19 Immortalized Roles by Actors with Trivia Tidbits

Reboots and remakes seem like the thing for filmmakers today. So many things have already been made, ideas that have come into fruition that after the conception of thousands of tropes, there's almost nothing new to dish. Well, I'm fine with these filmmakers digging deep in the archives to recreate what used to be box office hits. But I wonder if they could find a person who could surpass and break these immortalized roles:

The Terminator by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator series

The Terminator

I received the news that The Terminator series will be rebooted. Not given a sequel! And I dread how they might pull it off if they were to replace dear Arnold (opting me to write this blog post). But I'm not really that dreadful. After all, the filmmakers were able to make him look young in the latest of the series, Terminator Salvation on 2009 and the IMDB tagged him still as the Terminator for the upcoming movie in 2015.

But what made Schwarzenegger's skin thick in immortalizing The Terminator? Is it because of the thick german accent (he was Austrian) he had in delivering the spanish catchphrase, "Hasta la vista, baby!"? Is it because of his body, molded by years of hard training on body-building? Is it because of the humor he presented with his single-lined monotonous dialogue (not only is he a robot, he had a hard time speaking english then)? Or the hard stare he gives onscreen when motivated to annihilate John Connors? Well, might be everything I mentioned.

Neo by Keanu Reeves in The Matrix Trilogy

Keanu Reeves The Matrix Movie
Image courtesy

Did you know that the first man offered the role was Will Smith? He declined the role as the taping would conflict his schedule with his already signed contract for the Wild Wild West which unfortunately flopped in the cinemas on 1997. That might sound unfortunate for Will Smith but it was more than fortunate for us viewers. Can you imagine not Keanu Reeves playing for that role? Certainly not. And I speak in behalf of you all. And speaking of certainty, certainly Keanu Reeves is a very beautiful man. That just spiced up the movie.

Keanu Reeves had such cool demeanor performing in the trilogy. And such cool expression too! It's as if everything about him is calm in that virtual world even in the dystopian machine-feasted earth. Looking at the way he expresses himself in the film gives an assurance that there is always hope and when things could go wrong, he could put everything under control. In a seemingly hopeless world, one needs strength like a sun could give and that which Keanu has perfectly instilled. His portrayal is hard to come by. He can be the only ONE.

Keanu Reeves is a quarter Chinese in ancestry. That's why it looked quite natural for him to strut that Wushu Kung Fu moves.

Forrest Gump by Tom Hanks

Forrest Gump
Image courtesy

Okay, it's not that I think that there will ever be someone who would even think to remake this movie. It's more on the part where Tom Hanks will always be Forrest Gump to me. And I don't think that's too bad. Tom Hanks won his first Academy Award for the film. It's not just about the film that enabled him to win, it's Tom Hanks himself. He's such a great actor that all his movies would turn out good. Just that and I could move on to...

Harry Potter by Daniel Radcliffe

Harry Potter

Dracula by Bela Lugosi

I am Dracula. I bid you welcome. Image courtesy

Who else has immortalized (leading to the stereotyping) the head of the vampire clan as someone tall with slick combed back hair, in a black cloak with red in reverse (or the inside of the cloak)? Need I say more?

Are you that scared by Dracula? Wait for the next one.

Jack Torrence by Jack Nicholson in The Shining

Johnny The Shinning
Here's Johnny!

Now tied with Daniel Day-Lewis as the most decorated actor at The Academy (in which he really looked cute being an old man on 2013 at the Academy Awards), Jack Nicholson is most famous for his lead role in The Shining.

I would like to say that he succeeded in this film as an actor not because of his acting but because of his sheer looks alone. But sure, his acting is one! But let's focus on his looks. His face has such a compelling personality that would fit the role of Stephen King's Jack Torrence. Jack Nicholson was endowed with such sharp maniac-like eyes, those evil-shaped eyebrows, nose that always looks angry (yes, even the nose), thin mouth that along with the behavior of his facial muscles would look sneering even when just smiling showing his otherwise dominant fangs in his set of narrow teeth. (Yes, I could go on for all the details) His face for a badass villain role? He was destined for life!

