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Denzel Washington Tops ‘New York Times’ ’25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century (So Far)’ List

ET Canada logo ET Canada 2020-11-26 Becca Longmire
Denzel Washington wearing a suit and tie © Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

Denzel Washington has topped The New York Times' prestigious "25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century (So Far)" list.

Times film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott curated the list, with Scott writing of the "Unstoppable" actor: "We wrangled and argued about every other slot on the list, but there was no hesitation or debate about this one."

Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Tilda Swinton, and Toni Servillo made the list, along with Kim Min-hee, Zhao Tao, and Song Kang Ho.

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The likes of Rob Morgan, Alfre Woodard, Michael B. Jordan, Viola Davis, Wes Studi, Oscar Isaac and Keanu Reeves also nabbed themselves spots.

Gael García Bernal, Mahershala Ali, Melissa McCarthy, Julianne Moore, Saoirse Ronan, Nicole Kidman, Sônia Braga, Willem Dafoe, Joaquin Phoenix and Daniel Day-Lewis have been included, as well.


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Dargis and Scott shared, "We are in a golden age of acting — make that platinum — as we realized when we decided to select our favourite film performers of the past 20 years.

"There’s no formula for choosing the best (just squabbling), and this list is both necessarily subjective and possibly scandalous in its omissions. Some of these performers are new to the scene; others have been around for decades.

"In making our choices, we have focused on this century and looked beyond Hollywood. And while there are certainly stars in the mix and even a smattering of Oscar winners, there are also character actors and chameleons, action heroes and art-house darlings. They’re 25 reasons we still love movies, maybe more than ever."

See some of the reaction to the list below.

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