Patrick Stewart Reads The Phone Book

… And Other Actors Who Improve Everything They’re In

(Inspired by this thread about Actors who killed their career, in case anyone was wondering)

I think we can all agree that there are certain actors- and Patrick Stewart is one of them- that are so good at what they do that their mere presence improves the work immensely. As one poster mentioned in the linked thread, people would almost certainly pay money to hear Patrick Stewart reading the phone book, and I’m inclined to agree with them.

But who else has that sort of presence, the sort that makes something mundane like reading the phone book interesting?

Christopher Walken is an obvious one, and I’d also nominate William Shatner, Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Fry, Alec Guinness, and Michael Caine- Christopher Walken Watches Paint Dry, William Shatner Mows The Lawn, Stephen Fry Stands In A Queue At The Supermarket, Michael Caine Reads The Newspaper… you get the idea.

Who do you think has the sort of acting skills/presence/talent to make something spectactularly dull or mundane become interesting?

Kathy Bates. I am not a huge fan of many women actors; and you can call me sexist for not viewing them as more successful in dramatic roles, but she’s gold for me everytime. Maybe it’s the fact that she’s not as sterotypically beautiful as most other “star” actresses, so it isn’t as distracting for me, but I love her.

I’d go see Alan Rickman in Waiting at the Doctor’s Office for a Routine Checkup. :slight_smile:

Judi Dench
Ian McKellen

Andreas Katsulas

R. Lee Ermy- he can be in total schlock but he’s has this great energy that makes it all fun & enthusiastic & over the top, especially if he’s evil.

Gary Oldman. He can read each page of the phonebook as a different character.

Helen Mirren.

You mean a different “creepy” character.


James Earl Jones.

And I’d almost pay to hear Gilbert Godfried read the phone book.

Anyone up for Tim Curry Clips His Toenails?

Funny, but my only thought is that, while there are plenty of actors who, in my opinion, would be excellent at doing the most mundane roles, Patrick Stewart is hardly in the same class with most of them. There is a reason he was doing Star Trek, and it wasn’t tremendous acting ability.

Second the nomination of Alan Rickman, who has done some absolutely chilling roles, and has an awesome ability to bring something out of any character he ends up playing.

I want to nominate Robert Duvall.

Just so long as he just chews the scenery (which he always does) and not his toenails.

If you look at the arc of his career, Laurence Olivier not only could, he basically did.

Alas, that is not to be as I believe he left this mortal coil a few years ago.

Ian Holme
Anthony Hopkins
Elizabeth Hurley
Derek Jacobi
Geoffrey Rush

Christopher Eccleston presents a Four Hour Timeshare Presentation Which Isn’t Even Going to Earn You a Free Meal/Cruise/Hotel Stay/etc.
I’d be so there. I actually tried to rent Gone in 60 Seconds because he’s in it somewhere…the girl at Hollywood Video laughed at me.

Steve Buscemi.

Morgan Freeman
Tim Robbins
Steve Buscemi
Christopher Walken