You've made millions. Your face's been plastered across every surface known to mankind, from ten-story buildings visible from space to diapers teasing this summer's big blockbuster. Your earnings as an actor have tolled sums so high you need tag-teams of accountants to help you count it all. You are the stuff Hollywood dreams are made of. Except for one teeny-tiny flaw.
You can't act.
In fact, by my entirely unscientific method of assessment, about 50% of the lucky bastards we pay our hard-earned entertainment dollars to cannot act to save their blessed lives. They can't do it, the same way I can't play the piano or be next season's starting pitcher for the Yankees. (Though on a good day I can pound out an oddly stirring rendition of "Heart and Soul.") The fact that these big fat fakers achieved success by having someone point a camera at them only means there's something about them that people like (or hate if you always play the bad guy.) Their real magic may lie in the exact opposite of talent. As we sit watching one of their 20-foot high mug-o-thons on the silver screen, subconsciously, we're thinking, "Hell, I could act better than that!"
Never underestimate the power of making people feel superior.
Now look, if I could crack the code, I wouldn't be sitting at my computer typing this, I'd be on my 50-foot yacht cruising around Lake Como with George and Amal. (They are such a fun couple!)
In case you doubt my premise in any way, here are just a few examples of actors to prove my point:
Let's start with the high in low that is Kevin Costner. Known for some of the biggest box-office record-breakers like "The Body Guard," "Field of Dreams," and "Bull Durham," this guy deserves an award for doing so damned much with so damned little. He may have won an Academy Award for Best Director for his film "Dances with Wolves,” but the character he played should have been called "Stands with no talent." (The Academy even nominated him for Best Actor in that role– see my remarks above about the power of making the audience feel superior.) If you're a sucker for an actor who can squint really hard while saying his lines like he's reading a teleprompter, he's your matinee idol. I find him as emotionally compelling as a bowl of fruit. (Sorry fruit, that was a low blow.)
Now take Costner, shave his head, and add lots of fast cars. You get my second proof point, Vin Diesel. Ironically one of the wealthiest humans in the entertainment business (thanks to "The Fast and The Furious" franchise, he's estimated to be worth 200 million dollars right now.) He's not that tall, not particularly handsome... he's a regular guy, just like me! Except for the 200 million in net worth part. So ladies want him, and men want to be him. Absolutely no acting skills necessary. Think they'd actually get in the way. If he could act, guys like Scorcese and Tarantino would be blowing up his phone, which would take time away from blowing up all those cars.
Then there's Kristen Stewart. Or should I say Kristin "I-have-the-best-PR-person-on-the-planet Stewart." Sorry, there's just no there there. Tree stumps have more range. Vampires don't even like being associated with her cringe-worthy depictions. Que up anything she's ever done, and randomly pause on her face. It clearly reads, "God, my performance is boring me to death."
Rounding out the oh-no-you-can't list is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. He's big, and rock-like for sure, buff and manly, and will never be at risk of being handed one of those gold bald statues. But I put him in a slightly different category, and here's why: He never said he was an actor! After a football injury ended that dream, he joined the family business as a professional wrestler. Then Hollywood started paying him to look like a wrestler, which he did. So at least he's not peddling some Meisner method Elia Kazan horse-pucky about "his craft." He's just a big guy with a big smile who can say "Jumanji" a hundred times in a row with a straight face. Plus, he's just so damned likable, ya know?
Though these folks can't act, they are good at something else: being a celebrity. Different job altogether, but perhaps this is the more important job. It includes but is not limited to taking pictures with and signing autographs for adoring fans when it's the last thing you feel like doing, staying out of jail, staying out of rehab (or at least keeping it to one trip a year) and living just enough on the edge to be interesting, but not so much that you get black-balled by the studios for doing meth in your motorhome.
So yes, these guys make millions. No, they cannot act, not even a little. Am I bitter? Hell yeah, dawg. Would I swap places with anyone of these Fortune 500 movie poster posers faster than you can say "pass the popcorn"? Hell yeah, dawg.