Now, imagine that face in a frenzy to kill his own family. The famous line "Here's Johnny!" was improvised by Jack Nicholson which he took from "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson".

Westley by Cary Elwes in The Princess Bride

Westley The Princess Bride

Cary Elwes had always been just a voice to me. He had dubbed in english the Studio Ghibli character The Baron in Whisper of the Heart (1995) & The Cat Returns (2002). And I could feel the association of such fidelity, sapience, aristocracy and elegance of the japanese animation character, The Baron to the man behind the voice. And I didn't know where to place that association until I watched The Princess Bride recently.

Scouring the internet, and discovering this post with its comment section, I realized how many people were taken by the movie and how much men were affected. Most people who shared their love stories after the film were surprisingly men after all.

I honestly couldn't imagine a remake of this film without all the actors of the old one… and most especially without Cary Elwes. Sure, there are lots of handsome actors now but I don't think that anyone of them could justify Westley of the book the way Cary did. He was elegant despite his limited wardrobe but certainly because of his posture and the way he carried himself, confident without appearing too smug, vulnerable without appearing too weak, funny with such dry humor (or maybe it was just the book), and strong with his fencing. He just did everything right!

If you think a swashbuckling hero defined Zorro, think again! He could not beat Westley in this aspect (or maybe just my wishful thinking). Besides, Cary Elwes had successfully redone Robinhood after a lot of predecessors.

The first five minutes of the film must have had all girls watching swooned. His sheer charm is just hypnotic. Okay, he was just so damn beautiful! Beauty aside, he won my heart because of the way he handled Westley so well and now, I couldn't think of anyone who could do better. And who would forget the way he did after waking up from the dead? That tossing around with his head and arm is just so funny!

Zorro by Antonio Banderas

Zorro Antonio Banderas
Image courtesy

I'm too partial with Westley that I couldn't say anything more but agree that everytime I see Antonio Banderas in a film, I think of him as Zorro. He has beautiful eyes btw. As to why I put Zorro adjacent to Westley, they're both a masked man in black who are also skilled in fencing.

And just like Westley being Dread Pirate Robert (whose name was only passed on to him by Ryan who inherited it from Cummberbund who replaced the retired Robert), in the story of Zorro, before the role was passed to Alejandro (Antonio Banderas) because of his old age, the original Zorro who was driven by revenge was a Count played by Anthony Hopkins who is...

Hannibal Lecter by Anthony Hopkins

Hannibal Lecter

Watching Manhunter (1986) after The Silence of the Lamb (1991) made me realize that Anthony Hopkins undoubtedly deserve winning that Oscars for the role of Hannibal Lecter on 1992. I could say that he perfected that role since I had been hooked to watching The Most Evil Men, Top 100 Psycopaths in the World and the like by Discovery Channel, Brian Cox's performance as Hannibal was just too amateurish before Anthony's.

Anthony Hopkins stood with good posture. As Hannibal the Cannibal, he had that cold way in the way he spoke, speaking in a manner that directly hits one in the head and without breaking contact even while walking away. And those dead yet piercing eyes! He could make you feel as if he's looking through your soul. He was just disconcerting. Much more when he played with his tongue as if eager to taste you and take a bite. And Anthony Hopkins doing that unscripted Shhhh sound was just a total win!

If logos in some gadgets' apps and his face portrayed in games as Hannibal Lecter won't convince you enough as proofs that only Anthony Hopkins can forever be Hannibal, I don't know what.

General Maximus by Russell Crowe in Gladiator

The Gladiator Russell Crowe
Image courtesy

The movie industry admit that they could not replace another one to play Maximus as the spited General turned Slave turned Gladiator if ever there will be a remake. Russell Crowe has forever cemented that role just as what the next one did who is...

King Leonidas by Gerard Butler in 300

Leonidas Gerard Butler
This is Sparta! Image courtesy

That image has already become a meme today replacing the word Sparta in this famous screamed line, "This is Sparta!"

