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Being a successful A-list actor: More luck than talent?

I think I read here somewhere that a guy who was in the business remarked that A-listers get to where they are more from luck than talent. What do you think?

by Oh Peereply 12005/05/2013

Agreed. All luck. Not nepotism, no sirree. Look over THERE!

by Oh Peereply 105/02/2013

Both- although some without much talent make it and many with talent never come close to making it.

by Oh Peereply 205/02/2013

Talent isn't necessary. Here's what's necessary:

(1) Luck.

(2) DRIVE. You have to be tireless. With very rare exceptions (and there are a few), no one over the age of eighteen just falls into fame and then remains on top for long. You have to make it happen for yourself. For some people *cough* bradleycoopercourtneyloveke$sha *cough* this means giving blowjobs to everyone from here to Timbuktu.

by Oh Peereply 305/02/2013

Luck. Bradley Cooper would still be a TV actor and minor film presence if the first "Hangover" had flopped.

It's like lightening striking.

by Oh Peereply 405/02/2013

If by 'luck' you mean making your own luck, then yes. I don't believe in luck. I'm a 49 year old actor who's had a career far below my youthful expectations. I've worked a lot over the years since getting my first professional job at age 21. In fact, I've had long periods of handsome pay for doing only performing-touring or regional theatre. But I'm not where I dreamed of being in middle age. I'm full employed in show business, but most of what I do is administrative or production. I perform regularly, but I have not 'made it' yet. I take full responsibility for it. I know that if I'd had the self confidence to push myself and put myself in the presence of those who could give me a job more often, I'd be much farther along. Luck? That's something you create.

by Oh Peereply 505/02/2013

If "Kitchen Confidential" had been a hit, Cooper would be a TV actor and certainly not an Oscar nominated actor. Same with Jeremy Renner and his TV series "The Unusuals." Sometimes, a flop TV show can lead you down a better path. Oh and Josh Brolin had a pilot "Murder Book" for FOX in 2005. If that's a hit, he's David Boreanaz now instead of a movie star.

Also, not sure if she's an A Lister, but many years back, Hilary Swank was mostly doing comedy on TV. She auditioned for a drama pilot but they told her they just didn't buy her as a dramatic actress and they passed. Three weeks later, she auditioned for "Boys Don't Cry."

by Oh Peereply 605/03/2013

Well, not exactly luck, just a willingness to sell one's soul.

by Oh Peereply 705/03/2013

I did some modeling in my youth and only landed one job in acting and that was a commercial.

It was a tampon commercial and I was the handsome boyfriend in the background in soft focus next to a tree and steadying a bicycle-built-for-two. I think they made me wear a pastel cardigan sweater (this was the 70s). The girlfriend in front of me extold to the world the virtues of the new tampon applicator tip.

I think I was paid around $700, good money back then.

by Oh Peereply 805/03/2013

"Of course, when you're Meryl Streep or Daniel Day-Lewis, it's a different story, but most of us are not that lucky." Famke Jannsen said this when she was asked why she plays so many aliens. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss has been very candid that luck plays a huge role in actor's success. But I tend to agree that it's a mixture of talent, drive and opportunity. Little Bradley Cooper is lining up big film projects now because he is marketable and the right age. He approved John Wells for a future film after seeing a cut of August: Osage County. This shocked me that he has that much clout now.

by Oh Peereply 905/03/2013

It's total luck and finding one character that strikes a chord with the audience and using that one character to move you into other similar characters. Why is Jennifer Aniston an A list movie star? People liked Rachel and they liked her hair and for some reason they embraced her. Now her career is just variations on Rachel Green.

Why is Oprah A list? Because everyone identifies with her weight struggles and she comes across as friendly and caring.

by Oh Peereply 1005/03/2013

You have to sleep with producers. They aren't usually that attractive. And still no guarantee you'll get the job.

by Oh Peereply 1105/03/2013

R5 you're delusional. Luck is most of it.

by Oh Peereply 1205/03/2013

You all are forgetting something as important as luck/drive : A cutthroat team of agents, managers, lawyer, and eventually publicist who can give you that edge. If you can find a shrewd agent at one of the big agencies to rep you, you're already ahead of everyone.

