Modern film actors have all the glamour that comes with widespread media coverage, and modern films have great technology that simply was not there in the past. So, it is not surprising that today’s cinema stars are household names. But in certain quarters of the film industry, modern actors are not regarded in the same way that classically trained actors still are. However, treading the boards playing a Shakespearean role is in no way harder than close up camera work focused on the star actor. Some of the actors plying their trade in Hollywood today are extremely talented and should be regarded as so, here is our list of some of the best.
Robert De Niro
De Niro is quite unique in respect that he is capable of playing many different roles, from tough guy armed robber to a comic demented father, and he is just as adroit at playing them all. Born in New York City, he came from Italian descent and many of his roles take full advantage of this fact. De Niro also studied at the Stella Adler Conservatory so is adept at playing more complex characters. Perhaps his greatest films included: Taxi Driver, Once Upon a Time in America, The Deer Hunter, Goodfellas, Heat and Casino
Another New Yorker with Italian roots, Al Pacino announced himself to the world in his performances in The Godfather Trilogy. A perfectionist who takes his work very seriously, Pacino is famous for enveloping himself into his character which certainly works on the big screen. Some of his performances have labelled the films he starred in as classics, and the following list explains why, The Godfather Part 1 & 2, The Scent of a Woman, Heat, Scarface, and Dog Day Afternoon.
Paul Newman has been making films for almost half a century, he has acted in Westerns, Spy Thrillers, Comedies, Romances and just about any other sort of genre that you can possibly think of. Blessed with good looks he was an immediate favourite of the ladies, but his ability to act took him above a mere film sex symbol. His incredible performances form a long list, but here are the most well-known films he appeared in. The Sting, The Hustler, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Road to Perdition, Rachel, The Color of Money, and possibly the best of the lot Cool Hand Luke.
Born in New York City, Denzel Washington was the middle of three children by a Pentecostal father and a beautician mother. Another actor who immersed himself into his character role and absolutely perfect for the big screen. His very presence oozes authority, and when Denzel walks on screen people pay careful attention. His roles are often thoughtful and meaningful, and always central to the core of any film. His best performances came in: American Gangster, Malcolm X, Glory, Flight, Training Day and the alcoholic bodyguard in Man on Fire.
This creme de la creme of modern actors stand out above the rest but there are so many really good contenders that we will be reviewing the next batch in part two.