Acting is one of the hardest things that I've ever had to do in my life. You have to clear away all of your inhibitions and put yourself out there, unafraid. It's so hard to not feel foolish during a scene, or to say fully committed, but when you do, it's a beautiful thing. Acting is the best art form, because it's so honest. There are times that I regret the choice that I made, to go into theatre, but for the most part I am completely happy with it. There are very few things that I could see myself doing, besides acting. I have such a drive to want to be like my favorite actors and have their abilities to tell stories, and become the characters, fully living the lives of the characters and animating them. It's such a powerful art, and I am blessed to be a part of it.
I just wanted to dedicate this post to my top five favorite actors. These men have constantly left me in awe of their talent and ability. You may disagree, but they have inspired me personally, and remind me why I love acting. I only hope to someday be in their league, and be able to be as honest and careful with my characters as they do.
And now, here they are in no particular order:
1) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel is one of the greatest actors of our generation. With roles such as Christy Brown in My Left Foot, Bill The Butcher in Gangs of New York, Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans, John Proctor in The Crucible, and the iconic Daniel Plainview in Their Will Be Blood, Daniel never fails to amaze. I'll never forget when I first saw him in The Crucible. I was blown away by his talent, and he instantly became one of my favorite actors. I watched more of his movies, but then I saw his best work, There Will Be Blood. He won the Oscar for his role, and deservedly so. His work in the movie was incredible, and inspiring. The entire movie is a character study, and he completely becomes Daniel Plainview. He is even able to make lines such as 'I drink your milkshake!' seem frightening, rather than corny. There Will Be Blood is a fascinating movie, and he gives such a great performance. I rank it as one of my top greatest performances of any actor of all time. If you didn't know that he was playing the role, he would be completely unrecognizable. Such a fantastic actor. I can't wait for his new movie musical 'Nine' to come out. If he can sing, he'll have proven that he can do anything.
Daniel in 'The Crucible'
Daniel in 'There Will Be Blood'
2) Tom Hanks
Is it possible to make a list like this without including the great Tom Hanks? He was one of my earliest favorite actors. He is one of the men that was my biggest inspiration to go into acting. His movies were ones that I loved from a young age, and then appreciated even more when I got older. he has given some of the most touching performances that I've ever seen. My favorite roles by him are Chuck in Cast Away, where he actually made me really depressed over a volleyball named Wilson, Capt. John Miller in Saving Private Ryan, Jim Lovell in Apollo 13, Paul Edgecomb in The Green Mile, Carl Hanratty in Catch Me If You Can, Michael Sullivan in Road to Perdition, Woody in Toy Story, and of course, his Oscar winning Forrest Gump in Forrest Gump. I've always loved that movie, and it is one of the most bittersweet movies that I've seen. It's beautiful for his performances complexities and simplicities. He does a spectacular job. I really wish that he would take more roles like these nowadays, and I hope that we see him winning another Oscar in the future. He is an immense talent, and will always be one of my favorite actors. He was one of my earliest inspirations, and will remain and inspiration. Let's not forget, there's no crying in baseball.
Tom in Cast Away
Tom in Forrest Gump
3) Heath LedgerNow, I know that you probably think I'm only including Heath Ledger because he died, but no, that's not the case. Heath Ledger was an amazingly talented actor who had so much promise and raw talent, and it's such a shame to see him gone. He is a recent Oscar winner, with two nominations. I first saw him as Patrick in 10 Thing I Hate About You, and I thought he was alright. He really caught my attention though, when I saw him as Gabriel in The Patriot. he gave a great performance, and that was really the start of a fantastic career. He went on to play William in A Knight's Tale, which is a movie that I've seen upwards of a thousand times. I love that movie, and can quote many of the lines. At that point, I really liked him as an actor, and really respected his role choice. I really liked him as Jacob Grimm in The Brothers Grimm, and he was great in I'm Not There. He gained an Oscar nomination for his role in Brokeback Mountain, for a role that took a lot of courage. I really respect him for that choice. When I heard that he would play the Joker, I was excited. I heard that it would be much darker than previous Batman films, and I thought that maybe I would actually enjoy a comic book film for once. His final completed role didn't disappoint, with him earning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the villain. He blew me away, and I really wanted to see him win the award. I'm so glad he did. His Joker is ranked as my greatest film villain of all time. His life was taken way too early, and he had so much potential. He left a strong body of work to be proud of, and will continue to inspire many for years to come. I'm eagerly awaiting his next film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Rest in Peace, Heath.
Heath in A Knight's Tale
Heath in The Dark Knight
4) Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp is an amazing actor. He brings such beauty to his roles, and such depth. He is another man with fantastic choice in roles. I first saw him as Edward Scissorhands when I was a child, and I was freaked out, but in a good way. From that point on, he has continued to impress me with roles such as Donny Brasco, Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, Ed Wood in Ed Wood, JM Barry in Finding Neverland, George Jung in Blow, Gilbert Grap in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Mort Rainey in The Secret Window, and his Oscar nominated performance as Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd. With the last role, he proved that he can sing, and be incredibly versatile in his roles. I would love his have a career such as his, with these amazing characters. He is long overdue for actually winning an Oscar. Everyone who has seen the Pirates series has instantly been drawn to his talent. His turn as Jack Sparrow was nothing short of perfection. He was actually nominated for an Oscar for that role too (and he deserved it!) Another character actor who can take on anything. His movies have mostly a darker tone to them, especially his movies with Tim Burton. They've formed a great team, and Johnny continues to pump out awe inspiring performances. Again, I go back to the word inspiration. As one of my favorite actors, he makes me want to act.
Johnny in Sweeney Todd
Johnny in Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
5) Sean Penn
Say what you will about his personal life, he's an extremely talented actor. Sean Penn has had a great career that's earned him two Oscars (which should have been three). From his first appearance in my house as Spicoli in Fast Times At Ridgemont High (thanks for showing me the movie, mom), he has given a few performances that I'll never forget. He was fantastic as Sam Bycke in The Assassination of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Markum in Mystic River, and delivered a truly remarkable performance this past year as Harvey Milk in Milk. His Oscar winning performance in that movie is enough to make anyone feel for the character. The realism that he brought to Harvey Milk was phenomenal, and I can't wait to see the movie again. I loved his performance, and I'm very glad he got the Oscar. His real gem though, is Sam Dawson in I Am Sam. I Am Sam has to be one of the most heartfelt, and heartbreaking movies that I have ever seen. It is all due to his performance as Sam. Again, this performance ranks as one of my greatest film performances of all time. I really applaud him for making such a likable character. The movie was so powerful, and he did a fantastic job. His touching performance definitely solidifies his spot on my top five.
Sean in Milk
Sean in I Am Sam
Well, that's it! I'ma go off to sleep now. Take it easy.