Ben Affleck would not have had a second wind if his top agent had dumped him. Bradley would not be enjoying all this alleged "clout" if his team wasn't pushing him hard.

by Oh Peereply 1305/03/2013

R11, So what determines who just gets used by sleeping with producers, and who ends up actually getting roles?

by Oh Peereply 1405/03/2013

Getting to the top by sleeping with people is a myth. Maybe back during the old studio system-- but not today. It may get you a job here or there but it's a dead end. I've know a lot of actors who tried this tactic because of the "lore". Never worked for any of em. In fact, I've never seen any of them in anything in the past 10 years.

it IS ABSOLUTELY luck, obsessive drive, along with the absence of conscience. (Using anyone and everyone to get noticed)

by Oh Peereply 1505/03/2013

1. Luck 2. Knowing how to network with the right people 3. Being attractive 4. Being white and/or male 5. Being connected with a famous person- especially a relative

by Oh Peereply 1605/03/2013

I also would like to say the casting couch thing is a myth. Like the other poster said, I don't know how it used to work but that's not the case today.

by Oh Peereply 1705/03/2013

It's not a myth, R17. It's just not really a situation where there's an actual couch.

by Oh Peereply 1805/03/2013

[r18] Again, it's a myth. Wanna know why? Everyone in entertainment is an independent contractor. No one works for anyone anymore. there's no ladder to climb. you have to hop from person to person, bed to bed, while the person you're sleeping with is hopping from job to job, bed to bed, too. The concept of the casting couch for success doesn't work anymore. It guarantees nothing.

Now, slimey peolple using the casting couch to get laid, absolutely exists. That's called exploitation-- or reverse casting couch. completely different issue tho.

by Oh Peereply 1905/04/2013

Ha, R19. Sleeping with the right people can do things for an actor, if indirectly. And it's not exploitation if the party is willing. It's more like what they think of as networking. No myth there.

Guarantee? No, obviously. But sex is often part of networking in that line of work.

by Oh Peereply 2005/04/2013

You need to fuck tons of producers.

by Oh Peereply 2105/04/2013

Bridget Fonda

Laura Dern

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Jamie Lee Curtis


Picking the right parents is very useful.

by Oh Peereply 2305/04/2013

not always r23

by Oh Peereply 2405/04/2013

The original question is pointless. Sometimes it's 50 percent luck/50 percent talent, sometimes it's 40 percent luck/60 percent talent, sometimes it's 70 percent luck/30 percent talent, and so on. Also, what about how easy an actor is to work with? What about how many connections the actor has? I wouldn't necessarily put either of those into the luck or talent category.

In other words: Every situation is different.

by Oh Peereply 2505/04/2013

If you think about it life on the A-list is very brief. Think of who was A-list 10 years ago...Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, CZJ....

by Oh Peereply 2605/04/2013

A lot of it is politics too. And I don't mean the Washington kind. It's a lot of sucking up to the right people and doing publicity and being available to do one or the other or both when needed.

by Oh Peereply 2705/04/2013

Yes, you definitely need to be LUCKY in order to have a career in show business.

Certainly, drive and talent and a good work ethic can improve your chances, but there are so many factors as well that you simply have no control over. The stars have to be aligned in just the right position. You just have to be in the right place and the right time, and when you get to that place, you have to be ready for it as well.

by Oh Peereply 2805/04/2013

[r26] good point. I often look back and wonder what ever happened to.... But most celeb type people retreat from the spotlight, because success is totally unfulfilling. It's gratifying, but unfulfilling. That's why they disappear.

