As I watched What Lies beneath, I couldn’t help but wonder at the stars and starlets of old and how we perceive them. Watching the great movie icons of Harrison Ford and the unmatched beauty that is Michelle Pfeiffer, I couldn’t help but think that maybe we don’t have this level of stars today.
I know we have a lot of actors who are great and amazing but do we have modern day Harrison Ford? Is there an actress today who you could say would match the allure and seduction of Michelle Pfeiffer? Around the peaks of these two icons, there were so many actors who could carry a film on their own. People would go to the movies to see these gigantic actors do their thing in differing scenarios. I always said that Harrison Ford never played anyone apart from Harrison Ford. Harrison Ford in Space, Harrison Ford with brain damage, Harrison Ford with the Amish.
His presence and charisma energized franchises. He was able to carry the most basic of plots with a wry smile or a cranky look. I struggle to think of any up and coming actor who can do the same based upon their name alone. Maybe we live in a world where the actors name only compliments the film and does not sell the film.
Could Chris Evans drive a film without wearing the shield? Could Chris Pratt do it? He seems a close match as people love watching him onscreen but is this only because he reminds us how much we miss Harrison? I doubt that last statement but did you go to Jurassic park for Pratt or the promise of dinosaurs? Is Ryan Gosling our saviour? A talented actor who can be a selling point but even he couldn’t save Blade Runner and he was WITH Harrison??
Let’s jump to Michelle Pfeiffer. This lady was so big that she carried a young, up and coming TV star George Clooney in “One fine day”. Clooney himself was still an unknown quantity in the move industry with only one major feature film as Seth Gecko in “Dusk til Dawn” Michelle Pfeiffer was a Hollywood megastar that had proven she could lead profitable films like Dangerous minds and obviously the fabulous baker boys. This last film cementing her as one of the sexiest women to ever grace the screen. If you go onto IMDB and look at the back catalogue, you will understand the impact she has had on cinema.
Do we have a modern-day Michelle Pfeiffer? A good argument can be made for Jennifer Lawrence and there is a lot of merit to that argument but I struggle to feel comfortable tin that comparison. It is a debate in most generations. I remembering hearing these arguments before that there would never be another Steve McQueen, Cary Grant and the most beautiful woman ever on screen; Grace Kelly.
Speaking of Grace Kelly, one of her greatest collaborations was with Hollywood icon Jimmy Stewart in the Hitchcock classic; Rear Window. Fast forward to the year 2000 and Zemeckis wanted to make modern day version of a Hitchcock film so it seems only logical that he would choose the modern day icons of Ford and Pfeiffer.
I do not want to be a doomsayer, lamenting the loss of the previous generation and disparaging this one. I think I will be proven wrong and we will see the new generation of stars and starlets to dazzle our eye.