Highest combined looks-talent quotient

As a product of my culture, I’m always momentarily surprised to discover that a really good looking actor is actually good at their job: one tends to expect character actors to be uglier than those who tend to get by on looks alone and don’t really need talent. Now just taking subjectivity as a given–there will be huge coughcoughbradpittsuxcough* disagreements in here–I’ll start the ball rolling by nominating Michelle Pfeiffer–far as I can tell, she spent some time as a 10/10 lookswise, and has proven her chops as an actress–and Kim Basinger. Not always great, but when she hits she hits hard. So rating looks by 10, and talent by 10, I’ll call both women 10+10’s.

Who else? My alltime favorite actor, Charles Laughton, was as ugly as they come, but Peter O’Toole? 10+10. Lawrence Olivier? 10+10. Bette Davis, my alltime favorite actress, had a narrow window when she wasn’t frightening, but she was never a 10.


Kate Winslet.

Cary Grant
Katherine Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Kristin Chenowith
Liv Ullman
Sophia Loren
Brad Pitt
Johnny Depp
Charlize Theron

Subjective response:

Cary Grant: not an actor; a star
Katherine Hepburn: not an actor; a star
Audrey Hepburn: not an actor; a star
Kristin Chenowith: not an actor; a chipmunk
Liv Ullman: check, 10+10
Sophia Loren: hmm. I’ll give her a 7+10, acting+looks
Brad Pitt: 5+10
Johnny Depp: check, 10+10
Charlize Theron: check, 10+10

Natalie Portman.

I beg your pardon?

Both women were trained thespians with more chops than they knew what to do with. Marilyn Monroe was a star. Kate Hepburn was an actress, as was Audrey.

By this do you mean someone who carries the day ( as an actor ) through natural charisma rather than learned skills?

Nicole Kidman. I’d gladly abuse her in unspeakable ways with her Academy Award…

Is the 5 in acting ability or looks?

If we were including intelligence as well, then I think Liv would be hard to top.

I subjectively disagree. Kathryn Hepburn was the world’s greatest actress, seriously, at playing Kathryn Hepburn. “She ran the gamut of emotions from A to B.” When the part fit her, she was as good as is humanly possible. That’s not acting; that’s lack of self-consciousness. Ditto Audrey. Subjectively of course.

Acting. Lookswise, I’d kill your grandmother to stick my tongue up his ass. Metaphorically speaking of course . . .

Monroe was a helluva good actress. She steals every scene she is in with every actor she ever worked with. And unless her character is doing a “let’s pretend” you can never tell that she’s acting. She is as good an actress that ever lived.

Haven’t seen Kalifornia, 12 Monkeys or Inglorius Basterds, eh?

Brad Pitt can act. And he’s cute as hell.

Kalifornia: acceptable; benefits from lowered expectations.
12 Monkeys: that’s not acting, that’s contact lenses.
Inglorious Basterds: not embarrassing, but not 10/10.

By who? (whom?) When I saw it the only thing I had seen Brad Pitt in, and I barely remembered him, was Thelma and Louise. I hadn’t seen A River Runs Through It or Johnny Suede or Across The Tracks or anything else. He was a new actor to me, and I was blown away. I thought his character was truly frightening. I was amazed afterward when I read that he was considered a fluffy pretty boy. What? Are we talking about the same guy? I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never changed my opinion of him as a very good actor.

Wait! Wait! Fight Club! Fight Club and Snatch! You can’t tell me his acting was subpar in Fight Club and Snatch!

Not subpar; par. Look, he’s a star, like Cary Grant; not an actor, like Charles Laughton. He’s great at what he does: being Brad Pitt. I bow to no one in my love of Cary Grant. But he was not an actor. He, like Pitt, was a star. All charisma. But ALL charisma: worthwhile for that alone. Who needs chops when you’re Cary Grant or Brad Pitt? Or John Wayne or Kate Hepburn? Great is great, but you’re great at what you’re great at, not at everything.

You should see Brad Pitt in that Jesse James movie. He’s fantastic in that.

It’s a masterpiece. And he’s perfectly cast and doesn’t hurt it at all.

Look I love Brad Pitt. Cary Grant was in a LOT of movies and only ruined the ones he TRIED to act in. Brad Pitt knows his limitations and works perfectly well within them.

Now, can we move on? Or should I ask a mod to change the thread title to Brad Pitt: Actor or Movie Star?