Every Alist, blist, or even clist actor I've ever worked with, was totally lonely. they live in ivory towers. They want friends but are distrustful of motivation. (they fear being used for personal advancement.)

by Oh Peereply 2905/04/2013

R29 Or they have made enough money to retire.

by Oh Peereply 3005/04/2013

I think what was inferred in another thread by an insider: looks, the casting couch and sex are the main currency in Hollywood (to get to that level). Unless you're like REALLY good or something.

by Oh Peereply 3105/04/2013

The casting couch worked out great for me!

by Oh Peereply 3205/04/2013

Lots of celebrities use each other (Nicole and Tom, Keith and Nicole, Ben and Jennifer, Jennifer and Brad, Brad and Angelina). That is neither luck nor talent. Publicity.

by Oh Peereply 3305/04/2013

R33, You speak as if those relationships are 100% for pap attention and not for friendship.

by Oh Peereply 3405/04/2013

Agree. Not 100 percent but it's definitely a factor that gets exploited. Brad's publicist set him up with Jennifer when she was on Friends. They didn't set him up with an unknown writer on the show.

by Oh Peereply 3505/04/2013

Yeah, publicity and media whoredom these days in this media saturated internet age is ALL that matters to stay relevant even if you risk being hated.

by Oh Peereply 3605/04/2013

Or gettin' arrested! I was about to fall off the list.

by Oh Peereply 3705/04/2013

For the most part, people are going to date/marry the image they want for themselves, especially along these lines of work. So the individuals in the relationship are often fake, though the relationship may not be fake. You know?

by Oh Peereply 3805/04/2013

I agree that A-list is brief because most movies lose money and Hollywood is always chasing the new. f you don't bring in the bacon, or you get old, Hollywood is only too happy to move you down the list.

by Oh Peereply 3905/04/2013

If you've networked well and not blown money, though, there's usually something you can do that's "important" and you can still keep your sweet digs after your career peaks.

by Oh Peereply 4005/04/2013

Do you really have to be a ruthless cunt that hustles, networks and treads all over weaker people to get to the top and fake sincerity and niceness to the public? It seems like nearly all have huge egos and/or are nasty.

by Oh Peereply 4105/04/2013

Do people think Jennifer Lawrence slept her way to Oscar?

by Oh Peereply 4205/04/2013

The simple fact is that connections almost always get you in the Hollywood door. After that, after you've established your SAG card and have a few credits, from then on? It's luck/drive. Like others have said, some A listers never would have hit it big had a TV shows not got picked up or something. I've known amazing actors who had "careers" to one degree or another and read for huge parts, either in TV or film. And they just couldn't quite get the part. It was always one executive producer who said no. Or the male lead had blond hair, so the female needed to be a brunette. Or something. Luck. First connections, then luck/drive.

I think the only true A listers who made it later in life (aka weren't child stars, which is a whole different world with different rules) and didn't have any Hollywood connections are Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp.

by Oh Peereply 4305/04/2013

"I think the only true A listers who made it later in life (aka weren't child stars, which is a whole different world with different rules) and didn't have any Hollywood connections are Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp."

Charlize Theron, Meryl Streep, Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, etc.

by Oh Peereply 4405/04/2013

R24, with that face she's lucky she got her own TV show. Do you know how many actors would kill for that?

by Oh Peereply 4505/04/2013

[quote]Luck? That's something you create.


by Oh Peereply 4605/04/2013

R44, for sure Meryl. My bad. And I guess Charlize, though I'm not sure she's quite A-list like Streep, Pitt, and Depp. Though I do love her.

by Oh Peereply 4705/04/2013

Think about it this way...

How many A/B-listers are people who the general public will truly shell out money to see no matter what they're in? No media onslaught, no big high concept or pre-sold audience involved?

Right now, not even Will Smith can claim that.

Meryl? Then why did "Prime" tank?

Daniel Day Lewis? Check out receipts for "The Boxer" and "The Ballad of Jack and Rose".

Everything else is hype and getting attached to the right projects. The days of an actor being a draw are over.

by Oh Peereply 4805/04/2013

My advice to Mamie is she should just give up now. Why did she bother even becoming an actress with that mother who is the God Of Acting, she will always be far in the shadow. Nepotism only works if you have talent.

by Oh Peereply 4905/04/2013

Look, nepotism has always been involved, but now it seems to be ubiquitous.

