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Actressin' Ain't Always Bad

By TK Burton | Industry | October 13, 2009 |

By TK Burton | Industry | October 13, 2009 |


It’s only natural, really. Charlize Theron was originally tapped to play the lead in The Tourist, a thriller about “an American tourist who, on behalf of Interpol, goes undercover to entrap a former lover who’s a suspected global criminal.” The film has gone through a ridiculous number of staffing changes — Tom Cruise was originally slated to play the male lead, and has since been replaced by Sam Worthington (a vast upgrade). Director Bharat Nalluri has left, and is yet to be replaced. Now, news comes down that Theron has stepped down, and been replaced by fellow actressin’ queen Angelina Jolie.

Look, I actually like Angelina Jolie as an actress, and I can tolerate Theron as well. But I can’t think of two actors more guilty of actressin’ (that is to say, the art of absolutely trying to hard in your roles) than those two. It’s hard to explain — the best I can come up with is this:

At no time, during any of either of their films, did I ever believe I was watching anything other than Angelina or Charlize acting as someone else. Certainly, they’re both excellent actors in their own way, but I can never buy them as characters in and of themselves. Not like, say, Meryl Streep, or Kate Winslet, or Matt Damon or any number of other great actors who, despite being household names, I still believe whenever I see them on the screen. I forget that they’re actors, and I buy into the characters. That doesn’t happen with Jolie or Theron. It’s always just them, trying desperately to pretend to be someone else.

I dunno. Maybe it’s just me. Am I making any sense at all?

Regardless, that makes the replacement perfect in my mind.

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TK Burton is the Editorial Director. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.