RANKED: My Favorite Actors

By Zach Hester | @hestzach

There are those actors who will always draw you to the box office, no matter if they’re starring in a big budget blockbuster, a dramatic Oscar vehicle or a film that appears to be absolute garbage. On this week’s RANKED, a series on this site that I’ll be reviving, I choose my favorite leading men in film. Each one brings a different approach to their varying onscreen roles and uses their platform to display the talent they were gifted with. Let’s get start on this week’s RANKED.

*Just one more note. This list is ever-changing one, nothing is ever set completely set in stone…however, I stand by this ranking at this moment in cinematic history.

Honorable Mentions: Jeremy Strong, Daniel Kaluuya, Michael B. Jordan, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy

5. Mahershala Ali

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Mahershala Ali is a relatively new face to the silver screen for major roles. In the short time since he broke out in 2016’s Moonlight, Ali has gone 2-for-2 on Oscars for Best Supporting Actor: his first was for Moonlight and the second came last year for Green Book, a film that went on to win Best Picture as well. Now that he’s planted himself in the film zeitgeist, Ali has landed the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s upcoming remake of Blade. I cannot wait. 

4. Adam Driver

img_0288 I’ve never seen Adam Driver take a bad role. He always chooses the ones with multiple layers of character that allow him to express several styles over the course of any given film. While he’s taken on plenty of great characters since his film debut in 2011, I feel like its a little basic (but completely honest of me) to say that his performance as Kylo Ren in the final Skywalker trilogy is my favorite. He plays brooding madness with blatant insecurity like no one else in this long-running space opera. Driver will star as Ren one final time this year, and I cannot wait. 

3. Steve Carell

img_0289 How could you NOT love Steve Carell? Whether he’s starring in an Adam McKay dark comedy or being a beacon of laughter as the iconic Michael Scott in NBC’s long-running series, The Office, Carell brings an energy to the screen that will force you to pay attention to him. It’s easy to see that his role in The Office is my favorite, as it is one of my favorite television shows of all time. However, my favorite film role for Carell comes in 2015’s The Big Short. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in Adam McKay’s work and can somehow both laugh at…and be frustrated about the fact that a movie was made about the financial crisis. 

2. Ryan Gosling 

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I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who didn’t like Ryan Gosling. I think we can all agree that he’s long overdue for awards recognition (just my two cents, he should’ve won for La La Land in 2016 AND Lars and the Real Girl in 2007). Over the course of his long career, Gosling has become a staple for both independent and blockbuster films. I feel like his role in Blade Runner 2049 was one that no one noticed enough. Throughout the almost 3-hour film, he goes on a journey that’s truly about discovering humanity or lack thereof in his character, K. It’s a beautiful, broken story about what it means to be human and Gosling portrays with an ease that not many other could have. 

1. Timothee Chalamet

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Timothee Chalamet is the best actor of my generation. At age 23, he already has an Oscar nomination for Best Actor under his belt. He is one of the few actors that I have seen every one of his films. His career might not be long yet, but his star vehicle, Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name, is one of my favorite films of all time. Over the course of that film in particular, Chalamet serves as the emotional center of the film. He plays a mix of immaturity and smart ambition in a way that not many actors could. I still believe he earned the Oscar for this role, but I digress. Next year, Chalamet is set to star as Paul Atreides in the sci-fi epic Dune, and I am practically chomping at the bit to see that film. Let’s hope he brings the analytical anxiety of Elio in Call Me By Your Name and mixes it with the leadership he seems to portray in the upcoming Netflix drama, The King, for the difficult role. 


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