For a long time, Hollywood has been associated with beautiful people. The term movie star is often associated with rich, handsome, and beautiful actors and actresses with perfect hair and plenty of make-up. There is a sort of universal untold rule that you have to be the pinnacle of sex appeal to make it in Hollywood. Guess what? That's wrong.
I first got the idea to write this article back in December of last year, when a global phenomenon called Star Wars: The Force Awakens smashed its way into theaters. Since the general consensus was that it was a pretty good movie, the discussion quickly turned to favorite characters.
During a slow day at work, I started up a conversation with a co-worker (who is also a big Star Wars fan) about our favorite characters. My favorite character was Kylo Ren, because I loved Adam Driver's performance of a conflicted villain who had to fight off the light. Her favorite character was Rey because "she was really pretty and Kylo Ren had a big head".
This is a problem.
This was not the first or the last time that this sort of exchange took place. Quite recently, a friend finally started to watch Game of Thrones in preparation for the premiere of season 6. One of the first things she said to me was that she could tell Daenerys would be her favorite character because "she's beautiful".
Yes Emilia Clarke is a beautiful woman, and her character is certainly a fascinating one, but her level of attraction alone should not determine her skills as an actress. Though she is a great actress, how is it that her and Kit Harrington's good looks overshadow the flawless acting of Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister?
The majority of Hollywood's best actors and actresses aren't the sexy type at all. They don't need to be. Their acting skills alone stand out far enough to catch my attention without sex appeal.
Take my favorite actor for example: Kevin Spacey.
How many of you look at him and say "Man, what a hunk"? It's not his looks that people talk about. His superb acting skills are the topic of conversation, and for good reason. Look at him as a sociopathic serial killer in Seven, or as the quirky criminal in The Usual Suspects, or as the enigmatic alien in K-Pax. All three were amazing performances from Spacey, and he has more than proven himself to be an amazing actor with not one, but two Oscars in his belt.
Kevin Spacey won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role in American Beauty, and won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in The Usual Suspects. Other amazing Oscar-winning actors like Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman are also known for their acting skills, and not so much for their looks.
But what about actresses?
That's right ladies and gentleman, the actress pictured above is none other than the great Tilda Swinton, also known as the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Gabriel in Constantine, and the Ancient One in the upcoming Dr. Strange. She isn't the best-looking actress compared to the likes of Olivia Wilde and Scarlett Johansson, but who cares? Her in-depth acting has been the high point of many amazing films, such as The Grand Budapest Hotel and of course Snowpiercer.
She has also won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Michael Clayton.
Of course beautiful actresses have done magnificent acting roles as well. Emma Stone did a fantastic job in Birdman, and Alicia Vikander was absolutely amazing in Ex Machina. I'm not saying that people should like actors and actresses less just because they look good. I'm just saying that they shouldn't like then any more either.
If are absolutely in love with Natalie Portman's figure, or you just can't get enough of Channing Tatum's muscles, then more power to you. All I'm asking is that you measure beauty and acting abilities on two seperate scales. Actors and actresses are allowed to be beautiful, but there is more to acting than just looks.
Just remember, when it comes to acting, pick Jennifer Jason Leigh from The Hateful Eight over Megan Fox in Transformers. It's that simple.