10 Movie Roles That Will Redefine Your Perception of the Actor

Photo of author

By Wanda

These movie roles became the space for known actors to step out of their comfort zones and blend into different roles.

Movie performances can go beyond ordinary expectations and showcase the actor in a unique way. Hollywood does not believe in risk factors. Hence, it assigns a particular actor to similar kinds of roles. Characters with common mannerisms fall prey to this pattern but there are fortunately movies that change a certain perception. A few actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, and Will Ferrell are highly versatile and can adapt any character even after following a common cinematic pattern. The true joy of being an actor lies in shapeshifting himself to fit a given role.

10. Jim Carrey (Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind)

Jim Carrey gained fame for his highly energetic comedic movies like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask. But Carrey has proven how his abilities as an actor transcend beyond comedy. He showcased his emotional aspect in The Truman Show, but it’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that brings out his sensitive side and stands as a huge success in Jim Carrey’s career.

9. Helen Mirren (Red)

Dame Helen Mirren is known for her versatility in theatre and cinema, often pertaining to a similar tone of character. Her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth and the character in Gosford Park often let her be related to costume and period dramas but she’s so much more. Her unforeseen role as an assassin in the action-drama Red stood out as a major success, going beyond expectations and surprising the audience.

8. Will Ferrell (Stranger than Fiction)

Will Ferrell is also known for portraying loud-mouthed characters who at times lack intelligence. His famous movies like Anchorman, Elf, and Stepbrothers and known for his portrayal of silliness in the character. His performance in the comedy-drams Stranger than Fiction as someone very soft calm and tender is what surprised the audience. The movie also stars Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, but Ferrell is associated with a role that breaks from the comedic type. Stanger than Fiction asks philosophical questions about dramatic irony and fortune, showcasing Ferrell’s ability to come out as a versatile actor and infuse subtle humor in his role in the movie. 

7. Tyler Perry (Gone Girl)

Tyler Perry gathered huge success in his plays and various cameos as Madea in the Madea film series. Due to his central focus on his own films and plays, he seldom takes on other projects. His notable performance in Gone Girl revolves around a supporting performance as a lawyer that transcends beyond ordinary work. Although the movie received mixed reviews, his role was highly praised, proving his versatility as an actor to infuse comedy in the most serious roles.

6. Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse)

Robert Pattinson is a highly acclaimed actor after his role in The Batman. But the Twilight films drew him to a similar character pattern. His serious performances can be found in movies like The Lighthouse where his remarkable performance beside William Dafoe proved his brilliance as an actor. Another underrated film, Good Time, also helped prove his credibility as an actor.

5. Marlon Wayans (Requiem for A Dream)

Marlon Wayans is known for comedy films like White Chicks and Scary Movie and hasn’t received acclaim as an actor. Thus, his performance in the ordinary but prestigious film, Requiem for a Dream is unexpected. This intense thriller by Darren Aronofsky revolves around a drug addict who is messed up in a downward spiral and correctly captures the tension, fear, and anxiety related to addiction. The movie portrays Wayan’s versatility phenomenally.

4. Adam Sandler (Punch Drunk Love)

In Punch-Drunk Love, Adam Sandler breaks away from being a comedic actor to portray Barry Egan, a lonely and sensitive man who falls in love with Lena, starring Emily Watson. The film brings out Sandler’s ability to showcase himself as a highly vulnerable and not-so-simple character. It is a standout film that proves his versatility very noticeably.

3. Kristen Stewart (Spencer)

Kristen Stewart grasped the chance to break away from her popular role as Bella Swan. The film Spencer stood out in her career where she portrayed Princess Diana and delivered a phenomenal performance in the field of historical dramas. Spencer is so gripping that it can easily be compared to a horror movie. Stewart brings out the essence of Diana in her role and proves her versatility.

2. Tom Cruise (Magnolia)

Tom Cruise is popular for his action-packed roles and is framed within one character type. But in the 80s and 90s, he strengthened his iconic status and took on more versatile roles. Films like Eyes Wide Shut and Born on the Fourth of July received critical acclaim during this time.
It’s Magnolia, that stands out where Cruise performed exceptionally. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the movie is famous for its dialogues that combine humor and drama. It uses Tom Cruise’s sharp wit and the ability to convey emotions, which is what sets the movie apart.

1. Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls)

Eddie Murphy is famous for his comedic roles but he has not enjoyed a consistent level of success in the 21st century besides his work in the Shrek movies. His memorable performances in the 80s and 90s have been in films like Coming to America and Beverly Hills Cop. But his performance in the musical Dreamgirls in 2006 marked a major turning point in his career. He delivered a performance that deserved both an Oscar and also earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He won a Golden Globe for his work to showcase himself brilliantly in more dramatic and musical roles.