Above The Line

I’m always flabbergasted when I hear that a particular star (usually Tom Cruise) is being paid $20M to star in a film.  The first thing that occurs to me is: Couldn’t they get someone who can run toward the camera for, say, $10M and use the leftover money to pay teachers?

Okay, what I actually think is “give the leftover money to me” but I think I come off better pretending I care about teachers.

The truth is, actors do open movies… sometimes… and for some people.  While you probably wouldn’t even bother going to see a Mission Impossible movie without Cruise in it, I can’t help but think that Edge of Tomorrow would have made its way to profitability quicker with a different star out front (and also a better title).  When you see Tom Cruise’s name, your expectations for what you’re going to see fall into a very narrow realm.

For the record, I’m not saying Cruise wasn’t great in the movie, he was, but it was a stretch for his public persona that may have limited the number and kind of people who came out to see the movie.

And there is one actor who gets me on board any project he’s in, as well.  Stanley Tucci. He literally makes anything he’s in watchable at the very least and often lifts the material to another level.  I even watched The Devil Wears Prada because he was in it.  And you know what?  The parts he was in were really good.

As a result, I ended up watching a TV show that I normally would not have even heard about: Fortitude. It turned out to be excellent.  If you haven’t seen it, give it a try.  You won’t be disappointed.

I should add that everyone in the show is great, including Michael Gambon and a lot of European actors Americans might not be too familiar with.  It was just that hearing Tucci was going to be in it brought me to the show while the writing, production value, and excellent acting kept me with it.

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