Forget poring over glossy mags or trawling celebrity sites to find who’s hot and who’s not – science has found the answer to whether or not an actor is exiting the scene.
Using data from millions of actors from 1888 to now, scientists are now able to predict with 85 per cent accuracy whether or not an actor has reached the peak of their career.
Research released on Wednesday out of the UK used website Internet Movie Database (IMDb) to gather, analyse and interpret the careers of movie and television actors across all generations – some 1,512,472 actors and 896,029 actresses.
Not only can the method predict if a star is still on the rise, it also uncovered patterns of an actor’s career.
Unsurprisingly, the most productive stage of an actor’s career is at the start, particularly more so for women, whose longevity on the screen is likely to be shorter than their male counterparts.
So we’re more likely to be seeing more of Ryan Gosling than Emma Stone as the years progress, despite the pair’s successful screen history together: The IMDb analysis found men were more likely to score more jobs than women.
Again, unsurprisingly, the research cemented the theory of “hot streaks”: If an actor gets cast successfully one year, they’re likely to find themselves on a roll and pick up more work the following year. This feeds into the “rich get richer” cycle – or the big stars get even bigger.
This confirmation flows into another finding, that one-hit-wonder actors are the norm, rather than the exception.
It all makes sense, when you consider the unemployment rate for actors is a whopping 90 per cent, and just 2 per cent of professional actors are able to make a living within the industry.
It’s equally bad news for actors who have experienced “long latency periods” (Read: Off the boil for more than a year) – the data shows a comeback is rare.
Of course, there’s also the exception that makes the rules, and this study cited Matthew McConaughey as the comeback king.
So what does that mean for our most popular male and female actors of 2019, Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman respectively, according to Google?
A successful 2020.