• Nina Darnell

My six favorite actors

Being in quarantine for the past 9 months has given me so much time to watch movies that I probably would have never seen otherwise. I have seen countless genres of movies, ranging from comedies to dramas to action movies. Here is a secret of mine: I tend to pick the movies I watch based on my favorite actors to watch.


I have compiled a list of my six favorite actors and actresses that I think really should be appreciated more.


1. Matthew McConaughey

McConaughey is my absolute favorite actor ever not only because of his looks, but because of his insane range. He goes from playing a drug smuggler with AIDS in “Dallas Buyers Club.” to playing a heartthrob pediatrician in “The Wedding Planner.” Though many, maybe a majority, of his movies have been rated horribly by critics, I, as well as the general audience, believe his acting range deserves better praise. His greatest movies may be behind us, but with strong performances of his like in “The Gentlemen,” he proves that there is much to look forward to in his career.


Movie Recommendations: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, The Wedding Planner, Tropic Thunder


2. James Marsden

I have loved Marsden since the minute I laid eyes on him in the Easter class I “Hop.” I know that sounds ridiculous but I am serious. He is one of the best, most underrated male actors. Yes, he has been in major flops like “Sonic the Hedgehog,” but I absolutely forgive him for that and you should too. Like McConaughey, Marsden also has fantastic range. He went from playing a second-choice in iconic chick-flic “The Notebook” to playing the exciting role of Corny Collins in “Hairspray.” My favorite movie of his is “Death at a Funeral“ and after watching, you would undoubtedly understand why.


Movie Recommendations: Death at a Funeral, 27 Dresses, Hop, Hairspray, The Notebook, Enchanted

3. Brad Pitt

From simply being a viewer of Amazon Prime, Netflix, HBO Max and Starz, it is very easy to tell how dedicated Pitt is to each and every one of his roles. His acting ability ages like fine wine and I can not wait to watch his next project. From his portrayal of Cliff Booth in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood“ I knew right away that he was going to win an Oscar for the role. The man is 57 years old but his acting abilities are better than ever. You are never too old to be a good actor.


Movie Recommendations: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, World War Z, Moneyball, Fight Club, Ocean’s Eleven


4. Jennifer Aniston

If you have not already seen “Just Go With It,” please go watch it now. It is a national treasure. Not only is she one of my favorite big-screen actresses but she is a standout on the small-screen as well. My favorite work of hers is on “The Morning Show.” She is accompanied by well-known actors Steve Carrell and Reese Witherspoon, who would usually make it pretty difficult for one to stand out amongst these great names but somehow she does it.


Movie/TV Recommendations: Just Go With It, The Morning Show, The Break-Up, Murder Mystery, He’s Just Not That Into You


5. Meryl Streep

Meryl is an absolute queen and if you think otherwise, talk to her many Oscar wins and nominations. She is a strong and powerful actress that has led the way for many other women in the industry. She is known as the best actress of her generation for a reason. Not only can she act but she can also sing, as proven in “Mamma Mia.” She is 71 years old and she is honestly stronger and better than ever.


Movie Recommendations: Mamma Mia, The Devil Wears Prada, The Iron Lady, Florence Foster Jenkins


6. Emma Stone

Five words: “Zombieland” and “La La Land.” That’s all.


Movie Recommendations: The Help, Zombieland, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Birdman, La La Land


Every actor I named is fantastic in more ways than one and I highly recommend any movie that they are in. If you do not want to take my recommendations into consideration, it is perfectly alright, just know you are missing out. Though we are quarantined, so might as well watch them.