Take someone like Jane Fonda - obviously born into Hollywood royalty, but she was also a knockout, an excellent actress, and chose good projects. Or Vanessa Redgrave, or Liza, or Sigourney Weaver. They were people who would possibly have made it even without connections. To really make it, you had to have the chops.

Now, its like Colin Hanks, Zosia Mamet, Maggie Gyllenhaal, GOOP, and those are just people with obvious, major connections. There are dozens more, like Zooey Deschanel, whose connections are there but less well-known. All are of middling talent, so-so looks bordering on ugly, and taking up spots that better actors without connections don't get.

It seems like it has become more prevalent and I really think the industry has suffered for it.

by Oh Peereply 5005/04/2013

Jane quit too early. She could not face being a box office failure in her 50's. Streep persevered, bless her, and changed the rules.

Many people listed here are not A-list. From casting, it seems like Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, and Charlize Theron are the hottest gals.

by Oh Peereply 5105/04/2013

I think there are different reasons for people being on the A List.

Some are there for being box office draws and/or huge names (Will Smith, Pitt/Depp, Tom Cruise pre-couch jumping, Julia Roberts when she was relevant), most have big name recognition (Angelina Jolie, Clooney, Denzel), some are permanent A listers regardless (Jack Nicholson), some are there for talent and prestige and may not be big box office (DDL, Theron), some have both of those (Streep). Most look like "movie stars".

There are different stratas within the A list, the gossip columns of blind items refer to some as being A+++ list. I can only think of a very select few that would be. Like Rosie O'Donnell said about movie sensation Vadge "she's so famous she's famous amongst famous people".

I find naming and working out where people belong on the lists interesting. Christian Bale is always one I think of - pre-Batman he had a big cult following, B List maybe? After then and The Fighter definite A list, the bad publicity probably worked in his favour.

Sadly I think Aniston is A list, as sickening as it might be. You could say Goop was A list after the Oscar and even in the Brad Pitt days, she fell off for a while and made sure she used her big Iron Man 3 moment to claw her way back.

by Oh Peereply 5205/04/2013

Nah, Paltrow isn't A-list anymore. When was the last time you saw a movie with just her as the lead? No matter how she sells it, Iron Man is RDJ's show. She's second banana. At best. And when it comes to casting big properties, she's completely irrelevant.

by Oh Peereply 5305/04/2013

Bradley Cooper has pushed his way to A. I am always impressed with talent that do not have managers. He seems to have a lot of advisors. Streep for example owes a lot to Sam Cohn and then Kevin Huvane, but she has largely managed her own career, correct? Smart lady.

Charlize would be my investment right now for an actress who can do interesting work in her 40's. Jessica Chastain is the new Nicole Kidman and I pray she ages gracefully. Audiences like that.

Tom Cruise and Will Smith are bottom-line focused. Johnny Depp is a bit more adventurous. Brad Pitt is losing it (?) but trying to figure out if he can stay famous in his 50's. Channing Tatum is the boy Reese Witherspoon.

by Oh Peereply 5405/04/2013

I went for an audition and there was no couch in the room so I don't know what you're all talking about.

by Oh Peereply 5505/04/2013

R52, I like your breakdown. I too find "lists" fascinating for some odd reason. I tend to like stats I guess. And you're right, there are different types of "A-Lists"

Actor (with a capital A) A List -

DDL, Jack, Meryl (all three are permanent fixtures here) Charlize, Denzel. They don't necessarily guarantee BO, but they are sought after for every project because they can both and act, up the prestige, and often bring in the crowds.

BO Appeal A Lists -

This is a dying breed. Harrison, Tom, Julia, , Sandra, Bruce, Arnold and Sly once ruled it. Now I think only Johnny, Brad, Leo, Tom, Will, and Sandra can guarantee BO. And it has to be in their wheelhouse. No longer can Johnny Depp garner BO appeal if he isn't playing some loony character or Will Smith playing a cop or alien chaser or Sandra playing a rom com lovable loser type. And I think Tom and Brad are close to being off this list.

