The list of A-list actors who’ve graced the big screen and television screens for decades is a veritable who’s who of Hollywood. Names like Marlon Brando, Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn have been at the forefront of the motion picture industry, with some even going on to become household names.
While many might think that the golden era of cinema is over, the industry is still going strong, with big-name actors commanding huge paycheck figures. In fact, some of the biggest stars of today got their big break during this time period, which we’ll examine in this article.
The British actor turned blockbuster movie star, Robert Pattinson, took the world by storm in 2014 with his portrayal of the vampire Christian Grey in the movie adaptation of the best-selling erotic novel, Fifty Shades Of Grey. The role earned him a Golden Globe nomination as well as three BAFTA awards (including Best Actor).
Pattinson’s success is the culmination of a successful acting career that began in earnest in 2010 when he first landed the part of a gay hustler in The Favourite, a film directed by Yorgos (Milo) Petrakis. After The Favourite, he went on to reprise his role in the 2014 film Beyond The Wall and will soon be seen in the upcoming war film Dunkirk, alongside Harry Styles and Tom Hardwick.
While Robert Pattinson shot to fame for his portrayal of Christian Grey, it was Shakespeare In Love, the award-winning 2002 movie directed by Marc Forster, that made Bradley Cooper a household name. Cooper plays the young version of the title character, a bumbling beekeeper and theater owner who is determined to prove that his plays are as good as anything written by Shakespeare. To do this, he enlists the help of several historical figures to put on a play before his fans and friends.
While Shakespeare In Love was a critical and commercial success, it wasn’t Cooper’s first brush with movie stardom. He had previously appeared in 2004’s The Accountant, a film about a murder-suicide that shook a small town to the core. That same year, he costarred with Hilary Swank in the family drama Cooper Helps Out, and in 2006 he wrapped filming on the Mark Wahlberg comedy The Happening, in which he played a paranoid schizophrenic. Most recently, Cooper starred alongside Amy Adams in the 2015 film American Hustle, which examines the rampant corruption that was present during the 2008 financial crisis. He is also set to star in the film adaptation of The Goldfinch, based on the bestselling children’s novel by Donna Tartt.
Robert Downey Jr.
Speaking of films based on bestselling novels, we can’t leave out Robert Downey Jr., the actor who brought Ironman to life and played the title character in the Avengers movie series. Downey Jr. began his acting career in the mid-1990s and quickly rose to fame playing the part of Tony Stark in the Ironman film series (including 1998’s Ironman and 2010’s Ironman 3).
After Ironman, Downey Jr.’s role as Tony Stark in the films grew in stature, with the series earning him an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and a Golden Globe nomination. In 2016, Downey Jr. played the role of Mark Zuckerberg in the movie The Social Network, which examines the founding of Facebook.
Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Tony Stark has made him one of the most recognizable faces in entertainment, which in turn has made him a popular subject for interviews and appearances on talk shows. The actor has also invested in several film and TV projects, co-founding the banner company, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, with filmmaker Steven (The King of Comedy) Spielberg in 2016. In 2020, RatPac-Dune and Downey Jr. along with producer Justin Lin will co-star in the romantic action film Ugly Betty.
This year, Downey Jr. will appear in the upcoming superhero movie Black Widow, directed by Cate Shortland, and the Western comedy The Golden Peaches of Persia, which will be released this December.
The three actors in this article have each scored numerous successes and are frequently asked to appear in supporting roles in major motion pictures. While these parts may not necessarily showcase their talent, they certainly provide them with an opportunity to build their resumés.