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Totti Today #43: Assessing the actors

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Ciao, arrivederci, alla prossima volta! The curtain falls on season 2014-2015 and so the time is right for another good ol’ fashioned squad review. The past nine months were filled with ups and downs, some players disappointed, some surprised us. Who stays in the Roman hall or fame? Who needs to pack his bags ASAP?

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Second place. Coppa Italia quarter-finals. Europa League Round of 16. 17 points behind Juve in Serie A. 19 wins, 13 draws, 6 losses. Only 54 goals in 38 games. Compared to last season: 26 wins, 7 draws, 5 losses. 72 goals scored. Theoretically Roma did worse than 2013-2014, but it practically achieved the same result: no prizes, second place. Albeit with a busier schedule than Rudi’s first season in charge. Don’t underestimate the consequences of European midweek games. Yet, there was enough room for criticism and displeasure. In August the tifosi hoped for something more. A step forward. But Roma clearly stagnated this season.

Who can still visit Trigoria with their heads held high, who must leave the city because he’s simply not worth of the red and yellow colors? Here is JonAS’ very own Roman season review 2014-2015 with a special mention to Hollywood and its known and lesser-known actors.

Portieri

Lobont: The Val Kilmer Award. He’s getting older and rarely featured in Rudi’s plans. Gained some weight too, not in top physical shape anymore. He was decent, even good at best but he’ll never be remembered as a stud. Career with high and lows. Time to part ways?

De Sanctis: The Michael Douglas Award. Another oldie but goldie this time. Still has the charm, flair, je ne sais quoi. Maybe he’s getting a bit rusty but he’s more than a capable, solid option if things go wrong during your castings.

Skorupski: The Kit Harington Award. Young, looks promising, popular with girls but hasn’t really set the world on fire with his skills. Yet. Maybe it’s time for him to pick some real Hollywood challenges instead of playing it save and sticking with TV series. Uncertain future but he can make it if he works hard.

Curci: The Roberto Benigni Award. You only like him because he’s Italian. So yeah, he can stick around, why not? In Rome la vita è sempre bella.

Difensori

Maicon: The Kevin Costner Award. Solid choice, if you still live in the 90’s back when Oasis was popular, Michael Bradley had hair, a smartphone would be considered alien technology and Parma FC wasn’t bankrupt. Now? His prime is far beyond us now. Plus, he’s too costly for what you get… Got it? Too COSTly? KEVIN COSTNER?

Torosidis: The Vince Vaughn Award. You see, he makes it hard to hate him. He’s a loveable guy and makes me laugh at some points. He usually does his job but when you want to produce a real blockbuster and a shot at the Oscars, he’s not your guy. He could always stick around in case one of your lead actors gets severely ill though.

Cole: The Jeff Goldblum Award. A big star back in the day. But anno 2015 you might want to look at fancier actors than him. At his age he’ll probably aim for one more big fat paycheck but it’s not gonna be your movie. And be thankful for that because he’s damn expensive.

Holebas: The Danny Trejo Award. He looks like a badass Mexican cop who’s addicted to drugs and punching unfriendly people in his vicinity. But nowhere near a talented actor. I like him though and he’s funny to watch. How about a cameo here and there?

Balzaretti: The Christopher Lee Award. Dear, oh dear. How can this man still be standing on his legs and doing his job? A household name and loved by many. Yet, all things must come to an end. Time to draw a line under your career my man. It was fun while it lasted and you truly gave us some special (TV) moments. Grazie per tutti!

Manolas: The Liam Hemsworth Award. He’s young, muscled, a commanding presence. But he’s still learning the business. Yes, he’s error-prone and I witnessed some dubous decision-making in his career. But he’s a quick learner. Stay around kid, I have a feeling we’ll need you a lot in our next movie.

Astori: The Adam Sandler Award. Ok, he has his flaws and his name is covered in controversy. But no one is perfect and he’s the best example. He tries and therefor he has my sympathy. Would I cast him in my next movie? I’m doubting, it’s 50-50 for me. Depends if there are any better actors with a reasonable paycheck.

Yanga-Mbiwa: The Jason Biggs Award. Like Astori a controversial figure. But boy when he finally delivers the goods, it’s a bull’s eye (American Pie franchise, in case you don’t have a sense of humor and haven’t seen them). Still, you can’t keep relying on that sole achievement for the rest of your life. He’s not that young anymore, he’s actually in his prime and his career looks mediocre so far. What you see is what you get, question is: are you happy with that?

Castan: The Macaulay Culkin Award. Life has been unfair to him, he has gone under the radar for a while now. A cruel, harsh destiny. But you can bet your house on it: when he returns and has his head settled, he’ll be back to his best. Just make sure he’s surrounded by professionals during his treatment. You never know if he goes AWOL again.

Spolli: The Eric Roberts Award. Mostly B movies, typical supporting actor. He won’t get you a BAFTA or Emmy that’s for sure. Comes in handy if you’re looking for extra bodies but that’s it. A waste of money in my opinion.