Name Recognition A Listers - These people are just huge stars. They may have had a few hits here and there, but it's something about them that we love. Or love to hate. They maybe very talented or horrendously untalented, but we all know who they are. Clooney, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence for sure (who may move up to the BO A listers soon), Julienne Moore, Jessica Lange, Keanu, Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, and tons more.

by Oh Peereply 5605/04/2013

My vote is not to talent or luck or the other four means that have been brought up: nepotism, PR team, drive, sexual favors.

I vote for charisma. By that I mean people will watch you no matter what you do.

Talent can lead you to a healthy career as a character actor. Luck can put you in a hit show or movie next to a winner and you will briefly appear to be better than you are. Nepotism will get a you a few roles as favors are called in, then you either pan out or you are gone. A good PR team goes down the pretty much the same route as luck. Sexual favors will get you a reading while everyone works their ipods until you leave the room.

Someone with charisma can benefit from any of the above four as that will get them in front of an audience which can prove they can draw.

Talent is never a necessity to be A list.

by Oh Peereply 5705/04/2013

Streep had the other factor not being mentioned here - family wealth. She went to Yale and made those connections - there is a "Yale mafia" that has a huge influence on the theater world. Then she hired a publicist very early on, again, having money is a huge advantage.

by Oh Peereply 5805/04/2013

Yes, you need luck and drive. But you also need to have a little something special, the oldfashioned "it" factor, that unquantifiable quality that turns people's heads or makes you so compelling on screen that people just cannot stop watching you. Plenty of successful actors made it by being dedicated and making the right connections or their own opportunities, but they'll never be A list because they lack that "it" factor.

by Oh Peereply 5905/04/2013

r59 I respect your insight, with affection r57

by Oh Peereply 6005/04/2013

I also think Hollywood has a "comedy" category that a number of people fall into. I don't seek out these movies but they often make money. Adam Sandler, Melissa McCarthy, seem to be the dominant male and female pigs, I mean performers!

by Oh Peereply 6105/04/2013

Streep has huge charisma and talent. I also thought she worked as a waitress and paid back her scholarship. ICM signed her and then Sam Cohn represented her. Yale clearly gave her opportunities and helped her get noticed, but it is not a pipeline to the A-list. Bradley Cooper used The Actor's Studio to get on camera every chance he could. You have to sell yourself.

by Oh Peereply 6205/04/2013

I agree with r59 and with r57. However big a role that the "it" factor or Charisma play, nepotism is always lurking around.

by Oh Peereply 6305/04/2013

I can see nepotism being huge, tidal wave huge, in getting a chance to try out for or even land a few "starter" roles. Can't think of anyone who is an A-list star, now or in the past, who fails in talent or charisma on their own.

Given they may never have had a chance to be seen in the best possible light in the first place except for their name and connections.

There are a lot of top stars that are related. There are even more minor one or two shots that fade away immediately.

by Oh Peereply 6405/04/2013

Yale isn't necessarily a pipeline to the A list, but it sure has a pathway to it if you use it well. Your mentioning her time as a waitress reminds me of Kathleen Turner, who also belongs on the list of not coming from money or having connections. She worked as a waitress after filming Body Heat.

by Oh Peereply 6505/04/2013

If Paltrow didn't have Iron Man she'd have nothing.

by Oh Peereply 6605/04/2013

Harrison Ford also come from nothing. Depp is only A-List because of the pirate franchise, any other movies of his seem to flop.

by Oh Peereply 6705/04/2013

r66 Except for the Academy Award.

by Oh Peereply 6805/04/2013

[quote]Jessica Chastain is the new Nicole Kidman and I pray she ages gracefully.

WTF? Chastain is already in her mid-30s. By that time, Kidman had been an A-list fixture for 10 years via Tom Cruise. She was acting in Australia in movies by age 19.

