As regular readers of my ramblings will know I am a casual fan of professional Wrestling. So last night when The Rock returned to a WWE ring for the first time in 7 years I was a very happy camper. Wrestling however is not the subject of this blog but The Rock’s return does explain perfectly what it is about, Charisma, and how so few stars have it these days.
If you need an example of what I am talking about simply look up what happened when he showed up on last nights Raw. Within 30 seconds he had the crowed eating out of the palm of his hand, the excitement in the arena was off the charts and he did more for Wresting in 15 minutes than Vince McMahon has managed in almost a decade. It was such a big deal that it even made mainstream news all over the world, all this based on the charisma of one individual, that is a pretty impressive feat.
There are a few other stars that can do the same thing, Will Smith for example is one hell of a charismatic guy. I have no doubt that he wouldn’t be half as successful an actor if he wasn’t so damn likable, and that is not something you can be taught it’s something you are born with. George Clooney is another example, again he is a damn fine actor but it’s his charisma that helps you empathise with pretty much any character he plays. There are far better actors out there than these two but they are less successful because they lack that certain something the other two have in spades.
Back in the golden age of Hollywood a lot more stars had “it”, I don’t know why that is or even why so few do today but it’s hard to argue against the fact that the charismatic movie star is an endangered species.
Of course that is not to say all actors/actresses have to be charisma machines. After all ultimately what we want from them is to be able to put in a stellar performance in whatever role they choose. I’d rather have someone like Christian Bale who is a volatile entity off screen but an amazing actor on it than a bunch of likable guys who are wooden as hell in front of the camera.
But if you take a look at some of the most charismatic of stars you will see that it does help to make them better at what they do and gives us some amazing moments like we saw Monday Night.
Ok so it was a bit of a short one this week, I’m back on nights and trying to write a blog at 1am in the morning can be a bit challenging. Next week though I’m planning a return to my Great British Heroes series, where I will talk about the greatest living Bristolian who is not Darth Vader – Justin Lee Collins.