Five Favorite Films

Sharlto Copley's Five Favorite Films

by | April 7, 2016 | Comments

(Photo by Getty Images / Chung Sung-Jun)


This week, Sharlto Copley stars in Hardcore Henry, an action adventure — with a first-person perspective — on which he also served as executive producer. Copley made his debut in Neill Blomkamp‘s 2005 short film Alive in Joburg, which was eventually expanded to the hit feature adaptation District 9, and his career progressed with films like The A-Team, Maleficent, Chappie, Elysium, and the Playstation television series Powers. We were excited to talk to Copley about his Five Favorite Films (Superman II came in at a very close sixth):

The Goonies (1985) 76%

I definitely have films that, for whatever reason, had an impact on me. One of the first ones is The Goonies, which I watched when I was a little kid growing up in South Africa. I actually came home from watching The Goonies and planned a whole movie that I recorded on the tape recorder. It was about some kids in a gang. They stumble upon a stolen piece of art. It’s actually not such a bad idea now that I think about it. [The Goonies] was definitely one of those films that I distinctly remember pushing me into, “This is what I’m going to do.” I’d been playing around with the camera, but that was like the turning point for me, The Goonies.

The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980) 85%

The first movie I ever saw in my life, interestingly enough, was The Gods Must Be Crazy. It was a South African movie. It’s ironic that years later, the next most commercially successful film from South Africa after The Gods Must Be Crazy is District 9. The effect was kind of an early imprint that South Africa belonged in motion pictures. Because there was nothing else for years, as I became an adult — or even a young man — I kind of realized it didn’t. Everything that South Africa made was terrible that I subsequently saw. Usually I was just ashamed of it. I was like, “Oh God, we make terrible television, we make terrible movies.” And even with Marius Weyers doing the South African accent — something that was uniquely South African and African could be commercial was just imprinted in my brain.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 93%

I think definitely Terminator 2 has to be in there. It was just masterful. The way [James Cameron] reversed the story for the sequel from the first one. I loved the first one, but I just thought… It was one of those rare occasions where the sequel topped the first movie for me.

Dead Poets Society (1989) 84%

Probably have to say Dead Poet’s Society, too. I’m a massive Robin Williams fan. Basically anything that he ever did.

Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) 47%

I was just a monumental fan of both Tony Scott as a director and Eddie Murphy. I suppose you can probably  tell now — and especially by if you watch Hardcore Henry, the performance styles of Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy, and Jim Carrey, that type of performance — Peter Sellers, which was obviously a bit before my time — but as I grew up going back and watching that, I love those kinds of actors. It’s  interesting all the sequels [I have] in here too [laughing].

Hardcore Henry  opens in wide release this week.

  • Sir Baronish

    This is a list of a man I can trust. He has genuine “favorite” films that mean something to him. No prissy choices that would clearly be movies that nobody would watch more than once yet somehow call “favorites.”

    • 5ubutai

      Yeah fuck those people who have seen films I haven’t seen.

      • Sir Baronish

        That’s not what I meant. What I was referring to was the often “pretentious” nature of a lot of “best of” lists, and many of them come across not as a list of favorites, but just as films they saw once and thought were great. THIS list, on the other hand, really DOES look like a group of films he really enjoys, and it gives you a good glimpse of his go-happy personality.

    • Max

      Just because you would never watch those films more than once, doesn’t mean no one would. Some people actually enjoy films for reasons other than mindless entertainment.

      • Sir Baronish

        I understand that. But this list fits the man’s personality, and I personally like the choices he made. He wasn’t afraid to veer away from the “greats” and voice a selection like “Beverly Hills Cop 2” because he enjoys it. For years and years when I would ask people their favorite films, I notice two trends: They either A) only have the classics (“Godfather”, “Casablanca”, etc) which is fine, or B) they label films that came out in the past year, which is also fine. I just like when someone mixes in some choices that nobody would expect, because it’s a film that they were entertained by and not swayed by public or critical acclaim.

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