I can't really think of an equivallent to Chastain, a female with a breakout late in her career. She's got a few short years before she starts aging out of big roles.

by Oh Peereply 6905/04/2013

[quote]I also thought she worked as a waitress and paid back her scholarship

Who the fuck pays back a scholarship?

by Oh Peereply 7005/04/2013

R68, it is one of the biggest WTF Oscar wins in history. Even most Academy members, in an informal Entertainment Weekly poll a few years ago, agreed it was a mistake and Blanchett should have won.

by Oh Peereply 7105/04/2013

Because Hollywood studios are making less movies, I wonder if A-list is ever more elusive. Nicole Kidman seems to work exclusively now in foreign financed films that tank in theaters.

by Oh Peereply 7205/04/2013

successful actor can be created with a deft management team, something for the public to admire/envy want and steely determination.

Trust me if A List could be created by a formula we would all be doing it.

A List does require everything I mentioned at the top, great management, steely determination SMARTS knowing your value without being a cunt everyone can't wait to take down....etc.

But it also requires a certain amount of what I would call "good fortune" it does require a global public to want to see you repeatedly over a period of time and that has something to do with factors outside of your control, the spirit of the times, what is in vogue because of the social landscape etc.

But you can become a successful actor with something to sell an unbelievable will and determination and excellent management, agents lawyers, managers, publicists etc.

Keep in mind there are under 10 A list actors in the film business at any given time and names fall of and crawl back up or out periodically.

by Oh Peereply 7305/04/2013

R69 Vera Farmiga. All of a sudden she started turning up as the female lead to a lot of A list actors. My guess was because the A list guy ate up the acting budget and they only had scale left over for the female.

by Oh Peereply 7405/04/2013

There are definitely "charisma" stars or actors that aren't really that great at acting, even if they have Oscars and nominations: Roberts/Pitt/Clooney etc and Matthew McConaughey whose Magic Mike was the definition of a charisma performance.

Not to say that they haven't had a good performance, at some point to stay in the game you have to do something or take a risk but they're usually getting by on charisma and playing themselves.

Someone who's both a movie star that can act is more rare. Leo maybe? If Charlize was more widely known she'd fit the bill: she has the movie star looks to a tee.

by Oh Peereply 7505/04/2013

oh yes, and having famous parents is 99% of an agents job done for them in utero.

Provide the name is a useful sales tool like Streep's kids.

If the name is golden the kids work. Period. If the name is recognizable and respected the kids get seen.

Getting seen in this business is over 75% of it. Negotiating and strategy are the rest.

You can get seen because you are drop dead or because you are the son/ daughter of....

Honestly, the simply talented take the most work to get going.

by Oh Peereply 7605/04/2013

"Who the fuck pays back a scholarship?"

Someone with a hard-working publicist.

by Oh Peereply 7705/04/2013

Who are the under ten A-list actors right now, smarty pants?

by Oh Peereply 7805/04/2013

Still would like names of actors who have gone to A list or even near based on nepotism.

by Oh Peereply 7905/04/2013

The closest to Chastain I always thought was Meryl. Meryl broke out relatively late, around 30. She also reminds me of her in that she's shown a lot of range.

But Chastain is quite a unique case, half a dozen acclaimed films coming out in the same year and her being shoved down our throats but with merit, lying about her age (for once this is found out). It seems so spookily planned. I'm interested to see what she comes up with next.

by Oh Peereply 8005/04/2013

Jane Fonda is a talent but clearly it was nepotism.

by Oh Peereply 8105/04/2013

well since you have been waiting so patiently [what all of 10 minutes?] r79

in terms of A list there are few names that have gotten there with the aid of nepotism.

Which by the way in no way implies they don't deserve their success, just that they may well not have had the careers they had without the aid of nepotism.

Jane Fonda Nick Cage Michael Douglas

worthy and talented but all benefited from nepotism and at one time or another were A list

there have been swarms of actors who haven't had A list careers that have benefited from nepotism to become successful actors.

A list only means you can open a movie with global results that pay.

It doesn't mean you are a good actor or anything else.

by Oh Peereply 8205/04/2013

Michael Douglas

by Oh Peereply 8305/04/2013

[quote]Vera Farmiga. All of a sudden she started turning up as the female lead to a lot of A list actors.

