What If… You could only watch the movies of one actor/actress?

This is slightly different to my usual What If… posts. I’m not going to speculate but instead invite discussion. My sister asked me this question and it stuck with me because it’s not as straight-forward an answer as you’d think.

What if you could only watch the movies of one specific actor/actress?

That is all the movies that the person has produced and also the future movies. You are not allowed to watch anything else, unless it stars them of course!

This isn’t straight-forward. It isn’t necessarily about choosing your favourite actor/actress. They may be great and you may love everything they are in but will you get enough movie nourishment from their whole catalogue? Do they do enough comedy? Are they just known for their Oscar worthy drama? Have they done five or six good films and that is it?

Are Tom Hank’s films too dramatic or even too cheesy?

You also have to think to the future. Would you choose an actor coming towards the end of their career, happy that you have their back catalogue or would you take a gamble on an actor just emerging or in their prime? Do you choose an actor that only produces one really good film a year (Leonardo Di Caprio) or someone who produces many movies with a lot of rubbish in the mix (Bruce Willis).

With this in mind, I gave it a lot of thought (probably too much) and while watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, it struck me. The choice (or my choice) was obvious.

Gary Oldman!

The perfect choice!

Gary Oldman is perfect because his back catalogue is so diverse! He plays the villain in films like Leon or Fifth Element or a hero in movies such as the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. He is also a great supporting actor. You forget he is in movies such as JFK, Sid and Nancy or Dracula.

Gary Oldman also covers two major franchises. You may not get them all but you get a decent few of the Harry Potter films. Of course, he also stars in my favourite trilogy, The Dark Knight trilogy and because of the The Dark Knight alone, was always a key contender.

His roles are so diverse!

I also think he covers the future films category too. Gary Oldman is still going strong and is very good at picking a decent part. He does make some mediocre movies (Red Riding Hood and Robocop) but then delivers with a film like this summer’s best, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Overall, if I had to choose the films of just one actor to watch for the rest of my life, Gary Oldman wins hands down. He has an extensive catalogue, from sci-fi spectacles like Fifth Element to political epics like JFK. If nothing else, he stars in the Dark Knight, my favourite film of all time.

Now I leave it up to you – give me you suggestions in the comments or for the more budding bloggers, offer your own post on the subject! I look forward to hearing your suggestions!

Let me know if you agree/disagree – as well as who you’d choose!


13 thoughts on “What If… You could only watch the movies of one actor/actress?

  1. Oldman is a great choice but I’d personally go with DeNiro. Sure, he’s made some stinkers recently but the good outway the bad. Great question, by the way!

    1. De Niro is great as well. He does a great mix of comedy and more serious roles but how would you get your action fix? Mindless and silly?

      1. Yeah, the action thing would come under question with DeNiro but I reckon Heat and Ronin would be a few that would wet people’s appetite. I’m not much of a fan of the latter but I know some that loved it.

  2. I think you made a great pick and your reasoning is really sound. I think you have to pick a supporting player rather than a headliner to maximize the number of movies you have access to.

    The only problem with Oldman is that he doesn’t really do comedy so that would be a pick that excludes a genre. I might pick Morgan Freeman though because he is prolific, does a great mix of genres and he is still going strong.

    1. Morgan Freeman is an amazing choice. Its difficult to find an actor that ticks every box. Freeman probably doesn’t have the action movies I would want.

      You do get Shawshank Redemption though!

      1. It is tough – so few actors do multiple genres (and if they do it’s not always with high quality projects).

      2. Quite… I feel like I need to compile some sort of elaborate chart with my favorite movies on and see if there’s some sort of common linking factor.

        Now if I could include films an actor’s directed I might think Ben Affleck or Clint Eastwood (assuming we don’t have to watch them all – Jersey Girl and Pearl Harbor would make Ben a no go)…

  3. Oldman is great choice. He’s out of the box when actors come to mind, but your logic is spot-on.

    I’m going with Kevin Bacon: Animal House (1978), Friday The 13th (1980), Footloose (1984), Tremors (1990), JFK (1991), A Few Good Men (1992), The River Wild (1994), Apollo 13 (1995), Wild Things (1998), Hollow Man (2000), Mystic River (2003), The Woodsman (2004), Frost/Nixon (2008), X-Men: First Class (2011)

    He’s got a nice mix of everything.

    1. You list his movies like that and you;re right Kevin Bacon is a great choice. He’s an example of an actor who is in more than you think, even if he isn’t the lead.

      No real stand-out movies though (unless Apollo 13 or A Few Goood Men is a favourite film)?

      1. I like both, but wouldn’t call them favorites. But his diversity of films wouldn’t get tired after a while.

        You really hit it out of the park w/ Gary Oldman though. I wouldn’t have thought of him on my own, but I can;t top him.

  4. This is a very interesting discussion. I don’t have to think much because I know perfectly well who I want to watch, it’s Cillian Murphy….but to be honest, as much as I love Cillian, I hope such situation where you can only watch movies by one actor ever happen 😉 I love watching many kinds of movies from around the world with actors I never heard of

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