Icon – (noun) an important or enduring symbol.
When you think about Hollywood, who are the icons? Who are the actors and actresses whose work you admire most? Today, we’re going to start with the one of them and will explore the rest of the nominees over the next few days.
But first: have you cast your People’s Choice Awards votes yet? There’s still time before the broadcast, but you might as well get voting. Because everyone else is, so why should you miss out on the fun of actually choosing the winners? January 11th is when it all goes down.
So today, let’s start talking specifically about the nominees. Of course there are lots and lots of categories this year, but we’ll begin by examining the noms in my personal pet category: Favorite Movie Icon. Then we’ll go one-by-one and you tell us what you think about each star — and which of their movies you like the most. The nominees in this category are George Clooney, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro and Tom Hanks. It’s a pretty awesome group, and each icon’s very different. So we’ll go alphabetically.
What’s not to like about George Clooney? Many people consider him the quintessential movie star – with genuine acting chops, major matinee idol looks, a slew of popular movies, and a long line of elegant girlfriends. If that’s not enough, the guy’s got the confidence of a Greek shipping magnate, true political consciousness, a passion for writing and directing (both of which he’s good at) and reportedly a seventeen-year-old’s sense of humor. He’s ultra-cool, and has that women-want-to-marry-him/men-want-to–be-him thing that’s not always the case with big movie stars. Apparently, he’s got a sterling reputation in Hollywood, his charitable initiatives have been numerous, and he’s also known for being able to talk other actors into doing almost anything (for little or no money).
Born in Kentucky to a large family of performers (his aunt is Rosemary Clooney and his cousin Miguel Ferrer got him his first job), George got his first dose of notoriety in the long-running series ER. From there he went on to star in movies like Batman & Robin and Out of Sight, which put him on the household name track. Then came the Ocean’s Eleven movies, and suddenly he was That Guy.
In recent years Clooney’s worked with both Ryan Gosling and John Krasinski in films, and both pairings have made Clooney the ultimate Hot Elder Statesman with heirs apparent nipping at his heels. Nor – for audiences at least – has aging been a problem at all for George, the silvering thing seems only to gain him more fans. He’s been nominated for four Oscars and he’s won one (for Syriana). He’s been a People’s Choice Nominee three times, and won once (with Brad Pitt, in 2008).
Clooney made Italy’s Lake Cuomo a retro-cool destination, and this fact actually touches on one of his most endearing characteristics – the timelessness factor. For some reason he has the air of someone who could easily have existed in the 1940s or 50s – or even 60s. Perhaps there’s a certain Cary Grant/Gary Cooper element to his demeanor. Most recently, he made (and starred in) Ides of March, which may very well see Oscar buzz in more than a few categories. Meanwhile, this weekend he’s got another movie, The Descendants, which may well attract the same kind of award attention. Regardless of how any of them do, he’s certainly got our attention. Is George Clooney your favorite movie icon? Don’t forget to vote!
1) Up in the Air
2) Michael Clayton
3) Ocean’s 11/Oceans 12/Oceans 13
4) Three Kings