Love the old Jon Lovitz SNL bit Master Thespian. I was merely … Acting!
Also love watching great, blow-you-away acting. Now if I’m cognizant that it’s great acting, you might argue, it’s not great acting. Great acting should be invisible. (Yeah, whatever.)
What brings this to mind is Anthony Hopkins in Fracture. I suspect the script has one good idea and otherwise is mediocre at best. And the female lead, Rosamund Pike [corrected], despite her considerable goodwill earned in the surprisingly and infinitely re-watchable chick flick Pride and Prejudice, gets completely blown off the screen by Hopkins and Ryan Gosling. Hopkins, wow.
Similarly I like watching Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush in the first Pirates of the Caribbean, where they recognize the ridiculousness of the script and decide to go WAY over the top, to great effect.
I like male actors with gravitas, and there aren’t many. Denzel in Glory; Russell Crowe in Master and Commander. Worst casting decision ever, in this regard: Bill Pullman as a milquetoast President in Independence Day. He was so much better as The World’s Stupidest Person in Ruthless People…
But for sheer astonishing power, any day I’ll sit down and watch Daniel Day Lewis and Emily Watson in The Boxer. Truly an underappreciated flick.