Image Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage.comEW’s 40 under 40 list was done strictly by the numbers: We looked at the films in which the under-40 set held starring roles over the course of their careers (animated movies not included), and then ranked those actors by box-office average. Even though we had a pretty clear rubric, there were still some surprises not just in who made the list, but in who didn’t.
Much as I love Bradley Cooper, and much as he radiates “leading man” from every pore of his being, I was surprised to see him at No. 13, topping Angelina Jolie (#28) and Cameron Diaz (#35). When I think of male box-office titans, he’s not the first dude that springs to mind.
On the other side of things, I thought for sure James Franco would be on the list somewhere — until I realized that despite his smoldering ubiquity, Franco’s never been the star of a mega-blockbuster movie. (He’s been pretty busy making arty movies, being on a soap opera, writing a collection of short stories, giving awesome interviews on Fresh Air ….)