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Who are your favorite characters?

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message 1: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) We all have one or two, maybe more favorite characters. Who are yours?

message 2: by Kellyflower (new)

Kellyflower | 20 comments (Lorraine Gary as) Ellen Brody from Jaws.
I always thought she and Chief Brody were the coolest parents.

also the character "Keith" from the movie Keith

can I count WALL E ?

message 3: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments you mean, besides itchy and scratchy?

message 4: by Kellyflower (new)

Kellyflower | 20 comments If we could vote for TV Characters I'd vote for
Lafayette (True Blood)

message 5: by Jill (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 123 comments 1. Samwise Gamgee. I was concerned that Jackson might make him buffoonish in the LOTR trilogy, because he's potentially such easy fodder for comedy. Luckily both Jackson and Sean Astin (who had nothing but the deepest respect for the character he was going to portray) saw how honorable and good Sam was, and played him accordingly. I don't know anyone who didn't start crying (or got a fresh burst of tears) when he tells Frodo, on the side of Mt. Doom, "I may not be able to carry the ring, but I can carry you."

2. Ash from the Evil Dead trilogy. No one will ever make the chainsaw that cool again.

3. Kingo Gondo in Akira Kurosawa's High and Low. Not a perfect man, but a good man. His bald-faced relief and overwhelming emotion when his chauffeur's son is returned safely just tears at your heart (and the hearts of the cops who had viewed him with a kind of veiled contempt until then).

4. Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates in Psycho. He comes across as a troubled and weird yet strangely likable young man. You feel for Norman. You share Marion's concern for him. You also share her unease. Perkins's portrayal is pitch perfect. If your only experience with this film is the remake, do yourself a favor and watch the original. A friend of mine had watched the remake first and just found Norman creepy and unlikable, which is how Vaughn played him. She finally understood my appreciation of the character and the actor who portrayed him when she saw the original.

5. Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. I don't think I need to say more. ;)

6. Yoda. Some of the basic philosophies I still live by were first given to me in his strangely lovable grammatical structure.

7. Rorschach from Watchmen. Haley is pitch perfect as one of my favorite comic book characters. In his own twisted way, Rorschach is honorable to the point of death. He's a character that demands both respect and pity.

I'm sure I'll think of more characters, but these are the ones that came to me off the top of my head.

message 6: by Phillip (last edited Oct 29, 2010 09:25PM) (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments eli from let the right one in

and la bette, from belle et la bette, especially when he says: "i am the beast ... i don't like compliments".

message 7: by Jill (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 123 comments Thought of another one to add to the list: Margo Channing from All About Eve. The character was wonderfully written, but Bette Davis made her an icon.

message 8: by mark (last edited Oct 30, 2010 12:28AM) (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) many characters played by judy davis, especially in:

My Brilliant Career
A Passage to India
especially IMPROMPTU
Naked Lunch
Barton Fink
Husbands and Wives

- christopher lee in The Lord of the Rings
- brigitte lin & tony leung chiu wai in Ashes of Time
- tom noonan in Manhunter
- angela lansbury in Manchurian Candidate
- crispin glover in anything
- parker posey, glenda jackson, julie christie, graze zabriskie in almost anything
- ian richardson in Marat/Sade
- ernest hugo jaregard in The Kingdom
- isabelle adjani & sam neill in Possession
- the father & son in Strange Behavior
- the brad dourif characters in Wise Blood & Dune

as far as tv characters go, i'd go with:
- adam baldwin/jayne in Firefly
- various clarke peters characters in The Wire, Damages, and Treme
- alyson hannigan in Buffy
- amy acker as illyria (and illyria only) in Angel
- christopher meloni/keller in Oz
- adewale akinnuoye agbaje in Oz & Lost
- many other characters in Lost, played by jeremy davies, cynthia watros, andrew divoff, michael emerson, ken leung, elizabeth mitchell
- ray wise in Reaper & Twin Peaks
- kristen bell as Veronica Mars

but overall i'd have to say my favorite character in either film or tv would be Donnie Darko.

message 9: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (Webalina) | 583 comments Phillip wrote: "you mean, besides itchy and scratchy?"

