will smith , tom cruise, and leonardo dicaprio all found their respective ways to control the movie they star in, their 'vehicles' . in this sense they're as successful as the hollywood mantra can get, because they're in total control of their movies.
i mean , tom cruise picked his role in valkyrie just because he saw a profile picture of Stauffenberg and thought his nose was similar, for fuck's sake. christopher mcquarrie gave an awesome interview once , where he said that a screenplay, in that sense, ends up being an afterthought of an idea for a movie. if any of these actors happen to read a book about aliens in the sixties and they express interest, somebody fetches them a screenplay that's based on that, and it becomes a thing.
tom cruise is the hero who always runs. no matter what. he's been shifting towards the family man figure lately.
will smith is the hero who gives his own life.
dicaprio's the man deceived by treacherous women who wants to make it right.
i don't mind them. the world needs these types of actors. i think will smith is charming but his ambitions are loud and dumb, and he's not aging in a cool fashion.
in a classic sense, my favorite movie star is george clooney probably, because he's never been interested in becoming an insipid character actor. i also think hugh jackman's cool, but he chooses to star in a lot of shit, like that amores perros with fighting robots movie.
a favorite actor is a different matter.