Calista’s Cinema Conversations: Movies that made actors or directors famous


When you think of a famous actor or director do you usually think of the movie they’re most well known for? Do you often respond with “Oh yeah, that actor was great in it,” or “That was that director’s best film,” when someone is talking about a specific film? If you’ve ever done this, then I’m dedicating this week to you. This week I’m talking about actors’ or directors’ most famous movies.

It usually takes a few tries for a director to get it right. Few directors make their most popular film on their first or second try. Directors like Quentin Tarantino with “Reservoir Dogs” and Steven Spielberg with “Jaws” made it big early on in their film careers, though these films are debatably not their most famous.

Famous 1980s films that truly solidified some actors’ careers were the second installment of the Sci-Fi series “Aliens,” with Sigourney Weaver, “The Nightmare on Elm Street,” with Johnny Depp, “Footloose” with Kevin Bacon and “Back to the Future” with Michael J. Fox.

Some actors continue to get typecast or remembered for a certain character or series. For example, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint starred in the “Harry Potter” series and cannot seem to escape those roles in their adult careers. The same occurred for Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford with the “Star Wars” series, though Ford is also well known for Indiana Jones. This also occurred with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth in “The Hunger Games” series.

There are sometimes negatives to audiences who remember an actor’s character from a series, such as Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner in the now infamous “Twilight” series. These three actors have openly spoken about regretting their parts in these films.

Superhero actors are also commonly remembered for their superhuman roles. Actors like Tom Hiddleston, who plays the villain Loki in the Marvel Universe; Henry Cavill, the newest Superman in the DC Universe and Elizabeth Olsen, a newer addition to the Marvel Universe as the Scarlet Witch, have seen their film careers skyrocket because of these roles.

Some actors become “re-famous” to today’s generation, such as actress Winona Ryder. Her role in “Beetlejuice” shot her up to stardom, but one of her older films, “Heathers,” became popular again after receiving an off-broadway musical. This is similar to Jeff Goldblum, who was made famous in the Spielberg film “Jurassic Park.” Now his involvement in “Thor: Ragnarok” and a cameo in the recent “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” have brought him back into the spotlight. The same goes for Colin Firth, who is known for many roles in film and television, but has seen more popularity with today’s audiences due to his character from “Kingsman: Secret Service.”

There aremany films that actors or directors are recognized for, but not all are the same. There are fans with many different tastes, so they might find one of their other films to be their favorite.

Calista Giroux is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at

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