Then & Now: A Movie Star Challenge

In honor of yesterday’s Academy Awards (yay for “The Artist”!) this post is all about the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The phrase “they don’t make them like that anymore” can’t be used here, because your challenge is to come up with modern-day equivalents for these Turner Classic Movie stars:

Clark Gable

Elizabeth Taylor

Humphrey Bogart

Audrey Hepburn

Fred Astaire

Marilyn Monroe

Answers can be based on comparative bodies of work, appearance or off-screen personalities/situations. Tell me your choices in the comments (with a brief explanation of why you chose who you chose) and I’ll tell you mine. I wonder if any of us will come up with the same people…

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5 thoughts on “Then & Now: A Movie Star Challenge

  1. All good comments. Y’all have made me reconsider my choices.

    Clark Gable – In a GWTW documentary I saw recently it was said that the one time he played a sensitive guy the movie flopped. Audiences wanted him strong, masculine, domineering. I think Clive Owen and Daniel Craig work best in that way, too.

    Elizabeth Taylor – Dianna, you will be happy to know that JLo was my first thought, too, but for all the bad stuff (divorces, drama, DIVA). It didn’t feel quite right, though, and I think Nat nailed it. Elizabeth had a natural elegance that JLo does not. I like the Catherine Zeta-Jones comparison in that regard.

    Humphrey Bogart – This is where I choose George Clooney, who I think we can all agree has the same “it” that the Old Hollywood stars had.

    Audrey Hepburn – At one point I would have given this to Winona Ryder, and not just for the pixie cut. I think Winona has the same underlying insecurities that Audrey had, and the same type of nuanced performances, but Winona’s somewhere on the D list right now so I think technically this is still up for grabs.

    Fred Astaire – Natalie. I love you. I totally had already decided on Johnny Depp before you said it. Fred was a chameleon in dance the way I think Johnny is in acting. Fred paired up with many women, but most famously with Ginger Rogers. Johnny, the same, but most famously with Helena Bonham Carter. I think they are equal in their commitment to their work, and that’s the main reason I make this comparison.

    Marilyn Monroe – Poor thing. There would be no shortage of choices if I was basing this on looks alone. And the obvious tortured souls like Lindsey Lohan or Britney Spears don’t quite do Marilyn justice. It needs to be someone who has invented their entire persona and become lost in it… I think I’ve stumped myself.

  2. I only have a small handful of people who I think someday could be considered “Old Hollywood”, but never in the same way that those above are. For the ladies: Diane Lane, Kate Winslet, and I feel like Emily Blunt has the potential if she plays her cards right.
    For the guys: this is harder. For types of movies and talent: Alan Rickman for sure (maybe as a scruffier Humphrey Bogart). George Clooney based on looks and the fact that he wears a suit almost all the time, but not his movies. I can’t think of anyone else really off hand.

  3. i have george clooney for clark gable – because of the romance/masculinity they both embody in most of their roles.

    also, someone at work said leonardo dicaprio for humphry bogart – which i can only agree with based on the the way they carry themselves.

    for fred astair i’m gonna go out on a limb and say johnny depp – partly with hopes that stef will agree just cuz she loves him =) but also because he has done a number of musical-esque films.

    now, for marilyn i’m gonna say angelina jolie…i dont think i like her very much personally, but simply because she is one of the iconic sex-symbols of her generation in hollywood.

    for audrey hepburn – a co-worker said julia roberts, but i disagree. love julia sometimes, but she is too boisterous i feel. so i’m gonna go with natalie portman – classy, poised, variety of roles (some serious, some quirky and cutesy)

    and for elizabeth taylor – catherine zeta jones. they share an elegance…and their eyebrows are almost identical.

  4. So far I have Michelle Williams for NOT Marilyn Monroe but Audrey Hepburn. The same cute hair and sweet look with an inherent vulnerability. I don’t think Michelle is anywhere near the lonely and possibly self-destructive bombshell Marilyn was. Audrey seemed pretty well-adjusted and so does Michelle.

    Jean Dujardin for Fred Astaire. It’s the dancing, in my book.

    Elizabeth Taylor – Jennifer Lopez, for sheer larger-than-lifeness and drama. (you hate that one, don’t you…)

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