Santa Claus: 5 actors who played him in the cinema

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Since it’s almost Christmas, we tell you the 5 actors who played Santa Claus in the cinema. Do you know them all?

We know, the role of Santa Claus in the imaginary of the big screen it is iconic and the actors compete to play Santa Claus. Now, therefore, considering that we are getting closer and closer to the holidays, let’s see together which were the 5 best-known actors who took on his role.

Over the years, we’ve had dozens of pictures of Santa Claus (some even not very “holy”) because he is the symbol and embodiment of the Christmas festivities. So let’s stop talking and let’s see who were the interpreters who brought it to life.

Richard Attenborough in Miracle on 34th Street

Directed by Les Mayfieldthe film is a remake of the 1947 Christmas classic of the same name. In this version, little Susan (Mara Wilson) can’t believe Santa Claus exists. Her mother Dorey (Elizabeth Perkins) is the manager of a New York department store and in the midst of the holidays she is looking for the perfect Santa Clause who can play the part and take pictures with the children during these days. The chosen one, a troublesome drunkard, is replaced at the last moment with a nice old man, Kris Kringle (Richard Attenborough), whose reassuring appearance, complete with a white beard and a series of anecdotes about the life of Santa Claus that intrigue Susan. Thanks to her friendship with Kris, the little girl will really learn what the spirit of Christmas is. While not quite as successful as the 1947 original, Miracle on 34th Street give a textbook Santa Clause with the interpretation of Richard Attenborough.

Tim Allen in Santa Clause

There are perfect Santa Clauses, with a well-groomed beard, a desire to help children all over the world… and then there is Tim Allen who plays Santa Clause in the 1994 film of the same name. In fact, in its two sequels, he even manages to build an extended family for himself. We can also tell you that, as if that weren’t enough, Disney has called him back for his role in the series released this year on the Disney + platform and already renewed for a second season.

In the version with Allen, the actor plays Scott Calvin, a divorced family man who has no time for his son and accidentally kills Santa Claus, thus having to take his place. The original version was even more gritty, so much so that Disney wasn’t convinced they really wanted to finance this project. Considering how lucky he’s gotten, it’s a good thing he changed his mind.

Santa Claus: 5 actors who played him in the cinema

Tom Hanks in Polar Express

We know the oppositions that can be created by quoting Tom Hanks in Polar Express, because his was not a real interpretation in the flesh. But we just didn’t feel like not letting him appear on the list. And so, Tom Hanks it is! In the animated film Polar Express directed by Robert Zemeckisthe actor plays Santa Claus.

On Christmas night, the Polar Express travels to the North Pole, bringing with it some lucky children who will meet Santa Claus once they reach their destination. Among them is the protagonist of the film, unable to believe in the magic of Christmas. Will he be able to change his mind during this fateful journey?

We remind you that this was one of the first films to make use of the CGI technique with performance capture: in fact, Tom Hanks’ body and face were recorded with special sensors and then used to give life to the character of Santa Claus. In reality – and this is a small pearl that we want to leave you with – few know that the actor in this film has given life to six characters, including the protagonist himself.

Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa

What can we say about the Santa Clause of Billy Bob Thornton? If Tim Allen’s had some unpleasant sides, this one can only win the race. Bad Santa is an irreverent and foul-mouthed Christmas comedy, in which Billy Bob Thornton plays Willie, a promiscuous, alcoholic, petty thief who tricks a child into believing he is the real Santa Clause.

The film, directed by Terry Zwigoff, premiered out of competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Perhaps not everyone knows that Thornton wasn’t the first choice to play Santa Claus. Indeed, originally, the protagonist was supposed to be Bill Murraybut had to abandon the project to devote himself to Lost in Translation. After him had to turn to Jack Nicholsonbut Thornton was ultimately chosen.

David Harbor in A Quiet and Violent Night

Obviously – and the experts know it – the latest interpretation of Santa Clause that arrived at the cinema could not be missing from our list: that of David Harbour in A violent and silent night. Mixing action movies, gory moments and Christmas spirit, the actor made famous by his role in Stranger Things (and his Santa has something of Hopper) is a drunken Santa Claus who finds himself foiling the kidnapping of a family, taken hostage by a gang of criminals. A mix of genres and the convincing performance of the protagonist made the film directed by Tommy Wirkola already a cult among fans of films like these.

Well, after we have seen these protagonists with their films, we just have to ask you a question: who is your favorite?

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Magdalena Skrok is an accomplished writer who delves into the realm of new movies and TV series. With an unwavering passion for cinematic storytelling, Magdalena keeps readers informed about the latest releases, upcoming projects, and exciting developments in the world of entertainment.