Do you remember watching a movie thinking to yourself that another actress deserved the part? Getting into the entertainment industry is a blessing, but the truth is there are many celebrities that are extremely talented and get typecast all the time or do not get the roles that they deserve. There are also times when an underrated entertainer and their career suddenly takes off when they least expect it. I will never forget when Jimmy Fallon had his breakthrough opportunity on Saturday Night Live. I predicted that in 10 years from that time that he’d be a more successful comedian, and it happened.
Before Lil Wayne became a hit rapper, back when he was still a screechy-voiced rapper in 1999, I knew he would make it. While these are success stories of underrated entertainers that finally had a fair shot at fame, there are many that have worked longer in the industry and are still being under-appreciated.
The meaning of success can be different to each and every entertainer. Despite their expectations, there are a lot of celebs that deserve more pay, more acting jobs and recognition for all they do.
The Academy Awards were on the hot seat earlier this year because of the lack of diversity for nomination at the Oscars, but you won’t find that issue here! Whether the celebrities on this list are comfortable where they are with their careers or not, here are the 10 amazing but underrated entertainers.
10. Jessie J – Singer
What can I say about Jessie J? She has the voice of an old school soul singer and can stand beside some of the best R&B singers in the industry. Her voice is full of energy, much like another UK singer, Angie Stone, who failed to have long-term success. Here’s hoping Jessie J is a little more lucky! Her summer hit song “Bang Bang” with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj helped put her career on the map, now we just have to see what she does next. The one thing that fans appreciate about Jessie J is that she doesn’t try too hard to sound soulful, and instead her voice comes out sounding natural. When Jessie J puts on a show, she really puts on a show.
9. Rashida Jones – Actress and Comedian
Rashida Jones is the daughter of music producer and record label executive Quincy Jones. Imagine the parties you would get to go to with that kind of connection! Not to mention all the celebrities you would meet would be enough to write a tell-all book.
To Rashida’s credit, many of you have seen her act in Parks and Recreation as Ann Perkins and as Karen Filippelli on The Office. Recently Rashida put her comedic personality to the test and made an R&B single called “Flip and Rewind”. In the music video Rashida dresses up in different outfits from the 90s, including a T Box from TLC! She has an amazing voice and a diverse personality and deserves to get more work in Hollywood. Who knows what the future holds for this free spirited actress, but we sure can’t wait.
8. Steve Buscemi – Actor and Film Director
If you don’t know his name, you will recognize the face. Steve Buscemi has had a successful, but low key career as an actor and film director. His resume includes acting in the movie Reservoir Dogs and the hit TV series about an Italian mob family, The Sopranos. One of my favorite roles Steve has played in was on the HBO show Boardwalk Empire as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, which aired for 4 years. Even though Steve has the talent to play in a variety of roles and genres, he has not received the accolades he deserves.
7. Miguel – R & B Singer, Songwriter
Did you know Miguel wrote hit singles for Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Janelle Monae? With those singers on the resume you would think he has won a Grammy by now. Miguel is also an R&B singer that became well known after his hit song “Adorn”. He is not as popular as Bruno Mars, but has the talent to match. Critics believe that because of his choice of feminine wardrobe style during his first album “All I Want is You” that he might be gay. While there is nothing wrong with that, it may play a big part in the industry failing to take him seriously.
6. Joy Bryant – Actress and Model
The lovely Joy Bryant started out as the face of one of the biggest clothing line campaigns in the ’90s, Tommy Hilfiger Bryant worked alongside Aaliyah and Kidada Jones, Quincey Jones daughter. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Joy has also modelled for Ralph Lauren and RocaWear.
Good luck and a winning personality helped her break into Hollywood with the movie Antwone Fisher. The film was also the first one to be directed by the incredibly talented actor Denzel Washington. Joy has also appeared in 50 Cent‘s movie Get Rich or Die Tryin.
Need more proof that she’s talented? Joy is also the star of the NBC family drama Parenthood. While she may have a variety of roles under her belt, we still wish she would get more time on the big screen.
5. Benjamin Bratt – Actor
Benjamin Bratt has entertained us since 1999 in a variety of films. Some of his highlights include Demolition Man, Miss Congeniality, Catwoman and Despicable Me 2. Some people also may know his face from the television show Law & Order, where he plays Detective Reynaldo Curtis. Besides his good looks, Bratt became a fan favorite because his character was strong, smart and compassionate.
We don’t see many Hispanic entertainers on TV, but he is without a doubt one of the best actors out there when he is called upon. Any time he is interviewed on talk shows, women give him a standing ovation because of his good looks and muscular appearance!
If there is anyone that needs more recognition in the game, it is Benjamin Bratt.
4. Chanel Iman – Model and Actress
In the world of modelling, there are only a few ethnic models that are able to be the face of multi-million dollar international campaigns. Chanel Iman is half black and Korean, which is a unique blend in the modelling world, but we hope to see more of! She has been modelling since the age of 12 with one acting job under her belt. Iman has also starred in the film Dope that was produced by entertainer Pharrell Williams.
Although Chanel walked in Victoria’s Secret runway shows from 2009 – 2011, we don’t hear much of her outside of this modelling gig.
3. Ken Jeong – Comedian and Screen Writer
If you watched the hit movie The Hangover, you have to remember Ken Jeong’s face as being one of the bright spots of the film. Jeong is easily one the most hilarious comedians in Hollywood right now, and did an equally hilarious job in his most recent movie Ride Along II with Kevin Hart. The one thing that stands out about Ken is his ability to improvise, often to really hilarious results. More recently, he plays a doctor in ABC’s TV series Dr. Ken which he has helped create.
2. Kate Mara – Actress
House of Cards was one of the most prominent examples of how amazing Netflix’s original programming can be. The show gave many upcoming entertainers an opportunity to shine and Kate Mara was one of them. She played a smart and risk taking journalist who saw her demise during the second season of the show. Despite the short amount of time on House of Cards, she did an amazing job. Mara also has an appearance on the outstanding television series American Horror Story.
Kate Mara’s father is the vice president of the New York Giants and her sister, Rooney Mara, is a fellow actress. Kate is also no stranger to the comic book movie world, appearing in the movies Fantastic 4 and Iron Man 2 in 2010.
1. Tracee Ellis Ross – Actress and Model
When you are related to one of the most prominent singers of all time, Diana Ross, you know expectations for your career are always going to be high.
Thankfully for us, Tracee Ellis Ross‘ humble personality mixed with her humor and acting talent has helped keep her in the lime light. Outside of television, Tracee is also known as a fashion icon, which only further goes to show just how talented she is.
From 2000 to 2008, Ross was outstanding in the television show Girlfriends. Now Tracee is lighting up the television screen as the star of the ABC hit shows Black-ish. Her costar husband is comedian Anthony Hamilton and the show has been getting high ratings since it began airing in September 2014. We want to see more of Tracee on the big screen, but the success of her television show may hinder that. Either way, let’s hope that there are more opportunities for her in the future.