I spend a lot of time talking about “the A-list”. Who’s A-list, who’s not, who used to be, who’s on their way, etc. When you say an actor or actress is on the A-list, most people know what you mean. But if you start analyzing who is or is not on the A-list, you’ll find that the term means different things to different people. There’s a lot of grey area there. In this article, I intend to nail down what it means to be on the A-list.
Category Archives: A-List
Recently, I read an article about “The Expendables Effect”. The premise of the article was that The Expendables franchise was responsible for one comeback after another. It was suggested that actors of a certain age and type were falling all over themselves to be cast in the next Expendables movie. With the exception of a couple of stubborn hold-outs, franchise creator Sylvester Stallone could pick and choose from the population of less-than-relevant action heroes because he and he alone had discovered a cinematic fountain of youth. It was a franchise that could resurrect any flagging career. It was viagra for the aging action set.
So what does it mean when an Expendables movie proves to be expendable?
In the What the Hell Happened series, I take the long view of an actor or actress’ career. That series explores whether or not an actor or actress ever reached the A-list. If not, why not? If so, what happened? There is a full career arc from unknown to household name to What the Hell Happened subject. In this series, which I am simply calling A-list, my focus is not on what happened but on what is happening right now and what may happen in the future. Sure, that’s going to involve looking back on what brought us to this point. But the focus is primarily on the now. My subjects will be actors or actresses whose status has recently shifted up or down. Some of them may be A-listers who have suffered a set-back. Others may be A-list hopefuls. Read the rest of this entry
Several times during the WTHH series often emerge complaints about the difficult for actresses to emerge as box-office draws. Hollywood tends to be a place with little space for pardon and second chances for women as many WTHH subject, like Demi Moore, Meg Ryan and Winona Ryder experienced. It is much harder for women to become A-List and is much harder for women to stay on top or forget scandals and bad career moves.
But who are current female A-List in Hollywood? Weeks ago Forbes revealed its yearly list of highest paid actresses. Here is the top 10 of Hollywood’s highest grossing actresses:
Before anyone accuses me of jumping the gun on this one, let me state right up front that Emma Stone is not yet on the A-List. What she is is a rising star with a lot of potential. Hollywood is littered with with the hopes and dreams of starlets who never quite made it to the top. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Emma Stone will not be one of them.
Originally, I set out to make a list of the current crop of a-list actors. I was going to write up arguments for and against the inclusion of certain actors on the list. But I quickly realized that this was unwieldy. Not only was it time consuming, it made for very scatter-shot reading. Instead, I have decided to handle this subject in a series of one-offs.
For my first subject, I have selected Tom Cruise. Cruise’s career has always been a fascinating one to watch. His reign atop the A-list in almost unprecedented. After gaining acclaim in films like Risky Business, Cruise became an international box office super star with Top Gun. And for 20 years after that, Cruise was the consummate Hollywood super star.
Regular readers of my What the Hell Happened articles know that sometimes the comments section takes on a life of its own. For reasons unknown, we have discussed Michael Keaton fighting just about every actor who worked in the 1980’s. The most recent entry focused on Michelle Pfeiffer. Blogger, Paul S brought up the idea of comparing Pfeiffer’s career to previous WtHH subject, Meg Ryan. This resulted in an excellent article on Paul S’s blog devoted to the two actresses comparing their careers.
I started typing up a response to the article. It may not surprise anyone to know I rambled on and on. My final comment was practically an article unto itself. But then tragedy struck. Blogger.com (which doesn’t seem to like me very much) ate my comments! I left an abbreviated version of my original comments and vowed to come back later for a more detailed analysis.
You’re clever folks. You have probably already figured out that those comments morphed into this article.