The Ten: Best All-Time Actors Relay Race
First of all I have a confession to make. I’m not exactly the world’s greatest athlete and I can’t remember the last time that I took part in a race unless you count the race against time … being able to get up from the recliner to make a snack, grab a beer, and check my tweets before the ad break is over… so it’s a great thing that I have just been handed “The Ten” baton from Max from Impassioned Cinema!
“The Ten: Best All-Time Actors Relay Race” works like a traditional relay race (except for all that pesky running) where one participant receives a list of 10 top actors and must cut one from from the list and replace that one with a new actor of their choosing. This task is made all the more difficult by receiving a list of 10 brilliant actors!
Incredibly I will be the 32nd person to participate in this relay race, which is just a testament to Nostra from My Film Views and his ability to create a fun and engaging movie game that all film lovers are quickly embracing!
Nostra provided these original rules for this relay race way back at the start:
“I’ve created a list of what I think are the best actors. At the end of the post I, just like in a real relay race, hand over the baton to another blogger who will write his own post. This blogger will have to remove one actor (that is an obligation) and add his own choice and describe why he/she did this. At the end the blogger chooses another blogger to do the same. The idea is to make this a long race, so that enough bloggers get a chance to remove and add an actor. We will end up with a list (not ranked in order) which represents a common agreement of the best actors. It will also mean that those who follow this relay race will get to know new blogs as well!”
Here are the previous cuts and additions to the list;
My Film Views (created the original list: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Daniel Day-Lewis, Samuel L. Jackson, Charlie Chaplin, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall)
The Focused Filmographer (Removed Hopkins, added Christian Bale)
Front Room Cinema (Removed Pacino, added Paul Giammati)
I Love That Film (Removed Jackson, added Edward Norton)
Flixchatter (Removed Giammati, added Gregory Peck)
All Eyes on Screen (Removed Norton, added Tom Hanks)
Time Well Spent (Removed Hoffman, added Leonardo DiCaprio)
The Warning Sign (Removed Hanks, added Paul Newman)
Movies and Songs 365 (Removed Duvall, re-added Anthony Hopkins)
And So It Begins (Removed DiCaprio, added Max von Sydow)
Cinematic Corner (Removed Bale, added Ralph Fiennes)
The Film Emporium (Re-removed Hopkins, added Jack Nicholson)
Duke & the Movies (Removed Oldman, added Humphrey Bogart)
Southern Vision (Removed Fiennes, added Harry Dean Stanton)
Defiant Success (Removed Stanton, added Jack Lemmon)
Cinematic Paradox (Removed von Sydow, re-added Ralph Fiennes)
Encore’s World of TV & Film (Removed Peck, added Richard Burton)
Okinawa Assault (Removed Lemmon, added Bruce Greenwood)
Amiresque (Removed Greenwood, added Peter Sellers)
Flickers (Removed Chaplin, added Jeff Bridges)
Aziza’s Picks (Removed Sellers, re-added Gary Oldman)
…let’s be splendid about this… (Removed Burton, added James Stewart)
Being Norma Jeane (Removed Bridges, added Johnny Depp)
U, Me, and Films (Re-removed Fiennes, re-added Tom Hanks)
Eternity of Dream (Re-removed Hanks, re-added Leonardo DiCaprio)
Lime Reviews and Strawberry Confessions (Re-removed Oldman, added Amitabh Bachchan)
Surrender to the Void (Removed Bachchan, added Gene Hackman)
Taste of Cinema (Removed Depp, added Marcello Mastroianni)
1001 Plus (Removed Brando, added Cary Grant)
Public Transportation Snob (Removed DiCaprio, re-added Charlie Chaplin)
Impassioned Cinema (Removed Gene Hackman, added Peter O’Toole)
Having a look at the names of the actors that have been added and removed from the list just makes you realise how many great actors there are out there. Here is the current list of The Ten that I had to work with, tough choices indeed.
Robert De Niro
So, who gets removed from the list?
What a list! How am I supposed to remove an actor from this list?!? I felt that the only fair way to judge these actors was to try and place them all on an even playing field. This lead me to one name leaping off the list when compared to the others; Marcello Mastroianni. An actor whom I am sure deserves to be on the list however his was not a name that I recognised and therefore I cannot judge his performances when compared to the 9 other actors whom I have seen in many many films.
I understand that on one hand it’s not fair to remove Mastroianni from the list simply based on the fact that I haven’t yet enjoyed his films (I agree that it’s my loss) but on the other hand I felt that it was even a bigger disservice to the 9 other actors to keep someone on the list when I’m ignorant of their films.
And, who gets added to the list?
Now this question is the hard one, who do I consider to be one of the 10 greatest actors of all time who could easily stand with the above 9 sensational actors above. I thought long and hard about this and even stopped writing this post for about 12 hours to comtemplate my choice.
After much deliberation, I have selected Kevin Spacey.
Unlike De Niro, Kevin Spacey is an actor who only seems to get better with age. Spacey’s earliest performances in TV shows such as The Equaliser and Wise Guy didn’t do much to enhance his resume nor did his turn as the villain in the Wilder/Pryor comedy, See No Evil, Hear No Evil (personal note: one of my favourite comedies) but the world first took notice of him in 1992′s Glengarry Glen Ross, in his role as the acerbic office manager, John Williamson.
I believe that Spacey delivered such a performance in Glengarry that he used the character of Williamson as a blueprint for other similar type roles in Swimming with Sharks and Horrible Bosses.
If the world first took notice of Kevin Spacey in 1992, they definitely learned his name in 1995 when The Usual Suspects was released and audience members around the world were blown away by, not only the incredible story, but also by an astonashing performance which lead to an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Just when film-goers thought that they had this man figured out and could place him in a typecast box, Spacey reinvented himself yet again and delivered, in my opinion, the stand out role in David Fincher’s Se7en. Sharing on-screen time with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, Spacey stole the show with his violent, chilling, and psychopathic performance as John Doe.
It was 4 years after his role as John Doe that Kevin Spacey landed arguably his greatest and most definable role, Lester Burnham in Sam Mendes’s American Beauty. The role called for a man beaten down by life in a job he hates and in a marriage which long ago lost its spark but as he said in the film, “it’s never too late to get it back”. American Beauty went on to win multiple awards and this time Kevin Spacey was able to walk up to the podium during the Academy Awards and claim his Best Actor statuette.
Kevin Spacey is a dynamic actor who doesn’t confirm to popular choices all the time but the one thing that is certain, he delivers outstanding performances and deserves a place on The Ten: Best All-Time Actors Relay Race