Thursday, September 23, 2010

Speaking of Actors ...

"Five Hollywood Actors That Are Excellent Stage Actors", the title read. Sounds like potential Shakespeare connection.  Let's check it out.

"Patrick Stewart!" you scream. "Patrick Stewart Patrick Stewart Patrick Stewart!"

Not on the list.  The short list is written from the author's perspective of who he personally saw on stage, and I think perhaps he was going for more of the "perhaps you didn't know...." angle.  Who doesn't know that Patrick Stewart is an excellent stage actor?

Anyway, here's the list : Liev Schreiber, Hugh Jackman, Ed Norton, Denzel Washington, and Catherine Zeta Jones. I know that that Liev Schreiber's got some Shakespeare cred, and Denzel Washington of course was in Brannagh's Much Ado movie, but how about the others?

Or for the more interesting game, tell us what role you think they'd be perfect for.  I like Ed Norton, I'm wondering how he'd do as Edmund.  Makes me think of Fight Club.


Weez said...

My humble opinion: Patrick Stewart's a little overrated anyway. His stage performances are very understated, which can work a treat when it's appropriate for the character (can't fault his Claudius, f'rinstance), but at other times makes you feel sorry for the schlubs in the cheap seats, who can probably hear what he's saying but have no idea what he's actually doing. I was lucky enough to see the Stewart/McKellen Waiting for Godot, and I swear, Sir Ian was running rings around him in the acting stakes.

By the way, there's some COMEDY GOLD in the comments to that article. Gotta love the idea of Ewan McGregor playing Othello! And I wonder who this "Stewart Patrick" fella is? 8D

I live quite close to London and don't have any real hobbies aside from theatre, so I see a lot of plays, including quite a lot of the "LOOK BIG NAME HOLLYWOOD STAR IN THE WEST END ISN'T THAT EXCITING?!" affairs. And it's very rare that I'm unimpressed by a Hollywood actor on the stage. I know that movie acting and stage acting are wholly different disciplines, but I've yet to see someone who's brilliant at the former and a letdown at the latter. Given an appropriate vehicle and a great director, a Hollywood actor would have to work REALLY HARD to disappoint.

Not sure where I'm going with that. But you could make a HUGE list under that heading!

As for the other game, I'd like to see Liev Schreiber as Brutus and Catherine Zeta Jones as Tamora. :D

Christopher said...

I have seen all five of those actors on stage, and though none of them really disappointed, the only one who really impressed me was Hugh Jackman. That guy has a huge presence on stage, but remains very relaxed.

Liev Schrieber is the only one of them that I've seen perform Shakespeare. He sure can speak, but both performances I saw him give were *very* dry. Macbeth felt more like a history than a tragedy, and Henry V felt more like a history lesson than a play.

My list would include Phillip Seymour Hoffman who you can hear breathing from the back row, Natalie Portman (probably the biggest surprise), Jude Law, and Alan Rickman who pulled off some flawless physical comedy in Private Lives.