Centrocampisti

Radja: The Mel Gibson Award. A bit (a lot actually) crazy but God I love him. A fighter with a bad attitude but this kind of actor will dedicate himself 100%. Never gives up, interesting character. Can handle a lot of different roles. Definitely keep him in your ranks for your next project.

Strootman: The Steven Seagal Award. The only obvious award. He cleans up your f***** mess, anyday, every damn day. Enough said.

Pjanic: The Christoph Waltz Award. This one’s special. He’s more of an artist, a special breed. Clearly he deserves a place in the lineup but other directors might want to nab him away. Recently he has been underperforming a bit (Muppets, Horrible Bosses 2) but his highlights (Django, Inglourious Basterds) are top notch. Form is temporary, class is eternal. Don’t lose him now. His departure will only come back to haunt you.

De Rossi: The Matt Damon Award. He’s had a great career so far but lately he’s been out of the spotlights. Shame because he has a lot of talent. Nevertheless, he needs to stay and guide the young blood of the crew. And who knows, maybe he’ll even sip from the fountain of youth and give you one more blockbuster?

Keita: The Michael Caine Award. Looks like a professor. He’s nearing the twilight of his career but has tons of experience to share. Trustworthy figure. A father figure. Is there enough room for him? If the financial department says so, then I’d give him one more movie to honor him and let him end with a bang. No harm in a good mix beween young and proven actors, right?

Florenzi: The Chris Pratt Award. Talking about a rising star! Tie him up, let him sign that contract ASAP. He won’t let you down. That is, if you have the ideal role for him of course. He needs a director who can bring out the best of him. On the road to become a household name for years to come.

Paredes & Ucan: The Cody Simpson & Jaden Smith Award. Ooof, so so young. Not ready for the big world yet. First let them grow some chest hair via other projects and introduce them when the time is right. But monitor them closely, just in case one of them explodes on scene.

Attacanti

Doumbia: The Will Ferrell Award. He’s funny to look at. Comical figure, looks a lot older than he actually is. Not oozing with talent although he has some well-known work. If he’s your lead actor then your movie’s gonna have a hard time. Too much of a gamble.

Iturbe: The Taylor Lautner Award. Rough around the edges, still waiting to make his mark. He has believers and doubters. Too early to exclude him from your cast. It took a lot of effort to clinch him so keep the faith. Sign him up for at least one more movie and then we’ll talk again about his potential.

Gervinho: The Jim Carrey Award. One of your most controversial additions. It’s always hit or miss with this one. Criticism is never far away. He looks a bit freaky but it’s just his nature. A bit too one-dimentional at times, very predictable. Whether he’s in or not depends on your ideas. Simply want to have a good time? Keep him. Want to aim for the moon? Meh, better search for more serious and capable actors.

Ljajic: The Zac Efron Award. Decent at best, some moments of brilliance here and there (Neighbors was funny). But he should be delivering blockbusters right now. It’s difficult to keep protecting and rewarding him when others maybe deserve it more. Another casting or not? It’s a toss-up really.

Ibarbo: The Ron Jeremy Award. What? Apparently Jeremy’s known as one of the top male porn stars of all time (yes, I had to look that up, risking a lot of spam just for your entertainment guys). And given Ibarbo’s nickname in Church (Big Dick Vick), this choice was a no-brainer. But really, are you seriously considering a porn star to make an appearance in your next movie? Think wisely.

Verde: The Jamie Dornan Award. Shot to fame in 2014-2015. Early to say if he’s gonna make it as a lead actor in AAA movies and win famous prizes. But his development will be interesting to watch. Just make sure you keep tabs on this boy.

Totti: The Leonardo DiCaprio Award. One of the finest talents of his generation. He still feels (and looks) like a 20-year-old. Sadly he has won too few prizes during his splendid career. Everyone’s hoping for at least one Oscar/BAFTA before he says goodbye to the industry. And boy is it gonna be a sad day when that happens. Just give him carte blanche and he’ll not disappoint you. A true professional.

Allenatore

Garcia: The Steven Soderbergh Award. They still have time on their side (both are in their early 50s) but they’re not making the right choices nowadays. A little while ago both were considered a future star (Ocean’s Eleven, Traffic – Lille, first season at Roma) but so far they have yet to join the real upper class. Think of a Ferguson, Ancelotti, Mourinho or a Spielberg, Tarantino and James Cameron. Something’s missing and I sincerely doubt if they will ever be named in the earlier mentioned list. Hiring him for one more movie is risky but then again, bigger and badder directors tend to ask for more money and resources. Difficult choice!

*Special mention: Destro: The Channing Tatum Award. The way Mattia dances around them corner flags, he would be a perfect fit for any Magic Mike movie! Channing could learn a thing or two from Milan's our boy.

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There you have it guys, a big chunck of Hollywood extravaganza. Since Serie A is now officially done and dusted, Totti Today might take a small break for now. But I eagerly await the arrival of silly season and we all know Summers in Rome are always a heated affair, literally and figuratively… Thanks for your support during 2014-2015 and be on the lookout for the next Totti Today!