Hollywood is a mixed bag of apples. For every “Citizen Kane” you get “Twilight.” For every Francis Ford Coppola you get Michael Bay. It’s amazing a single medium can produce such varied results.
The same holds true for actors. It is generally agreed that some thespians are better at their craft than others. It doesn’t matter if the movie is titled “Tax Return II: Electric Boogaloo”; if it has a Daniel Day-Lewis or Meryl Streep in the starring role then Oscar talk will surely follow.
Along with the cream of the crop comes the bottom of the barrel though. Some cinephiles would rather play “Punch the Bear” than sit in a cramped theater to see the latest from Eddie Murphy, Paul Walker or Katherine Heigl. With those actors, it is totally deserved. However, there are some “bad” actors that aren’t terrible at all. In fact, they are quite good. I’m talking about actors like:
1) Nicolas Cage
First off, let’s clarify something. It’s ACADEMY AWARD WINNER Nicolas Cage. How soon we forget that the guy who played a motorcyclist set on fire was considered the best actor at one point.
Unfortunately, Nick Cage is now associated with taking more movie roles than most people take out the trash. With his bankruptcy problems and being what can only be described as “Cage-ian”, Nick Cage HAS to be in that many movies – big or small, logical or not – to keep the money rolling in. But you know what? Cage commits to each role fully.
While actors of similar status might scoff at a screenplay involving bear suits, woman punching and CGI bees, Nick Cage gives his creepy smirk and says, “hell yes.” Playing both twins in one movie? Nick Cage will do it. A theatrical pedophile terrorist? Nick Cage will do it. A Batman wannabe? Nick Cage will do it … TWICE.
I liken Cage to a poop shoveler in the circus. They shovel A LOT of poop. But holy crap (pun intended) do they put their heart and soul into it.
2) Adam Sandler
When looking at the average, Adam Sandler is a bad actor who stars in a lot of bad movies. His production company, Happy Madison Productions, makes more horrible films than a startup porn site. But like a blue moon or me studying, something comes along from Sandler every once in awhile that he is actually really good in.
Films like “Reign Over Me,” “Spanglish” and “Punch Drunk Love” show Sandler’s more serious side and it is excellent. It’s like the writers and casters caged Sandler and took away poop humor and any weird voices or cameos until he said, “alright, I’ll act now.”
He can play disturbed and violent better than some grizzled action veterans, and yet the classic Sandler eye twinkle and laugh easily makes these characters still loveable and real. Put all of this together and it’s not surprising to learn that he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in “Punch Drunk Love.”
Then again he has won like a million Razzies. So take everything I say with a grain of salt.
3) Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves’ first big role was as high school stoner/bro Ted in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” According to most critics, Reeves never stopped playing that role in every movie he has ever been in. “Cold,” “goofy,” “retarded”: these are words that have been used to describe Keanu Reeves throughout his career.
I don’t like that. You know why? Imagine “The Matrix” without Keanu as Neo. YOU CAN’T. Did you know Will Smith was offered the role first? Did you know instead of “woah” we could have had “woo a wah!” or whatever the hell Will Smith says these days? That would have sucked.
Did you also know that Keanu Reeves, the man, is a way more interesting story than any roles he’s played? He gave up his profit sharing options for “The Matrix” sequels to the special effects and costume teams because he felt they deserved it. He has played bass and sang in two bands – Dogstar and Becky. His girlfriend had a miscarriage with their child in 1999 before that same girlfriend died in a car wreck in 2001. There is a popular video of Reeves riding the subway in New York and giving up his seat to an older woman. I always admire people that have much more money than me that are also much nicer than I am. Let’s make the Keanu Reeves biopic immediately! I hear Nicolas Cage will play him.