I was asked by one of my friends, who will be the next great actor once everyone we know today is gone? The common answer given was that there will always be someone. I agree with this. Once the greats of today are gone, movies aren’t going to stop. We’ll have a new batch of movie stars to watch. But me being the film geek I am, I wonder about the future of film and movie stars. What interested me about this question wasn’t about who, but how. Hollywood and its people aren’t what they were sixty, seventy years ago. We adapted into this technological present and have a new species of actor, so to speak. We don’t have a Chaplin, Stewart, or Brando. Many are influenced by them but they aren’t them. We now have an Oldman, Cruise, or Hanks. Is one group better than the other? That’s a different discussion but one worth having. And there’s a new wave of up and comers popping up now.
It is incredible to me to look at a black and white classic now and see how film has changed. We now have a better connection to movie stars today of social media. The mythical power stars had in the early to mid 1900’s is almost gone now. We see these people as celebrities, caring as much of their private lives as their on screen roles. But before we, although not me technically, had to see these people through film only. Ingrid Bergman wasn’t famous because she was Ingrid Bergman, she was famous becuase she was Ilsa Lund and Alicia Huberman. What’s even more fascinating to think about is how we will see movie stars in the next century and how these classics will hold up when they’re hundreds of years old. Just think about celebrating the 200th year anniversary of Casablanca in 2142. Will that magic be gone after all that time. It still holds up today, but what about in another hundred years. Either way, we’ll always have Paris.
Some actors we know of now I believe have potential to be huge. Some include Michael B Jordan, Miles Teller, or Michael Fassbender who has a long career ahead of him. Even someone like Tom Hardy who has been around awhile, I believe has a huge career still to come and will become a household name. Can you believe that there are still people out there that don’t know who Tom Hardy is? Things like that astound me. The guy’s done great work in roles from Bronson to The Dark Knight Rises and more. Felicity Jones and Shailene Woodley also come to mind as potential juggernauts.
The beautiful thing about film is that even when the star is dead, their legacy and work is not. No one from the silent era is still here. Stars from classics like Citizen Kane, Casablanca, and Gone With The Wind are nearly all dead. But they’re still considered some of the best movies ever made. And we get to see those. Film is a widely shared and universal art that transcends the filmmakers and actors. Citizen Kane is as much our movie as it is Orson Welles’ now.
So I took a relatively simple question and took it pretty far, but that’s what I think about as a movie fan. I haven’t been around long enough to see film change much. I love watching classics because they make me think of films then and how I would have perceived them then. It’s the closest thing we have to time travel. We can’t physically travel back to Africa during World War II, but the timelessness of Casablanca let’s our mind and imagination go there. Looking to the future of film I am nothing but excited for the start of that beautiful friendship.