Let’s say there’s a genie. Or a wizard. Or some sort of strange futuristic genie/wizard hybrid. Let’s say it’s a dog, too. Yes, a magical genie/wizard dog. With a pointy hat. Let’s start there.
Now let’s say this magical genie/wizard dog with a pointy hat enjoys screwing with people, has cornered you at a party, and forces you to make the following decision: From now on you can only watch films and television shows from one actor or actress’s catalog, and you have to watch them all, in order, before you can circle back around and watch one twice. So if you want, say, George Clooney because you love Michael Clayton and Ocean’s Eleven, you’ve got to watch 19 episodes of him playing Detective James Falconer on Sisters, and two episodes of him as undercover rock star Chic Chesbro on Sunset Beat, before you get anywhere near his more recent work. Actually, wait. That doesn’t sound bad at all. Bad example.
Anyway, what I’m getting at is, who do you choose? Me? I’m going with Tom Cruise. Dude gives you 100% every time, and there’s surprisingly little out and out garbage to slug through. Yup, dibs on Cruise.
Here are a few from the UPROXX staff. Feel free to add yours below.
Philip Seymour Hoffman. I can’t recall really disliking any movie he was in. On the flip side, many of the movies he was in are personal favorites of mine — The Big Lebowski, Boogie Nights, Almost Famous, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, 25th Hour, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love, just to name a few. I feel as though I couldn’t go wrong with the PSH film canon.
Easy, Bill Murray. Boom. I mean, first of all Bill Murray is great, obviously. Second, he’s got a long and diverse catalog, so you’d never get totally bored — a catalog which also impressively boasts very few stinkers. And even the stinkers of the bunch aren’t even completely terrible. Just a few months ago I ended up COMPLETELY getting sucked into A Tail of Two Kitties flipping through the channels. Yeah. I admitted it. I’m not a proud woman.
Bill Motherf*cking Murray. If ever there is a body of work that mostly would instigate a level of happiness that one would be needing to find in a state of purgatory such as this, he’d be it. I’d just be upping the bourbon intake during the Garfield breaks.
I couldn’t use The Simpsons for our desert island show conversation, so I’m going to here. But who? Not Julie Kavner or Yeardley Smith, who, compared to the rest of the cast, haven’t been in much (no offense, Herman’s Head). Dan Castellaneta’s a tempting choice, because he’s secretly starred in everything from Space Jam to Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, as are Hank Azaria (The Birdcage, Mystery Men) and Nancy Cartwright (The Critic). But I’m going with Harry Shearer. Not only do you get 25 seasons of the greatest sitcom of all-time, but a bunch of Christopher Guest movies AND Little Giants. That’s a killer combination.
Jack Nicholson. This is a tough one because as a cinephile there are so many talented thespians to chose from, but If I have to watch one filmography over and over, I want someone with diverse creative choices. Jack’s films range from drama, to horror, to comedy, and more. Plus, I could watch The Departed and The Shining on a loop for eternity and not get sick of those films.
Jeff Goldblum. If I’m strapped into the chair like Malcolm McDowell in The Clockwork Orange and forced to watch someone’s career flash before my eyes, I’m going to entertain myself with someone who has a diverse resume. I’m going with Jeff Goldblum, and not because of the big name works like Jurasic Park, The Fly, and Independence Day. I’m going with him because he was in Nashville, Death Wish, and Annie Hall for a moment, and because of Buckaroo Banzai, Transylvania 6-5000, and Earth Girls Are Easy. I’m going Goldblum because he voiced Verminous Skumm in Captain Planet, inexplicably popped up in The Great White Hype, and has dedicated himself to playing up his weirdness in an effort to meet our assumptions about him over these last few years. Jeff Goldblum is Chris Walken 2.0 and we don’t even realize it.
Kevin Conroy, otherwise known as the voice of Batman and Bruce Wayne in damn near every successful cartoon and video game featuring the character. That’s right, you simpletons! My endless cycle of visual entertainment includes titles I can easily kick back and watch, and interactive worlds in which I can kick some series NPC ss.
Andrew Roberts (who blatantly cheated by selecting two actors):
I’d have to go with Kurt Russell or Michael Keaton. They both have a diverse selection of films where the good outweigh the bad.
Russell would take longer obviously, thanks to those Disney films and TV appearances from when he was a kid. I could stand those because the rough part comes later with things like 3,000 Miles To Graceland.