Today on my usual Facebook troll I found something excellent: a ready-made blog post! But because it is I wrote it about 6 years ago it needs a little context. If you are a long time reader, you know I love Hollywood Pop. You may also have guess that I love nerdy stuff like Greek Mythology. “Surprise!” said nobody.
This post shows what I think is some pretty in-depth thinking a devotion to this little corner of my heart. So, nerds like me, here’s something to snack on for the evening. I think the list holds up shockingly well. But I look forward to your up to date nominations. I think it’s fair to say that Zeus is untenable in 2014.
gifs weren’t even a thing in 2008!
It was at least 4 years ago (now a decade) that my very good friend Alex J and I were carrying on our usual Hollywood Goss convo when an idea crept upon us…inspired? Faux-Divine? You be the judge.
Likely, we were reminding ourselves how silly we were to care so much about these popular idols, it was nearly worship…and how could you worship beings with such glaring ugly personality flaws? No one had done that since…the Greeks.
We began matching up our current hot Hollywood celebs with what we knew of the Greek pantheon, which thanks to our extensive nerdiness was of no small sum.
The list has been a constant work in progress, it changes from Oscar season to season, but there are a few rules that have been established for the nomination process:
1. They must be living. A complete list of the All Time Hollywood gods would be a HIGHLY controversial subject for all true tabliodtiers. I’m pretty sure it would end in a slap fight. Also, it is unkind to speak ill of the dead, and this list…well, it isn’t exactly kind.
2. A-Listers only. The A-list is also a controversial subject. For our purposes this is clearly defined as a person who has:
a. Been Academy Awarded/Golden Globed, or at least Nominated in the last 5 years.
b. Stared in a movie that has made more than $50 million in its opening weekend within the last 2 years.
(This is what we shall call the popular vote vs. the Electoral College approach.) This also means that ‘Old Greats’ and ‘Super Hotties’ are not always eligible. For example: Katherine Zeta Jones is, in my opinion, the most beautiful woman in Hollywood, and my choice for Hera (Having won Best Supporting Actress for Chicago in 2003, and also as she is married to another icon) but hasn’t made anything big enough to qualify her lately…somebody get on that please.
3. Actors only. Yes, I agree, Scorsese and Spielberg are probably the actual thunderbolt-throwing-kill-you-with-the-wink-of-their-eye Zeus’ of Hollywood, but we limit ourselves to the front of the camera faces.
The Greek Pantheon has also been defined as the following 13 major deities:
Listed alphabetically by their Greek name (Roman equivalents are listed as appropriate)
Aphrodite (Venus): Goddess of love, beauty and procreation. Alongside Zeus and Hera, she was also the leader of the gods of marriage, wife of Hephaestus, lover of Ares.
Current Hollywood Equivalent (CHE): Angelina Jolie—A-list qualifications: GG nominated for A Mighty Heart, also, special consideration for being a UN Peace Officer. In her duel, yet unconflicted, roles as Sex Kitten and world peace advocate Ms. Jolie has proven her powers of procreation by mothering (if not birthing) 6 children. Without researching I’m almost willing to wager that she and that guy—what was his name again?—are up there for largest Hollywood brood. Though, unlike Aphrodite, Angelina is probably fundamentally against things like starting the Trojan war, we think her good looks having emerged from John Voight is as mysterious any sea foam. One more thing to think about: Hephaestus/Billy Bob.
Apollo: God of music, prophecy and healing, the most beautiful of the gods, he was the leader of both the gods of music and gods of prophecy.
CHE: Christian Bale—A-list qualifications: By this time in a fortnight I can all but guarantee that Dark Night will qualify for the $50mil popular vote, seeing as Batman Begins hit a hot $48 mil, without the benefit of including a highly anticipated posthumous performance. Now, I don’t know if Mr. Bale can play a lyre, but I do know (Thank you Newsies) that he can sing, and that in a good suit, be it leather or Versace, he may be the most beautiful man on face of this earth. I also think that his penchant for selecting brilliant independent and blockbuster films makes him something of a prophet.
Ares (Mars): The great Olympian god of war and conflict. He was the leader of the gods of war.
CHE: Brad Pitt— A-list qualifications: GG nominated 2007 for Babel. Aside from being full time lover of our current Aphrodite, Brad has a ridiculous amount of hotness, and seemingly eternal youthful beauty (Benjamin Button preview anyone?). Somehow this man has maintained a steamy level of hottness since 1987 when he appeared on Dallas. Can you really believe he is 45? Need any further convincing, let’s go with a photo comparison, see below.
Survey says: YES.
Artemis (Diana): Goddess of hunting, wild animals, and (strangely) both virginity, and childbirth. She was also known for bringing sudden death to disrespectful men and women with her arrows. Alongside her brother Apollo, she was a leader of the gods of music, presiding over maiden song and dance.
CHE: Kira Knightly—A-list qualifications: Nominated Best Actress 2006 for Pride and Prejudice. 1. Girl can handle a bow and arrow. 2. She is young and maiden like, if not exactly virginal.
(I’m mean, choosing Jenifer Lawrence ((JLaw4Eva!)) is so obvious now. Like toats obvs. Is there even another choice?)
Athena (Minerva): Goddess of war, fortifications and the defense of towns, and of good counsel and heroic endeavor. She was also a patron goddess of craftsmen, presiding over the arts of weaving, pottery, carpentry and the manufacture of oil.
