To be an A-List Hollywood actor is the dream job. The fame, money, working with all different types of interesting people, and to act in movies for a living would be incredible. Today, there are many great actors out there. TV actors, character actors, and veteran actors for example. However, I will be focusing on the movie actors that are at their best right now. I based this list on the actors working today that are number one on the call sheet, bankable, and have proven talent. If I were to base this list on just talent alone then maybe actors like Daniel Day Lewis, Christoph Waltz, Joaquin Phoenix or Ralph Fiennes would be on here. If I were to base this list just on how popular they are right now then maybe actors like Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, or Dwayne Johnson would be on here. If I were to base this list on an entire career then actors like Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, or Tom Hanks would be on here. However, these ten actors are in their prime right now. They have proven they can really act, have been in great movies recently, and show no signs of slowing down.
Honorable mentions: Bradley Cooper, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne, Idris Elba, Mark Ruffalo, Christian Bale, Tom Cruise.
10. Jake Gyllenhaal
Gyllenhaal has been so underrated the past few years. He has been the lead in some great recent films and his acting has been flawless. If you’ve seen Prisoners, Nightcrawler, or Southpaw then you know exactly what I’m talking about. He has been in some classics like Donnie Darko and Zodiac, and is showing no signs of slowing down. He currently has two Golden Globe nominations and one Academy Award nomination and is only 35 years old.
9. Oscar Isaac
This guy has slowly creeped into the panel of the elite. He began his career having small parts in movies like Robin Hood and Drive and got his big break as the lead in the great 2013 Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis. Since then, he has been in some great movies like A Most Violent Year, Ex Machina, and a little film called Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. His character, Poe Dameron, was so great in that movie, and should have a much bigger role in the next Star Wars film. Isaac has so many future films lined up including a part in the new X-Men movie. This guy has acting chops, winning a Golden Globe in 2015, and is in the prime of his career right now.
Cumberbatch may be known mostly for his role as Sherlock Holmes in the television show Sherlock, but he has really made a name for himself in film as well. He has been the “character actor” type in great films like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and 12 Years a Slave. He was the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness. But what solidifies him with a spot on this list is his performance in The Imitation Game, which earned him an Oscar nomination, and him earning the role of Dr. Stephen Strange in the upcoming new Marvel movie coming out this year. Cumberbatch is a very talented actor and has been in some of the best and most popular movies of the past few years. There is no question he is in the prime of his career right now and only time will tell how far Cumberbatch can go with his career.
7. Matt Damon
Matt Damon is one of the older actors I have on this list, and you can argue that he may not be in his “prime” right now, but he is still at the top with the A-list actors, and is still making great films. He had a great 2015 with the lead role of The Martian, which earned him an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe win for his performance. And this year he will bring back his character Jason Bourne in the new Bourne movie which is highly anticipated. Damon might be fading a little, but is still one of the most popular actors out there with a proven track record of many different types of roles.
This guy is extremely popular right now. He has been for years now. But what I like most about Tatum right now is he is choosing really good movies with some of the best directors in the business. Just the past three years he has worked with Bennett Miller, Quentin Tarantino, and the Coen Brothers. He hasn’t been nominated for an Oscar or Golden Globe yet, but only time will tell when he finally does, because he is a very underrated actor. Right now he is one of the most bankable actors in the business. The 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike series are very popular. Tatum also has a lot lined up in the future including a role as the Marvel superhero Gambit.
5. Ryan Gosling
I don’t think Gosling gets enough credit for how talented of an actor he is. Yes, he is extremely popular and bankable, but he has had some great performances throughout his career. Films like Half Nelson, Blue Valentine, and The Place Beyond the Pines can prove that. He also played the lead as the unknown “Driver” in one of the best movies of this decade in Drive. However, what I like most about Gosling is that he can play both funny and serious parts very well. That makes him stand out from all the other top A-list actors. He also has some really anticipated movies coming out. 2016’s La La Land, by director Damien Chapelle of Whiplash, is highly anticipated. Also he will be in the new Blade Runner sequel.
There is not a more bankable actor out there then this man. The past two years, he was the highest payed actor in Hollywood. He is basically the face of the Avengers, and it all started with him landing a once in a generation type role with Iron Man. Since then he has become one of the most popular faces in the business. Downey Jr. has proven acting chops which go back all the way to the 90s with roles like Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin. He was also the lead in one of my favorite, and truly underrated, movies 2005’s Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang. This guy was made to star in movies, and he continues to be one of the top, most bankable actors in Hollywood.
This man can act. He has given us some of the best performances of recent memory in films like Shame, 12 Years a Slave, and Steve Jobs. He is also a bankable lead man who stars in the X-Men: First Class movies. He has been nominated for two Academy Awards and three Golden Globes. And trust me when I say those won’t be the last nominations this guy will get. He is truly one of the most talented actors working today. He has some great future work lined up including the new Assassin’s Creed movie. Get used to this name, because we will be watching him on screen for many years to come.
2. Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy has all the credentials I’m looking for to make it on this list. He is a proven talented actor. His role in The Revenant gave him his first Oscar nomination, and his role in Bronson is very underrated. He is a bankable leading man, with a role as the new Mad Max. And was also freakin Bane in the Dark Knight Rises. He also has a bright future ahead of him including some more Mad Max movies and a role in the new Christopher Nolan movie that will come out in 2017. Other notable movies include: Inception, Warrior, and Legend. Tom Hardy is one of the most popular and talented men working in Hollywood, who most definitely deserves a spot on this list.
1. Leonardo DiCaprio
C’mon could it be anyone else? Right now, Leo is most definitely at the top of the A-List actors. He finally won his first Oscar for his role in The Revenant. Just this decade alone he has starred in some incredible films: Inception, Django Unchained, and The Wolf of Wall Street. You can make an argument saying his roles in Django and The Wolf were better then The Revenant. Leo is an Oscar winner, still feels funny to say, and one of the most popular faces working today. He has starred in some of the best movies of future memory and is still fairly young. I can’t wait to see what projects are lined up next for this man who is riding high at the prime of his glorious career.