Monday, August 26, 2013

Hollywood's Greatest Career Resurrection's

Hot off the news of Ben Affleck being cast as Batman, and my Defense, I want to take a look at a few other notable come-backs.

Here are my,  

"Top 5 Greatest Hollywood Career Resurrection's"

WHAT?!? Is this too much to ask for?! BSB and NSYNC did it.... (RIP QT)

Honorable Mention: Neil Patrick Harris

I want to mention Neil Patrick Harris because he did have a major career resurgence. However, being a child star, I don't believe that this constitutes as a resurrection. Child stars are unique. Either they fade away after their childhood stardom (Fred Savage, 'The Wonder Years') or they continue to grow as actors (Natalie Portman, 'Leon: The Professional'). In some cases, such as NPH, they fizzle out and come back years later. Though this "should" be considered a "resurrection", I want to focus on the stars that made a name for themselves as adults, crashed and then bounced back. NPH gained notability in his role as Doogie Howser in ABC's 'Doogie Howser M.D' in which, Harris, plays a genius child doctor. This show ran for 4 seasons and was a major success. After the show, NPH was non-existent. He returned to stardom with a hilarious cameo appearance in beloved stoner comedy, 'Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle', a role that would turn his career around. That next year, he appeared in the pilot episode for a show you may have heard of, 'How I Met Your Mother'. On it's 9th and final season, NPH has created one of the greatest sitcom character's in TV history with Barney Stinson. The lovable player, with a passion for suits, a sound '"Bro-Code", and THE "Playbook" on picking up women. NPH also is the most coveted awards show host, hosting the Emmy's twice (including this years) and the Tony's 4 times, all with great musical numbers. Speaking of musicals, NPH is also the title character in Joss Whedon's, 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog', a MUST-SEE for anybody. Now, he's starring in critically-panned but somewhat commercially successful 'Smurfs' franchise. With 'How I Met' coming to an end, look for NPH to make his way into a full-blown film career. His career resurrection is nothing short of "Legen….wait for it…..dary!"

#5 - Charlie Sheen

Let's talk about "The Bitchin' Rockstar from Mars" for a minute. Can you really call this a "career resurrection"? Sheen started his career to mass success in a number of great films including: 'Red Dawn', 'Platoon', 'Wall Street', 'Young Guns', 'Major League' and 'Hot Shots'. Throughout the 90's, he had troubles with alcohol, cocaine, porn stars and hookers, ohhhhhh the hookers. His career took a slight turn for the better taking over for Michael J. Fox in hit show, 'Spin City'. He married Denise Richards in 2002 but he continued to fly further off the handle; they divorced in 2006. The second of 3 divorces for Sheen, who has 5 children. In 2003, in a play on his own life, he went on to star in 'Two and a Half Men' as Charlie Harper, a jingle-writing celebrity with an addiction to alcohol, and, well, hookers. A character almost the same as himself. This became the #1 sitcom on television for years, and at the time of his public departure Sheen was raking in the money. "At the peak of his Two and a Half Men career, Charlie Sheen was making $1.25 million per episode. That amount grows to $2 million when you include back end syndication points. A season is typically 24 episodes, so Sheen's salary was roughly $48 million per year from the show." (Source) I'd say that's a pretty nice bounce-back. Speaking of his public melt-down, was this something that hurt or helped his career? Although the world knows he's batshit crazy; it was the most talked about melt-down of all time. Spawning the phrase "Winning!" among many others. You either loved him or hated him after this. Clearly, in the case of Sheen, this was not so much a "resurrection" as it was an ongoing shit storm of a life on a roller coaster going 1000mph with no tracks or operator. His career has settled down a bit since then but he does have his own show with FX's, 'Anger Management' which has a 90(?) episode order. I don't expect this guy's tiger blood to stop him from churning out a few more hits or maybe another meltdown (hopefully). You can see him next in the upcoming sequel to 'Machete',  'Machete Kills', in which Sheen plays The President of the United States, billed as Carlos Estevez, of course.