CHE: Kate Blanchette—A-list qualifications: A TOP contender with $100 Mil opening for Indy 4, FOUR AA Noms (2 in the same year, and 1 win) within 4 years. Give. Me. A. Break. Perhaps the smartest, scariest, revered woman in Hollywood today. I would be willing to name a city after her.
Demeter (Ceres): Goddess of agriculture, fertility, the ‘Bringer of Seasons.’
CHE: Kate Winslet—A-list qualifications: Though shafted for the win she received duplicate AA and GG Noms in 2005 (Eternal Sunshine…) and 2007 (Little Children), also she is the first actress to ever receive 4 Oscar nods before age 30. Though young, she is motherly (two tikes of her own), seasoned, and unquestionably talented. Also, she has a lovely singing voice.
Dionysus (Liber, Bachus): god of wine, viticulture, and wild vegetation. Known for erratic behavior, his cult worship led to the rise of Greek theatre.
CHE: Tom Cruise—A-list qualifications: Barley hanging on with GG nom 2004 for The Last Samurai. (Doesn’t that movie seem a LOT longer ago?) Though M:I:III did take in a close $47Mil in its opening weekend. Mr. Cruise defiantly has the crazy side of this god down. Also the cult worship. Evidence: Japan declared October 10th 2006 Tom Cruise Day. What.
Hades (Pluto): God of the underworld, Hades is the enemy of all life, gods, and men, sometimes he was worshiped as the god of money.
CHE: Johnny Depp.—A-list qualifications: 3 AA nominations in the last 4 years. Ello! Aside from dwelling in that underworld that is France, Mr. Depp is the obvious choice having made a name for himself by playing the antihero, and for some reason the more grungy and reclusive he gets the more we love him. I’m also pretty sure that Mr. Depp would appreciate a three headed dog more than the average Hollywood icon.
Hephaestus (Vulcan): the craftsman’s god presiding over metalworking, building, sculpture, and artistry. Also, he was considered the ugliest of the gods.
CHE: Robert Downy Jr.—A-list qualifications: Nearly 100 Mill grossed opening weekend for Iron Man. Perhaps a fleeting favorite. 2 years ago no one would have put the words Downy Jr and Action Star in the same sentence, or even Hottie, very readily. But there he is in sever scruffy hotness as a high tech, terrorist fighting, Chris Martin money running, blacksmith of sorts. We are also excited about a promising looking blackface comedy (when did that even become possible?) Tropic Thunder coming out soon.
Hera (Juno): The Queen of the gods, and wife of Zeus. Hera was the goddess of women, and the leader of the gods of marriage. She was also a goddess of the sky and stars.
CHE: Nicole Kidman—A-list qualifications: GG nominated 2005 Birth. We all believe she’s got the jealous wife part down. Her skin is perfect enough to be carved from marble, though we are pretty sure she and husband Keith Urban are not siblings in any way, shape, or form. Her A-list contenderness may not last long as she seems to be getting her Mommy on, you go Queen Nicole.
Hermes (Mercury): He was the herald/messenger of Zeus, and the god of herds and flocks, travel, trade, merchants, and thievery. He is the youngest of the gods.
CHE: Shia Lebouf—A list qualifications: $100 Mil opening for Indy 4. A rising star is ever we spotted one. If this kid/hottie can continue to avoid the pitfalls that plague every young generation of Hollywood he could go all the way. With or without wings on his hat this guy is flying high.
(Needs to be replaced! I’m thinking one of the Chris’s Hemsworth, Pine, or Evans. Which Chris do you love best?)
Poseidon (Neptune): The god of the sea, rivers, lakes and other sources of fresh-water, and the god of horses and chariots. Although he still attends all the councils and feasts of the heavenly gods, he had his residence in the sea rather than heaven.
CHE: George Clooney—A-list qualifications: 4 AA/GG noms and 2 wins since 2006, including a win for writing Good Night and Good Luck. Although our favorite Uncle George hasn’t faired so well at the box office in the last year we can guarantee we haven’t seen the last of this Olympian. Also, the ex-pat dwelling, pond hoping parallels should be more than clear.
Da-Da-DA-DAAA! The answer you’ve been waiting for:
Zeus (Jupiter): The great king of the gods, ruler of Olympus and the heavens, and leader of the Twelve. He was the god of the sky, weather, kings, fate, law and order. The man who can do anything he wants, equally loved and feared by all.
Current Hollywood Equivalent: Will Smith—I see you shaking your head, but shut your mouth and think about this for a second. A-List Qaulifications: I Am Legend $77Mil opening weekend, AA and GG Noms 2007 Pursuit of Happiness. Our Over Lord of Hollywood can boast a trifecta of qualifications in the popular and peer elected categories. Perhaps it has been his utterly charming transformation from Fresh Prince to Defender of the Universe, Legit Rapper, and soon to be down-and-out Super Hero that makes us think, ‘if I could have one buddy in Hollywood…’ There is a deft mixture of Jimmy Stewart sincerity crossed with uhhh, some one with amazing arms. Looking at Mr. Smith’s creds we are pretty sure he can actually do anything. Oh, and there is his uncanny resemblance to a certain current political figure who is likely to soon be the most powerful man in the world. Bio Pic in 15 years? We’ll be there.
Hi. I’m in Delaware.
No. I’m not. I’m back here in 2014. So what do you think? I think I’m starting grad classes again this week and won’t have time for this much loved project until May.
But still, I’d love to hear your input. In keeping with the rules listed at the top, who qualifies for the current Hollywood Pantheon? Who is in and who is out?