What is Acting?
“I don’t know what Acting is, but I enjoy it” – Sir Anthony Hopkins
Acting is the work of an actor or actress, which is a person in theatre, television, film, or any other storytelling medium who tells the story by portraying a character and, usually, speaking or singing the written text or play.
An actor/actress is a person portraying a character in a dramatic or comic production; she or he performs in: film, television, theatre, or radio. Actor, ὑποκριτής (hypokrites), literally means “one who interprets”; an actor, then, is one who interprets a dramatic character.
After 1660 in England, when women first appeared on stage, actor and actress were initially used interchangeably for female performers, but later, influenced by the French actrice, actress became the usual term.
And the nominees for Best Actress 2014 are….
Amy Adams – American Hustle
I have two words for Amy Adams in this movie: Excellent and HOT!!! I loved her and I loved this film…oh but I’ve only said that a million times already 🙂
Amy Lou Adams was born in Italy, to American parents Kathryn (Hicken) and Richard Kent Adams, while her father was a U.S. serviceman. She was raised in a Mormon family of seven children in Castle Rock, Colorado.
Adams sang in the school choir at Douglas County High School and was an apprentice dancer at a local dance company, with the ambition of becoming a ballerina. However, she worked as a greeter at The Gap and as a Hooters hostess to support herself before finding work as a dancer at Boulder’s Dinner Theatre and Country Dinner Playhouse in such productions as “Brigadoon” and “A Chorus Line”. It was there that she was spotted by a Minneapolis dinner-theater director who asked her to move to Chanhassen, Minnesota for more regional dinner theater work.
Nursing a pulled muscle that kept her from dancing, she was free to audition for a part in Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), which was filming nearby in Minnesota. During the filming, Kirstie Alley encouraged her to move to Los Angeles, where she soon won a part in the Fox television version of the film, Cruel Intentions (1999), in the part played in the film by Sarah Michelle Gellar, “Kathryn Merteuil”. Although three episodes were filmed, the troubled series never aired. Instead, parts of the episodes were cobbled together and released as the direct-to-video Cruel Intentions 2 (2000). After more failed television spots, she landed a major role in Catch Me If You Can (2002), playing opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. But this did not provide the break-through she might have hoped for, with no work being offered for about a year. She eventually returned to television, and joined the short-lived series, Dr. Vegas (2004).
Her role in the low-budget independent film Junebug (2005) (which was shot in 21 days) got her real attention, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress as well as other awards. The following year, her ability to look like a wide-eyed Disney animated heroine helped her to be chosen from about 300 actresses auditioning for the role of “Giselle” in the animated/live-action feature film, Enchanted (2007), which would prove to be her major break-through role. Her vivacious yet innocent portrayal allowed her to use her singing and dancing talents. Her performance garnered a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
Adams next appeared in the major production, Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), and went on to act in the independent film, Sunshine Cleaning (2008), which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Her role as “Sister James” in Doubt (2008) brought her a second Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, as well as nominations for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild award, and a British Academy Film award. She appeared as Amelia Earhart in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) and as a post-9/11 hot line counselor, aspiring writer, amateur cook and blogger in Julie & Julia (2009). More recently, she starred with Jason Segel in The Muppets (2011) and alongside Clint Eastwood in Trouble with the Curve (2012).
– IMDb Mini Biography By: Brian Greenhalgh
Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
I have one word for Cate Blanchett: Winner!!!
She is the well deserved front runner in this category and it is almost certain that she will win.
Cate Blanchett was born on 14 May 1969 in the Melbourne suburb of Ivanhoe. Her mother, June (née Gamble), was an Australian property developer and teacher, and her father, Robert DeWitt Blanchett, Jr., was a Texas native who was a United States Navy petty officer and later worked as an advertising executive. The two met while Blanchett’s father’s ship, USS Arneb, was in Melbourne. When Blanchett was ten, her father died of a heart attack. She is the middle of three children with an older brother, Bob, who is a computer systems engineer, and a younger sister, Genevieve, who worked as a theatrical designer. Her ancestry includes English, and more distant French and Scottish.