No, she's strictly supporting. Her only leads are in tiny, tiny indies. Chastain is now A list in her own right due to talent, industry expectations and the kind of projects she is going to be offered. Farmiga is C, maybe B.

by Oh Peereply 8405/04/2013

Douglas has talent and was involved with great projects, including producing One Flew Over The Cookoos Nest. He's also good looking.

Compare him to a gas face snatch like Zosia Mamet.

by Oh Peereply 8505/04/2013

Look at August: Osage County to see who is A-list. At least this year.

Also, recent castings: David O. Russell with Jennifer Lawrence, Spielberg with Bradley Cooper, Rob Marshall with Depp and Streep, Christopher Nolan with McBongo, Hathaway and Chastain.

by Oh Peereply 8605/04/2013

I can think of more good nepotisms than bad. Most of the nepotism jisms I don't have a problem with cause they had talent.

Some outstrip the original source. I can't think of many examples (there's at least a couple in acting but I can't think who it was) and while estranged son of music legend Jeff Buckley was always going to be compared to papi Tim, he was reminiscent of him and outdid him. Then there's Julian Lennon, bless him.

But even the most extreme example Lisa Marie Presley isn't that bad.

by Oh Peereply 8705/04/2013

Yeah I'd say the current A-list is Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Daniel Day-Lewis, Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Ben Affleck and maybe Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, and a few others.

by Oh Peereply 8805/04/2013

I would say the casting couch worked for Keanu, except he did have good looks and talent, also.

by Oh Peereply 8905/04/2013

[quote]Who are the under ten A-list actors right now, smarty pants?

I'd say (I'm not smarty pants):

DDL, now possibly permanent A-list status (see below)

Meryl, ditto

Will Smith, hanging on


Jennifer Lawrence

Charlize Theron





Ben Affleck

Matt Damon

Bradley Cooper

Sandra Bullock

RDJ (only in his franchises)

The "talented girls" (magazine covers, prestige projects): Chastain, Knightley, Mulligan, Portman

The comedians (A list only applies in comedy): Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Adam Sandler, Will Farrel

Then there are the permanents who may not be on magazine covers but are legends and attract buzz to whatever project they're in. If they want to present at the Oscars, they get to, no questions asked: Jack Nicholson, DeNiro, Julia Roberts, Barbra Streisand, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Jodie Foster, Harrison Ford, etc.

by Oh Peereply 9005/04/2013

Shit i forgot Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Amy Adams (talented girl).

by Oh Peereply 9105/04/2013

[quote]Do you really have to be a ruthless cunt that hustles, networks and treads all over weaker people to get to the top and fake sincerity and niceness to the public? It seems like nearly all have huge egos and/or are nasty.

If not a public cunt, then a private one.

Well, wait. First of all, there is no "top". But yes, in a way, you could say that pretty much all known actors do the above in some way or another.

by Oh Peereply 9205/04/2013

R90, I agree with your list, but I'd add Pitt to your permanents. Despite the fact he has years with no huge hits, the man is firmly entrenched in the A-List. He's like Cruise. He just won't go away. And I say this as someone who likes him. He just has "it".

by Oh Peereply 9305/04/2013

If not nepotism and connections, then coming from a well off privileged family and having some money will help. Getting into acting I imagine is expensive, not to mention soul destroying going from audition to audition.

I think some who did the waiter type jobs eventually made it all the way to the top and A list status, but it seems less likely.

Those waiters were probably right place right time luck cases. Luck plus charisma and looks for most, hard work, perseverance, drive and talent for some but they also most likely needed a boost.

by Oh Peereply 9405/04/2013

Who do you think will fade out into obscurity quicker: J-Law, Jessica Chastain, Rooney Mara or Emma Stone?

by Oh Peereply 9505/04/2013

R95 Rooney Mara

by Oh Peereply 9605/04/2013

Why? Not that I don't agree with you, I am just genuinely curious.

by Oh Peereply 9705/04/2013

I don't think she has the same love from the public and the industry as the other women mentioned.

