Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Great (film) Debates vol. 86

Likeability is as important to actors as lickability is to ice cream.


What actor comes across as most likeable?


Panelist: BevfromNYC

Obviously, Tom Hanks comes across as the most likeable man in Hollywood. And since I actually met her and worked with her, Valerie Harper is THE most likeable actress I ever worked with. She is just the nicest lady and a truly generous spirit.

Panelist: Tennessee Jed

This is an interesting question because it can be interpreted in multiple ways. Here are two who can and have played menacing characters as well as extremely likable characters. Both of them come across as very likable in their real personna. They are Denzel Washington and Gary Sinise.

Panelist: T-Rav

Gary Sinise. I don’t know if it’s his actual on-screen work, all his off-screen work for the troops, or the general lack of a “diva” air about him, but Sinise just seems like a genuinely nice guy.

Panelist: ScottDS

Bryan Cranston. He isn't Walter White in real life, he just plays him on TV! I've seen him in interviews and he seems quite friendly and, dare I say it, almost normal. I was even an extra on a TV show where he was the guest star and, unlike so many others, he actually turned to us and asked how we were doing.

Panelist: AndrewPrice

There are quite a few actors lately who come across as rather nice. Perhaps they've learned again just how important that is? Sinise is probably my choice, but since everyone else likes him and I want to be different, I'm going with Hugh Jackman. Not only do you always hear how nice he is, but he's never played an unlikable character. When it comes to actresses, I have to say that Sandra Bullock comes across as really, really nice.

Comments? Thoughts?

32 comments:

ScottDS said...

Before people pile on this answer, I'm gonna go to bat and say Tom Hanks is, by all accounts, a very nice guy. Sure, he seemed to be Public Enemy #1 for a while because of something he said re: World War II, not to mention his participation (to what extent, I don't know) in the HBO movie Game Change.

But he ain't exactly Alec Baldwin either! (Hell, I like Baldwin but I can't defend his behavior, nor would I want to.)

:-)

(Disregard this comment if Bev says she was being sarcastic!)

I can't disagree with any of the other answers.

goldvermilion87 said...

I agree with BevfromNYC. Definitely Definitely Tom Hanks.

K said...

I like Christina Hendricks quite a bit.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Excellent answers. I especially like Sinise but I'll go with the (living) actor I have liked the longest, and that's Clint Eastwood.
Sure, he don't always play a really nice guy but I can't think of a film he was in that I didn't root for his character.
When he ain't acting, by all accounts he's a very good guy. And a great director I might add, as well.

For all time likable, I'll go with Jimmy Stewart.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

For living actresses I will go with Shirley Temple. Although she retired at a young age, only a psycho couldn't find it in their heart to like her.


USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Of course, psychos don't have hearts so naturally they can't find it in their hearts to like anyone, at least not genuinely or unconditionally.
Just sayin' before T-Rav says it. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I do like Tom Hanks, I just like him less because of his politics. It just proves that actors should keep their politics to themselves.

ScottDS said...

K -

I, too, like Christina Hendricks quite a bit. :-)

I like her even more after reading about her horrible high school years (she was a goth, but a damn hot one!)

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Good call on both Eastwood and Stewart! Both of them seem like great people and would have been interesting to get to know.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Will Smith seems likeable on talk shows. Agree with the others too.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, I agree. His image has taken a real hit lately though. There are a couple of former co-stars who say he's an egomaniac and then the whole scientology thing caught a lot of people by surprise.

tryanmax said...

I'm not sure what he's done lately besides hock cameras, but Ashton Kutcher just seems like a really personable guy (even if he is from Iowa). And despite his usual dumb-lug persona, he seems to really know his tech stuff. When he plugs a web app, people listen.

(Plus, you have to be a good sport when your swimming in the wake of Bruce Willis, so to speak.)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Speaking of young people, I have to say that Justin Timberlake seems like a pretty nice guy.

tryanmax said...

Timberlake hangs with a lot of comedians and, by all accounts, has a sense of humor to keep up with all of theirs. A good sense of humor usually goes with a down-to-earth persona.

