A cry-face is like a snowflake; each one is a special and unique work of art. For that reason, ranking the effectiveness of cry-faces is harder than you’d think. We took a whack at the task, and are proud to present our top ten cry-faces in Hollywood, judged by believability, tear duct dexterity, and lip-quiver technique. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “cry-face,” it’s exactly what it sounds like — the face an actor makes when he or she cries, of course! Simple as that.) Check out our rankings after the jump, and hit the comments to let us know who would top your own list of oh-so-intense criers.
Despite playing notorious crier Cry-Baby Walker, Johnny Depp ranks tenth on our list. Why so low? Well, this cry-face is essentially just Depp’s day-to-day face with a bonus teardrop. Sure, it’s intense, but it’s nothing new. We’re still waiting for Johnny Depp to completely lose his cool in a crying scene, which is physically impossible when you’re cool 110% of the time. Better luck in the next life, JD.
Good effort, Cowardly Lion, but when The Wizard of Oz is paused, we can never tell whether you’re violently yawning or sneezing. Let’s see some tears, you big softy.
James Van Der Beek
Oh, we’re going there. This “sad Dawson” face is simultaneously beautiful and disgusting. We’ll rank it at #8.
Diane Keaton has always been able to seamlessly flip her “over the top” switch on and off like a light, and her Something’s Gotta Give crying scene is just about as over-the-top as a crying scene can get. Since this face is about 80% humorous and 20% intense, we’ll leave our beloved Keaton at #7.
“Her?” Yes, her. We wish we could rank all of our top six cry-faces as #1, because they’re all fantastic. Mae Whitman has been a master of the heartbreaking cry-face since she was a youngster (click here to see a tiny Whitman crying in Hope Floats), and has pretty much cried throughout the past two years of Parenthood.
Oh, Natalie. Your cry-face could look like Voldemort’s face and the world would still adore you. You don’t hold back, and that’s what’s important. Honorable mention/similar crier/another actress with an “N” name: Nicole Kidman.
Inside of that tough-guy Breaking Bad shell, Jesse Pinkman is just a somewhat unreliable teddy bear. When he cries, we cry. Remember that time Aaron Paul was super ecstatic to win a desk on The Price is Right? That has nothing to do with crying, we just really love that video.
There are entire Tumblrs and SNL skits devoted to the intensity of this cry-face, so of course Ms. Danes ranks above most others. We are, however, going to spice it up a bit and stick her in third place — not just because you expected us to put her at #1, but also because that would be an insult to two of the greatest criers in Hollywood history.
Laura Dern pretty much invented the cry-face, the most famous instance of which was the above expression from Blue Velvet. Dern’s mouth is capable of creating all sorts of bizarre cry-shapes, and for that reason, she’s #2. Ready for #1?
We’re sure you were thinking, “Who could have a crazier cry-face than Claire Danes and Laura Dern?” Surprise! It’s Charlie Brown. This kid doesn’t mess around. To see more (and to maybe even do some crying yourself), fire up Snoopy, Come Home.