50. BEN AFFLECK
JOB TITLE Actor/director/writer/producer
SMART BECAUSE He learned from his mistakes. After bottoming out with his unholy trinity of Gigli, Jersey Girl, and Bennifer, Affleck did something few would dare: He disappeared. Two years later, he was a humble character actor in Hollywoodland; then he adapted and directed Gone Baby Gone with the assuredness of someone who'd been waiting for this shot his whole life.
POLITICALLY CORRECT On Real Time With Bill Maher,drops poli-sci bons mots better than the pros. And he's a college dropout.
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It's not about power anymore -- meet the brains who are taking the film biz forward, from Ben Affleck to Sacha Baron Cohen to Jodie Foster to...our Superbad No. 1