Who do you think is the most talented actor in Hollywood? There are a few names that come to mind, but they tend to all have a quality that unites them. Versatility; it is the mark of any true great actor. It is one thing to have a niche that you fit in and to perform the same roles time and time again, but it can be all the more inspiring when you see an actor continue to defy expectations. When you start doing the same old routine, it makes it look like you just don’t care anymore, and while it may be good for a pay-cheque it hardly makes you look talented as an actor. The following actors may be loved by some audiences, but they aren’t exactly known for taking great leaps of faith with their film choices.
When it comes to some of the least versatile actors, they aren’t always the worst actors around. You can lack versatility, but still be good at what you do. In fact, you might be so good at playing that type of character that you’re never going to be able to escape it. Sometimes they just get sandwiched with a series and that can be damaging if the audience cannot detach the actor from the character. Jason Statham is great for what he is, but I don’t think he’s going to be making the ladies swoon anytime soon unless it’s with a pistol in hand.
Some of the least versatile actors can be some of the most successful, because at least Hollywood knows the formula of plugging in this actor has worked before, so why not try it again (…and again)? It can be great to do the same thing every time, but why not try and open up your wheelhouse a little bit more?
Here are the 10 least versatile actors that are sure to come to a theater near you, and do the same thing as always in the near future.
10. Adam Sandler
The one thing that Adam Sandler does with the most consistency is suck. The second thing he does is choose similar roles where he gets to pretend to be funny (but eventually just ends up being painfully cringe-worthy). One of the knocks on Sandler is the fact that while he has had dramatic roles in the past, they are few and far between and he is hardly a slam dunk in those performances. When your best roles are ones that people were talking about in the 90s, it might be worth it to mix up your act (or don’t because you’re rich, but still!).
9. Kevin James
There is nothing wrong with Kevin James as an actor, but there really isn’t anything all too special either. Kevin James perhaps struggled to break out of his niche because of the success of King of Queens. While it is great that he still found work in Hollywood, which some actors can struggle with after television, it doesn’t mean they were good roles. James’ roles also tend to have jokes centered around his weight, an all too familiar trend for actors that tend to be on the heavier side. I have no idea if Kevin James can do anything serious, and unfortunately as of late, I’m not too sure if he can do anything funny either. James’ career has become a string of sequels that are poorly received and show a lack of creativity in the actor.
8. Megan Fox
Can Megan Fox act? I don’t know if anyone can honestly answer that question. It did not help that she made her way to the mainstream in the Transformers series. Sure, the movies made a lot of money, but I don’t think anyone was talking about the dialogue or the stellar acting that was put on display by any of the actors involved. There was that one time that Megan Fox tried to be a killer in Jennifer’s Body, but there is little about her acting talent that is keeping her afloat in Hollywood. Given that one of her most promising roles coming up is a sequel to the TMNT franchise, I can’t imagine her career shifting in an interesting direction anytime soon.
7. Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy has done some really funny things. Fans of television (so y’know…people) may have fallen in love with her for her role on Gilmore Girls. McCarthy further implanted herself in Hollywood when she stole the show in the hit comedy Bridesmaids. Unfortunately for McCarthy, she then took the idea of a bumbling obnoxious (albeit funny) character and transferred it to enough of her roles that people started to get tired of it (see: Identity Theft, The Heat, Tammy). McCarthy is one of the primary cast members of the upcoming film Ghostbusters which is being cautiously regarded by critics and fans of the series (let’s just hope they keep the theme music).
6. Samuel L. Jackson
Do you know that Samuel L. Jackson is one hell of a badass? I mean, he might not be in real life, but that’s certainly the character that he tends to gravitate towards in almost all of his films. It’s hard to argue with taking roles that just feature badassery (including being a Jedi!), but once you’ve killed snakes on a plane, can you ever really go and try and do a romantic comedy? Jackson knows what works for him, and given that he rocked the heck out of Pulp Fiction I can give him a pass on his lack of versatility.
5. Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston will always hold a place in a lot of people’s hearts for her role as Rachel on FRIENDS. Despite the show being off the air for countless years, Aniston has yet to have an acting role that has really shown that she has any significant talent. Her resume is stock full of rom coms that are easily forgettable and required no depth as an actress. It’s unfortunate to be around as long as Aniston has, and have taken so few opportunities to expand as an actress. Her boldest attempt may have been in Horrible Bosses, which to her credit she was fantastic in.
4. Michelle Rodriguez
It seems that whenever Hollywood decides they need a “tough as nails” female character, Michelle Rodriguez is the one they call on. Of course, when she gets cast in the hit series LOST she plays a character that used to be a cop *eyeroll*. I guess she plays the role well? It’s really hard to say, it all just feels the same with her. It does not help that she has been in several of the Fast and the Furious films which help solidify her role as a tough badass.
3. Will Ferrell
There are absolutely times in Will Ferrell’s career where he breaks free from his usual comedic gigs. He does a nice job in Stranger Than Fiction, and even if his comedy feels the same, there was no denying the popularity of Ferrell. Unfortunately for Will, when you look back at the history of his career there was a long period where everything just felt the same. Talladega Nights, Blades of Glory, Semi-Pro; they were virtually the same, both in similar themes and in the characters portrayed within the films. Even his upcoming film Daddy’s Home seems like an all too familiar character that I am starting to have just seen far too many times from Will. Though if he wants to go ahead and make another Elf, that might be okay because that film is just delightful.
2. Michael Cera
Michael Cera is so soft spoken at times, it’s a miracle he doesn’t fade right into the background of any set. While he has had his stab at a few different roles, the “typecast” Michael Cera is still very much a thing. Now, I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I would totally get behind the idea of Cera toting a machine gun, but it would be nice to see him do something beside the awkward teenager. It was great to see him poke fun at that by going extreme the other way for his short lived cameo in This is The End. There is no doubting that Cera can act, it would just be nice if he took more chances.
1. Jason Statham
To be fair, there might not be a better action star/tough guy in Hollywood right now than Jason Statham. The man knows his niche, and has rocked the action tough guy in countless films. It was great fun to see Statham branch out a bit from the typical serious guy to make some jokes in the film Spy which was a success with critics and fans. There have been enough hints to show that Statham can act, but his role in film franchises (Crank, Fast and Furious, Transporter, The Expendables) only help keep him in the typecast role. Though if he starts coming after me, you definitely never heard any insults from me!