T Nation

Favourite/Worst Actors


Who are your top 5 favourite actors and least favourite actors?

Favourite (no particular order)
1. Tom Hanks
2. Kevin Spacey
3. Paul Rudd
4. Will Smith
5. Liam Neeson

1. Kevin Bacon
2. Colin Farrell
3. Paul Walker
4. Nicholas Cage
5. Steven Seagal/Van Damn etc


The Rock is the best actor ever. The rest of this thread is wrong.


In terms of talent, I'd say the best actors around today are Kevin Spacey, Tom Hanks, and Edward Norton. It seems to me that every role they play is totally convincing and you forget who the actor is and believe the character.

Among the older generation of stars, I'd say the same about Michael Caine, Al Pacino, Sidney Poitier, Rod Stieger, Paul Newman, Gene Hackman, and (really going back) Edward G. Robinson.

Now I hate to say this, because I enjoyed all of his movies except for the one where he got pregnant, but Arnold was not the most talented actor. Neither is Keanu Reeves, even though I like the Matrix.

Other actors who are waaaay overrated are Ben Afleck, Adam Sandler, and Ashton Kutcher.



Morgan Freeman
Johnny Depp
Casey Affleck
Brad Pitt
Ryan Reynolds


Ben Affleck
Keannu Reeves
Nicholas Cage
Ashton Kutcher
Ben Stiller OR Matthew McConaughey OR Adam Sandler



The Rock


Dawyne Johnson


Damn, ID, I would have included most of your faves in my list too, but I forgot about them. Two exceptions would be Casey Affleck because I've never seen him before and Reynolds because he's good but not terrific.

As for the bad list, it strikes me that a lot of comedians are considered among the worst actors. Are there any good actors who do mostly comedy? I think Owen Wilson might be on that list. Vince Vaughn is pretty decent too, IMO. I saw one or two movies with Jim Carrey where he wasn't distorting his face, and he has some potential.


Agree with a lot of what's been said.

Heath Ledger as The Joker is probably my favorite acting performance of all time, but he hasn't thrilled me in anything else (and unfortunately won't get to). On that note, Christian Bale is a hell of an actor as well, and Daniel Day Lewis. Both commit their lives to their roles completely. Leo DiCaprio has been in a ton of good movies, but I think that's more that he picks/gets good roles, and is a good actor, but not exceptionally great IMO.

Worst: Everyone in "Legion."




I agree with ID's picks as well.

Isn't Brad Pitt morphing into Robert Redford as he gets older?

Add: Robert Downy Jr.
Gary Oldman
Robin Williams
Meryl Streep
George Clooney
Michael Caine


Gary Oldman

Adam Sandler
Eddie Murphy

Needle in Eye before I would watch
Pauly Shore


I've only seen Casey Affleck in 2 films, but his standout to me was his stunning performance in Jesse James. He had me hook, line and sinker!

I never liked Ryan Reynolds until I saw him in a little-known film called Buried. He was EXCELLENT. Later, I thought his performance in Chaos Theory was equally good.

I agree with your comedy actor assessment. Guys like Robin Williams and Tom Hanks transitioned well and just blossomed in serious roles. Comedy is hard to pull off (ask Stallone), but I think some comedians get a leg up in serious acting just because they've mastered that one big aspect of human nature.


EDIT: ID and IH already mentioned Robin Williams, so scratch that part.

Most of the best comedians-turned-actors don't do that much full-on comedy, and don't come across as comedians: Paul Giamatti, Kevin Spacey and Eric Bana all got their start in stand-up but attended drama school as well.


I can't stand Nicolas Cage.


There's a lot of nepotism in comedy movies nowadays. It's either SNL alumni or Seth Rogen and his band of Merry Men. Between them they account for most of the releases.


Sadly, yes. It gets tired really fast.


I just can't take him seriously. I laughed at his performance in the Wicker Man ... literally.


Dude, that was a comedy. I refuse to believe otherwise.

If you turn it to mute and play Loony Tunes in the background, tell me you won't pass out laughing.



  1. Leonardo Dicaprio: I believe him in every movie and he doesn't go over the top. He's really a great one, though I haven't seen the J Edgar Hoover movie yet.

  2. Joseph Gordon Levitt: He's versatile from comedy to drama, and his performance in 50/50 is really remarkable. If any of you have had a major surgery and had that moment before you went under where there's a fury of activity going around you and all you want is your mom, you can appreciate the headspace he put himself in, especially for that scene. He's great.

  3. Michael Fassbender: I know he's been wagging his piece around on camera lately, but whatever. In Inglorious Basterds when he drops "Well, if this is it, old boy, I hope you don't mind if I go out speaking the King's..." I'm totally in that moment.

  4. John Slattery: Plays "Sterling" on Mad Men. Not sure how he is in other roles, but if his whole catalog is nothing but but this character he'll still be in my top five. Last nights' episode is a prime example, how he's trying his damndest to act like an adult but serves more comfortable misbehaving and screwing shit up.

  5. Daniel Day Lewis: Last of the Mohicans, The Boxer, Gangs of New York, There Will be Blood, now the Abe Lincoln movie and everything inbetween. He becomes his character, and he kills it. There's a lot of comparison between Bill the Butcher and Daniel Plainview, but if you watch a few scenes of each, you see the differences and it's awesome.

Honorable Mentions: Anthony Quinn, Don Cheadle, Russel Crowe, Christian Bale, Alfred Molina (Boogie Nights), and Brian Cox


  1. Keifer Sutherland
  2. Jude Law
  3. Robin Williams
  4. Martin Lawrence
  5. Finally, worst of the worst, Bill Paxton


I'll have to try this


LOL! Really! Seems like fun, actually.
Might even try it during Passion of the Christ.