Five!! One Trick Ponies, Part II
Sins of the Father
*Warning! Warning! My spoilers are flailing wildly!*
So here we are, One Trick Ponies Part II. Last time we went through five people who always seem to play the same characters. This time we're taking a look at ones that always play themselves. And I must say this list, at the planning stage, was even longer than the last. In the end I whittled it down using two basic criteria:
1.) The picks with the least number of exceptions.
2.) The people who made me think of doing this Five!! in the first place!
And even then there were still so many! So I decided to put up the most obvious; the ones that you would see and be able to run down a list off the top of your head and think: 'Yup, yup, I see that.' And even then I had to take an extra day and debate.
Disclaimer time: We here at The Reel Deal do not pretend to claim any sort of personal relationship with anyone- anywhere. I barely know myself. The phrase "play themselves" is meant to refer to the persona they craft for publicity coenciding with their on-screen performances. In other words: The way they act in, say, an interview seems to be the exact same way they act in a big budget movie.
Actor: Kevin Costner
Exceptions: Mr. Brooks (see it)
Here he is folks, the man who started it all for this Five!! I've been saying this about old Kevy for as long as I've been choosing my own movies. But really, Costner has been at it since long before my cinematic time, even opening up his own acting school: The Kevin Costner Institute of Living Off Your Looks. Graduates include George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and our next pick...
Actor: Mathew McConaughey
Exceptions: Reign of Fire
Yup, everybodies favorite, washboard stomached Texan. I was ready to tag him with a "none" for exceptions (he's more like a Ken doll: there's pot-smoker Mathew, repentant Mathew, lawyer Mathew... They're all still Mathew) but in the end I gave him Reign of Fire because he gives a pretty un-McConaughey performance as the hard as nails, ex-army, cigar smoking Denton Van Zan... though a case could be made that this is really just post-apocalypse Mathew.
Actor: Denzel Washington
Exceptions: Training Day, Malcolm X
I know I'm probably going to catch some flak for this one but look- I'm a fan and I still can't help but notice so hear me out. It's the euphamisms! The way he walks, the way he phrases things, the way he rubs his head when he's flustered- none of it changes from role to role. The exceptions are the ones where he really seemed to be crafting a character as opposed to inserting his... and even then I'm still a bit undecided on Malcolm X.
Actor: Keanu Reeves
Exception: The Devil's Advocate
Now this is in interesting one. You see the name, think of Neo, and scream: "Wait! What about Bill and Ted?! What about The Parenthood?!" My answer? The character changed when he did. It's all in the interviews my friends. Reeves played Teds and Tods as the young surfer dude he was. Then as he began to make the transition into stiff-as-a-board action figure he made Point Break (a movie I like by the way), which has him as an interesting blend between "Surfer Reeves" and "Robo-Reeves". It's really the truning point too because from then on he is the "I can't turn my neck" Neo we know and... well, know.
As a side line I don't know that The Devil's Advocate is really an exception per say, but to me it's one of his most dramatic performances so I gave it to him.
Actor: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Exception: Hercules In New York
When you have an Austrian accent thicker than your own massive torso and the only movie that bothers explaining it is one where your supposed to be Danny Devito's twin brother, that's when you know there's a problem. What's worse, the role he's best in is one where he plays an emotionless, humorless, machine bent on one thing and one thing alone- and he's still comes across as himself! I have no doubt that these movies get pitched as: "Arnold fights an alien." "Arnold fights a machine." "Arnold tells small child to stop eatign other kids lunches."
But like I said in Part I, sometimes the person you play every time fits. Now if only they'd make "Arnold is a womanizing, egotist."
Whew! What a hard Five!! There were dozens more I could think of which means there must be hundreds more out there. I was hard pressed to limit it to five so feel free to add more! Especially female picks.
And as a "Thank You" for sticking with me I'm going to give you a sneak preview of the next topic, coming this weekend. In honor of what, after all this hype, will either be a cinema explosion or a box office implosion: Five!! of My Favorite Alien Species.
The image came from a blog called Simply Marvelous. Thank You!