December is probably my favorite month of be year. This is not just because Christmas has always been my favorite holiday; it is also because it is time the perfect time for reflection. It’s the right time to look back on the year that was and celebrate what made that year so great. And while 2015 has actually been a catastrophic year in the world of politics and social justice and things are only getting uglier in those fields, it’s been a whirlwind year in entertainment And that’s what I’m here to look back on. I will take up three weeks this month to look back on my favorites in entertainment this year; and since I am FearlessRiOT, it will all obviously be in countdown form. Last week, I tackled my favorites in pro wrestling, this week I’ll tackle music, and next week will see me take on acting, along with the bonus field of celebrities on social media. Hope you enjoy this week’s installment!
And I thought the Female Singers list was hard to do; at least I had a concrete idea of who had a legitimate shot of making it on. Not so with this list; counting down my favorite actors of the year was a daunting task since I wasn’t exactly watching the most super-popular TV shows and most of the big names in show business were starring in things I hadn’t really seen. There are still movies from 2015 I haven’t seen yet because I’m not made of money (hence why I don’t do a Year-End Top 10 Movies list) and there are TV shows I’ve had to miss out on because it’s time slot coincided with something I wanted to watch more. The actress list was much easier to put together. But I told myself I’d pump out a list and I did. Keep in mind, certain notable actors will be missing from the list due to the fact that even though I think they’re talented, I may not have seen much or any of their projects this year. That’s why a certain someone only got an honorable mentions spot. I pray this list turned out better than expected; you be the judge. Let’s count them down.
2015 Year-End Recap: Top 10 Favorite Actors
#10. Robert Downey Jr.
Yup; time to talk about an Avenger already. RDJ is a talented actor; I don’t think anyone is going to argue that. It seems, though, like he had a bit of a light schedule in 2015 because he only has one film credit to his name and I think you already know what that is. What can I say about RDJ’s portrayal of Tony Stark that hasn’t already been said by everyone else in existence? The guy is the perfect choice to play the character and he helps make the Marvel Cinematic Universe a more entertaining place. Also, wasn’t the scene in Age of Ultron where he used the Hulkbuster one of the most amazing things your eyes have seen this year?!
#9. Rob Lowe
I was born in the early-90s and even though Breakfast Club is one of my all-time favorite movies, I have never seen most Brat Pack films. I especially haven’t seen any with Rob Lowe in them. Despite this, he’d earn a spot in my personal acting Hall of Fame just for playing the literally hilarious Chris Traeger on Parks & Recreation. He left the show in Season 6, but returned for the series finale this year before finding his way over to FOX for a brand new TV show called The Grinder. But let’s be honest, you’re mostly gonna remember him after 2015 for his silly DirecTV advertisements that Hannah Davis ended up replacing.
#8. Terrance Howard
Empire was one of those TV shows that I decided to watch mainly because I actually recognized the cast members on it. I knew Terrance Howard and Taraji P. Henson had previously acted together in Hustle & Flow and I figured they’d be just as enjoyable in this show. And weirdly, they are. I say weirdly because their characters are always bickering with each other this season and its affects their sons’ careers. At the end of Season 1, Luscious finds himself in prison and Season 2 continues from there. Eventually he gets out and needless to say his career, his life, and his empire will never be the same.
#7. Bill Hader
Bill Hader was that guy on Saturday Night Live who’s known for breaking character in the most hilarious way possible. He no longer works on the Lorne Michael staple as he’s since gone on to other projects all over film and TV. He had a pretty hilarious appearance on the TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine (which I totally need to catch up on, by the way) and he appeared in a couple of movies in 2015 that I’m sure you’ve seen or heard of: the Amy Schumer hit comedy film Trainwreck and the Disney/Pixar masterpiece that was Inside Out . I also heard that his voice is in a certain movie that’s out right now that I haven’t seen yet.
#6. Chris Hemsworth
OK, so Thor wasn’t exactly the most visible of the Avengers in the record-breaking sequel. If I recall correctly, I think he was actually M.I.A. on some weird quest throughout a large chunk of it. But he has another movie down the pipeline, so it’s not like he’ll lose any sleep over it. Thor is still a likeable big-screen superhero and in the scenes that he did appear in, he was actually pretty fun to watch. The actor behind him, Chris Hemsworth, was in a number of other movies too, but you probably didn’t see them. If you did see him on anything else, it was his hosting stint on Saturday Night Live, and damn was it hilarious!
