Quentin Tarantino is, by far, one of the most popular directors working today. We the fans all like him because he makes kick ass movies. Actors like him because he can define a career. Think of all the actors he’s helped and in how many different ways. He plucked Christoph Waltz from (American) obscurity and won him two Oscars with two movies. He can take working or popular actors and give them some much needed street cred like Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained or Kurt Russell in Death Proof. And, of course, everyone knows about the John Travolta comeback story. The basic idea here is that Tarantino can take any actor and suck all the potential cool out of them. That all being said, here’s ten actors I’d like to see get the Tarantino treatment (in no particular order):
HONORABLE MENTION: DANIEL DAY LEWIS & ROBERT DOWNEY, JR.
The reason these two only get the honorable mention is because I feel like I’d like to see them in anyone’s movies. The fact that we’re considering Tarantino’s movies just heightens that feeling of anticipation. So, no one would really benefit, per se, from the collaboration but I’d still really like to see it.
Tom Cruise is probably the biggest star in the world (Take that, Will Smith!!!). He’s also one of the best and most intense/dedicated working actors in the business. I think people forget this sometimes because of how many big popcorn-style movies he does. Still, his talents shine the brightest when he gets his hands dirty and takes unexpected roles from talented directors. See Collateral and Magnolia. Now, I can’t even begin to imagine how intense a Tarantino/Cruise discussion would be but I want that to happen. My guess is we’d all benefit from it.
Since Ray Liotta burst on to the scene with his breakthrough performance in Goodfellas, he’s had kind of a strange career. Bouncing back and forth from mainstream films to box office stinkers to straight-to-DVD schlock. He seems most often to be typecast as either a crooked cop or some kind of Henry Hill rip-off. Fortunately for him, Quentin Tarantino tends to write these kind of played out characters very well. Maybe if it ain’t broke you don’t fix it. You just get someone better to direct you at that thing you do very well.
CUBA GOODING JR.
I’m gonna say it: Cuba Gooding Jr. is a good actor. He’s also a poster child for the Oscar version of the Madden curse. Since winning the Oscar, Cuba has pretty much spiraled into straight-to-DVD hell. Aside from bit parts in the disappointing American Gangster and Red Tails, he really hasn’t been in anything decent since 1998. So, I submit, here’s another pet project for Mr. Tarantino. Let’s bring this guy back into the limelight. He’s certainly talented enough.
Rourke was able to do his Travolta-esque comeback without the help of Tarantino but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see these guys make a film together. Rourke, despite not looking as beautiful as he did in his early days, has been turning in really good performances right and left for the last ten years. It would be awesome to see him take on a Tarantino character. Imagine everything Michael Madsen was able to do and times the cool factor by ten.
For the past three decades, Sir Ben Kingsley has quietly been one of the strongest actors working in Hollywood. That alone should make this happen. The reason I keep coming back to him for this list is because of the film Sexy Beast. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and thank me later. Those roles, sadly, don’t come along too often but I think Quentin might be just the guy to help us relive some of that magic.
I feel like John Goodman is one of the best parts of any movies he’s in. Unfortunately, he’s usually doing a great job in a very serviceable supporting role. Which is unfortunate because, when he gets the chance to shine, he usually steals the show. See The Big Lebowski. Perhaps, Tarantino is just the man to give this amazing actor a chance to showcase how amazing he can be… even if it is in a supporting part.
Speaking of The Big Lebowski… Mr. Bridges certainly doesn’t need the pick me up. He’s been working strong for over five decades, turned in some of his best work over the past five years and Iron Man helped give his career the boost it needed recently. This is just another example of two great power houses coming together to churn out something I guarantee we would want to see.
Oh, Val, my sweet, sweet, Val… oh, how the mighty have fallen. Kilmer certainly isn’t Iceman anymore. Yet, he’s still very intriguing. Yet another actor who teeters between the mainstream and the world of (here’s another one) straight-to-DVD but I’ll let you in on a little secret. He actually still does some really good acting in those movies that only I and a handful of others bother to see. Of course, there’s the detractors that say he’s a bloated shell of what he used to be but who gives a shit? Kilmer is just Kilmer and there’s something very cool about this guy. Something that could be REALLY cool in a Tarantino joint.
RUSSEL CROWE & TOM HANKS.
I’m lumping these two together because it’s a very similar story for both. I feel like both of these guys have been turning out solid work their whole careers but both kind of hit their peak at the turn of the century. I feel like it’s been a while since we were buzzed about these guys being in a movie and they were both, at one point, near the top of their game in their fields. It would be nice to see both find some new life breathed into them via some Quentin Tarantino dialogue.
Those of you who are old enough to remember the late 80s and early 90s know that Slater was pretty much the shit. He was practically being called the next Jack Nicholson. Though this was mainly due to the similar voice and same wacky eyebrows. Still, Slater was one cool cat. These days he can’t seem to drum up more than straight-to-DVD films and failed sitcoms. This may be an undertaking of Q.T. style proportions but that’s what we’re here for. I’d love to see Tarantino bring Slater back to the heights he reached nearly two and a half decades ago.
Don’t worry, ladies. I hope to have a list of female actors up in the weeks to come.
Remember, we here at Man, I Love Films don’t do definitive lists. We do our favorites and we want to hear yours. So, make sure and tell us about them in the comments section below.