Friday, May 6, 2016

Top 100 Actors: Part IX (#60 - 56)

60. Chow Yun-fat

One of the biggest stars of Hong Kong action cinema, and one of the few Asian actors to successfully earn several starring roles in American films as well. It's not hard to see why he became so popular, as he is one of the most badass action stars who has ever lived. Pair that with some serious grit and acting talent, and you've got yourself a great star. It's a shame he hasn't been given more strong roles, but his work from the late '80s, '90s, and into the 2000s is good enough for any actor to call a very successful career.

Favorite performances:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
The Killer
Hard Boiled
Curse Of The Golden Flower
Once A Thief
Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End

59. David Thewlis

Quite possibly the most natural and relaxed actor on this list, Thewlis has a very bizarre charm and casual nature that makes him often very compelling to watch. For a out 25 years now, he's been skirting around the limelight, never making himself into a star but instead taking on daring and difficult roles that make me very grateful his career had the trajectory that it did. Not a conventional actor by any means but an excellent character actor who still continues to deliver great performances.

Favorite performances:
Divorcing Jack
The Omen
The Zero Theorem
Stonehearst Asylum
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban

58. Takashi Shimura

One of the greatest Japanese actors who has ever lived, I'm almost embarrassed to say I have only seen him in Kurosawa movies and the occasional Toho monster film. That is not to say he didn't do anything else but that's still all I've personally seen of his. But he is always great, so who cares? Though his frequent co-star Toshiro Mifune often steals the show, Shimura takes on the thankless role of an actor with great reserve and less flashy material to work with, and makes it work no matter what. What a trooper.

Favorite performances:
Seven Samurai
Drunken Angel
Stray Dog
The Bad Sleep Well

57. Tom Hardy

Another actor who has emerged in the past 10 years and proceeded to blow everyone away, Hardy first left a mark on me when I saw him in Bronson back in 2008, and has stayed on my radar ever since. Well, until my radar wasn't needed anymore, because you can basically find him everywhere now. An actor of uncommon physically intimidating nature, he is not only a fantastic dramatic actor who can rely entirely on small gestures and subtle emotions, but also a brutish force who can destroy anything in his path. And thankfully, apart from a few missteps, his career has been filled with some great examples of him doing both.

Favorite performances:
The Dark Knight Rises
The Revenant
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Mad Max: Fury Road

56. Robin Williams

At several points throughout his career, Robin Williams began to be looked at as a has-been who played the same basic roles in every movie and didn't seem like he would ever be able to move forward. But more than once, he took those expectations and figuratively shoved them up everyone's asses. Going from hilarious and manic to quite, solemn, dramatic roles, and then turning in chilling villainous performances after that, Williams should probably best be known for defying expectations, never letting himself take on continuously stereotypical roles, and managing to make those career changes work. Sure, he gave some poor performances, but the dynamic range of his good ones more than outweigh any negatives.

Favorite performances:
One Hour Photo
Good Will Hunting
The Fisher King
World's Greatest Dad
Death To Smoochy
The Birdcage
Good Morning, Vietnam

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