As an executive once explained, a bankable star is one whose name a banker recognizes. Now the most bankable actor? I would have guessed Will Smith or Tom Hanks. I would have been almost right: America's favorite Everymen made the Final Five in Forbes' 2011 analysis. Guess who are the Top Three? Think before proceeding to the next paragraph.
Number three on the list is America's favorite arrested-development case, Adam Sandler. Number two is the country's favorite eccentric, Johnny Depp. Number one is America's most-haunted. That's right, Leonardo DiCaprio. (That's Depp and DiCaprio in the accompanying photo, in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, where Depp played a smalltown Romeo who takes care of his mentally-retarded younger brother.)
DiCaprio? The gloom-shrouded, brow-knitting actor whose last three films -- Revolutionary Road, Shutter Island and Inception -- had him playing a character complicit in his spouse's destruction or madness -- is in many ways a surprising figure to top this list. His latest films haven't delivered the reliably upbeat takeaways of Hanks' and Smith's goal-oriented movies. Nor do DiCaprio films have the slapstick or laughs provided by Sandler and Depp. While Di Caprio was the heartthrob of Romeo + Juliet and Titanic, nothing about his recent efforts that would draw audiences hungry for romance.
Thoughts about what about the DiCaprio persona makes him in tune with his time? About him as an actor?