Aside from the raining of abs in the movie, basically of men only wearing leather footwear, a crotch-covering, helmet, spear and red cloak, the movie is famous for its story of the battle of only 300 men against a horde of Xerxes' thousands of warriors demonstrating the Spartans' superiority in military combat. Furthermore, the movie is also famous for its seemingly lack of CGI with its infamous painted backdrops for the backgrounds. I remember during the premier back in 2006 when instead of appreciating the action-packed movie, as moviegoers were pouring out of the theater, they were commenting on how "amateurish" the cinematography was.

Why do you think White House Down flopped in its premiere? It's because it was just Olympus has Fallen which came out 4 months prior. And the difference between the protagonists of the 2 movies? Sorry Channing Tatum, you might be the World's Most Beautiful Man in a glossy magazine but you look like a klutz next to Gerard Butler.

Gerard Butler's eyes make him a total badass. While he's sporting being clean-shaven in his other movies, his facial hairs in 300 made him more forbidding. Then add his low gruff voice and acting skills, who could topple off Butler's portrayal of the Spartan King?

William Wallace by Mel Gibson in Braveheart

William Wallace Braveheart
Image courtesy

What are you going to do when your love is killed after defending herself from rape? Men and women alike have felt William Wallace's sincerity watching this film. Women love the paragon of love that William Wallace showcased about avenging his woman despite endangering his own life. Men on the other hand love the ideal image of masculinity, political superiority and strength that he exhibited in protecting what is his in the name of love. The love of his life died unfortunately but that didn't stop him from taking revenge. He had another woman after, a beautiful queen for that but his love for the first woman never ceased even until in death. That was all the script but Mel Gibson did give justice to the character.

Johnny Rico by Casper Van Dien in Starship Troopers

Johnny Rico Starship Troopers
Image courtesy

Undoubtedly, Casper Van Dien is a beautiful man and today, he aged gracefully. He retired early as an actor to fulfill his role as a family man.

There's no news that Starship Troopers is going to be remade but with the advent of old scifi films being remade and many of them still are scheduled to be released with rights being granted, who knows Starship will be next. In the comics, Johnny Rico was a filipino, handsome with pug nose and caramel skin. Instead of hiring a filipino, the filmmakers billed Casper Van Dien. As most people don't read comics, the only ones who complain are the filipinos.

But never mind the complaints. Casper had justified Johnny Rico, that seemingly naïve man who is quick to move and assess deadly situations so as to save his space crew. Johnny Rico has great tactics and sharp instincts which would save his ass from being gigantic brain bugs' grub from time to time. While he is doubtlessly a strong man, who also has that innocent feel about him that Casper Van Dien was able to capture.

Count Orlok by Max Schreck in Nosferatu

Image courtesy

Hardly anyone who have watched the silent film Nosferatu could take away that image on his mind: an ancient, pale, frail-looking man with huge eyes but looking terrifying in a sinister black attire as he plunged his fanged teeth in the throat of a helpless young maiden. To a female viewer, that elicits a mental imagery of rape.

In the 20s Count Orlok is the very definition of terror in german cinema. In comparison with Count Dracula? Dracula could be lovely in a youthful age, beautiful enough in his old age to entice women. But Count Orlok is just pure terror [because he's old and aging makes one uglier by the minute].

Nosferatu was meant to be legally an adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula but the german filmmakers had it hard winning the rights that they just changed the name Vampire to Nosferatu and Dracula to Orlok. Barely a decade after the release of the film, Bram Stoker's wife sued the movie company leading to the obliteration of copies of the said film but had escaped one in which digital copies are being circulated today.

Why did I even put him here? It's not as if someone would dare remake that film.

Professor Dumbledore by Richard Harris

Richard Harris Dumbledore
Image courtesy

Barely after the second installment of the Harry Potter series, we were shocked by the news that the actor for Dumbledore, Richard Harris had already died in his old age. The HP crew was able to replace him but Michael Gambot couldn't replace Harris' portrayal of the most respected Headmaster in Hogwarts.

