The Verdict: If being feared by those around you is any measure of success, then Baldwin' doing just fine. Plus, since landing his gig on 30 Rock, he' started to use his powers for comedy. While he still plays the same character as he always did, it' nice to see him surrounded by underlings who are intimidated by him in a funny way instead of a genuinely terrified way.
Role: Badass motherfucker
The Movies: Pulp Fiction, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, A Time to Kill, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Jackie Brown, The Negotiator, Star Wars I, II and III, Deep Blue Sea, Unbreakable, xXx and xXx II: State of the Union, S.W.A.T., Snakes on a Plane
The History: Samuel L. Jackson will fuck you up, motherfucker, and that' about all you need to know about him. He is the quintessential threatening black man, screaming obscenities roughly 47 percent of the time he is onscreen (the other 53 percent is divided roughly between kicking ass and scoffing at whatever white guy is suggesting that he bother taking names). Even in Unbreakable, where Jackson portrays a "glass man" with a degenerative bone disease"ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¦ Spoiler! Turns out, he was behind every murder in the movie. Whether you're an international terrorist, a rival mobster, a Sith Lord, a bunch of snakes on a plane or a super-intelligent shark, Sam Jackson will be more than happy to scream at you and then shoot you in the face.
The Verdict: Samuel L. Jackson' role is so much a part of him that whenever he tries to break away from it-as when he played a troubled but heroic vagrant in The Caveman' Valentine or an erudite hotel owner in 1408-it just comes off as forced, like your abusive uncle trying to keep it together for Thanksgiving dinner. He even plays the role of intimidating badass when presenting at awards shows. Sad as the thought may be, Sam is pretty much stuck being a badass motherfucker. On the plus side, there' a lot pansier things you could be stuck as (see "Kelsey Grammar").
Role: Girl who' too hot for the geeky lead and is thus humiliated/disfigured in some fashion to cut her down to size
The Movies: The Mask, My Best Friend' Wedding, There' Something About Mary, Very Bad Things, Being John Malkovich, Shrek I, II and III
The History: Cameron Diaz is pretty enough that most men would be attracted to her even if she were nuts, and she' taken rampant advantage of that fact. Whether she' a flaming bitch, an ogre or is inexplicably attracted to Jim Carrey, it does little to deaden her sex appeal. The combination makes her perfect for the romantic lead in movies starring comedians who wouldn't get a girl as hot as her in a million years unless she had some sort of serious emotional defect. She' seduced everyone from Carrey to Mike Myers to Ben Stiller, all by doing little more than being willing to stand next to them. To make the match believable, she'll lower her worth by playing a level of instability anywhere from quirky to psycho, depending on how direly unattractive the male lead is. Oh, it' just a shy, awkward Ben Stiller? Just put some cum in her hair. Wait, it' a pony-tailed, puppeteering John Cusack? Better make her obsessed with pets and a closeted transsexual.