Blanchett has described herself as being “part extrovert, part wallflower” during childhood. She attended a primary school in Melbourne at Ivanhoe East Primary School. For her secondary education, she attended Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School and then Methodist Ladies’ College, where she explored her passion for acting. She studied economics and fine arts at the University of Melbourne before leaving Australia to travel overseas.
Blanchett has spoken passionately about feminism and politics, telling Sky News in 2013 that she was a concerned that “a wave of conservatism sweeping the globe” was threatening women’s rights. She has also commented on the pressures women in Hollywood face now: “Honestly, I think about my appearance less than I did ten years ago. People talk about the golden age of Hollywood because of how women were lit then. You could be Joan Crawford and Bette Davis and work well into your 50s, because you were lit and made into a goddess. Now, with everything being sort of gritty, women have this sense of their use-by date.”
In January 2014, Blanchett took part in the Green Carpet Challenge, an initiative to raise the public profile of sustainable fashion, founded by Livia Firth of Eco-Age. Blanchett wore a pair of Fairmined earrings set with responsibly-sourced diamonds by the luxury Jeweller Chopard.
Sandra Bullock – Gravity
I have one word for this movie and the idea of being trapped in Space: Scary!!!
And Sandra Bullock captured it. The fear and despair, the surrender, the rediscovery of self, the strength and resilience. Spoiler Alert: My favorite part was at the end when she is back on earth having made it through the trials and the camera tilts up from her feet to her full standing position of strength and triumph. Girl Power dude!!! We all can make it out of our trials too 🙂
Bullock was born in Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Her father, John W. Bullock (born 1925), was a United States Army employee and part-time voice coach; her mother, Helga Mathilde Meyer (1942–2000), was an opera singer and voice teacher. Bullock’s father was from Birmingham, Alabama, and had English, Irish, German, and French ancestry, while Bullock’s mother was German. Bullock’s maternal grandfather was a rocket scientist from Nuremberg, Germany. Bullock’s father, then in charge of the Army’s Military Postal Service in Europe, was stationed in Nuremberg when he met his wife. They married in Germany and moved to Arlington, where John worked with the Army Materiel Command, before becoming a contractor for The Pentagon. She has a younger sister, Gesine Bullock-Prado, who was formerly the vice-president of Bullock’s production company Fortis Films.
Bullock was raised in Nuremberg, Germany for twelve years and grew up speaking German. She attended the humanistic Waldorf School. As a child, Bullock frequently accompanied her mother on European opera tours. Bullock studied ballet and vocal arts as a child, taking small parts in her mother’s opera productions. She sang in the operas children’s choir at the Staatstheater Nürnberg. The scar above her left eye was caused when she fell into a creek as a child. Bullock attended Washington-Lee High School, where she was a cheerleader and performed in high school theater productions. After graduating in 1982, she attended East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, where she received a degree in drama in 1986. She then moved to Manhattan and supported herself as a bartender, cocktail waitress, and coat checker while auditioning for roles.
This led to acting in television programs and then feature films. She gave memorable performances in Demolition Man (1993) and Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993), but did not achieve the stardom that seemed inevitable for her until her work in the smash hit Speed (1994). She now ranks as one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood. For her role in The Blind Side (2009) she won the Oscar, and her blockbusters The Proposal (2009), The Heat(2013) and Gravity (2013) made her a bankable star. With $56,000,000, she was listed in the Guinness Book Of World Records as the highest-paid actress in the world.
Judi Dench – Philomena
Pictured here with the real Philomena
Ok, the one word I have for Dame Judi Dench is: British! LOL
But let’s face it, how many theatre trained actors from Britain are anything less than almost perfect??? We love them, love to watch them, love to listen to them, hope to work with them, and Judi Dench is no different. Besides, I have a wealth of respect for older women actors. Especially the ones who ride on their work and talent, and not on retaining a younger look by repeated surgeries. Ms. Judi is a beautiful woman and extremely talented. I have not seen Philomena yet, but I was present at The View, when the real Philomena was on to talk about the issues that the film addresses. It is heart wrenching from a mother’s perspective and I can only imagine that Judi Dench did not fail to deliver in that subtle way that she always does.
