25 most castable actors as of Jan 2011

If I'm making a big movie I make sure that I check to see if any of these guys are available. Castable to me is a combination of past success and current popularity. There are stacks of popular actors without a good resume eg. Zac Efron, Megan Fox, Ashton Kutcher, Blake Lively and then there are actors with a good resume who aren't particularly popular at present eg. Morgan Freeman, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey, John Travolta.
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1.
Brad Pitt
An actor and producer known as much for his versatility as he is for his handsome face, Golden Globe-winner Brad Pitt's most widely recognized role may be Tyler Durden in Fight Club. But his portrayals of Billy Beane in Moneyball, and Rusty Ryan in the remake of Ocean's Eleven and its sequels, also loom large in his filmography...
“ First guy you'd want to have. Very underrated resume of films from Se7en to Fight Club to Babel to Troy to Inglourious Basterds, and that's just the highlights. I'd challenge you to find someone with a better track record actually. And he's popular as hell, so you're looking at a strong box office straight away. ” - sifter132
 
2.
Leonardo DiCaprio
Actor, Inception
Few actors in the world have had a career quite as diverse as Leonardo DiCaprio's. DiCaprio has gone from relatively humble beginnings, as a supporting cast member of the sitcom Growing Pains and low budget horror movies, such as Critters 3, to a major teenage heartthrob in the 1990s, as the hunky lead actor in movies such as Romeo + Juliet and Titanic...
“ Had a great run last year with Shutter Island and Inception. He's a popular dude and yes, he hasn't done a heap of movies historically compared to some of his acting compadres - but it's all been quality. Except for The Beach...:) ” - sifter132
 
3.
Tom Cruise
Actor, Top Gun
In 1976, if you had told 14 year old Franciscan seminary student Thomas Cruise Mapother IV that one day in the not too distant future he would be considered one of the top 100 movie stars of all time, he would have probably grinned and told you that his ambition was to become a priest. Nonetheless, this sensitive...
“ Legend of cinema who still makes the headlines. And still puts out solid movies like Knight and Day. Give him a better movie and he'll still be a big draw at the box office. ” - sifter132
 
4.
Christian Bale
Christian Charles Philip Bale was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK on January 30, 1974, to English parents Jennifer "Jenny" (James) and David Charles Howard Bale. His mother was a circus performer and his father, who was born in South Africa, was a commercial pilot. The family lived in different countries throughout Bale's childhood...
“ Everyone loves Batman. And a good rant... ” - sifter132
 
5.
Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp is perhaps one of the most versatile actors of his day and age in Hollywood. He was born John Christopher Depp II in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 9, 1963, to Betty Sue (Wells), who worked as a waitress, and John Christopher Depp, a civil engineer. Depp was raised in Florida. He dropped out of school when he was 15...
“ Mr Popularity - and he's got a pretty good cinema history too once you realise he's actually made some movies other than Pirates. Although he does tend to need Tim Burton to make him successful... ” - sifter132
 
6.
Bruce Willis
Actor and musician Bruce Willis is well known for playing wisecracking or hard-edged characters, often in spectacular action films. Collectively, he has appeared in films that have grossed in excess of $2.5 billion USD, placing him in the top ten stars in terms of box office receipts. Walter Bruce Willis was born on March 19...
“ John McClane lives on. And he didn't stop there, Bruce has a great record at the box office and he's still popular despite his advancing age. ” - sifter132
 
7.
Matt Damon
Matthew Paige Damon was born on October 8, 1970, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Kent Damon, a stockbroker, realtor and tax preparer, and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education professor at Lesley University. Matt has an older brother named Kyle who is now a sculptor. His father is of English and Scottish descent...
“ Matt Damon! Still keeping on well with Green Zone and Invictus. ” - sifter132
 
8.
Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage was born in Long Beach, California, the son of comparative literature professor August Coppola (a brother of director Francis Ford Coppola) and dancer/choreographer Joy Vogelsang. He is of Italian (father) and German, English, and Polish (mother) descent. Cage changed his name early in his career to make his own reputation...
“ Nic Cage is back baby! Kick-Ass did really well and The Sorcerer's Apprentice took a lot of cash even though it wasn't the greatest movie. So Cage can still draw a crowd. Needs a sequel to The Rock - awesome movie...:) ” - sifter132
 
9.
Tom Hanks
Hanks climbed back to the top again with his portrayal of a washed-up baseball legend turned manager in A League of Their Own (1992). Hanks has stated that his acting in earlier roles was not great, but that he subsequently improved. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Hanks noted his "modern era of movie making ...
“ Has had stacks of hit movies through his career and is still pretty popular. Toy Story 3 may help Hanks revive himself a bit. ” - sifter132
 
10.
Will Smith
Willard Carroll "Will" Smith, Jr. (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, comedian, producer, rapper, and songwriter. He has enjoyed success in television, film, and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him "the most powerful actor in Hollywood". Smith has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards...
“ Developing into a great actor after some terrible roles he had early in his career. I loved Seven Pounds. ” - sifter132
 
11.
Robert De Niro
Actor, Goodfellas
Robert De Niro, thought of as one of the greatest actors of all time, was born in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City, to artists Virginia (Admiral) and Robert De Niro Sr. His paternal grandfather was of Italian descent, and his other ancestry is Irish, German, Dutch, English, and French. He was trained at the Stella Adler Conservatory and the American Workshop...
“ One of the finest records in Hollywood. Should be enough to want to cast him. ” - sifter132
 
12.
Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. has evolved into one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. With an amazing list of credits to his name, he has managed to stay new and fresh even after over four decades in the business. Downey was born April 4, 1965 in Manhattan, New York, the son of writer, director and filmographer Robert Downey Sr. and actress Elsie Downey (née Elsie Ann Ford)...
“ Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes have him towards the top of Hollywood again. ” - sifter132
 