I think that it has something to do with age. Richard Harris was way older than Michael Gambot and so he appeared to be have more wisdom than Gambot's performance.

Second would be the facial structure. In my opinion, Harris' thin face with the bushy beard looks comforting whereas Gambot's round with the whole wizard dress made him look like a clown.

The third and the most important would be the voice. Gambot has a very loud and strong voice that I can't help but think that the respected Dumbledore has a very dark agenda. Well, that's what he instilled to me. Harris' very old throaty voice makes him sound so harmless but at the same time you could put him in the highest regard and you know that he's the greatest wizard alive. When Harris spoke to Harry Potter with that voice, you'd feel as if he knows so many things and nothing could go wrong. There's real warmth and concern with that voice. Gambot's on the other hand sounded like coaching a chid's play.

Gandalf by Sir Ian Mckellen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy


We can associate Mckellen's face in so many movies but we can't associate any other face for Gandalf. Gay or not, Mckellen is a great actor on any male character. Just like Richard Harris for Dumbledore, Mckellen portrayed Gandalf in a way that Gandalf would really be from the books. Gandalf is a powerful wizard but he has his vulnerabilities. Mckellen was able to balance Gandalf's characteristics well.

Frodo by Elijah Woods in The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Frodo Baggins

There is something about Elijah Woods. It's his eyes, they're bigger than normal. Perhaps it is his eyes that made Frodo look so innocent. A pure heart is required to wield Sauron's ring so as not to be corrupted by it. And that's how Elijah was able to capture Frodo Baggins' pure-heartedness... through his huge eyes. Whatever emotion Frodo has, it showed in his eyes. As an audience, you can see everything clearly there.

Captain Jack Sparrow by Johnny Depp in The Pirates of the Caribbean series

Jack Sparrow
Image courtesy

I think this is one of those bad stuffs. Personally, I don't know why I'm not buying Johnny Depp. Lots of female think that he's dreamy and I think otherwise. Johnny Depp is into the unlikely or weird characters in a movie. It's very rare to find him playing the normal person which made me think he's too flat. I mean ever since I watched Edward Scissorhands, I don't think he even outgrew that character in The Sleepy Hollow. He almost always feel the same.

He made a leap as the sot Captain Jack Sparrow. And since then, new generation of kids forever remember him for that. The problem is, ever since Depp took in that role, he doesn't seem to deviate from it. In fact, that Indian role he portrayed in The Lonely Ranger is like being just Captain Jack Sparrow, only Indian marauding in the desert mountains of America instead as a pirate in the waters of the Caribbean in a parallel Universe.

In spite of all that, the thing is... there is no imaginable person to replace Depp's face and acting as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Jack Dawson by Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic

Jack Titanic

Leonardo's beauty and charisma onscreen are something no one could ever overlook in Titanic. His eyes are his greatest assets, conveying emotions without uttering words. But more than his beauty, it is his persuasive acting that made him bind to our minds. He was able to capture that adventurous boyishness of a poor young man who was staking his life for a new start in the Land of Dreams, America. And then Rose happened. Men or women alike, who won't cry out for Jack?

Leonardo DiCaprio had been a childstar alongside his best friend Tobey Maguire, taking their acting career early at a very tender age. His growth into a pretty man made him land the coveted role of Jack. Everyone then thought that he is just another pretty face. But obviously, he proved them all wrong. He is one of the greatest actors of all time, getting nominated 5 times in the Academy now and fans are anticipating for him to finally bag that Oscars.

I think he ought to have won best actor for his role in The Departed at the Academy Awards 2007 but he wasn't even nominated for that. Now that the Academy Awards is nearing, I wonder if he will finally get that much deserved Oscars. He did recently won his second at the Golden Globe Awards but that's nothing next to Academy.

Who other actors do you think have immortalized their role?

We love to hear from you


More from Zirev