actors Who is that one actor that never fails to amaze you ?

Who is the actor that never fails to amaze you regardless of how film as a whole is ?
It's easily Daniel Day Lewis for me and will always be him
I'd do anything to experience the Baptism Scene from There Will be Blood for the first time again, I have never seen acting done to perfection like that

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Amaze is a pretty high bar...

I don't think there is any actor that has amazed me in every single film they're in

Hmmm i see then we can change it a little bit, how about an actor who has impressed you in most of their performances ?
In my opinion, whatever I have watched from Daniel Day Lewis and i think I have watched most of his work, his performances have always been amazing to me whether or not I liked the film
 
Agreed that amazed by everything is a pretty high bar. I think the truly amazing performances only happen when both the actor and casting director do a great job. A great actor like Ben Kingsley in a role that's not right for him turns in a mediocre performance. Hopkins has reached great heights in dramatic interpretation, but has been unimpressive in roles where he was shoehorned in to add credibility. Sean Connery had a unique charisma as Bond, but no amount of natural ability could save "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen". Gregory Peck has permanently engraved himself in the zeitgeist, but there were still some dud performances in weaker films.

If I had to pick actors who were consistently on target more often than not. I'd say Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman, Burgess Meredith, Christian Bale, Daniel Day Lewis, Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Patrick Stewart, Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Kirk Douglas, Alec Guinness, Gary Oldman, Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Nicholson.

I see it as a simple multiplication problem. Let's say an actor's skill is a 10/10, and their fit for the role is 10/10, you could have a 100 percent performance. A 5 actor with a 5 casting could only turn in a 25 performance, etc. So there would be no one actor that was always amazing, since the casting agent changes each time, and it's the pairing of the actor and the role that produces the final result.

I do take your meaning though, and certainly some of the people listed above stood out in any role. I think the ones that really stand out in memory are actors like Lewis that select their roles very carefully. Samuel L Jackson for example IS capable of turning in an poignant dramatic performance, but it's not how he's typically perceived, because he works constantly on any project offering scale, using a quantity over quality strategy, that provides an excellent income stream and a lot of entertainment for people, but doesn't necessarily get him noticed as a talented actor.

An interesting study of how much difference casting and direction can make, one needs look no further than Mathew McCaughey and Woody Harrelson's performances in "True Detective" season 1. You have these two guys that aren't really respected for their acting chops suddenly turning in these Oscan nominated performances. So from this we can gather that to a significant degree, truly great performances are highly dependent on favorable circumstances at least partially outside the actor's control.
 
Thanks for replying Nate.
I loved your answer, it's truly something AMAZING that you possess such in-depth knowledge about films. Gotta say finding about this forum was easily the best decision, I hope to learn more from you and the others just like this. Thank you again !
 

sfoster

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I'm a big fan of Antonio Banderas. I see him as the character he portrays, unlike Tom Cruise, who I always see as Tom Cruise.

tom cruise isn't really an "actor" ya know, you're never going to broadway and seeing tom cruise in a play
he's a movie star and a producer.

he's focused so much on producing and learning to do all these stunts and flying, but i think if acting was really his passion and thats where he put all his energy instead of producing it would be a different story.
 
The actor that never fails, not every actor you ever heard of....

Daniel Day Lewis never fails to make you forget you are watching him act. He becomes the character.

Dustin Hoffman is extraordinary. Little Big Man, Tootsie, Marathon Man. 3 distinctly different types of characters all played flawlessly.

Meryl Streep. Far from overrated. From the Dear Hunter to August: Osage County. Truly an amazing actress. her performance in Osage County blew me away.

Sigorney Weaver? LOL!!
 
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The actor that never fails, not every actor you ever heard of....

Daniel Day Lewis never fails to make you forget you are watching him act. He becomes the character.

Dustin Hoffman is extraordinary. Little Big Man, Tootsie, Marathon Man. 3 distinctly different types of characters all played flawlessly.

Meryl Streep. Far from overrated. From the Dear Hunter to August: Osage County. Truly an amazing actress. her performance in Osage County blew me away.

Sigorney Weaver? LOL!!
Sigourney Weaver may not have a lot of diversity, but has certainly turned in a few riveting performances in her time.

I understood the question, it's simply that I think all actors fail when played a bad hand, so it's not necessarily a realistic question to say "who was always good in everything" In example, IMDB listed Jack Nicolson as the greatest actor of all time, but I've seen a good number of bad performances with him. All the actors and actresses I mentioned were amazing in roles that accented their strengths. By other metrics, such as number of entertaining performances delivered, People like Keith David contributed enormously even though no one performance was groundbreaking.

I agree that actors that truly transform into their character are the most noticeable, but it's certainly not the only type of acting with value. Brian Cox in Succession for example plays his character expertly, but you don't get the impression that he had to transform his entire personality to get there. Matt Damon, who certainly would have been on a list of "every actor I've ever heard of" trained to the point of hospitalization to physically transform himself for the role of Jason Bourne, but no one ever calls that a great performance.

But yeah, Dustin Hoffman definitely has top grade talent. As far as Meryl Streep goes, obviously she's one of the all time greats. It just feels like she's reached a level where people mention her on autopilot. Saoirse Ronan for example is very talented, but if Streep does an Eliquis commercial this year, Ronan doesn't even need to bother showing up at the Oscars. It's like asking a film student what the best movie of all time was. "Citizen Kane".


 
tom cruise isn't really an "actor" ya know, you're never going to broadway and seeing tom cruise in a play
he's a movie star and a producer.

he's focused so much on producing and learning to do all these stunts and flying, but i think if acting was really his passion and thats where he put all his energy instead of producing it would be a different story.
Agreed. Tom Cruise does these crazy stunts and flying and they are always fun to watch. I personally love Mission Impossible series (Fallout being my favorite) and i also love him when he tries to do something out of the box like in Eyes Wide Shut
 

sfoster

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Agreed. Tom Cruise does these crazy stunts and flying and they are always fun to watch. I personally love Mission Impossible series (Fallout being my favorite) and i also love him when he tries to do something out of the box like in Eyes Wide Shut

IMO he is the best producer in the world, cause my fav writer/director is chris mcquarrie and tom snatched him right up for all his MI shit lol
So yeah i am totally with you on the new MI films, Mcquarrie and tom have done a great job
 
He's only been in a couple of movies but the actor who truly never fails to amaze me is Tommy Wiseau. Star of The Room and Best Friends. His performance is consistently hypnotizing. What can one say when one sees such acting performances but "Tommy Wiseau"...

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