It seems to me that Hollywood could do a much better job of showcasing beauty than it has in recent years been doing. I was watching some films from the 30s, 40s and 50s, and noted that most of the females onscreen, whether they had a significant role or not, had a more preferable sort of beauty (to me) than most current actresses– dependent on fine facial structure, proportion, symmetry, etc – I suppose lumped under the designation “classic” nowadays. (This extends to males in some degree, as, say, Paul Newman for example is quite a bit more “traditionally” handsome than perhaps the entire batch of contemporary male stars.) As I understand it, studios would often sign contracts with found beautiful women much in the way a wily booker or a Meisel or Testino can pluck someone from obscurity. While I think the development of acting as a craft or art has been an overall improvement for cinema (I prefer to watch more naturalistic acting), I do think some of the people who decades ago would be matinee idols have been diverted into the modeling world, where an extraordinary physicality is even more of an asset. My concern is that I nowise see an emphasis on talent dictating who gets what roles, and neither does necessarily the prettier woman or more handsome man, so essentially the current casting system focuses on a mélange of potential actor’s drive, looks, connections, and a nebulous concept called talent. This last I wish to speak of for a moment. Many may object to my desire to see more beautiful people onscreen as antithetical to an appreciation for acting, and that most of these models couldn’t act their way out of a paper bag, or something along those lines. Well, I would counter that numerous actors and actresses have essentially stumbled into their acting success, learned on the job, and while not necessarily being “naturals”, worked their way into an undeniable competency: Johnny Depp, Charlize Theron, Diane Kruger, Mark Wahlberg to name at random, and the list goes on. My point would be that most people who put a genuine effort into acting should be capable of at least the occasional good performance (excepting Keanu Reeves of course), so I don’t see why having an exceedingly pretty face would make one an exception. With that said, I’m wondering which of today’s crop of models would you most like to see on celluloid, and why? The Twilight phenomenon has immediately brought to mind candidate pretty young people who could have been better choices for vampires than Summit Entertainment’s choices. Firstly, I think there are dozens of males more suitable for a “gorgeous” pale-skinned Edward than Robert Pattinson. I think if Mathias Lauridsen were onscreen, and shot well, he could possibly induce the sort of hysteria reserved for Leo circa 1996, and indeed I think the man loses nothing to Paul Newman in comparison, though I acknowledge few might agree. Then, instead of hiring Channing Tatum as a model-cum-actor lacking an acting background, why not hire the notably handsome Sean O’Pry? Am I to take it Mr. Tatum has more acting chops? I also think Danny Schwarz or Ryan Taylor or Taylor Fuchs could work fairly well onscreen. Dornan did decently in Marie-Antoinette, wouldn’t you agree? Considering women, I think the Bond films could easily cast some commercially-suitable models, like Doutzen as a Dutch temptress (instead of Denise Richards!). I think an Edita (or Hilary, or Maryna, or Eniko, etc.) running around as eye candy in an action movie would intrigue even the most crudely heterosexual males at least as much as Megan Fox has (at least judging from my own reaction), and I take it some of these models could perform in more meaty fare as well. I think Lily D. embodies a certain elegance ripe for a “sophisticated” romance film. I could see Ali Michael playing any number of young woman or high-school girl roles, maybe infringing a bit upon Ellen Page’s or a younger Alison Lohman’s imaginative space (Nastassja Kinski in Tess, sans the Polanski associations, also comes to mind). I would have also liked to see Jourdan Dunn represent some young black women onscreen, as well as any number of great non-white models, which could be an interesting experiment in observing how conceptions of beauty can permeate. In the interest of brevity and laziness, I now conclude my rambling and incoherent remarks and solicit your own takes on this subject.