question of the day: What are your favorite examples of amazing actors’ chemistry?

Rachel Weisz Jeremy Renner

How absolutely electric Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz are together in The Bourne Legacy prompts a question I’ve been wanting to ask for a long time:
What are your favorite examples of amazing actors’ chemistry?

I’m not talking necessarily about onscreen romantic chemistry, though sometimes that’s certainly part of it. With Weisz and Renner there are hints of attraction bubbling beneath the surface later on, but from the moment they meet onscreen, there’s an instant zing of that ineffable magic that sometimes happens when two actors simply mesh really, really well, how they’re somehow better together than they are separately. (Perhaps needless to say, this also isn’t necessarily about talent — though sometimes it is hugely talented actors who zing like this — and it isn’t necessarily connected to an offscreen relationship between the actors, either.)

My two favorites, prior to Renner and Weisz, come from TV. First, there’s Johnny Depp and Peter Deluise in 21 Jump Street, as young police officers undercover in high schools: they turned what could have been just a silly throwaway cop drama into something hilarious and thrilling. They made it funnier and more clever than it deserved to be.

Second, there’s Claudia Black and Ben Browder on Farscape… and then on Stargate SG-1. It was they who got me thinking about this topic in the first place, because it was plain that the chemistry between them was about them as actors, and not about, say, the scripts they had to work with or the directors directing them. Because even playing different characters in different situations with a completely different dynamic between them, they still made the screen hum with excitement.

Your turn…

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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