Thursday, June 4, 2009
Who would you say are the "hottest" male stars under age 30?
—jsheady, via Twitter
You people are not going to like this. And I am so gonna love this.
You want me to talk about Robert Pattinson. You want me to wax forth about his irresistible cadaver complexion, and his Englishy English accent, and his hair, which is so vertical it can pick up radio waves from any lonely 12-year-old heart on planet Earth.
Sure, I'll talk about him.
Here's the truth: He is nowhere near the "hottest" twentysomething actor on the planet, at least, in the eyes of producers, directors, casting execs and me.
Outside of the bubble of tabloids—and, um, E!—Pattz has little traction with the people who count. In fact, among the power players, several other young actors are kicking Pattz' concave buttocks...
Let's start with worldwide bankability—the ability to sell or greenlight a movie based on name, or face recognition, or reputation. Pattinson isn't even in the top 10.
According to the Ulmer Scale, which measures international star power, Will Smith, Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp are still the top three actors; even Will Ferrell is in the top 10, along with Nic Cage, Russell Crowe and George Clooney.
As for the under-30 set, Shia LaBeouf has way more power than Pattz. Factoring in every type of movie budget, from indie to blockbuster, LaBeouf scores a 226 of 300, compared with Zefron's 206, James Franco's 183—and Pattinson's 174. And just in case you're wondering if Ulmer's research is outdated, these numbers came out last month.
"I don't think he's ready to carry a big-budget movie on his own," James Ulmer, the creator of the scale, tells me. "I don't think vampire sequels may have legs as long as action franchises in the marketplace."
Before you pummel Ulmer, you should know that most casting directors agree with him. For a good casting exec, rising actor Emile Hirsch (who played Cleve Jones in Milk) holds much more interest that Pattz.
"It's up to producers to think about bankability," Cricket Feet casting exec Bonnie Gillespie explains to me. "But it's up to casting directors to look at an actor's depth. Hirsch has been on my list for a while—I hear he is great to work with—and Franco really has Paul Newman-level acting chops."
Sure, children, Pattz has plenty of talent—but a moonlike ability to reflect light doesn't count when tallying Hollywood hotness.