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Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Johnny Depp's sittin' pretty on Starmeter's list

Jim Keogh Film Clips

How do you know when you've made it in your profession? Perhaps you get a promotion, or a substantial raise. Maybe when you walk down the hallway, people turn and say, "There goes Frank Brewer, the best CPA to ever interpret a tax code."

The threshold is different if you're a TV or movie actor. There are awards to be won, of course. If you die with an Oscar on your mantle, the lead in your obituary will inevitably be, "Academy Award-winning actor (fill in the blank) died today …"

Big-name actors also keep score in other ways. Who earns the gaudiest paycheck, who has the most pimped-out trailer on any given movie set, who can get a director fired for "creative differences."

And then there are the "power" lists, compilations put together by Hollywood observers detailing who wields real influence in the industry. The late great Premiere magazine's annual list of the top 100 movers and shakers was the gold standard. Many names — of studio chieftains, high-powered producers and other assorted rainmakers — were probably unfamiliar to most people, but others, like Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey routinely appeared in the upper echelon.

Celebs will often say inclusion on such lists doesn't matter, but they lie. That's like a professional athlete insisting he doesn't care if he's named to an All-Star team when in reality he craves the respect and attention. Outsized egos require care and nurturing the way fat bellies need feeding.

So I suspect there are some actors today either reveling or reeling in the aftermath of IMDB.com's Starmeter Top 25 for 2007.

The popular Web site, the self-described "Earth's biggest movie database," tracks how many hits a celebrity's name has received throughout the past year. If a particular actor attracts a lot of online traffic, that means people want to know more (maybe everything) about him or her — personal information, what movie project is next, how they look in red-carpet photos. It's the online equivalent of the People's Choice Awards.

That's no small thing.

Consider that in 2006 Scottish actor Gerard Butler was a sturdy if unremarkable presence on the movie scene, best known for his starring role in the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera." Then last year, Butler did hundreds of stomach crunches, donned a red cape and became Sparta's King Leonidas in the popular "300," which has vaulted him from "uncharted" to 14th on IMDB's Starmeter.

Certainly the list has a "Who's hot right now" feel about it. Two stars of the "High School Musical" movies, Zac Ephron (No. 7) and Vanessa Anne Hudgens (No. 20), are there. So are Jessica Alba (No. 6) and Hayden Panettiere (an astonishing No. 3), the indestructible cheerleader from "Heroes." Remember, this is a Starmeter, not a Talentmeter. Check back in a few years and you'll likely find a couple of these names have dropped off.

It was a Harry Potter year, with the release of "The Order of the Phoenix," which means Daniel Radcliffe (No. 17) has maintained a spot on the list. The boy wizard's coattails are long — costar Emma Watson logged in at 22.

Katherine Heigle (No. 18) had a breakout year, winning an Emmy for "Grey's Anatomy" and showing off her comic chops in "Knocked Up."

Some of the inclusions don't surprise.

Will Smith (No. 23), Bruce Willis (No. 16), Leonardo DiCaprio (No. 11), Tom Cruise (No. 10), Angelina Jolie (No. 5) and Brad Pitt (No. 2) always seem to crop up on these sort of lists even in years when they haven't starred in a major movie. Credit goes to the public's eternal fascination with these folks' private lives that transcends their professional output. Cruise ("Lions for Lambs") and Pitt ("The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford") may have headlined a couple of box-office flops, but, hey, it's Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. They look good and do stuff.

Rachel McAdams (No. 24), Keira Knightley (No. 15) and Jessica Biel (No. 12) made the cut. They're all beautiful, of course, though only Knightley ("Atonement") appears to have earned her place more on her acting ability than public interest in whom she's dating.

I like that old-timer Al Pacino scrambled aboard at Number 25. Rehab queen Lindsay Lohan (No. 8) proved there's no such thing as bad publicity.

No. 1 this year? Johnny Depp, who has occupied the top spot for four years running. Depp's starring roles in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," and "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" have made this a particularly strong year for him. Yet Depp has also proven adept at moving between mainstream blockbusters and smaller, quirky films, allowing him to maintain his indy credibility (he also keeps his private life private).

The guy is good every time out of the box, worthy of being anointed as the people's choice. But he'd better watch out for Gerard Butler.

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No. 1 this year? Johnny Depp, who has occupied the top spot for four years running. Depp's starring roles in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," and "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" have made this a particularly strong year for him. Yet Depp has also proven adept at moving between mainstream blockbusters and smaller, quirky films, allowing him to maintain his indy credibility (he also keeps his private life private).

The guy is good every time out of the box, worthy of being anointed as the people's choice. But he'd better watch out for Gerard Butler.

