Celebrity-obsessed people know that Hollywood is full of good looking individuals. We also know that being good looking is mostly what helps these celebrities to land their roles — well it’s actually, a combination of looks and talent. The measure of talent could be big or small, and there is a theory that has been going around for years: you cannot be both good looking and super talented– it is one or the other. This theory is proving to be valid, seeing as a lot of the actors who take on harder roles, and are willing to hurt themselves for the art of the craft, forfeit their looks or lack the best looks in the first place.
In a world where looks and sex appeal mean so much, it can be tough to break into the business without a chiseled jaw, an hour glass figure, sexy legs, etc. That being said, there have been a few people who have managed to get by on talent alone. They have worked their way from the bottom up, and played up their quirky looks, or personality. They have probably had a million doors shut in their faces and have been told time and time again to get this and that fixed. These actors are the ones who realized early on that their actual talent was going to get them where they needed to go. Believe it or not Hollywood will bend the rules for the right talent, they did for these twelve.
12. Ron Perlman
It is safe to say that Ron Perlman will never be considered gorgeous however, he has made it to leading man status. There is a good chance that when you think of Perlman you do not think of a brooding, beautiful specimen of a man. You think of really distinctive features, big features; you also think of some petty memorable acting roles. Role’s like Sons of Anarchy where he played a backstabbing, deceiving, manipulative Clay Morrow. And his time as a comic book character Hell Boy, Perlman has more than proved his ability to act and engage fans. It seems like the looks factor has not affected him.
11. Maggie Gyllenhaal
She is an academy award nominated actress, very talented, great smile but absolutely no sex appeal. Her role in the indie film Secretary was meant to be a sexy role but it just came off as awkward and embarrassing. That is about as sexy as she will get; however, when it comes to well acted, well thought-out roles Maggie Gyllenhaal is perfect in every way. She owns her craft and is so open to taking on roles that are outside of her comfort zone. It is refreshing to see a woman who does not rely on her sex appeal to get ahead in the business.
10. Gaby Hoffman
When you look back at articles written about Gaby Hoffman they rarely call her beautiful, good looking, or complement her looks at all. They do however call her talented, accomplished and artistic. Hoffman has been in the business since she was a child and while she went into seclusion for a little bit she came back in the perfect way. Staring in Transparent, her character is kind of like her; not very sexy, and flies under the radar. Hoffman puts her all into her work and while she does not have the standard Hollywood look she is doing pretty well for herself in a world obsessed with beauty.
9. Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill is on an acting high right now. He has proven that he can play serious roles, comedic roles; he is turning out to be quite diverse. He started out as a chubby fat guy in a comedy about high school but he quickly turned it around and ended up proving that he does not need to be 6ft and ripped to play in Oscar nominated films. Hill’s weight fluctuates, yet his talent stays the same thus proving that talent and looks have no correlation. Good luck explaining this to talent scouts who see your face first and your talent second.
8. Michael Cera
Michael Cera does not have your typical look; he is kind of geeky, does not have those coveted rock hard abs, and he is beyond awkward but those perfect quirks is what has made him a household name. Cera likes to fly under the radar when it comes to looks; although people are attracted to him simply because of his quirks and his awkwardness. He embodies the current hipster look (keep in mind if most of these hipsters shaved their beards they would not be cute). His talent will always be the key to his success in this business especially when the hipster phase passes and girls no longer believe that out of the box guys are cute.
7. Mayim Bialik
Blossom! She has come a long way from dancing in the opening credits of her 90s show. She was a cute kid and a pretty adult but not Hollywood pretty. Yet she still managed to land an Emmy nominated role on The Big Bang Theory. Mayiam Bialik is definitely not the typical Hollywood temptress. She is not a size 2, she does not have small features and she has worn glasses on the red carpet one time too many. Her work ethic has given her the opportunity to have a name in a business where she would look better working behind the scenes.
6. Ken Jeong
Ken Jeong took a risk when he left his job as a doctor to become an actor in his 40s no less. He is not what one would consider dreamy and a heartthrob. Besides his not so popular look he has managed to joke his way into the hearts of many, many people. His roles usually involve comedy and he has been able to get steady work despite his lack of looks. Jeong has stated that he feels very lucky to have success at his age in this business. Looks should be the last thing on his list for now; his talent is enough to keep him around for a few more years.
5. Steve Buscemi
Steve Buscemi has been in the business for almost thirty years; without the looks that says something. He was never the handsome leading man, he was a leading man just not the one leading because of his looks. He has the superior acting chops to get by on talent alone and this is what he has maintained for the past 30 years; his success has been with both television and movies and he has played a plethora of roles including dramatic, comedy and parody pieces. When you go to see someone like Buscemi in a film you can guarantee that you will not leave disappointed.
4. Whoopi Goldberg
Her name is very well known in this business; whether she is pissing off the masses with her The View co-hosts or starring in films that shoot right to the top Whoopi Goldberg is no stranger to success. She has been called everything from ugly to facially challenged however, this has not gotten in the way of her success. She has been in some great films and we can all admit she is not one to turn people on but without her we would have no Sister Act or better yet Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, soooo we can give her a pass.
3. Jeffrey Tambor
He makes an interesting looking woman. Jeffrey Tambor is no George Clooney, we all know this and feel pretty comfortable admitting it. Tambor is a great actor. He dominated the small screen on Arrested Development and has done it again on Transparent. Clearly Tambor does not need exceptional looks to push his way into the acting world, his talent alone gives him enough pull. Nevertheless, he is really not someone whose poster you would have on your wall. If you are looking for a good dry laugh this is your guy.
2. Tilda Swinton
She is so androgynous and most people find it confusing and find her unappealing. Looks aside, Tilda Swinton is crazy talented and continues to rack up great role after great role. She is especially powerful in indie films like We Need to Talk About Kevin and Byzanthium. She has won an Oscar, won a few BAFTA’s and nominated a number of times for a Golden Globe her talent is impeccable. Her ability to play different genders so comfortably is amazing to watch, she may not be sexually appealing to most but her talent sure makes up for that.
1. John C. Reilly
John C. Reilly pops up every few years and is featured in a film that gains so much success that you would not believe that he could play a role like that. Why can you not believe it? He does not have the looks to back up his success. His talent it tremendous and he puts so much into his acting roles that you have to give credit where credit is due. Since Hollywood is obsessed with looks, it is always a surprise that he has been as successful as he is. Even though he can play serious roles he has not given up on his comedic background and that is refreshing.