So who is the actor/actress everyone else seems to like but whom you loathe?

There is a gentleman in town whom I hate (shocking, I know) and I decided I hated him when, 20 seconds into our first conversation, he started lecturing me about the immense acting talents of Johnny Depp. I really missed the meeting at which America decided that he is not horrible. Given that he hasn't been in a good film in almost 15 years (Ed Wood, 1994) you'd think the public would have soured on him. Nope.

Is it just me or does he only appear in movies that double as Hot Topic marketing wet dreams? Honest to god, every damn movie involves mountains of pancake makeup, dark eyeliner, a ridiculous accent, and some sort of period or "dark" aesthetic. Here, take a look. From Hell. Sleepy Hollow. Chocolat. Finding Neverland. Corpse Bride. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And how can we forget that amazing Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy – doubtlessly the finest films ever made about a theme park ride. Remember when he received an Oscar nomination for that role? And Finding Neverland? Yeah, good times. Mall goths everywhere crossed their black-nail-polished fingers for him.

I understand why people like empty, insipid entertainment. I just can't handle it when we start putting bows on turds and talking about how great the films and actors are. If you want to waste your time watching Pirates of the Caribbean 3, fine. If you think I'm going to sit here and listen to you talk about how great it and its leading man are, I cannot strongly enough disabuse you of that notion.

So, really. Fuck that guy. Who's yours?


  • I was going to say Nicholas Cage, but then I started thinking of some movies I like with him in it, like Leaving Las Vegas, Raising Arizona, Adaptation, and Wild at Heart.
    He has been in some good ones and has some skill, but I think he sells out a lot and gets paid instead of picking good roles. I can't tell if he annoys me sometimes because he picks bad roles or because he bats below the Mendoza Line. I mean, Ghost Rider, National Treasure?!?

    Can I also throw in Ben Affleck? He was good in Good Will Hunting and Dazed and Confused but is way below the Mendoza Line. I don't think this is that controversial of a pick because most people I've talked to agree on this.

  • Well, I'd have to argue that DONNIE BRASCO (1997) represented the last bearable role of Depp's; his attempt to articulate the meaning of 'fuhgeddabbowdit' to the two FBI techs is too good a scene not to earn him that much. I think I'd have to go with Mark Wahlberg, who seems to have a career based on his Not Sucking in BOOGIE NIGHTS–seriously, do we have to watch him pull a film-long frownie-face one more time? We get it, Mark; you have one expression you can do well. But enough–*this* is the guy who gets nominated out of *everyone* else in THE DEPARTED? *This* guy?! Fuhgeddabbowdit.

  • I would say Bill Pullman. There isn't a movie (or tv series for that matter) that I ever said, "hey, that guy knows what he is doing". He clearly illustrates this in movies like "Newsies", "Independence Day" and whatever the hell else he signed up to do when they couldn't get a big name actor.

  • Most of them. They're all overrated. I just don't get into the whole "oooo! He can pretend to be a fireman better than HE can!" thing. My 6yr old can pretend to be a fireman pretty well and he doesn't have the props. Can he get a golden naked androgynous statue please?

    I do like Johnny Depp, though. But not for his acting ability.

  • Will Farrell. Overrated as all fuck. The last film I enjoyed that featured him in it was Anchorman. Talladega Nights was appallingly awful. I didn't get to see the one where an author was writing his life as he was living it, but I roundly assume that it was treacherous.

  • Ed, I feel that your argument on Johnny Depp is based on a logical fallacy (guilty by association). Just because he's in bad movies doesn't necessarily establish that his particular performances in each are bad. Therefore, while it says something about his film choices, it doesn't establish that he is a bad actor. Just food for thought.

    And my pick is Tom Hanks. He's the same guy in every movie I've seen except Forrest Gump.

  • I see your point, but my argument is that he chooses to star almost exclusively in shitty (and extremely similar) films. No one holds a gun to his head and forces him to do Sweeney Todd.

    He may be "great" in his role as the Pirate of a theme park ride, but I don't really feel compelled to applaud that anymore than I'd respect someone for being a great rapist. I mean, hey, if anyone thinks the guy is a fabulous actor then so be it. I find it hard to judge greatness in someone who not only plays the exact same character (himself, essentially) in every film but also plays said role in shitty goth-kid marketing vehicles.

  • People like Depp for the simple reason that he's cute. He obviously has deranged taste in film projects, but he provides an important service: guys can affect to admire his 'acting' whilst actually giving unconscious vent to their homoerotic yearnings. This outlet helps to prevent them from going mad from sexual repression and committing mass murder at bus stops.

    No such service is provided by Sean Penn. This leaves me baffled as to what Sean Penn is for.

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