AndrewPrice said...

The other thing is that every time I see him, he's either talking about his grandparents or his wife, or he's doing something for a fan like attending a prom. I also never see him get into trouble.

T-Rav said...

Scott, I won't jump on you. Tom Hanks seems like a very nice, self-deprecating guy, and in fact, I wish he did more movies where that came across, like in the '80s and '90s.

ScottDS said...

T-Rav -

I agree. I'm actually a huge fan of Bachelor Party and two of my biggest guilty pleasures are The Money Pit and Dragnet.

"Pagans!!" :-)

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

I'd pay money for Timberlake to take a year off of music just to do Saturday Night Live for one year. His episodes are usually the best of their respective seasons.

Anonymous said...

For me when I say likeable I mean someone that I could have a drink with at the pub, a normal person unaffected by celebrity. It has nothing to do with their roles, only how I perceive them in real life.

At one time I would have said Matt Damon he always came across really well in interviews, he had a sense of humour and even laughed at how he was portrayed in Team America. But his politics have killed it for me, I'm sure if I met him that he'd be polite and likeable but he talks so much shit I just cannot handle it. Just shut up, I don't care about your opinion I just want you to entertain me, not educate me.

I'd have to agree with Andrew about Hugh Jackman, I've seen a lot of interviews with him and he seems so normal and he is still married to his wife. Sticking with Aussies I'd also say Eric Bana, he nearly became a mechanic and if you watch his doco Love The Beast about his first car that he built with his friends and raced you'll see a really nice, normal guy.

I also have a soft spot for Jackie Chan, he is always smiling.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I use the same standard as you for likeable -- not their characters, but how they seem as a person.

It's interesting you should mention Matt Damon. I liked Damon a lot when he first appeared, but over the last decade, he's gotten a really hard edge in his interviews and he comes across as very angry to me.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. One of the funny things about Jackman is that apparently a lot of people think he's gay even though he isn't. And I saw an interview once where his wife was in the bathroom in the theater where he was performing and some of the women were talking about how he had to be gay and she said, "I screamed out, 'He's not gay!'" LOL!

In any event, I'm always happy to see people stick together through the years.

Anonymous said...

I'd have to concur with Sandra Bullock as far as actresses go. She's always come off as fun and down-to-earth whenever I've seen her in interviews and such. Denzel Washington also stands out as a good, classy guy, and I heard good things about him from the people who met him in town while he was filming Remember the Titans as well.

- Daniel

Anonymous said...

Andrew,

Funnily enough on the morning news show he they showed a highlight of a 60 minutes interview where they talked about that very subject. And his wife wasn't happy about it at all, which I can understand. He did get his start in musical theater, hell he played Peter Allen so I can see some talk coming from that but it's not a vibe I ever got from him at all.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, I like Bullock a lot. Every time I've seen an interview with her, she's been really, really nice.

Denzel seems like a great guy too. And he's another one I've never heard anything bad about.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I could imagine it would annoy her. I think the reason people think that is because people like to think that nice men must be gay. And then you add in the song and dance stuff, which we all "know" means he must be gay. That seems to be how people think.

ScottDS said...

Not to go off-topic but if anyone here read my "review" of The Room...

...well, the movie turns 10 this year so here is a nice retrospective piece.

;-)

AndrewPrice said...

I just finished watching "The Maltese Falcon" -- the 1931 version staring Ricardo Cortez. It's fascinating to see them use basically the same dialog and put such a different spin on it. The film comes across as bland, generic and lifeless because they're almost just straight up reading it and none of the characters have any depth. It's really worth seeing both back to back.

shawn said...

Nathan Fillian. All the behind the scenes stuff I have seen of him, he seems like a very affable guy.

Backthrow said...

Bruce Campbell.

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, Now that I think about it, I've never actually seen him interviewed. Strange.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, You clearly have not seen "My Name Is Bruce"! LOL!

rlaWTX said...

If I had been online early enough, I would have discussed some lickable actors :)

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