Heheh....that made me laugh.

message 10: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) Jill, I agree about Bette playing Margo. As close to perfection as it gets in acting.

message 11: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Bette Davis plays a good character, I like her in Little Foxes, the look on her face when her husband is dying and she doesn't move a muscle. There is a supposed prequel to how the family became who they are. I am going to try and rent that.
Marilyn Monroe anything she did, she had such a shining quality, the camera certainly adored her.
Cary Grant, anything he is in is magic esp, An Affair to Remember, Tom Hanks tried to emulate him in Sleepless in Seattle, the scene where they are on the Empire State Building after his son left his bear there, and Tom Hanks says to Meg, "shall we" definitely a Cary Grant moment.

message 12: by Phillip (last edited Nov 01, 2010 11:37PM) (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments there is another thread for favorite actors. my reading of this thread is that it is more about a character who is created for a movie that you love to watch; how are they special or different from other characters?

most of the austen heroines come to mind ... different actors have played elizabeth bennet, for example, and regardless of who is playing her, i just love her strength and determination, and how she cops to her pride in the end - something that has kept her from getting close to mr darcy (who is also an excellent character!

frankenstein was a character i sympathized with a lot as a child, along with godzilla and the werewolf ... doesn't matter who is playing those roles; if the actor plays them "correctly", you have deep sympathy for them.

i saw psycho on the big screen tonight and i think norman bates is one of the most interesting characters - extremely complex, and in spite of the fact that he is a serial killer, i think he is one of the more sympathetic characters (who also just happen to be a serial killer) on film.

we've talked about dorothy from the wizard of oz on these threads, and she is one of my favorite heroic characters in cinema. she really gets the job done and sticks to her course no matter what is happening around her.

and then there's babs from john waters female trouble. not heroic, not sympathetic, but if i put that movie on, i'm completely transfixed. of course, no one but divine could have played babs

message 13: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I recently saw on video Ophuls the Earring of Madame De. . . this character was complex, and intriguing. It showed that one woman who was trying to pawn her earrings to pay for her debts, and what happens to her earrings, with it being bought back by the husband, and given to his lover,and then the lover gives it back to Madame de lover and it is highly entertaining, is this what you are looking for, Phillip?

message 14: by Phillip (last edited Nov 01, 2010 11:39PM) (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments well, i didn't initiate this thread, but yeah, it isn't so much the actor playing the role, it's that character's STORY that is interesting. you are not talking about the woman who played "madame de", you are talking about the journey that this character goes on and how the character must change throughout the course of the narrative.

the other thread is called "what actor would you watch in anything?" seems to me that your comment on bette davis, or mark's comment on judy davis addresses that question more successfully; but ultimately, it doesn't matter.

message 15: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5487 comments Philip, I think you mean Dawn Davenport in John Waters' FEMALE TROUBLE.

message 16: by Phillip (last edited Nov 02, 2010 04:31AM) (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments you're right, of course. i was tired when i wrote that. babs was divine's character in pink flamingoes (but regarding babs, ditto). i meant dawn "i want my cha-cha heels!/who wants to die for art?" davenport.

message 17: by Jim (new)

Jim (jim_) I missed this thread. Here's a few of my favorite characters of all time:

Peter O'Toole in the Stunt Man
Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner
Peter Lorre in Tales of Terror as Montresor in "The Black Cat"
Jack Nicholson in Two Floors Over The Cuckoos Nest
Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now
Gene Hackman in The Conversation
Sharon Stone in Basic Instincts
Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke
Paul Newman as Fast Eddy in The Hustler
Dirk Bogarde in The Night Porter

message 18: by mark (last edited Nov 02, 2010 09:42PM) (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) Phillip wrote: "the other thread is called "what actor would you watch in anything?" seems to me that your comment on bette davis, or mark's comment on judy davis addresses that question more successfully; but ultimately, it doesn't matter.

