What makes a Movie Star? A dyed-in-the-wool, honest-to-God Movie Star, especially in the 21st Century?
Movie stars aren't just talents that set fire at the box office, or pick up statues at the Oscars. Movie stars sometimes aren't the finest actors, or the quantifiable difference between a hit and a flop. Movie stars have a little something extra, an added note in their chord, a spark that is recognizably different that sets them apart from “romantic interest” or “lead female” or “that guy from those comedies I watch on a basic cable binge.”
We had debates raging in the HitFix newsroom. Could actors like Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise be the Aughts' biggest stars, despite beginning their reigns in earlier decades? What about someone like Jennifer Lawrence, who really only stepped out as a star in 2010? How about franchise juggernauts like Tyler Perry, Daniel Radcliffe and Kristen Stewart?
Could filmmakers like Michael Bay or Peter Jackson arguably be considered Movie Stars, even if most of the public couldn't pick them out from a lineup? How about Andy Serkis, the first true Digital Movie Star, who seems to be in a blockbuster every season?
We're still putting out the embers and hugging it out, but through the power of democracy and ranking politics we are cleansed: below is the HitFix staff's picked and ranked list of the 20 biggest movie stars from 2000 to the present.
Who would have been on your list? Who's too high on ours? Take our poll and let your own voice be heard.