Are character actors just bluffing themselves

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Yeah, there are clearly only two types of actor and they should both stay in their lanes. The guy who played Batman is a Movie Star so he shouldn't have gotten fat and bald to play Dick Cheney when there are already so many fat bald character actors out there.

First of all, do we know whether or not any fat and bald characters did audition for the role? Maybe the director didn't think they were right. Actors completely transform themselves for roles all the time. Charlize Theron certainly went through an amazing transformation to play Aileen Wournos. Should director Patty Jenkins have waited until she found someone who looked just Aileen Wournos but couldn't act her way out of a paper bag/



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I was pointing out the flaw in OP's premise by reversing it - if he wants to be all condescending about "ugly" actors who could never play conventionally attractive characters, then I can just as easily point out how there's nothing inherently worthwhile about a handsome actor playing an ugly character. Besides, I think McKay was always going to have Bale play Cheney since they'd already worked together on The Big Short and Bale had established a tendency to do these kind of transformative roles.
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Do you think that maybe actors like Jeff Daniels and Paul Dano perhaps do not have the body types of stars because they didn't work for that body type?


For example if they were to have worked for that body type and work out and wear cosmetics and such... Perhaps they could have made themselves look like Tom Cruise and Ryan Gosling if they had tried?



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Do you think that maybe actors like Jeff Daniels and Paul Dano perhaps do not have the body types of stars because they didn't work for that body type?


For example if they were to have worked for that body type and work out and wear cosmetics and such... Perhaps they could have made themselves look like Tom Cruise and Ryan Gosling if they had tried?
no amount of gym workouts or surgeries can make jeff daniels or paul dano look like movie stars. They just don't have it in them..its not just looks...jack nicholson isn't movie star looking but his personality on screen and his dialogue delivery made him a movie star and moreover there is something in the face that differentiates movie stars from character actors.



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aronisred sounds like if Patrick Bateman did monologues about actors instead of pop musicians.



jack nicholson isn't movie star looking but his personality on screen and his dialogue delivery made him a movie star and moreover there is something in the face that differentiates movie stars from character actors.
This is yet another example of "overfitting," a concept which I've explained several times and you've never even acknowledged, let alone addressed. Here we have someone you regard as an exception, Jack Nicholson, and so we create another little rule that explains why he's not really an exception.

I suspect that if you were ever to actually make a good faith effort to respond to all the follow-up questions and arguments, we'd find all exceptions were met with the same sort of thing. There are not theories that explain reality or tell us anything new, they're simply ad-hoc rules that trace a line around whatever already exists.



Aside from a few "actors" that are mainly window dressing, over the years there's a weak relation between being good looking in some sort of fashion model sense and actors who can actually act OR play characters that are not models of perfection. Many examples have already been cited.

The other side of the equation, however, is that many people who are great actors don't really WANT to be part of the celebrity/beauty culture. If it were me, making a living as an actor, I'd rather be the guy who can dress down, walk into a Target to buy a bag of dog food and not be noticed. I'll put on my nice clothes when I go to the Oscar ceremony. Dressed down, most people we know from movies would not be all that recognizable.

As an occupation, being a middling, non celebrity movie actor would be good money for part-time work, varied locations and fame when you're in character but anonymity when you're not. It sounds like a much better life than being recognizable and hounded by the media.



Do you think that maybe actors like Jeff Daniels and Paul Dano perhaps do not have the body types of stars because they didn't work for that body type?
For example if they were to have worked for that body type and work out and wear cosmetics and such... Perhaps they could have made themselves look like Tom Cruise and Ryan Gosling if they had tried?
It’s not really a matter of “body types” per se. Cruise is terrific looking (especially when younger) & he’s not even tall. Gosling is still beyond cute & handsome. Look at the late Steve McQueen. No clue what his body type was, but he was so handsome on screen.

...jack nicholson isn't movie star looking but his personality on screen and his dialogue delivery made him a movie star ...
Nicholson was so confident in himself that he had an aura of extreme sexuality IMO. Look at Carnal Knowledge. Totally irresistible to Candice Bergen & nobody doubted it in the movie.

As an occupation, being a middling, non celebrity movie actor would be good money for part-time work, varied locations and fame when you're in character but anonymity when you're not. It sounds like a much better life than being recognizable and hounded by the media.
A character actor doesn’t need to be “middling” or a “part-time” worker. A good character actor like Chris Cooper, e.g., can make a fantastic living & doesn’t have the strain of carrying a movie. And, like you say, someone like Cooper can go out in public without being molested.
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A character actor doesn’t need to be “middling” or a “part-time” worker. A good character actor like Chris Cooper, e.g., can make a fantastic living & doesn’t have the strain of carrying a movie. And, like you say, someone like Cooper can go out in public without being molested.
By "middling" I mean not a big celebrity star, not a Brad Pitt or Nicole Kidman. Cooper is a good example of this. He's been good in any role I can recall, but he could be anonymous in public. That would be my Hollywood dream, being able to pick up a six pack and not be identified.



⬆️ The definition of “middling” is “average”, which I think is not quite what you meant.



I'd say what makes a movie star is not purely looks, although it's a major factor, but that they transcend their films. I think I've seen maybe one Brad Pitt film but I know exactly who he is. Some actors genuinely don't care about being famous outside of their film roles and many actors dismissed as heartthrobs have wanted to be taken seriously as an actor.

Not every actor is obsessed with being a celebrity (entirely different from being famous for your accomplishments as an actor). Whilst character actor is generally used as a euphemism for not having movie-star looks, Daniel Day Lewis had movie star looks and yet has always been accepted as a character actor.



Daniel Day Lewis had movie star looks and yet has always been accepted as a character actor.
Depends on your definition of “character actor”. Day Lewis has starred in many movies in the lead rôle. Can a character actor (Bill Camp, e.g.) do this?



Daniel Day Lewis & Joaquin Phoenix, also very handsome & definitely movie stars.
This ‘dispute’ probably doesn’t warrant this much attention, but to my mind, they’re not exactly. A movie star is someone like Brad Pitt, whom directors deliberately have eat in many scenes because it’s ‘sexy’. There’s hardly a handbook so I guess I’m splitting hairs.