Actors: they make us laugh, they make us cry, they make us gasp in awe of their craft - but every now and then, they shock us. No, no, no, not with their off-screen antics (although, yeah, that too), but with their career paths. Once upon a time, TV used to be the lower form of entertainment, while film was the pinnacle. Now it's not uncommon to see a Matthew McConaughey, Al Pacino, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Jude Law, Emma Stone, Amy Adams or Chris Evans grace the small screen week-to-week. Then it became the genre defiers. Indie darlings suddenly made blockbusters. Wrestlers became box-office drawcards, and Mork from Ork won an Oscar. People often forget that actors aren't just tabloid fodder and fragrance pushers. When they do it well, they are chameleons. So why are we so determined to pigeon-hole our favourites? Why are we so offended when they decide to switch things up on us? We curse their names when their careers become stale and predictable, yet scoff when they choose to take a chance, rebrand or spread their wings.
In honour of one of the greatest wing-spreaders on and off the screen, Mr Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the 30th anniversary of one of Mr Olympia's greatest films and turns at comedy with 'Kindergarten Cop', I've compiled a list of some of the best career shakers going around.
He could kill ya as soon as look at ya, and audiences lapped it up - until one day someone looked at him and thought, "Geez, he could be Danny DeVito's twin". There's a fine line between genius and insanity, and 'Twins' (1988) was it. Some believe there are infinite parallel universes and infinite timelines. If that's true, then I must believe that this one is the only one where a film like 'Twins' works. 'Twins' was Schwarzenegger's first foray into comedy, but it wasn't his last - and in my opinion, it wasn't his best. 1990's 'Kindergarten Cop' was where he married the braun with the humour and did it so very well. Yes, we were laughing at Richard Kimble, but his willingness to be the butt of the jokes made him that much cooler. It wasn't until 'True Lies' in 1994 that he actually got to deliver the hilarious one-liners and absolutely crushed it, but it was 'Kindergarten Cop' that laid the groundwork. Sure, over the last 30+ years he's had to repeat "I'll be back", "Get to the chopper!" And "Hasta la vista, baby" enough times to make a grown man cry, but for me, personally, it's gotta be "It's not a tumour!" Or my favourite (albeit not actually uttered by Arnold himself): "Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina." Sure, that line hasn't aged well, but at the time, people hearing it for the first time learned something that day.
NB: You'll notice there are no women on this list, and the reason is simple - we're multitaskers, we've always been multitaskers, we'll always be multitaskers, we are not just one thing, we've never been just one thing, we'll never be just one thing, you cannot define us, we are undefinable and we're awesome. Although if I had to pick just one... Olivia Colman?