In the past few years, Rupert has been entered into numerous celebrity polls, such as “Hottest Young Actor” in various online publications, some of which are pretty obscure, some of which aren’t. Each time, a call goes out to his fandom to vote like crazy to make sure he wins these contests. And, being a good Rupert fan, I always do.
However, it doesn’t really bother me when Rupert gets beat by some other random celebrity. Why? Because to me, Rupert is an actor, a fantastic one at that, so these polls don’t really prove anything regarding that. They are simply lists of the latest “flavor of the month,” some of who might end up having decent acting careers. These polls also contain others who are only on the list because they are, well, hot but have very little acting capabilities otherwise; and will probably disappear soon or end up on celebrity game shows because they can’t get any real acting roles. Is this the company we really want Rupert to be in? I don’t.
The most important thing to me is that Rupert is considered by casting directors and producers to be a great actor, who has the ability to portray a large range of characters, because this is what is going to get him the roles he deserves to play. Yes, there are actors out there who have excellent acting skills, get fantastic roles, and who still end up on the “hottest actor” lists (I’m talking to you, Johnny Depp). It would be great if Rupert were part of this very small circle. But in film reviews, Depp’s looks don’t get mentioned unless they are an intrinsic part of the role – the only thing that matters is how well he played the part. If you’re great-looking, but a terrible actor, you’re not going to get very many roles aside from either really small ones, or those which are one-dimensional, or where very little acting is needed. Sure, Keanu Reeves might be good-looking, but no one is looking to cast him in seriously dramatic roles where he has to show a range of emotions. When he has, he’s been criticized as being wooden. Clearly, looks aren’t the main criteria for getting roles – acting skills are.
Take a look at Jim Broadbent, Rupert’s co-star in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” and currently one of the best actors out there, who has played every kind of role, from comedy, to drama, to musicals. Broadbent constantly gets work because of the high quality of his acting skills, but no one is hiring him because he’s hot. They’re hiring him because they know he’ll nail any role he’s given, which, of course, he does. I want casting directors and producers to have the same attitude toward Rupert; and, given the roles he’s been recently getting, he’s moving in that direction, which is really something to be happy about!
Don’t mistake me – actors who are both great at their jobs and are good-looking have the most acting opportunities out there, because the world is shallow and viewers like looking at beautiful people. I believe Rupert falls into this category, even if there are a lot of people out there who don’t see the looks part yet (philistines!). But for me, it’s far more important that Rupert continues to get parts that show his range, and keeps racking up the fantastic reviews he’s been getting throughout his career. These factors are going to put him in the same group as the best actors around, not whether he wins a celebrity poll. So, no, losing a “hottie” poll to Zac Efron doesn’t bother me at all!