i see your point and certainly my use of actor names rather than character names does make it seem as if i'm listing my favorite actors. in the cases of crispin glover/parkerposey/glenda jackson/gracezabrie, i am no doubt reacting to my love for the actor.

but for the rest, i am talking about the actual characters, ones that either resonate for me at some level (in particular Donnie Darko) or are particularly fascinating villains (i find interesting villains to be the characters i'll most often contemplate).

and in the case of judy davis, it definitely was the characters that she played in each of the films listed. there have actually been many judy davis roles in which i haven't felt the same kind of connection that i felt towards the roles/films i listed. in Impromptu, Brilliant Career, and Barton Fink, i thought each individual character was in some ways a version of 'my ideal woman', as corny as that phrase may be. the independence & intelligence of each character were each quite differently portrayed and absorbing in distinct, separate ways. the roles in A Passage and Husbands were fascinating in their repression. and her characters in Naked Lunch and their relation to burroughs is one that i've thought over many times...two sides of the same coin? two different kinds of muses or two different kinds of victims?

message 19: by Phillip (last edited Nov 02, 2010 10:34PM) (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments thanks for your explanation regarding judy davis, mark. i felt you were hinting at this in your original post, now it's much clearer to me.

i also really admired that period in
the 80's where ms davis seemed to really be stretching out in terms of her range. she talks on the making of naked lunch disc about being shocked that cronemberg thought she was right for the dual roles of joan - two characters who, at the start of the film, are very different, but run like twin streams into a common river. after seeing naked lunch the second time (after some of the initial shock wears off), and you have a chance to pay more attention to these dual roles it's painfully clear that she really was the perfect choice.

and thanks for not positing a defensive stance; i really wasn't calling you on the carpet in any way, more letting folks know about the two different threads. but the more you discuss a character, the more you have to discuss the actor.

this is a nice thread for me because people are talking more about the characters and not just creating lists of their favorite actors.

message 20: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments ps

i adore arker posey.

i've confessed it (even if it is in the wrong thread. ;)

message 21: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) James Stewart--Vertigo
Sally Field--Sybil
Joanne Woodward--Three Faces of Eve

message 22: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) Rhett Butler's a favorite of mine. A complex character, moving from rogue and roue to devoted father and husband to don't-give-a-damn-I've-had-it pissed-off man. Wonderful!

message 23: by Kellyflower (new)

Kellyflower | 20 comments If we were doing a list of Characters that were played so well that they ARE that role! then my list would be:
Daniel Day Lewis - Hawkeye- Last Of The Mohicans
James McAvoy - Rory O'Shae - Rory O'Shea was Here
Billy Bob Thornton - Karl - Slingblade
Ted Levine - Silence Of The Lamb ( I have a hard time seeing him as anything other then his character in Silence Of The Lambs)
Yul Brynner - The King and I (Again I'll always see him as The King of Siam)
Charles Bronson - Harmonica Man - Once Upon A Time In The West
Anthony Perkins - Norman Bates - Psycho
Robin Weigert - Calamity Jane - Deadwood (TV)
Robert Englund -Freddy Krueger- A Nightmare On Elm Street
Ian McShane - Al Swearengen- Deadwood(TV)
Rosalind Russell - Auntie Mame
Vivien Leigh- Scarlett O'Hara - Gone With The Wind
Johnny Depp - Captain Jack Sparrow - Pirates Of The Caribbean

message 24: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Yep you have picked some real characters. Daniell Day Lewis seems to become a chameleon in each new role that he plays, he also played in my Left Foot, which I found was incredible. Also he was in Age of Innocence, he did a fantastic job in that as well. Newland Archer was his name in that one. Thanks Kelllyflower.