#5. John Cena
No, I’m not trolling you like the Internet has been doing all year. You are really reading John Cena’s name on a list of actors. And strangely enough, none of his appearances are the cause of a highly-ridiculed WWE Films production. Instead, Cena popped up on the big screen in a slightly more left-field way: played a love interest for comedian Amy Schumer in her hit movie Trainwreck. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, I’m sure you’ve seen at least a clip of it by now. You’re probably also seen the clip of him as a tattoo’d tough guy in Sisters or as himself getting handcuffed and dunked in Parks & Recreation’s final season.
#4. Stephen Amell
So Arrow is a polarizing show to talk about. Many feel like the narrative is not as strong as it can be because the writers are too busy paying fan service to the shippers of the Internet. But that’s to say nothing about the actors on the show who are good enough in their roles. Stephen Amell (who is now a WWE Slammy Award winner, for the record), plays the tough, fearless Oliver Queen, who this season decided to run for Mayor with practically no qualifications to speak of. To his credit, he wants to sell himself as an everyman doing it for the people and on the surface he kind of seems like that. Maybe he won’t fail this city after all. Oh, and he’s gonna be in that Ninja Turtles movie too.
#3. Aziz Ansari
Parks & Recreation ending was probably the saddest TV moment of the year for me; I wasn’t ready for the adventures in Pawnee to end, but it all had to come to an end eventually. And since it has, the stars of the show have gone on to other projects with varying degrees of success; two made the list and this is the second one here. The former Tom Haverford is becoming a comedy superstar between his standup work and his NetFlix original series Master of None, which was the very first NetFlix original that I voluntarily watched after getting access to the service. I don’t regret it; Ansari is still an entertaining comedic force.
#2. Chris Pratt
Speaking of Parks & Rec stars (because I haven’t done it enough already), has anyone (aside from Amy Poehler, of course) become as much of a big screen star as Chris Pratt has? The former Andy Dwyer is quickly becoming one of Hollywood’s elite after starring in my personal favorite movie of 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy. And after closing out the NBC sitcom earlier this year along with the rest of the cast (APRIL & ANDY FOREVER!!!), he once again rode a wave of success at the box office with the biggest movie of the year, Jurassic World. Two years in a row, two huge blockbusters. What will his next one be?
#1. Dwayne Johnson
The most electrifying man in entertainment has been so successful in acting, you’d think he doesn’t even need to pop up on WWE television anymore. (He still pays them a visit or two, though.) And this year was no exception as he was visible on both the big screen and the small screen. In the movie world, he returned to the Fast & The Furious franchise with Furious 7 and co-starred with the lovely Alexandra Daddario in San Andreas. (And they’ll reportedly work together again in Baywatch. Next Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence?) As for television, have you seen his show Ballers (a certain someone has) or his SNL episode? Yup, you cannot escape The Rock!
+ Denis Leary
Denis Leary‘s heyday was when MTV was still a music video channel; he was this fast-talking comedian who carried a cigarette more often than not. And in 2015, he unleashed Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll onto the world and got both himself and Elizabeth Gillies back on TV. Thumbs up.
+ Kevin Hart
I’m not the only on surprised that Kevin Hart didn’t star in that much in 2015, right? He was seemingly in every movie in 2014, but this year, I can only recall two and I haven’t seen either. People weren’t talking about Real Husbands much either. But hey, Ride Along 2 is coming at least.
+ Adam Scott
That guy who played TV’s best recent geek in Leslie Knope‘s beau Ben Wyatt (not to be confused with Bray) is on here exactly for playing that role in the show’s final season. No, I haven’t seen Hot Tub Time Machine 2. Should I, though?
+ Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan is legitimately one of the most talented up-and-comers in Hollywood today. The only thing keeping him off the list is the fact that I haven’t seen even a second of either Fantastic 4 (which based on reviews, I should keep avoiding) or Creed, which I hope to watch soon.
+ Nick Offerman
Sorry for all the Parks & Rec love, but that show had a great cast, including Nick Offerman he usually pops up on everything, and this year was no different as he appeared on The Muppets and Brooklyn Nine-Nine and was in Hotel Transylvania 2.
+ Chris Evans
I swear, if Captain America: Civil War came out this year, Chris Evans might’ve made this list. He had his moments in Age of Ultron, but not enough to make it on this list. But when Civil War gets here, it’ll be game over if the trailer are any indication.
Which actor did you enjoy watching in 2015? Hit me up on Twitter @FearlessRiOT or leave a comment below. Stick around for more Year-End Top 10s!