#4 - Mickey Rourke

Mickey Rourke. The 80's treated him well. Gaining prominence in films like: 'Diner', 'Rumble Fish', and 'The Pope of Greenwich Village'. He then went on to become a sex icon from the film '9 1/2 Weeks', and received critical acclaim for 'Angel Heart'. Though Rourke continued acting in several movies throughout the 90's his full concentration was on his professional boxing career. He went on to fight for 6 wins, no losses and 2 draws. Not too bad, Mick. Rourke was actually offered the role of a boxer, in 'Pulp Fiction' but turned it down. A role which would later become Bruce Willis's. Who knows? Maybe two careers could have been revitalized from 'Pulp Fiction', as you are about to see. The work kept coming in for this one-time A-lister, but the roles were minor and his value was low, as were the films. In 2005, Mickey was cast as Marv in Robert Rodriguez's adaptation of Frank Miller's, 'Sin City'. This role would ignite his rise back to stardom. In 2008 he starred in 'The Wrestler', an excellent movie in which Rourke played a character very much like his own. A has-been wrestler, with a life leading nowhere and his one last big chance at the spotlight. He nailed the realism of the role and received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor (he should have won). Since then he has starred as Whiplash, the villain in 'Iron Man 2' and in Sly Stallone's action-star team up film 'The Expendables'. Things have slowed down quite a bit again, but expect a resurgence when 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For' comes out in 2014.

#3 - John Travolta

In the 1970's John Travolta was Hollywood's "It" man. Getting his start in the hit television show, 'Welcome Back Kotter' as dim-witted Vinny Barbarino. His first taste with fame came with his iconic role of Tony Manero in 'Saturday Night Fever' where he taught everybody how to disco. He then went on to be immortalized in the role of Danny Zuko in the musical 'Grease', "Ah-huh, huh, huh." After his hit 'Urban Cowboy' in 1980, the rest of the decade hit him hard. His career went on a bit of a hiatus with his only notable films being the 'Look Who's Talking' franchise. It wasn't until Quentin Tarantino would pull him out from under his rock with 1994's 'Pulp Fiction' as Vincent Vega, (an Academy Award nominated performance) that Travolta would, again, rise to the top. He would then go on to star in films such as 'Face/Off', 'Get Shorty', 'Michael', 'Primary Colors' and many more throughout the 90's. In 2000 Travolta's career took a nose-dive with the horrendous 'Battlefield Earth' based on Scientology creator L Ron Hubbard's book of the same name. Travolta, himself, became a Scientologist, and although, he has filmed a number of notable films since, let's just say that his career hasn't been the same. Can he pull off another resurrection, or have we seen all we have from Mr. Travolta? Chang-chang-changity-chang-sha-bop.

#2 - Ben Affleck

Everything you need to know about Ben's resurrection, you can find in my, "Defense of Ben". From early success and accolades to a stretch of career-ending lows. This guy has risen, from the bottom, to become one of Hollywood's most acclaimed director's with his latest 'Argo' winning the Oscar for Best Picture. In 2015 he will dawn the Cape and Cowl as the new Batman. Will you love him or hate him? He's signed on for multiple films, so we better stay optimistic, he's going to be around for a while. Only time will tell if he'll be "Da Bomb" as Batman.

#1 - Robert Downey Jr.

There is no truer Hollywood career resurrection story than Robert Downey Jr.'s. He started his career in the cast of 'Saturday Night Live' for one season in 1985 (yes, he was in SNL) and then went on to star in over a dozen films throughout the 80's and 90's including: 'Weird Science', 'Back to School', 'Natural Born Killers' and an Academy Award nominated performance in the title role in 'Chaplin'. During the mid-90's, Downey Jr., suffered from heavy drug-use with cocaine and heroin, being arrested multiple times. A spark of life came to his career when he was cast in hit show 'Ally Mcbeal', in which he was critically praised, but the off-screen problems continued. Downey Jr. finally cleaned himself up after checking into rehab for an extended period of time in the early 2000's. I, personally, like to think that his career resurrection began with 2005's 'Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang' one of my all-time favorite movies. This is some of the best work he has ever done, classic Downey Jr. delivery. It is a precursor to what was to come in 2008's, 'Iron Man'. With Marvel's new plans to build an interconnected cinematic universe, Jon Favreau, director of 'Iron Man', took the chance on the star that came with a lot of baggage (sound familiar Affleck haters?). He would then go on to define the role and character, to the present. After 'Iron Man' he went on to star in 'Tropic Thunder' and the 'Sherlock Holmes' franchise, as well as, two sequels to 'Iron Man' and of course 'The Avengers'. Downey Jr. has established himself as one of the most premier actors of our time, and he is more than compensated for his talent. He is currently one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood. With 2015's 'Avengers 2: Age of Ultron' Downey will be making close to $100 Million Dollars.

As you can see, many actors struggle with career ending circumstances. It's the challenge of rising up from it, that really show their character (Sans Sheen, who the fuck knows what goes through that dudes head). In these examples, you can see glimpses of a return to prominence. In the case of Downey Jr., though, he rose so far up he became the actor of our generation. If Affleck can "pull an Iron Man" like Downey, as Batman, expect the world to declare Ben the new king of Hollywood.

Agree/Disagree? Have another celebrity you think should have made the cut? Sound off in the comments/boards. Remember, be tasteful.

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