If you don’t want to bother with the entire meme but still want to play, it is highly encouraged to list some of your own favorites for today’s category in the comments.
This was the only category I could come up with where I only had one favorite. Defining the actors I like best doesn't come quite naturally to me; I'm never sure of how to separate their charisma and skill at the trade from my personal preferences. We could make it all about looks, since stooping to that level certainly doesn’t bother me, but I’m pretty sure that even physical appeal is guided by more than superficial visual cues.
Still, the males will get a slightly higher number because sure, I’m het and shallow. I also like looking at some of the ladies, but I had to put a few restrictions on myself for numerical list-making purposes: I thought it only made sense to call someone a favorite actor if I'd seen him/her in more than one role, lest it turns out I only love the character. Nothing that the actor says or does outside of a role will be considered, no matter how adorable or rotten they are in the public eye. Naturally you were wondering why Emilia Clarke and Jennifer Lawrence didn’t make the cut, so now you know. I tried to think of every woman who could singlehandedly get me excited about a movie or TV show just by being in it, regardless of what it was about her that sparked that feeling, and here she stands, alone.
The big deal is still River Tam; Serenity was the first Whedonverse work I saw, and while I liked the whole movie and all of its characters, River was really the element that stole my heart. I didn't yet know her as a character, and I didn’t have to. She had a few quirky lines, demonstrated a wtf mental power, and then proceeded to beat up everyone in the room for no apparent reason, and I was hooked. And then she killed everyone in the room to protect her brother, and I started to wonder why anyone would bother writing any other kind of character arc. When I finally watched Firefly, my appreciation of River expanded, but the climax of her story was all I really needed.
One thing I really admired about those battle scenes was how elegantly they were choreographed, making it look like River was dancing among a crowd of clumsy people rather than just kicking their asses. It all made sense, of course, once I saw Glau’s Angel episode and learned that she’s a classically trained ballet dancer. What an awesome skill to bring to the genre! I haven’t seen her use it since, at least in the traditional sense, but I hope someone makes a brilliant casting choice with her in the future.
She didn’t have enough screen time in Dollhouse by a long shot; for all its flaws, Dollhouse employed some amazing actors and most of them were in minor or recurring roles. Bennett Halverson was the perfect slice of weirdness to add to an inherently weird show that was running low on its weirdness factor; she was the perfect face to put on an important plot point, and it’s also worth mentioning that she was the perfect love interest for the kind of character that nobody expects to even have a love interest. And Summer Glau sold her like nobody else possibly could have, giving us a beautiful woman who was a genius, and crazy, and somehow still totally unlike River Tam.
I wasn’t interested in Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles because I’m not invested in that universe, but I watched a few episodes anyway just to see my girl and it turns out she can also play a killer robot advancing toward humanity with poise and appeal. I’m also going to throw in a rec for Knights of Badassdom, because it’s cute and lots of people haven’t seen it and Summer Glau is in it. (So is Peter Dinklage if that helps. Oh wow, so is Ryan Kwanten!)
Naturally, it doesn’t hurt that her roles so far have, for the most part, fit neatly into genres I liked anyway, but I seriously believe she could handle playing just about anyone and I’m always going to be glad to see her do it. My big dream - okay, this is my big dream for any actor I like - would be for her to be cast as a comic or literary character I already loved, but adaptations have been coming so hard and fast for the past decade that I’m not sure which ones are even left. Do you have any ideas?
Okay, I finished my first meme entry! I was right, this wasn’t an easy topic to write about, but it was fun. Let’s see what’s up next tomorrow!