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Any actors good at picking great scripts? Check out the latest Ask the Critic question and post your own

Dakota Fanning, Man on Fire | COULDN'T HAVE SCRIPTED IT BETTER Fanning the Fire
Image credit: Man on Fire: Jurgen Vollmer
COULDN'T HAVE SCRIPTED IT BETTER Fanning the Fire

Any actors good at picking great scripts?

Every actor makes his share of bad movies, but are there any who are especially good at picking above-average scripts? — Tommy Barber
That you tell 'em! you hear in the background is Tom Hanks, reminiscing about his wilderness years in The 'Burbs. You're right, it's the rare actor — in concert with advisers, agents, astrologers — who doesn't occasionally stumble. But quality of script is just one consideration. What about taking a part to pay the bills? Or trading off mediocrity for a pile of dough that confers bargaining power in future negotiations? What about the artistic itch to s-t-r-e-t-c-h? Then again, what about Dakota Fanning? I can't defend the below-averageness of The Cat in the Hat, but Team Fanning choices have been Man on Fire smart ones. I wouldn't be surprised if, at the wee age of 11, her wilderness years are behind her.

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Originally posted Apr 11, 2005 Published in issue #815 Apr 15, 2005 Order article reprints