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Who Has the Screen Presence to Replace our Fading Screen Icons?

By Dustin Rowles | Comment Diversions | September 9, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Comment Diversions | September 9, 2010 |

A reader of ours, Tim, brought up a seriously random list suggestion a couple of months ago asking who are the best actors under the age of 30, as opposed to the biggest stars under 30. There is a world of difference. In June, I put together a list of the most promising talent under the age of 25, but with the exception of one (Carey Mulligan), I don’t really see any of them replacing our fading screen icons, people like Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Angelina Jolie, and Julia Roberts.

Our biggest stars today are seemingly the same stars from ten years ago, and Hollywood has been reluctant to replace them, which is why romantic comedies are still populated by the likes of Jennifer Aniston. Look at that header pic: Jolie is the youngest (34), and then Diaz (38), while the rest are in their 40s and 50s. How much longer can they hold the attention of the younger generation?

The last decade hasn’t given us a lot of A-list talent: The big blockbusters that rely on star power to sell tickets keep using the same 10 actors. And while those actors have varying levels of talent, they all command a certain amount of screen presence. Like them or not, they own the screen.

So, today’s comment diversion asks, simply: Who, of the under 30 crowd, has the actual screen presence to replace someone like Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks? Who of the younger generation will Hollywood deem the new Hanks or Roberts? Can Emma Stone really pull that off? Can Robert Patinson? Hell, I don’t even think JGL could pull off the major tentpole that revolves around his name on a movie poster.

What do you folks say?

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.