:dance: :yippee: :yippee: now THAT is what I want to hear! I love you Johnny but.......look out cause here comes Gerry!!!!!

Thanks Hol!

hugs,

Sue

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Oh...this makes me so happy..... :dance: # 14 and Johnny Depp needs to watch out for Gerry"......better take note Johnny ole' boy.....Gerry is on the prowl!!!!This absolutely makes my day!!!!He's on his way!!!!

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Thanks for this!! So good to see Gerry mentioned as a possible "threat" to Johnny Depp. I love Johnny Depp and think he may be the best actor in many a year, but Gerry has that indefinable something that keeps me mesmerized every time I see his work. Hope they are both on the big screen alot for many years to come.

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Well tbh you always expect to see johnny on these sort o lists.But they are right they need to look out for mr butler lol.

#14 is a great number to be at :D

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This is just another feather in his cap. He so deserves this, and Gals, lets keep that

sight busy so that next year GB is #1. We all know he should be #1 this year.

And also, Yahoo does the same kind of poll. I didn't realize that, I'll be going into

GALS thru Yahoo everytime so that next year he is #1 there as well.

I'M SO HAPPY ABOUT THIS new recognition.

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This is an odd list IMO, since actors like JD and GB are so totally different, I can't see them even competing for the same parts. There is no way that JD, as good an actor as he is, could physically convey the power it takes to portray a character like Leonidas, for example, or Kable(?). I really don't think JD needs to be worried that GB is gaining on him, but Clooney, Pitt, and Cruise definitely need to be, although personally, I don't think any of them have the same ability as GB for conveying certain emotional states or physical strength. JMHO.

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This is an odd list IMO, since actors like JD and GB are so totally different, I can't see them even competing for the same parts. There is no way that JD, as good an actor as he is, could physically convey the power it takes to portray a character like Leonidas, for example, or Kable(?). I really don't think JD needs to be worried that GB is gaining on him, but Clooney, Pitt, and Cruise definitely need to be, although personally, I don't think any of them have the same ability as GB for conveying certain emotional states or physical strength. JMHO.

Xan GAL,

I love your comments! Gerry does have something that affects you when you hear and watch Him. I don't know what it is, I have never had this feeling in my WHOLE 63 year life span. I like a lot of movie stars, but in my estimation, none can touch Gerry's ability to be SOMEONE!!! No matter what role He plays, you feel the character come to life and you are with the person the whole way. I love the remarks about Gerry in the POTO, people were actually cheering for the Phantom and not wanting Raoul to win the sword fight or get the girl, even though that's the way the story is supposed to go!!! But, as ALW said he wanted a man that presented "the right side of danger". Yep, that's Gerry alright!!! What a Man to be friends with!!!! But all the things everyone says are so true. WATCH OUT GUYS, HEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEE COMESSSSSSSS GERRY!!!!!

:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap: AOGJOANNA :wub:

Edited by Joanna
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This is an odd list IMO, since actors like JD and GB are so totally different, I can't see them even competing for the same parts. There is no way that JD, as good an actor as he is, could physically convey the power it takes to portray a character like Leonidas, for example, or Kable(?). I really don't think JD needs to be worried that GB is gaining on him, but Clooney, Pitt, and Cruise definitely need to be, although personally, I don't think any of them have the same ability as GB for conveying certain emotional states or physical strength. JMHO.

Xan GAL,

I love your comments! Gerry does have something that affects you when you hear and watch Him. I don't know what it is, I have never had this feeling in my WHOLE 63 year life span. I like a lot of movie stars, but in my estimation, none can touch Gerry's ability to be SOMEONE!!! No matter what role He plays, you feel the character come to life and you are with the person the whole way. I love the remarks about Gerry in the POTO, people were actually cheering for the Phantom and not wanting Raoul to win the sword fight or get the girl, even though that's the way the story is supposed to go!!! But, as ALW said he wanted a man that presented "the right side of danger". Yep, that's Gerry alright!!! What a Man to be friends with!!!! But all the things everyone says are so true. WATCH OUT GUYS, HEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEE COMESSSSSSSS GERRY!!!!!

:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap: AOGJOANNA :wub:

Well said. If he can get a few more good film breaks I think he will be huge and people will have a hard time remembering those other actors. POTO, regardless of the poor reviews, has become something of a phenomenon with the public. I never saw POTO on Broadway, but I can't imagine anyone else playing the part better. And thanks for the compliment! :wave:

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What a wonderful review to hear about Gerry. I want Johnny to stay on top too though but then again I agree....Here comes Gerry!!!

Paige :wave:

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