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What do James T. Kirk, Steve Rogers, Peter Quill & The Thunder God Thor have in common?
"Uhmm... they are pretty cool" --- is probably the answer you come up with first.
I'm here to tell you that they have something incredible connecting them to each other, and no I'm not talking their 2 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon. The common link between each character is in the actors that portray them, namely their name.
The 4 actors, all named Chris, portray the characters named above and they have formed an incredible and unbreakable bond now known as the 4 Pillars of Chris-endom. *Thank you Kat* These four actors have been taking over Hollywood as the names to have attached to any blockbuster film.
The four actors that I'm talking about are: Chris Pine, Chris Evans, Chris Pratt & Chris Hemsworth. I thought I'd take a moment to dissect why each of these actors is unique and important to Hollywood and why they all together make the Chris-endom as wonderful and vibrant as it is.
Pillar Number One.
Chris Pine made his feature debut in 2004 opposite Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. That movie was the stepping stone he needed as it led to a couple other roles over the following 5 years until he found his international stardom as the new James T. Kirk.
Star Trek was rebooted in 2009 with a stellar cast, led by Chris Pine as the unstoppable Captain Kirk. Chris portrayed the character with passion and a seemingly solid understanding of the psyche of who the captain truly was. In my opinion, he was phenomenal in this character.
Following his smash hit Chris found several more lead characters as he played opposite Denzel Washington in Unstoppable, Reese Witherspoon & Tom Hardy in This Means War, as well as voicing Jack Frost in Rise of the Guardians. Chris Pine has been compared to one actor in particular, Harrison Ford. He is often cast as a charming but mischievous character but incredibly like-able (sounds like Harrison Ford to me).Those comparisons only grew as he was cast as the young Jack Ryan, a role made popular by Harrison Ford in the early 90's (Patriot Games & Clear and Present Danger).
Pillar Number Two.
Chris Evans has the longest, and largest collection of lead castings. His feature film debut saw him in 2001 in the teen comedy spoof, Not Another Teen Movie. Although it was basically deadpanned, he didn't stop on his pursuit of making a name for himself in Hollywood. He followed up with a couple lackluster films until he signed on to portray his first superhero which would be the springboard for his career and brought him to international stardom in 2005.
Fantastic Four was brought to live, and although the film was met with mediocre reviews it would get him the exposure needed to expand his comic hero status. Shortly after portraying Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four, and it's sequel Rise of the Silver Surfer - he took on the quick witted character of Jensen in The Losers.
Follow that up with a testosterone-induced villain of Lucas Lee in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World before finally finding the role of a lifetime as Steve Rogers/Captain America in The First Avenger - and he is now known for portraying several comic book based characters.
Much like many other superheroes after their casting is announced, many questioned the choice of Chris Evans because of his prior film history. Yet we were astounded while we watched him play out the story as if it were second nature.
Pillar Number Three.
Chris Pratt is the proverbial Cinderella story of Hollywood as he was both a stripper and homeless before his career took off. He is currently the booming 'it guy' in Hollywood. Chris began his acting career with a few panned comedies before he found success in supporting roles on both Everwood, The O.C. and ultimately landing a long term character on Parks & Recreation in 2009 which is where he truly came into his own as an actor in Hollywood and we all got to see how good he truly is.
Being a comedian is harder than it sounds, especially when it comes to being in a recurring role where everyone is constantly looking for the next joke to be a little bit better. Chris was able to deliver that consistently.
During the course of his time on Parks & Rec., Chris was exposed to a couple incredible opportunities which he jumped on and ultimately it changed the rest of his life, both personally and professionally. In 2011, Chris was cast in 2 movies which he starred with Anna Faris; whom he would eventually marry, in Take Me Home Tonight & What's Your Number? (also staring Chris Evans)
After a few more roles, Chris found what he had been searching for, his pay dirt. In 2014 and 2015 he started rolling in it as he voiced the main character of Emmett Brickowski in The Lego Movie and was seen in his first major action role as Peter Quill aka Starlord in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.
Guardians was truly where Chris crossed over from the comedy sidekick to the full fledged hero. Following his role as Peter Quill with being a lead in the latest dino-epic Jurassic World and you've got yourself a bonafide leading man. He travels the universe as a rogue hero and he tames Velociraptors! Pretty stellar career if you ask me.
Follow these 2 strong roles up with a reprise into his role as Peter Quill as we anxiously await Guardians 2 as well as The Magnificent Seven reboot where he stars opposite some of the other biggest names in Hollywood: Denzel Washington, Vincent D'Onofrio & Ethan Hawke.
Pillar Number Four.
Chris Hemsworth is the Aussie we all know and love. Finding the big screen for a few minutes as George Kirk, father of Chris Pine's James T. Kirk. Follow that up with a couple average movies of Ca$h and The Perfect Getaway which shows his ability to hold a lead role which brings us to his character that brought him to basically overnight super legendary international status as the God of Thunder, Thor.
2011 proved to be an excellent year for Chris as Thor was released and soon after the movie offers flooded in. He held lead roles in 4 films the following year: Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers, Snow White and the Huntsman & Red Dawn. Quite a packed year, yet it didn't halt his vault to incredible success. Even though some were met with only mild success, Chris continued to see the offers pur in as he followed up his stellar 2011/2012 with a reprise of his George Kirk character as well as another visit to Asgard in Thor: Dark World and the wonderful biopic, Rush, as he portrayed James Hunt.
His time in Hollywood may not be as long as any of the other Chris' but, his time has truly been well used and he has become the final piece that unifies my vision of the Chris-endom. He also has a solid looking lineup that he's building thanks to his efforts with Mjolnir.
In the next few years we could witness a universal shift in awesomeness as we see what these 4 actors have up their sleeves for us. The universe may actually implode as we watch the Chris-endom rise and stretch across the known universe