An age old battle, fought across time and space... actually just inside my head. I was going to write a whole fantastical opening setting up my 'internal conflict' of whom my favourite actor of all time really is... is it Al or Mark?!? It seems to me that there is only one fair way to decide... FIGHT! But that wouldn't be fair seeing as Mark is 30 years younger than Al, a fight just won't cut it...
Since I was about 16 I have always said that my favourite actor is Al Pacino, but I don't know if he is really my favourite actor anymore. Everybody knows that I love The Ruffalo. But I don't know if I love The Ruffalo for his chameleon-like acting abilities, or just because I want him inside me?!? Just kidding... Maybe. But seriously, Al Pacino really hasn't made a good movie in almost ten years, so should he really still sit atop my list based on movies that he made before I was even born, or before I was old enough to see / appreciate them?!? On the other hand, Mark Ruffalo is consistent. Sure he got bogged down in shitty rom-coms for a couple of years (And I love rom-coms, but the ones he starred in, 13 Going On 30 aside, were all shitty!), and sure he has had to settle for playing second fiddle to chumps like Leonardo DiCaprio, or Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, or Jake Gyllenhaal... but he steals the show every time. Every. Time.
My favorutie actors of all time are;
1. Al Pacino
2. Mark Ruffalo
3. Ethan Hawke
4. Christian Bale
There is no number five. I have decided that I no longer deal in top fives, only top fours. Four is just a nicer number. Succinct, concise, even.
So, should Al Pacino keep the top spot? Should Mark Ruffalo take over? Are Ethan Hawke or Christian Bale in with an outside chance of grabbing the top spot? Does it really matter? Does anyone really care? Well, probably not, but what else am I going to do on a Friday morning? It's not like I've got a job to go to.
My top four favourite Al Pacino movies;
1. Carlito's Way (1993)
2. The Panic In Needle Park (1971)
3. Frankie and Johnny (1991)
4. Sea of Love (1989)
If I had to pick a fifth it would be between Scent of a Woman (1992) and Donnie Brasco (1997). Looking at Pacino's IMDb page I'd say that he really hasn't made a good film since Insomnia (2002), but the man is 70 years old, he doesn't have to do shit anymore. He should be retired already, yet he is still going. Three movies currently in various stages of development listed on IMDb. That deserves respect.
My top four favourite Mark Ruffalo movies;
1. XX/XY (2002)
2. You Can Count On Me (2000)
3. What Doesn't Kill You (2008)
4. My Life Without Me (2003)
When Ruffalo made his big breakthrough with You Can Count On Me, he was touted as the next Marlon Brando, that is a lot of pressure to place on someone. Has he lived up to it? In my mind, above and beyond, but in reality... I don't know. He still hasn't made that one HUGE movie that everyone knows him for, I'm sure if Martin Scorsese, or Christopher Nolan, or Michael Mann were to cast him in the lead role of one of their films then he would break through to the next level. But do I really want him to be as big as Leonardo DiCaprio or Johnny Depp?!? Hell fucking no I don't. I like that when people ask who my favourite actor is and I reply Mark Ruffalo, most then say... "What's he been in?"
I guess that is my answer then. The pretentious side of me that likes liking the things that nobody else knows or cares about favours Mark Ruffalo. But the other part of me thinks that until he is no longer making movies or dies, Al Pacino should remain my favourite actor. Even if it is just an imaginary list that exists only in my head (and now on this blog).
And if anybody ever asks me, with genuine ignorance, what movies Al Pacino has been in, I will punch them in the face. And they will deserve it.
2013 EDIT: Mark Ruffalo is in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which is my all time favourite movie, yet I didn't include it in my list of favourite Ruffalo flicks. What an idiot.