I don't really have a favourite actor. I don't relate to male characters very well; I usually find them quite boring. I find that men are the stable grey that lets the women's colours shine just that little bit brighter. Having said that, I guess if I had to pick a favourite actor, it would be either Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston or Joseph Gordon Levitt.
As for favourite actresses,
Oh I will, don't you even worry about that! I'm going to do you all the huge favour of not counting TV actresses in this equation because if I have to list TV actresses then I will be here all day. Instead I'll talk about my core nine movie actresses. When someone enters my 'core roster', it means I see every movie they star in, regardless of whether I would see it otherwise. It was originally a core five, but I've recently added another four based on their impressive recent work!
So, the original core five (in no particular order):
I was first introduced to Angelina Jolie on one sunny day in 2001 when I walked into my local cinema with my friend, my sister and my friend's sister. I'd never heard of Angelina Jolie or Lara Croft: Tomb Raider before that day, but I was happy to go and see it regardless because I've always loved seeing movies. Needless to say I was impressed when the movie began and the first thing I saw was this beautiful English woman destroying a robot with a combination of her bare hands and gunfire. When the movie ended two awesome hours later and I was told by my sister that she actually wasn't English at all, she only stood to grow in my estimation. I didn't hear about her again for a while until finally I heard that she had signed on to do a Tomb Raider sequel, which I excitedly went to see in 2003.
It wasn't until after I'd seen Mr and Mrs Smith in 2005 (and consequently saw her acting as an American for the first time - something didn't seem quite right about that but whatever) and the tabloid circus surrounding her, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston grew... and I found myself taking her side rather than Jennifer's, that I began to see just how much of a fan I was of hers as an actress.
I loved her as Fox in 2008's Wanted and 2010's Salt playing two different yet equally awesome ass-kicking heroines, but it was her work in 2008's Changeling that allowed me to see that there is so much more to her than an action star. Her portrayal of a mother who lost her child was beyond heartbreaking, and although she was robbed blind of her rightful Oscar by Kate Winslet that year, it made me go and look back at her previous work. Her Oscar-winning performance in Girl, Interrupted and her Emmy-winning title role in Gia did not disappoint. It was at this point that she became one of my core actresses and has earned a life of me going to see everything she ever does. I bet she feels so lucky!
Like every boy my age, I went and saw The Princess Diaries when it first came out and I was awed by the geek-to-princess transformation Anne underwent. Then, like all the other boys, I went home and touched myself while thinking about that pretty girl I just saw in that movie about a princess. Then I forgot all about her, and she only remained in my peripheral vision when I saw ads in the coming years for her pieces of crap such as Ella Enchanted and the unnecessary Princess Diaries sequel.
It wasn't until 2006 when she starred opposite Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada that I began to take notice and take her seriously as an actress. Clearly if she'd made the jump from kids movies to adult comedies, she had to be doing something right! So from that point on I began to look up when I saw her in trailers for movies. I begrudgingly went and saw Get Smart with my father and was actually rather impressed with her performance and the way she gave legitimacy to what would have otherwise been another excuse for Steve Carell to act like an idiot and get enough money to buy me twelve-thousand times over. Then in 2008, she starred as a drug addict in Rachel Getting Married and pulled it off so well that she won both an Oscar nomination and a place on my core actresses list (which she appreciated more than the nomination, I'm sure). In 2009, I watched her as the best part of a terrible movie in Bride Wars. Add to that a show-stealing rendition of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises and what is sure to be an Oscar-winning performance as Fantine in Les Miserables at the end of this year and you have a worthy actress who I hope never gets pregnant and ruins her career!
There isn't much to say about Julia Roberts, since I grew up with her movies and she has therefore automatically been on my list since I was born. Films such as Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride and My Best Friend's Wedding cemented her status as the rom-com queen in the 90s (and I love her for that) but it's her more serious (yet still comedic) work in Notting Hill, along with her dramatic performances in Stepmom, Closer and her career highlight Erin Brockovich that make me love her more than anything else.