13.
Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson was born on June 7, 1952 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, UK, to Katherine (Brown), a cook, and Bernard Neeson, a school caretaker. Liam worked as a forklift operator for Guinness, truck driver, assistant architect and an amateur boxer. He had originally sought a career as a teacher by attending St...
“ Clash of the Titans wasn't that great, but the A-Team and Taken from a couple of years ago, show that Oscar Schindler is still one of the best stars you can get. ” - sifter132
 
14.
Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey, Canadian-born and a U.S. citizen since 2004, is an actor and producer famous for his rubbery body movements and flexible facial expressions. The two-time Golden Globe-winner rose to fame as a cast member of the Fox sketch comedy In Living Color but leading roles in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb & Dumber and The Mask established him as a bankable comedy actor...
“ The king of stupidity should be one of the first guys you look for in a comic role. Still much loved despite not a lot of recent cinema success. ” - sifter132
 
15.
Edward Norton
Actor, Fight Club
American actor, filmmaker and activist Edward Harrison Norton was born on August 18, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts, and was raised in Columbia, Maryland. His mother, Lydia Robinson "Robin" (Rouse), was a foundation executive and teacher of English, and a daughter of famed real estate developer James Rouse...
“ The Incredible Hulk was pretty good, but now he's given up that role he should be free for more stuff. Anyone with Fight Club and American History X on their resume is gonna be good. ” - sifter132
 
16.
George Clooney
Actor, Gravity
George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, to Nina Bruce (née Warren), a former beauty pageant queen, and Nick Clooney, a former anchorman and game show host (who was also the brother of singer Rosemary Clooney). He has Irish, English, and German ancestry. Clooney spent most of this youth in Ohio and Kentucky...
“ Not a big fan personally, but then I'm not a middle aged woman! Good performance in Up in the Air though. ” - sifter132
 
17.
Al Pacino
One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of film's greatest decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies. Pacino was born on April 25, 1940, in the Bronx, New York, to an Italian-American family. His parents...
“ The Godfather himself is slowing down a bit, but the sheer cinematic weight that Pacino can add to a role would make him worth looking at. ” - sifter132
 
18.
Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman was born Natalie Hershlag on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel, to a Jewish family. She is the only child of Avner Hershlag, an Israeli-born doctor, and Shelley Stevens, an American-born artist (from Cincinnati, Ohio), who also acts as Natalie's agent. She left Israel for Washington...
“ My first choice actress. The young girl who started as Mathilda in Leon is now hitting her peak. Star Wars solidified her popularity and her latest movie Black Swan has shown that she can really act. ” - sifter132
 
19.
Sandra Bullock
Actress, Gravity
Sandra Annette Bullock was born in Arlington, a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Her mother, Helga Bullock (née Helga Mathilde Meyer), was a German opera singer. Her father, John W. Bullock, was an American voice teacher, who was born in Alabama, of Irish, English, French, and German descent. Sandra grew up on the road with her parents and younger sister...
“ Reigning Oscar winning actress is riding a nice wave of resurgence with The Blind Side and The Proposal. ” - sifter132
 
20.
Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes is an English actor. A noted Shakespeare interpreter, he first achieved success onstage at the Royal National Theatre. Fiennes' portrayal of Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth in Schindler's List (1993) earned him nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor...
“ First stereotyped bad guy on this list with turns as Lord Voldemort, Hades, Harry Waters, Francis Dolarhyde, Ramses and Amon Goeth making him a legendary actor for the dark side. ” - sifter132
 
21.
Angelina Jolie Pitt
Actress, Maleficent
Angelina Jolie is an Oscar-winning actress who became popular after playing the title role in the "Lara Croft" blockbuster movies, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Wanted, Salt and Maleficent. Off-screen, Jolie has become prominently involved in international charity projects, especially those involving refugees...
“ Little miss popular with the tabloids and turned Salt from an average movie into one that did pretty well commercially. ” - sifter132
 
22.
Denzel Washington
Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis (Lowe), from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at Fordham University...
“ Still working his Tony Scott connections with Unstoppable and the Book of Eli did well for him too last year. In fact most of the movies he's done lately have been at the very least solid: Taking of Pelham 123, American Gangster, Deja Vu, Inside Man, The Manchurian Candidate, Man on Fire. Good strike rate. ” - sifter132
 
23.
Russell Crowe
Actor, Gladiator
Russell Ira Crowe was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to Jocelyn Yvonne (Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe, both of whom catered movie sets. His maternal grandfather, Stanley Wemyss, was a cinematographer. Crowe's recent ancestry includes Welsh (where his paternal grandfather was born, in Wrexham), English...
“ Robin Hood didn't break any records or wow a lot of people, but it was a solid blockbuster and shows Rusty still can do the job. Similar to Denzel: doesn't turn out much junk. ” - sifter132
 
24.
Sylvester Stallone
Actor, Rocky
This athletically built, dark-haired American actor/screenwriter/director may never be mentioned by old-school film critics in the same breath as, say, Richard Burton or Alec Guinness; however, movie fans worldwide have been flocking to see Stallone's films for over 30 years, making "Sly" one of Hollywood's biggest-ever box office draws...
“ I loved the recent Rambo and he's continued with his recent renaissance with The Expendables. ” - sifter132
 
25.
Mark Wahlberg
American actor Mark Wahlberg is one of a handful of respected entertainers who successfully made the transition from teen pop idol to respected actor. A Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee for The Departed who went on to receive positive critical reviews for his performance in The Fighter, Wahlberg also is a solid comedy actor, proven by his starring role in Ted...
“ Just pips Jake Gyllenhaal for the 25th spot. I think Wahlberg's a tad more popular with the masses. ” - sifter132