message 25: by Sooz (new)

Sooz the characters that immediately popped into my head was that of Ripley and Newt in Aliens. Ripley - as a surrogate mother to the orphan girl Newt - going up against the Queen Bee Alien is fabulous in my book.

and also from Aliens, Vasquez, the kick-ass female marine who wisecracks, 'No have you?' when asked by a male peer if she has ever been mistaken for a man.

i'll return when i've had sometime to think about other characters i've loved.

message 26: by Kellyflower (new)

Kellyflower | 20 comments Sooz wrote: "the characters that immediately popped into my head was that of Ripley and Newt in Aliens. Ripley - as a surrogate mother to the orphan girl Newt - going up against the Queen Bee Alien is fabulous..."

I agree with you.. I liked the character Rippley so much that I named my dog after her. (who I lost at the age of 16 this yr)
I also named one of my cats Spunkmeyer. I don't think there was one character in that movie that was a weak character. HUDSON has to be my husband's favorite, he had some good lines.

message 27: by Sooz (new)

Sooz Kellyflower wrote: "Sooz wrote: "the characters that immediately popped into my head was that of Ripley and Newt in Aliens. Ripley - as a surrogate mother to the orphan girl Newt - going up against the Queen Bee Alie..."

Hudson - that was the the Bill Paxton character right? he DOES have some great lines, and his delivery is so good. he does whinny so good!

message 28: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments "yeah, but it's a dry heat..."

message 29: by Kellyflower (new)

Kellyflower | 20 comments Phillip wrote: ""yeah, but it's a dry heat...""

"I hate to rain on your parade, but we're not gonna last 17 hours"

message 30: by Phillip (last edited Nov 05, 2010 02:34PM) (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments "smoking or non-smoking?"


hudson: hey vasquez, ever been mistaken for a man?
vasquez: no, have you?

message 31: by Sooz (new)

Sooz "we're in some pretty sh*t now man"

"maybe we should put HER in charge" pointing to Newt

message 32: by Jill (last edited Nov 06, 2010 07:20AM) (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 123 comments Sooz wrote: "the characters that immediately popped into my head was that of Ripley and Newt in Aliens. Ripley - as a surrogate mother to the orphan girl Newt - going up against the Queen Bee Alien is fabulous..."

I always loved Vasquez solely for that line. That line alone made the character one of the most memorable in the Alien series.

message 33: by Phillip (last edited Nov 06, 2010 07:37AM) (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments oh, sorry to repeat your quote, sooz. didn't see that. but vasquez rocks, as does ripley. heartbreaking at the start of alien 3 when you discover newt didn't make it. the other admirable quality about vasquez is that she doesn't say much. the guys are usually losing their heads while she's taking care of business.

message 34: by Sooz (new)

Sooz no worries Phillip - a line that good is worth repeating. and i had forgotten it was Hudson who says it.

there are only a few female characters (that i can think of) in flim that are truly kick-ass .... in the 'i wouldn't want to meet them in a dark alley if they were pissed off' vein.

i mean Charlie's Angels? those skinny girls with good hair? please.

Vasquez, Ripley, Sarah Connors and ... the chauffeur/body guard character that Angela Bassett plays in the movie Strange Days .... come to my mind.

and re: the death of Newt. i really disliked Aliens 3 when i first saw it. upon a rewatch a couple of years later, i realized it was not as bad as i remembered it. not in the same company as one or two, but not nearly as bad as i remembered it. i came to the conclusion that i hadn't gotten past "they killed NEWT!???! the first time i saw it.

message 35: by Jill (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 123 comments I should try to watch Aliens 3 again, then. I remember being pretty upset when the first thing they did was kill off Newt. Of course, considering Ripley ended up on a male-only prison planet, that probably did cut down on a lot of dark directions the writers could have taken.

message 36: by Geoffrey (last edited Nov 06, 2010 10:20AM) (new)

Geoffrey | 209 comments John Huston in CHINATOWN. The worst or best villain in any movie I have ever seen. What unbridled, unapologetic corruption. Pure evil.

