The Great Performances

Acting is an art form, and behind every iconic character is an artist expressing themselves. The Great Performances is a recurring column in which Jacob Trussell explores the art behind some of cinema’s best roles.

If you are new to reading this column, we suggest starting with these entries:

Browse the archive for The Great Performances below

Only Jeff Goldblum Could Make Us Fall In Love with ‘The Fly’

Even as his body slowly mutates into a giant insect, we can’t help but be enamored by Goldblum in David… Read More

The Secret Behind Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka

Eccentric and sinister, Wilder masks his iconic character’s true intentions behind a facade of charming cruelty. Read More

Cannes Revived an Acting Award Just to Honor Samuel L. Jackson in ‘Jungle Fever’

Before his name became synonymous with the acronym BAMF, Jackson delivered a devastating performance in Spike Lee’s sexual drama. Read More

How ‘Polyester’ Showed Divine’s Incredible Acting Range

Divine was cult film royalty, but his work in John Waters’ 1981 feature proved there was more to the performer… Read More

How ‘Bridesmaids’ Unlocked The Fearless Comedy of Melissa McCarthy

Not every actor gets an Oscar nomination for a comedic performance, but not every actor is as bold as Melissa… Read More

Mario Van Peebles Became His Father to Examine His Past in ‘Baadasssss!’

The younger Van Peebles delivers more than just an impression of Melvin Van Peebles in his biopic about the making… Read More

Awkwafina Defied Typecasting in ‘The Farewell’

The comic rapper turned actress broke our hearts with her quietly effective dramatic debut in Lulu Wang’s 2019 film. Read More

The Experiences that Helped Jennifer Lopez Become ‘Selena’

Between access to her family and a fateful press tour, Lopez was given a unique look into the late singer’s… Read More