Judi Dench was born in Heworth, York, England. Her mother, Eleanora Olive (née Jones), was born in Dublin, to a Protestant family. Her father, Reginald Arthur Dench, was a doctor, born in Dorset, South West England, but who grew up in Dublin. He met Judi’s mother while he was studying medicine at Trinity College, Dublin. Dench attended the Mount School, a Quaker independent secondary school in York, and became a Quaker. Her brothers, one of whom is actor Jeffery Dench, were born in Tyldesley, Lancashire.Notable relatives also include her niece, Emma Dench, a Roman historian and professor previously at Birkbeck, University of London, and currently at Harvard University.
In Britain, Dench has developed a reputation as one of the greatest actors of the post-war period, primarily through her work in theatre, which has been her forte throughout her career. She has more than once been named number one in polls for Britain’s best actor.
She is a ten-time BAFTA winner including Best Actress in a Comedy Series for A Fine Romance (1981) in which she appeared with her husband, Michael Williams, and Best Supporting Actress in A Handful of Dust (1988) and A Room with a View (1985) . She received an ACE award for her performance in the television series Star Quality: Mr. and Mrs. Edgehill (1985). She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1970, and was created Dame of Order of the British Empire in 1988.
Meryl Streep – August: Osage County
Now we ALL know that the great and flawless Meryl Streep can do no wrong! not even in a disaster like Mama Mia; it didn’t matter that the film was bad, it was jsut fun watching Meryl Streep have fun! And that is exactly why I totally love this woman. She is so not hollywood!!! She seems like a regular person. and she does not take herself too seriously and she does not exude vanity like some others do. I think I have enjoyed her in everything I have seen her in. Just recently saw ‘Adaptation’ again…Oh what fun! AND…she is another “older” actress that is still doing it and doing it WELL!. I don’t think she’ll be winning this, but way to go Meryl, as usual.
Meryl Streep was born in Summit, New Jersey. Her mother, Mary Wolf (née Wilkinson; 1915–2001), was a commercial artist and an art editor, and her father, Harry William Streep, Jr. (1910–2003), was a pharmaceutical executive. She has two brothers, Dana David and Harry William III.
Streep’s father was of German and Swiss-German ancestry. Her patrilineal line traces back to Loffenau, Germany, from where her second great-grandfather, Gottfried Streeb [sic], emigrated to the United States, and where one of her ancestors served as mayor. Another line of her father’s family was from Giswil in the canton of Obwalden, a small town in Switzerland. Her mother had English, German, and Irish ancestry. Some of Streep’s maternal ancestors lived in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, and were descended from 17th century immigrants from England. Her eighth great-grandfather, Lawrence Wilkinson, was one of the first Europeans to settle Rhode Island. Streep is also a distant relative of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, and records show that her family is among the first purchasers of land in the state. Streep’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Manus McFadden (b. 1831) and Grace Strain (b. 1832), were natives of the Hook Head district of Dunfanaghy, County Donegal, Ireland.
She was raised a Presbyterian, and grew up in Bernardsville, New Jersey, where she attended Bernards High School. She had many school friends who were Catholic, and regularly attended Mass because she loved its rituals. She received her B.A., in Drama, from Vassar College in 1971 (where she briefly received instruction from actress Jean Arthur), but also enrolled as a visiting student at Dartmouth College a quarter before it became coeducational. She subsequently earned an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama.
She is widely regarded as one of the best living American film actresses.
Streep has received 18 Academy Award nominations, winning three, and 28 Golden Globe nominations, winning eight, more nominations than any other actor in the history of either award. Her work has also earned her two Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Cannes Film Festivalaward, five New York Film Critics Circle Awards, two BAFTA awards, two Australian Film Institute awards, five Grammy Award nominations, and aTony Award nomination, among several others. She was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2004 and the Kennedy Center Honor in 2011 for her contribution to American culture through performing arts, the youngest actor in each award’s history. President Barack Obama awarded her the 2010 National Medal of Arts.
Streep is the spokesperson for the National Women’s History Museum, to which she has donated a significant amount of money (including her fee for The Iron Lady) and hosted numerous events.
On October 4, 2012, Streep donated $1 million to The Public Theater in honor of both its late founder, Joseph Papp, and her friend, the author Nora Ephron. She also supports Gucci‘s “Chime For Change” campaign that aims to spread female empowerment.