Define A-list?

This is my first blog post on this site, so please be kind. To introduce myself i thought i would start with a question that has puzzled me for a while. What is A-list and which famous people think they are top of the pile? Now, it seems pretty safe to assume that Brangelina are the A of the A-list with (what seems like) billions of tabloid stories and constant media coverage, and also career success. Angie, for instance, has had 7 movies break the 100 mil mark, one of those being the questionable Mr and Mrs Smith with the “Bra” part of the moniker, and a couple of Oscar nods to her name. Her biggest hit is surprisingly, Kung-Fu Panda. Add her “Saint Angelina” work to her kiddie appeal and Miss Jolie is certainly A-list status. But what of her ‘love rival’ (Heat’s words not mine) Jennifer Aniston? Sure she had a HUGE tv show in Friends, but that went off air six years ago. And since then her movie career seems to have faltered with only 3 of her 22 movies breaking the 100 mill mark and her latest ‘The Switch’ grossing only around 20 mill. So critical acclaim then? Well not really. She only presented at the Oscars and Golden Globes, where Ricky Gervais introduced her as ‘Rachel from Friends’. Ouch. Because Jennifer Aniston’s movies are not popular because of Jennifer Aniston. Ok! magazine is popular because of Jennifer Aniston. But i bet Miss Aniston would trade her career for Leo’s any day of the week. 

My point is, nearly all celebrities fit into of these categories;

Ultimate A-list: Brangelina, Leo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp etc

A-List Fringe (A-list by association): Katie Homes, David Beckham etc

Respectable B-list (may not have the longevity or profile of the A-list but still bankable/popular): Robert Pattinson, Helena Bonham Carter etc

Desperately trying to be A-list, B-list: Jennifer Aniston, Mark Wahlberg etc

Lower B-list but probably think they are A-list: Jennifer Gardener, Jessica Alba etc

C-List or lower: anyone thats ever been on the Hills or something with ‘Celebrity’ in the title.

In today’s fleeting and fluxing Celeb world, where Lindsay Lohan is considered a star, but more people saw the latest episode of Jersey Shore than her last 3 movies combined, we need to be stricter about who we call A-list or one day, someone called Snookie will be the most famous person in the world.



  1. Gerard McGarry

    Good post, MissAshleigh. And welcome to Shout! Hope you have fun blogging here!

    You pose a brilliant question, and I want to counter with another one: should we measure the ‘status’ of a celebrity on the financial value of their work or the critical/cultural value?

    Let’s take Robert De Niro – once acclaimed for his gritty film roles, he’s veered toward more lightweight material too – he’s appeared in more kids and comedy roles lately than the darker roles that launched him to fame. He’s still probably banking as much as he once was at the box office, but do the lighter roles mean he’s slipped as an A-Lister?

    Jennifer Aniston’s a funny fish as well. No, she’s not the box office draw that she could have been. I think she’s lazily fallen into romcom acting and hasn’t challenged herself in a while. But still, her name seems to be worth something. Her brand is still valuable. Though perhaps she falls into your A-List fringe category, because most of that interest comes from her relationship with Brad Pitt?

    Such a good topic. And I suspect we’re only at the tip of the iceberg with this discussion…

    1. MissAshleigh


      Surely A-listers are able to do both? Make money and bag oscars, be it in the same movies or not. Johnny Depp has a couple of movies in the highest grossing of all time list, but those aren’t necessarily the ones that got him the critical recognition.But he’s managed both throughout his career. Leonardo DiCaprio has managed to make critically acclaimed movies that make a lot of money pretty consistently since the 90’s. But it has the same outcome really. 

      I think Jennifer Aniston just wants to be liked by everyone, with her ‘girl next door but only if you live in Malibu’ image. Aniston has become pretty interchangeable with Kate Hudson or Jessicas’ Alba or Biel. She thinks she’s A-list and gets A-list size coverage(like you said, mostly from Brad or whoever else she is dating at the time) but acts like a D-lister in her career plan. I mean Meryl Streep would never release a perfume. Jessica Simpson would.

      1. Gerard McGarry

        Maybe you’re right. Maybe the true A Lister can be commercially successful all while creating great movies. Leonardo DiCaprio has been quite selective about his projects, as has Brad Pitt. Johnny Depp to a certain degree. The thing which sets many of these actors apart is that they aren’t afraid to take chances – sometimes they’ll do an indie film, just for the sheer hell of it.

        I also agree about releasing ranges of perfumes – they tend to be the last bastion of people who want to milk their fame for everything it’s worse. Hi, Britney!

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