Often referred to as one of the greatest actors of his (or perhaps any) generation, Robert De Niro has taken a lot of heat for the kinds of roles he has accepted in the last decade-plus of his career; he is often critically branded now as a “paycheck” actor…industry shorthand typically understood to define a once-great performer who trades on their (faded) prestige to obtain fat salaries for overly commercial and undemanding parts, through which they coast without much effort.
Some actors make no apologies for (at least occasionally) indulging in this approach. Michael Caine is well known to pad his filmography with such efforts; Klaus Kinski openly bragged about taking wads of money to do trash because his name would mean something at the box office. Charles Bronson understood that this was at least part of his identity in the Hollywood economy and saw no shame in it whatsoever…and many of his fans would stick up for Bronson’s self-knowledge and work ethic.
Irv has his own favorite “paycheck” actor. Who is it…and what movie does he use to justify his pick? The choice of actor I totally get; the movie? Hoo-boy, I did not see this one coming:
Now’s your chance to slam (or praise) your favorite “paycheck” actor. (Bonus points if you can name some female performers that fit this designation, because it most often attaches itself to high-profile male movie stars)