by Oh Peereply 9805/04/2013

AnnE, JLaw has a best actress Oscar. Jessica Chastain has heat. Emma has been working Lohans career quite well for years now. Rooney has one great role. And people tend to not like her. Something you know nothing about I'm sure.

by Oh Peereply 9905/04/2013

Despite my recent arrest, I would like to humbly remind you all that I am still on the A-list. I do not see my name listed here and this should be corrected immediately.

by Oh Peereply 10005/04/2013

Are there any A-list men under 40 besides Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling, and Bradley Cooper? And Leo and Brad are already late 30s.

by Oh Peereply 10105/04/2013

R100 I read she just signed on to a movie with Keanu Reeves. I don't think that will help her get back to the top.

by Oh Peereply 10205/04/2013

Uh, you forgot me...

by Oh Peereply 10305/04/2013

[99] but what about Fincher?!

by Oh Peereply 10405/04/2013

Halle Berry and Jamie Foxx are A list. Also Hugh Jackman.

by Oh Peereply 10505/04/2013

I think Channing Tatum might have crept up there R101. He had an amazing year and finally broke through and has been the It Boy of late. JGL waiting in the wings and more talent orientated.

Where are the great male child actors though? There's plenty of girls like the Fanning sisters, Abigail Breslin and amazing talents like Chloe Moretz and Saoirse Ronan (damn her name spelling and the Google pic shows she's really grown).

There was the now grown Freddie Highmore and who? Logan Lerman I suppose.

by Oh Peereply 10605/04/2013

Asa Butterfield, the Star of Ender's Game is set to become male Dakota Fanning.

by Oh Peereply 10705/04/2013

There are no A-list kids right now.

by Oh Peereply 10805/04/2013

Reese and Keanu are B list.

by Oh Peereply 10905/04/2013

Being successful at ANYTHING is always more luck than talent.

by Oh Peereply 11005/04/2013

R106 That's true about Channing Tatum. I don't get it personally but I guess he is A-list now.

by Oh Peereply 11105/04/2013

I give Halle a B+. The Call was a modest hit.

by Oh Peereply 11205/04/2013

When you think of who is being cast in prestige films, films by major A-list directors, or huge blockbusters, Reese and Halle are definitely not A-list anymore.

by Oh Peereply 11305/04/2013

Where do the current crop of teen idols stand? They may not be liked by adults but there's no denying they are among the most famous. Like factoring in all celebrity, Bieber is about the biggest of them all just now - look at the many haters.

Zefron and RPattz probably don't have a future. Zefron is sort of passable and although I'm not familiar with Twatlight, RPattz CANNOT act (he's been given enough chances with good projects) much like his girlfriend - some said she was good in Into the Wild, she wasn't, just like Catherine Keener.

by Oh Peereply 11405/04/2013

You forgot Daniel Craig, Vin Diesel, Dwayne johnson aka The Rock, Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman. Also Helen Mirren and Judi Dench are hanging in there.

I think Sharon Stone fell off completely which is too bad because I liked her persona.

by Oh Peereply 11505/05/2013

[quote]Zefron and RPattz probably don't have a future. Zefron is sort of passable and although I'm not familiar with Twatlight, RPattz CANNOT act (he's been given enough chances with good projects) much like his girlfriend - some said she was good in Into the Wild, she wasn't, just like Catherine Keener.

I agree that none of those people have a future in acting.

by Oh Peereply 11605/05/2013

[quote]Julienne Moore

*insert joke about carrot-colored hair here*

by Oh Peereply 11705/05/2013

"You forgot Daniel Craig, Vin Diesel, Dwayne johnson aka The Rock, Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman. Also Helen Mirren and Judi Dench are hanging in there."

Not really. B list at best. Well paid if they are in a blockbuster or franchise role. Helen Mirren will do a cat commercial for food.

by Oh Peereply 11805/05/2013

Freddie Highmore is a textbook child actor who didn't transition well. He can't act anymore.

by Oh Peereply 11905/05/2013

He's quickly being replaced by Nicholas Hoult as the go-to young Brit, r119.

by Oh Peereply 12005/05/2013
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