Her recent movies such as Eat, Pray, Love (which I loved no matter what the critics say!) and Mirror, Mirror have been a little on the disappointing side - through no fault of her own, I might add - but she's on the list, so I stand with her through thick and thin!
The Devil Wears Prada was my introduction to Meryl Streep, the Queen of Acting. To say her performance was amazing is to do it a disservice, just as to say that any of her performances were amazing is to do them a disservice. She now has three Oscars and the title of the Greatest Living Actress under her belt, and there is literally nothing that woman cannot do. She can play historical English heads of parliament, undersexed housewives, obnoxiously-pitched 60s celebrity chefs, happy divorcees, Jewish prisoners of war, unhappy divorcees, lesbians, socialites, Australian dingo victims and drug addicts and you can be guaranteed that she is the right choice for each. Flawless actress, the best ever.
Like Julia Roberts, I've grown up with Sandra Bullock's movies, so she was the second addition to my list way back when. My mother was heavy into the romcoms, so her romcom work was most of what I saw in the 90s. It wasn't until I saw Miss Congeniality in 2000 that I actually took notice of who she was, and I liked what I saw! From there, Two Weeks Notice and Miss Congeniality 2 both captured my attention in a big way and when I was old enough, I went back and watched her performance as an addict struggling through rehab in 28 Days. Fantastic as ever, and great to see that she could do more than campy comedies. After The Lake House in 2006, I didn't hear too much from her until she made her big comeback starring opposite Ryan Reynolds (and Betty White, who lets face it was the actual star of that movie) in The Proposal. Then she went and adopted a baby which is a rare case of children actually improving someone's career, since her love for her as-yet-unreceived child amplified her amazing performance in The Blind Side, for which she won an Oscar and the love of black people and people from Mississippi everywhere!
So those have been my five favourite actresses for the longest time! But I decided to open myself up to new people recently, and these four lovely ladies were added to the list!
I didn't think much of Charlize Theron until earlier this year. I knew she was a pretty blonde and had won an Oscar some years previously for playing a woman considerably uglier than herself, but she had always remained on the peripheral. This year, I saw Prometheus and Snow White and the Huntsman, which were both fantastic films bolstered largely her amazing performances (particularly true in the case of the latter), but it was mostly her performance in Young Adult that added her onto my list forever. Her character and that movie (which are the inspiration for my theme at the time of writing this) both make me feel so good about life and everything that it's become my go-to movie for if I'm ever feeling down. I find her character so relatable and I love her so much. She is my spirit animal.
I was introduced to Emily when she played second fiddle to Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada, and she was incredibly entertaining to watch. This was the movie that launched her career just as much as it was the movie that launched Anne's, though both have gone in wildly different directions. Two romantic comedies (The Five-Year Engagement, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and two sci-fi masterpieces (The Adjustment Bureau, Looper) later and I'm committed to her completely!
I had no idea who Emma Stone was until I saw Easy A. But it was easily the best comedy I've seen in a long time and it was due in large part to Emma. I found out later that she was the same girl I'd seen in Zombieland and I was even more impressed still. It was when I saw The Help, though, that I began to understand that this girl is for real. She was immediately added to my list after seeing that movie and one film (The Amazing Spider-Man) later, I have no regrets!
Alright, so I've only seen her as Hermione Granger. That's just one character and probably not enough to earn her a spot on my list, but I don't care even one little bit. Her performance in the final two movies alone would have been enough to get her a place, and the fact that I practically watched her grow from a mediocre child actress into an amazing adult one does nothing but help! Besides, people are saying that The Perks of being a Wallflower is really good, so I have high hopes!
Aside from those, honourable mentions go to Viola Davis and Jennifer Lawrence, who are on the cusp of becoming numbers 10 and 11 (though I may love Jennifer more for her interviews than her acting, haha).