This morning as my husband and I drank our coffee and snuggled under the blanket on the couch, we turned on the TV to find a biography on Robert DeNiro and then Al Pacino. We both agree that they are two of our greatest actors, so we watched the show on Biography and then started naming some of our other favorites. I thought I would share my list with you. My list is based upon the range of characters they have played and the emotions they have brought out in me. This has nothing to do with good looks or the actual movie, though I will name the movies so you can watch them. It’s the acting I am ranking. I would love to hear your top ten list on this subject, so feel free to comment at the end.
1. Robert DeNiro – I think he is amazing and his range of emotions is incredible. One of the best ever. In fact, he is definitely number one in my book. The characters he has played in movies such as The Godfather II, Raging Bull, Heat, Cape Fear, Goodfellas, Analyze This, Meet the Parents, etc. are so different and yet, he makes you either love him or hate him.
2. Al Pacino – Another brilliant actor. I loved him in The Godfather I and II (I am pretending that III never happened) and Scent of a Woman. Fantastic. Just his name makes me want to go see his work.
3. Johnny Depp – No comment necessary. Simply amazing. So many films. So many roles. So many changes and accents and expressions.
4. Marlon Brando – A legend. His acting even now is admired by young aspiring actors.
5. Tom Hanks – Funny, dramatic, always leaves me with wanting more. The ability to go from his characters in Sleepless in Seattle to A League of Their Own to Forest Gump (his most brilliant performance in my opinion) to Band of Brothers is incredible. Love him!
6. Jack Nicholson – He is like DeNiro for me. Not a role he cannot play and truly become that character. Just watch The Shining, A Few Good Men, Batman and As Good As It Gets. You will not be disappointed.
7. Daniel Day-Lewis – Ah-mazing. From The Last of the Mohicans to Gangs of New York (his most incredible performance, I think) to Lincoln. His characters demand attention and his presence is uncanny.
8. Denzel Washington – Fabulous actor. Even when he played the bad guy in Training Day I still loved his character and rooted for him. I know, crazy! He exudes intensity and brilliance.
9. Samuel L. Jackson – Wow. His name. His voice. His amazing ability to make you pay attention to a supporting role (which is what he usually does and then steals the show!). GREAT ACTOR! Remember Pulp Fiction? WOW.
10. Tommy Lee Jones – Another actor who can go from action films to comedy and make each and every character the one you cannot wait to see next.
Okay – have to add two more. This was tough once I got started!!! I bet I could do 20!
11. Morgan Freeman – His ability to make you LOVE his character and cry for him and yearn to hear his amazing voice. His subtle smiles and piercing eyes connect with each and every audience member. Loved him in The Shawshank Redemption and all the movies he made with Ashley Judd!!
12. Harrison Ford – Although he mostly did action or action-comedy films, many contained a lot of dramatic scenes. I think he did some of his best work in The Fugitive and Air Force One and will always love him in the Star Wars films.
Okay. I know some of you might be appalled that I left off some other names. It was tough, though. To only choose a dozen actors. Who is on your list?