The acting world is full of big names. They seem to cycle who’s popular, and who’s busy at any given time, but there are a few that just don’t get the accolades and recognition they deserve. While many actors rise to become household names for decade-long stretches, some are forever known as “Oh hey, it’s him! Wasn’t he in… um…”
Amongst them are some of my favourite actors. And here are just a few:
We all know this one. Headline act and Oscar snub extraordinaire DiCaprio has had a couple of rough movies to his name, but who hasn’t had the occasional goof in their career? The point is that the academy seems to be almost wilfully ignoring Leo for roles like Django’s Calvin Candie, Shutter Island’s Teddy Daniels, or the titular role in The Great Gatsby, more to the point ignoring the level of diversity that these roles demonstrate.
However, consistently getting lead roles in blockbuster films that offer a diverse range of acting opportunities is not exactly what one might call “unappreciated.” DiCaprio has the wealth of Jordan Belfort with (we assume) none of the drugs, so an Oscar-less trophy cabinet is a fairly mild loss in comparison.
It took way longer than I’m proud of to notice that Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, the plastic-capped lunatic from the Fifth Element was the same actor as Jim Gordon from the Batman trilogy. With that realization though I began to notice that Garry Oldman was in fact everywhere, suddenly springing up in all corners of cinema, jumping from villain, to protagonist, and backwards and forwards. At this point I have to say I’m only sure that he’s British because his IMDB and Wikipedia entries agree with eachother.
I have a definite feeling that Oldman enjoys villainy more though. Carnegie in Book of Eli, Zorg in Fifth Element, and Shen in Kung-Fu Panda, very different villains with very different motivations, and very different methods of going about their plots. Oldman is an incredible actor, so much so that it’s too easy to forget the actor, because on screen only the character shows through.
The man most commonly known for his role as Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter series actually pops up quite frequently in films. For example, in Anonymous he plays the dour William Cecil, a polar opposite to his character in London Boulevard, Jordan, who lives the carefree life of a personal assistant to a famous actress. The three roles could not differ more wildly, but of the three, only one gets trailer time or mention in a synopsis.
I was also surprised and overjoyed to see him pop-up in RED 2 as The Frog, and that really sums up how I feel whenever Thewlis shows up in a film.
I talk a lot about an actors ability to diversify, and the ranges that they can pull. Well Kingsley has had one hell of a diverse career. From playing Gandhi in 1982, to taking the mantle of the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, he took a slight detour as a bit part in Uwe Bol’s Bloodrayne. Good for him for keeping busy and all, but I really hope he didn’t think that was going to be a winner.
He’s a famous man, who has a vast number of titles to his name, along with a host of awards, but no one really appreciates the vast number of films he’s been in. Ben Kingsley gets work, and while he does get a little typecast as an administrator in various guises, he has an incredible range and a talent that can be applied to anything, but he deserves a few more headline roles than he gets.
I have a few questions for you guys. First, who is your favourite underrated actor?
Second, and far bigger, who do you think is the best actress working today? I have been racking my brain trying to think of an actress who is talented, and diverse, and no name has sprung to mind. Perhaps no female roles are sufficiently well written to offer an appropriate challenge for someone like, say, Eva Green, or Emily Browning. All the best female characters I’ve seen lately are all in Game of Thrones, and there are a few careers there that I will certainly be monitoring. That’s why my final entry in this list is basically all actresses.
There are a few exceptions of course, naming no KRISTEN STEWART names, but there are some… just… awful actresses out there. Of the talented ones though, I can’t think of any that demonstrate the kind of ability as their male counterparts, and that’s not because the talent isn’t there, it’s because I don’t feel that there are that many good female parts in the film industry right now.
I beg of you, prove me wrong!
Just don’t say Sucker Punch, I am not putting myself through that again.