capacity to perform his roles the way he does. And have you ever seen him interview? It's insane! He would be so much fun to be friends with. Or lovers, heheh.

[b]Bruce Willis:[/b] Without a doubt, hands down, the sexiest man I've ever laid eyes on. That's just all there is to it.

[b]Drew Barrymore:[/b] Just a great enduring actress, wonderful personality. She would also be great to party with.[/color]
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I know this has already been said but i must say Johnny Depp. He is an inspiration for all actors and all aspiring actors. he is my role model and the only role model i have. He steals the show in every move he is in.
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More Actors ReFlux finds very, very coooool.

[B][U]Samuel L. Jackson:[/U][/B]

I loved Sam Jack in most of his movies. Some of my favorite roles of his include his character in the Basic, Jules from Pulp Fiction, and Mr. Glass from Unbreakable. Just real cool, fun character to get into. I especially like his jive, tough characters in Pulp Fiction and the Basic.

[B][U]Johnny Depp:[/B][/U]

While I may not know his major roles in many films, I did love him in Pirates of the Carribean and Don Juan Demarco(?). He puts beleivablility in his roles. He's a pretty good actor in my eyes judging by the diversity of his roles. I especially liked the stumblingly drunk pirate that is Captain Jack Sparrow.

[B][U]Ujio and Katsumoto From "The Last Samurai"[/U][/B]

Whoa. These guys are awsome. Some of the cooler characters I've seen in the movies I've veiwed. I simply loved both characters. Katsumoto was real cool, calm, and honorable while still being able to have a goofy since of humor while Ujio was a ferocious samurai with cool, caculating abilities with the sword. Not to mention both being as tough as nails.

[B][U]Bruce Willis as Butch Coolidge "Pulp Fiction"[/B][/U]

I really loved Bruce's tough guy character in PF. The way he talked, carried himself, and his set of morales were really cool. I mean, there wasn't even that much action concerning the character, but you just still knew that if you messed with him, he'd rip your head off. Real cool.

Thats all for now. I will most likely think of more and post them in the near future. :D[/color][/size]
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Brad Pitt: Besides making Tyler Durden 20x than most other movie characters including Jack Sparrow. He has also taken roles like Oceans 11, 12 Monkeys, California, Thelma and Louise (HAWT sex scene), and such. He has proven to me he can not only get more *** than I can, but he can command more respect as well.

Johnny Depp: Good for the kind of roles he plays... always the creepy wierd guy.... and one of the best if not the best creepy wierd guy ever. Edward Scissorhand was hands down his best role ever. What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Sleepy Hollow, Nightmare on Elmstreet. This dude rules.

James Earl Jones: Can this dude say anything and not have it somehow be cool? This man was Darth Vader. This was the man who made Darth Vader cool. This was Thulsa Doom from Conan: The Barbarian people! MUFASA! Bow before your king!

Harrison Ford: Dude. This guy just is awesome. Classic awesome. Not cool like Jack Nicolson or Sinatra. No, this guy is awesome. Not new-school awesome like Sam Jackson or Bradd Pitt awesome, Old school Sly Stallone, Bruce Willis, and Ahnuld awesome.

Steve Besumi: Desperado, Resivior Dogs, The Sopranos, etc. This dude is a character actor who is off-beat, fun and funny. And he seems to be getting better with age.

Now. There are like 50 more I can put on this list like Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Jack Nicolson, Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone, etc.

But I'm DAMN tired and I wanna get a sandwhich.
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[color=teal]My favourite international actors are tied between Kitano 'Beat' Takeshi and Sonny Chiba.

Sonny Chiba was great in Kill Bill. His concealed restaurant owner act really got to me; I would never have thought that he was [spoiler]Hattori Hanzo[/spoiler]. I don't know if it's his great acting skills that let him pull off those sorts of roles or if it's the fact that he's just use to them, which is always a bonus in that sense. When his character in Kill Bill was arguing with his partner you could tell that it bared some relevance to the story, and not something that was just there to fill up the hole as to what critics referred to as a 'blood-fest'. Heh, Tarantino's determination with dark comedy is too much.

You will always notice whether or not an international film has been put together by 'Beat' Takeshi because of his on-going tendency to steal the lead roles in them, but that's not a problem to me. I have to say, I much prefer his directing rather than his acting; the repetition of his twitching eye is hilarious but I don't understand why he's chosen to do that. In a way, his appearances in his films have led me to believe that that's his actual attitude in real life because not once have I seen him laugh or smile in any film... then again that face doesn't really suit it, lol.[/color]
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  • 4 weeks later...
[B]Jean Reno:[/B] I'm only saying him off of ONE movie, too. The Professional. He had such great acting skills in this moive, he played a cleaner, quiet well, but always managed to look so sweet and inoccent. He always kept the suspense at a maximum. I GREATLY recomend anyone who loves soemthing that can make you scream, cry, laugh, stare in awe, to see The Professional. Reno playing Leon is one of the best things I've ever see.
[B]Vin Diesel:[/B] He's got that sexy voice and can play the inocent one, and the bad one great.

Probably more, but my brain isn't working right, I need to take it into the shop and get it fixed. ;)
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