This weekend I realized that I have a favorite actor, and that he is Gene Hackman. This is newsworthy to me only because I think it’s been true for about 20 years, and yet I’ve only just realized it. The guy is amazing, and I’ve been taking him for granted.
I blame Superman, the movie. It came out when I was still a wee tyke, and my impressionable little mind filed Hackman under “Lex Luthor”…(see “bad suit.”)
The “aha” moment was watching Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation this past weekend – one of Hackman’s most famous performances, but one that I hadn’t seen because I was 2 years old when it came out. Suddenly it just clicked: this guy is incredible!
Even when he was relatively young he wasn’t conventionally handsome, or in great shape, or anything but balding…he almost always looks the same way, talks the same way, and basically carries himself the same way. Nothing about him says MOVIE STAR in a clichéd way…but wow does he have charisma. He does everything…romantic roles, villains, heros, broken down losers, upbeat types all with equal ease and aplomb. All you have to do is see *The Quick and the Dead * and *The Royal Tennenbaums * in succession to realize his range.
Then I realized that my affection for a lot of otherwise flawed movies is directly attributable to his presence in them: *Enemy of the State * or Heartbreakers, for instance. (of course, Heartbreakers also features a lot of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s cleavage… ). From now on I’ll be calling this the Hackman Factor.
So…wow. I have a favorite actor. Cool
Gene Hackman, you rock, and I salute you!
(I now return you to your regularly scheduled program)