New York City occupies a special place in our imagination. Whether it’s the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, or the tragic history of the World Trade Center towers, there is no other place in the world like New York City. A city of hope, of dreams, of the future, New York auditions have given the world some of the most talented, respected and successful entertainers in history.
The Internet Movie Database calls Al Pacino “[o]ne of the greatest actors in all of film history”, which itself is one of the greatest understatements of all time. There has never been a single force capable of commanding such authoritative and charismatic screen presence as Pacino, and there never will be. From defying Paramount Pictures with The Godfather in 1972, or winning his first Academy Award for Best Actor from eight nominations twenty years later in Scent of a Woman, Pacino – born in the Bronx in 1940 – has mastered both screen and stage, making an impact that is as unrivaled as it is unforgettable.
Robert de Niro
At the age of 10, Robert de Niro made his performance debut as the Cowardly Lion in his school’s production of The Wizard of Oz. It was a humble start for a man who would star in some of the most iconic films of all time – Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Godfather Part II, The Deer Hunter, and Goodfellas, to name just a sample. de Niro has also stepped behind the camera, directing The Good Shepherd in 2006 and cementing his role as one of the cornerstones of modern cinema.
It says a lot when five of the movie quotations on “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes” come not just from the same movie, but from the same actor. Humphrey Bogart’s cynical, romantic hero Rick Blaine in Casablanca established an archetype that defined not just a legendary movie, but an era of moviemaking. Considered by the American Film Institute as the greatest male star in cinema, Bogart’s legendary sex appeal and early passing – a lifetime of alcohol and tobacco led to the esophageal cancer that killed him at age 57 – is quintessentially New York City, where he was born on Christmas Day, 1899.
Imagine making $15,000,000 per assignment you do at your job. As one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood, that’s what Jennifer Lopez, born in the Bronx, gets. Actress, singer, businesswoman, American Idol judge, and ex-significant other to some of the hottest men in showbusiness, Lopez has made good on the promises and dreams offered by New York City, and, with a touch of Latina spice, taken them to stratospheric heights.
Born in Brooklyn, Barbra Streisand isn’t the first name that comes to mind as one of New York City’s biggest actresses, but consider this: she is one of only a handful of people to win an Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award. With Oscar nominations for Best Actress (won), and Best Picture as a Director, Streisand is the example of New York City’s unparalleled exceptionalism.