Acting is about the expression of character. To this end, actors make the most of what God gave them. There are sonorous actors (think James Earl Jones and Alan Rickman) whose vocal gifts suggest unexplored depths. There are hair actors (think Hugh Grant and Keanu Reeves) who flip floppy locks for Samson-style emphasis. There are derriere actors (Richard Gere and Kevin Costner), who bare buttocks to implying the naked truth. And there are torso actors (Hugh Jackman and Matthew McConaughey, both of whom have movies opening this weekend), whose habitual shirtlessness suggests, I guess, their gutsiness. (This week, New York Magazine challenged them to a chest-off (hat tip, Throwing Things).
If you're looking for torso acting, Wolverine is the movie for you, as, uncharacteristically, McConaughey keeps his shirt on in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Who's your favorite torso actor? Mine is Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, whose obviously prosthetic six-pack elevated the film's fun quotient. Yours?