Hollywood is a place that is always changing. As the years go by, old ways of thinking and doing things sometimes fall by the wayside as modern methods flood the industry. One example of this is in the world of acting. Thanks to the invention of the personal computer and the internet, actors have access to a wealth of information about other roles, projects, and performances. This knowledge is often combined with a desire to continuously advance their skills and to seek out new opportunities, leading to some radical differences in how they approach acting today versus how it was done 40 years ago.

Branagh’s World-Class Career

It’s fair to say that over the past four decades, Kenneth Branagh has had a profound impact on the way people think about and perform in the theatre. He’s won numerous accolades for his versatility, including a Tony award, two Academy Award nominations, and the BAFTA Fellowship. Since 2014, he has served as the Artistic Director of The Public Theater in New York City. He is arguably one of the most accomplished English acting artists of all time.

Branagh’s career came to fore in the 1960s and ’70s. Before this time, English actors mostly played on screen and in television productions. But during this era, a new type of English-language films began to emerge. These were often set outside of England, in exotic locations like India, and they featured larger-than-life characters and lavish production values. As a result of this new wave of filmmaking, more opportunities arose for English-speaking actors to shine on the big screen. Branagh’s first big break came in the 1966 film version of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. He played the title role, Prospero. The following year, he starred in and co-produced the film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Othello, which was loosely based on the play. Othello remains one of Branagh’s most popular and influential films. In it, he portrays the tragic and complex story of an African prince who suspects his wife of infidelity. Although he doesn’t physically appear in the 2015 version of Beauty and the Beast, he is still widely considered one of its most prominent and iconic stars thanks to his earlier role in the film adaptation of Sleeping Beauty. In addition to his acting achievements, Branagh is also a renowned writer, and he penned the screenplays for a number of his own films.

Pattinson’s Career Is On the Rise

While Branagh’s career was taking off, so was the career of his contemporary and friend, Robert Pattinson. The Twilight Saga is arguably the most successful movie franchise of all time, earning over $13 billion at the box office worldwide. With films like Pattinson’s wildly popular adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations and David Michôd’s The Rover, which was highly acclaimed when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018, it’s clear that audiences are responding favorably to films with an English-speaking protagonist set in modern-day England. Like Branagh, Pattinson is also a versatile actor who is known for taking on multiple projects at once. Currently, he is both writer and director of the upcoming biopic The Mystery of Charles Darwin, in which he plays the famous scientist and naturalist. Pattinson’s other films include the vampire romance Pattinson’s Twilight and the drama Prisoners. Both of those films were hugely popular when they were released, propelling Pattinson into the upper echelons of Hollywood’s most in-demand actors. Although he had previously established himself as an actor, this was the first time that his career really took off.

The success of the Twilight movies would seem to confirm the public’s fascination with the vampire genre. It’s worth noting, however, that this was not always the case. Even as far back as the 1950s, vampires were relatively unknown in popular culture. It wasn’t until the early years of the 21st century that their popularity really began to take off, inspiring a renaissance in Gothic literature, art, and music. This heightened interest in vampires was also reflected in popular culture, with TV shows like The Vampire Diaries and the movie series featuring the legendary series star, Billie Joe Armstrong as Merridew, a vampire slayer who battles creatures of the night. As the public’s interest in vampires grew, so did the demand for actors who could portray them accurately onscreen. This, in turn, led to a small but significant number of English-speaking actors breaking into the field. One of the most prominent examples is Jacob Tierney, who played the lead role of Max in the 2017 film The Rover. Tierney, who was born in England and has family there, stated that he felt a connection to the material, given that his great-grandfather was an English immigrant and homesteader who settled in Saskatchewan, Canada. Tierney’s portrayal of Max, a man who turns to thievery in order to provide for his family, was highly praised, and it also helped open the door for more English-speaking actors in similar roles.

Who’s The World’s Best Actor Now?

Over the past 40 years, filmmaking has changed significantly. Today, the lines that separate film genres are blurred, as blockbusters blend stylistic and narrative elements from different genres and timelines. The results are often magical. As a result of this creative freedom, it’s become harder to pinpoint the best actor in Hollywood right now. The list below will highlight some the biggest names in modern Hollywood, but you’ll have to search diligently to find the best of the best.

Tom Hardy: Action Hero, Gangster, Or Both?

It’s fair to say that over the past decade, Tom Hardy has emerged as Britain’s most-admired and successful actor. After appearing in a handful of films in the early part of the 21st century, Hardy exploded onto the cinema scene with his portrayal of Bane in the 2012 movie The Dark Knight Rises. Since then, he has appeared in a number of big-budget action films, often in complex and multi-layered roles. Most recently, he portrayed DC Comics’ famed character, Arthur Curry/Aquaman in the 2018 film, Justice League. In this film, which is the first of its kind, Hardy not only portrays Aquaman but helps devise a plan to combat Mother Nature’s wrath. Thanks to his popularity in action-adventure films, Tom Hardy is now considered one of Hollywood’s most bankable and versatile actors, capable of playing any character or role that comes his way. And this, in turn, has made him one of the most in-demand actors in the industry. Whether he’s playing an action hero or a hardened criminal, Hardy seems to have an endless array of roles available to him.

One has to wonder if being such a sought-after actor has changed the way that Hardy thinks about his craft. In an attempt to stay on top of his game, Hardy has taken to teaching classes and posting instructional videos online, revealing his vast practical knowledge of acting and a desire to continue sharing his secrets with others. Perhaps this is why he’s emerged as such a prominent figure in the world of acting, as he’s constantly devising new ways to help actors improve their craft and achieve success.

Daniel Day-Lewis: A Master of Movies and Drama

It’s been more than a decade since Daniel Day-Lewis last appeared in a movie, with his last film being the 2009 drama, Taking Chance. Since then, he has focused on theater, establishing himself as one of the most respected and in-demand stage actors of our time. It appears, however, that this will be the first time that he has graced the screens in a decade. Rumors began to circulate that Day-Lewis was primed to return to the big screen with an appearance in the highly-anticipated 2019 movie, Mortal Engagement. And so he did, playing the lead role of Owen Beckett, a widower who discovers that his wife, played by Naomi Watts, is having an affair. The film, which also stars Rebecca Hall and Gemma James, is based on the 1924 play by Irish playwright, George Antoni, and it focuses on the social divisions that arose in the aftermath of World War I. Despite being more than 90 years old, Day-Lewis still finds time to teach acting classes and coach aspiring stage actors. His influence extends far beyond the world of theater and into the mainstream, where he coaches stars on screen and advises filmmakers on the craft of making movies. It’s clear from Day-Lewis’ extensive and varied resume that he is the quintessential modern actor, capable of taking on any role or project that comes his way.