Power players: Canada's top actors

Who's up and who's down in our second-annual ranking of the Top 15 Canadian actors dominating Hollywood.

For the second year in a row, Canadian Business brings you its annual Celebrity Power List, a ranking of Canadian actors who demonstrate serious clout in La-La land. Movement on the list — always a healthy sign — indicates Canada continues to produce serious talent. There are even two fresh faces: Avril Lavigne and Brendan Fraser.

A few didn't quite make the list, but came close enough to be considered junior power players. Among them are Ryan Gosling, who scored a major hit with real-life sweetie (and list-member) Rachel McAdams in 2004's The Notebook (Gosling's now mostly pursuing the indie route); Kevin Zegers, who starred alongside Felicity Huffman in 2005's Transamerica, a role for which Huffman received an Oscar nomination; and Shawn Ashmore, who played Iceman in the X-Men trilogy.

How did we do it?

We looked at four factors weighted equally: estimated salary, press clippings, number of hits on and TV mentions.

This last measure is slightly different from last year's use of TV appearances, which focused on the number of times an actor either made a stop by a show or was featured on a TV program.

This year we looked at how many times an actor was mentioned on television. Salaries are conservatively estimated and based on reported numbers or comparable reported figures, and the success of previous projects that feature the actor.

For TV actors, salaries are estimated for what that person could command for a season; for movie actors, they're estimated for future big-budget films. hits were measured on July 27.

All other factors are for the one-year period ended on July 27.

1. Jim Carrey

2005 rank 2 | Salary rank 1 | Web hits rank 4
TV mentions rank 1 | Press hits rank 3

Last year's No. 2 is this year's No. 1, thanks to improved web scores and a bump in the TV-mentions category. Born in Newmarket, Ont., Carrey remains the highest-paid Canadian actor in Hollywood; by our estimate, he's a member of the more-than-US$20-million-per-picture club. Carrey's next picture, New Line Cinema's thriller The Number 23, is directed by Joel Schumacher, co-stars Virginia Madsen and is slated for 2007 release.

2. Pamela Anderson

2005 rank 1 | Salary rank 7 | Web hits rank 1
TV mentions rank 4 | Press hits rank 1

The lady from Ladysmith, B.C., slipped from last year's No. 1 spot, thanks to the cancellation of her TV show Stacked. Her marriage to Kid Rock, in July, kept her in the spotlight.

3. Keanu Reeves

2005 rank 3 | Salary rank 2 | Web hits rank 3
TV mentions rank 5 | Press hits rank 5

With two new flicks this year, notably A Scanner Darkly, in which Reeves plays an undercover cop with a drug-induced identity crisis, the Toronto-raised star maintains his No. 3 spot.

4. Kiefer Sutherland

2005 rank 7 | Salary rank 3 | Web hits rank 8
TV mentions rank 3 | Press hits rank 2

Tune in next January for the sixth season of Fox's 24 to see if Kiefer Sutherland's character Jack Bauer will ever get to live happily ever after with Audrey Raines. Sutherland will reportedly earn US$40 million for the next three seasons of 24; a feature-film version is in the works.

5. William Shatner

2005 rank 5 | Salary rank 6 | Web hits rank 6
TV mentions rank 2 | Press hits rank 6

Shatner was nominated for a 2006 Emmy for his role as Denny Crane on ABC's Boston Legal series. So was the doc he hosted and narrated, How William Shatner Changed the World, which looks at how Star Trek influenced contemporary developments in science and technology.

6. Mike Myers

2005 rank 4 | Salary rank 4 | Web hits rank 5
TV mentions rank 10 | Press hits rank 4

Though Myers slips to sixth from fourth place this year, his star may rise again with a starring role in a new comedy for Paramount Pictures, based on the character Pitka, a New-Age self-help guru.

7. Avril Lavigne

2005 rank NEW | Salary rank 15 | Web hits rank 2
TV mentions rank 8 | Press hits rank 7

The 21-year-old pop-punk newlywed from Napanee, Ont., made her film debut in May as the voice of Heather the opossum in DreamWorks' Over the Hedge.

8. Rachel McAdams

2005 rank 12 | Salary rank 12 | Web hits rank 11
TV mentions rank 6 | Press hits rank 8

The ingenue with the sweet-as-pie smile rose in this year's rankings, possibly thanks to her role as Claire Cleary in last summer's Wedding Crashers.

9. Matthew Perry

2005 rank 8 | Salary rank 8 | Web hits rank 10
TV mentions rank 11 | Press hits rank 11

Next up for former Friends star Perry is a role as exec-producer Matt Albie in Warner Bros. Entertainment's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which airs this fall.

10. Brendan Fraser

2005 rank NEW | Salary rank 5 | Web hits rank 7
TV mentions rank 14 | Press hits rank 15

Born in Indianapolis, Ind., Fraser attended Upper Canada College, in Toronto, then later made his dramatic feature film mark in School Ties, a drama set in a private school. A 2006 Canada Walk of Fame inductee, the actor is executive-producing New Line Cinema's update of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, 3-D, for 2007 release.

11. Hayden Christensen

2005 rank 6 | Salary rank 9 | Web hits rank 9
TV mentions rank 12 | Press hits rank 13

With no Star Wars vehicle to boost his profile this year, Christensen slipped from sixth to 11th place. Watch for him in George Hickenlooper's Factory Girl, due to be released in 2007.

12. Eric McCormack

2005 rank 9 | Salary rank 10 | Web hits rank 15
TV mentions rank 7 | Press hits rank 12

Having wrapped his eighth and final season of Will & Grace, McCormack is now working on two film projects: a sequel to Free Enterprise, and Stand by Love.

13 Sandra Oh

2005 rank 14 | Salary rank 13 | Web hits rank 14
TV mentions rank 9 | Press hits rank 9

Earlier this year, Oh won a Golden Globe for her role as medical intern Cristina Yang on ABC's Grey's Anatomy; the show's season première airs on Sept. 21.

14. Ryan Reynolds

2005 rank 10 | Salary rank 11 | Web hits rank 13
TV mentions rank 14 | Press hits rank 10

Next March, Vancouver-born Reynolds co-stars with Entourage's Jeremy Piven in a new crime/buddy flick from Universal Pictures, Smokin' Aces, set in Las Vegas. His last pic, the romantic comedy Just Friends, was released in November 2005.

15. Evangeline Lilly

2005 rank 13 | Salary rank 14 | Web hits rank 12
TV mentions rank 13 | Press hits rank 14

Season three of ABC's Lost premières Oct. 4, which also means the return of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.'s own Evangeline Lilly to her role as feisty Kate.