What makes a movie star a movie star? (QOTW)

To Cath a Thief Grace Kelly Cary Grant

Film critic Stephen Witty explores the differences between movie stars and actors this weekend at NJ.com. A taste:

[B]eing an actor, and being a star, are different jobs, requiring different skill sets. And if very few people can truly master one, it’s even harder to find someone who can handle both.

Actors find the character inside themselves; stars find themselves in the character. Actors work within a genre; a star is their own genre.

And Hollywood relies on this. People don’t say they’re going to see an action movie; they say they’re going to see “the new Tom Cruise picture.” Stars are brand names. They are marketing.

They are also, for many of us, a kind of code for describing ourselves and deciphering others. Is your idea of masculinity Bogie or the Duke? Is your idea of comedy Tina Fey or Adam Sandler? Friendships – and marriages – have foundered on less.

There’s a lot more, and well worth a read. But I want to talk even more broadly:

What makes a movie star a movie star?

What are the ineffably qualities that create stardom or extend it? Is it about fantasy — This beautiful person is more than human — or is it about connection: This person somehow represents all of us? What are the most appealing qualities of the biggest and best movie stars? And who is your ultimate movie star?

Have fun!

(If you have a suggestion for a Question, feel free to email me.)

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