Toshiro Mifune in THE SEVEN SAMURAI. A man in over his head, pretending to be something he is not and not only succeeding but far surpassing the heroism of his peers.

message 37: by Phillip (last edited Nov 06, 2010 10:46AM) (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments man, i cannot think of huston in chinatown, without getting sick to my stomach (thanks!), especially the final scene innthe car with dunaway. probably the creepiest character that i can think of; right up there with henry from portrait of a serial killer.

message 38: by Geoffrey (last edited Nov 06, 2010 05:45PM) (new)

Geoffrey | 209 comments His performance in that flic is the only one that has ever prompted me to fantasize being a character in a movie turned real life situation. It would have given me great pleasure to be the Nicholson character and slash Huston´s head off.

Now I have got to go see Henry. Thanks for the tip.

message 39: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (Webalina) | 583 comments Geoffrey wrote: "His performance in that flic is the only one that has ever prompted me to fantasize being a character in a movie turned real life situation. It would have given me great pleasure to be the Nicholso..."

I was talking to someone once who felt like this about Percy in THE GREEN MILE. He said he'd never so badly wanted to jump into a movie screen and beat the shit out of someone as he did Percy.

About HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER -- This is without a doubt one of the creepiest, most disturbing films I've ever seen. It's low-budget but well-done, and Michael Rooker as Henry is just...jeez. The film is not particularly gory or violent considering it's a movie about a serial killer. It's done as more of a "day in the life of a killer". It gets under your skin and won't come out. I'm glad I saw it, but I never want to see it again.

message 40: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) The Green Mile was good. They all were good characters.

message 41: by Sooz (new)

Sooz it wasn't a huge part, but i love the character Thelma Ritter plays in All About Eve. talk about having some good lines!

message 42: by mark (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) Phillip wrote: "thanks for your explanation regarding judy davis, mark....and thanks for not positing a defensive stance; i really wasn't calling you on the carpet in any way..."

defensiveness is the bane of intelligent discourse!

message 43: by mark (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) i just re-watched an old favorite, Underworld USA. that central character played by cliff robertson is fascinating. another favorite!

when thinking over sam fuller films, i also love recalling the dog trainer (played by paul winfield maybe?) in White Dog. a fascinating character.

and just glancing at my dvds for a moment, i'm seeing Miami Blues and After Dark My Sweet. i don't think either film was particularly amazing, but i remember being really drawn to the wounded, funny, romantic, socially inept lead characters, and just having a lot of empathy towards them, and re-watching both films solely to enjoy those characters. (the characters played by jason patric in After Dark and by jennifer jason leigh & alec baldwin in Miami Blues.)

message 44: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments thanks for mentioning white dog - nice that criterion put that out - i had never seen it before that. it was made for tv, and then the television stations refused to show it feeling it was too controversial.

message 45: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5487 comments I like the first half of MIAMI BLUES a lot. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alec Baldwin are great together.

message 46: by Sooz (new)

Sooz white dog ... that reminds me of Ghost Dog. i really liked some characters in this one. the young girl, the ice cream man as well as the main character.

message 47: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) Great comment, Mark: Defensiveness is the bane of intelligent discourse!

message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Here's my list in no particular order:

Katharine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter
Hillary Swank in Boys Don't Cry
Jessica Tandy in Driving Miss Daisy
Winona Ryder in Mermaids
Peter O'Toole in Becket
Michael Douglas in Wonder Boys
Paul Newman in Nobody's Fool

...and why not include Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie in the National Lampoon movies.

message 49: by Blaise (new)

Blaise (blaiseh) | 6 comments Eric Draven - The Crow

message 50: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina oooh what a nice reminder Blaise. That was one of my favorites

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