More and more movies get released every year, and something that seems to happen along with that is more and more actors and actresses appear in front of us. Some we have never heard of, some we have seen maybe one too many times, and some we never get sick of seeing. These are the actors that we know are going to give us a show we’re going to love, the ones who never disappoint us or fall from grace, the ones we can count on for a good movie and a great piece of entertainment.
In Hollywood, some seem to definitely get luckier than others as far as box office success goes. But, is this really luck? Or is it more their raw talent? Their ability to see a good movie and go for it with all they have? Honestly, it seems like a mixture of all of them. No one can predict exactly how a movie will do in theaters, or if it will even make it to theaters. Some movies flop unexpectedly, and some movies sell out for weeks.
These actresses and actors though, seem to notice something in a script, in a description, in a character or director. They know that something great will happen when they play that role, and they put their all into that movie. With the string of remakes and spin-offs in theaters lately, there have been quite a few movies that have fallen flat of expectations of the past few years. So in a time like that, it’s even better to think of the classics that so many of us grew up with. The movies that we still watch on nights when we get to relax. Many of these actors and actresses are in those movies.
15 Uma Thurman
Uma Thurman has had a brilliant career in Hollywood. She is the face of the Kill Bill franchise as The Bride, and showed us how amazing getting revenge can be. She was the ideal tough chick, that every little girl that had ever been bullied- like Thurman was as a child- wanted to be. On top of all that, she had an amazing role in other films such as Pulp Fiction, Gattaca and Les Miserables. She has won an impressive 22 awards over the years, and has been nominated for 58, including one Oscar nomination. While she had some blunders while trying to break into the scene, Thurman has accumulated an impressive list of titles and eccentric characters in her years acting.
14 Tim Roth
Like Uma Thurman, Tim Roth is one of the lucky actors in director Quentin Tarantino’s, approved circle. He has appeared in many of the director’s famous movies, such as Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and the most recent of his films- The Hateful Eight. Roth has a talent for imitating accents and therefore can play a number of different roles in his films. You can really see his wide breadth of acting talent in his more humorous role in Tarantino’s Four Rooms and a musical- where he sang with an American agent nonetheless-- called Everyone Says I Love You. He even worked with Tupac Shakur in the last film Shakur starred in before his death- Gridlock’d. While Roth has not worked in as many movies recently, the ones he starred in were always gold on the screen. Seeing his name on a poster meant you were going to get what you paid for and more at the theaters, especially when he and Quentin Tarantino teamed up.
13 Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino is known mostly as a phenomenal director and writer, but he is actually a great actor, too. He usually takes on a smaller role in his own films, but often shines through pretty well. He’s honestly probably on this list, for only starring in good movies, because he mostly stars in his own films. He has had some great and iconic movies in the past couple decades that have turned into instant classics: Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, Jackie Brown, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, among others. He has a talent for finding amazing stories and shaping them in ways that no one else could have thought of. His signature style is always one to look forward to, and when you go to see his movies, you know you’re only going to be seeing the best talent on that screen, including himself.
12 Amanda Plummer
Amanda Plummer has had a successful career in every aspect of acting. She has been a voice behind many popular animated characters, has won a Tony award for her work on Broadway, has been on different television shows, and has acted in a number of great movies as well. She is probably best remembered for her performance in Pulp Fiction as the woman who robs the breakfast diner with her partner. She is lovingly referred to as “honey bunny” for most of her scenes, but her dedication to portraying emotion made her one of the most memorable characters in the movie, even though she barely has any screen time compared to others. On top of Pulp Fiction, Plummer has an impressive resume with other hits such as Hercules and part of the Hunger Games series.
11 Burt Reynolds
Burt Reynolds was a sex symbol in the 1970s, although now you might not know it looking at him. Known for his strong voice and personality, Reynolds started in Westerns before truly breaking into the Hollywood scene. He is most known for his work in Deliverance, where he has to fight to save himself and his friends from the back country hills, and Boogie Nights where he works to transform a dish boy into a star. He has been a staple in Hollywood, starring in other great pieces of film, such as Smokey and the Bandit and both of The Longest Yard movies. He is also well known for his portrayal of Gator McKlusky in Gator, which if you have ever seen the TV show Archer, you know all about.
10 Kathy Bates
Kathy Bates is one of those faces in Hollywood that anyone would recognize. She can have that southern charm of the belle next door, or a voice so chilling you’ll have nightmares about her that night. Bates is known for a wide variety of movies: The Blind Side, P.S. I Love You, Titanic and Misery. She also has had a successful comedy career with blockbusters like The Waterboy and Rat Race under her belt. Bates is an extremely talented actress with a wide variety of skills and characters. She seems to bridge the generational gap and relate with viewers of all ages, without a doubt making her characters more lovable and relatable with the audience. No matter the size of her role, movies she chooses always seem to do well.
9 Ted Levine
Ted Levine is a staple in Hollywood. Many younger viewers may recognize him from his time on television, such as in Monk, or as simply a screenshot of a photo they see online. However, Levine has played some rather iconic characters. Especially one of the most commonly quoted movie killers of all time perhaps, Buffalo Bill. Yes, Levine was the one who uttered those famous words, “It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again,” in Silence of the Lambs. He has also held roles in a few other big movies such as Evolution, Wild Wild West and The Fast and the Furious. It seems that Levine has only touched films that have done well, although many people wouldn’t be able to tell you his name off the top of their head.
8 Emma Watson
Emma Watson has been loved and adored on and off the screen for years now. Currently doing wonders around the world for gender equality and women’s rights as an ambassador for the United Nations, Watson’s fame started when she was only a child. She was cast as Hermione in the Harry Potter series and captured America’s hearts for years. She started in every film as the perfect embodiment of Hermione, with the attitude and brains showing girls everywhere they could keep up with the boys. Since, she has had a number of great roles in Hollywood, such as Noah and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and has just been revealed as Belle in the new live action Beauty and the Beast, which is creating a lot of positive buzz already.
7 Chris Pratt
Chris Pratt recently distinguished himself as a coveted lead actor after gaining a loyal fanbase through his role in the popular show Parks and Recreation. With a role as Starlord in Guardians of the Galaxy, he has basically guaranteed himself a starring role in a successful cinematic universe. As we know, Marvel movies have huge fanbases and tend to gain a lot of new ones over the years as well. He also landed a lead role in Jurassic World, a sequel to the Jurassic Park franchise. These two roles have been huge for his career. Before these films, he was in a few other box office hits, like Her, Moneyball and The Lego Movie.
6 Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix broke into the scene in the late nineties with a string of smaller roles or television series. He landed his first big film with Gladiator in 2000, and then seemed to keep a pretty steady career in bigger, well-produced movies. He starred in Signs, The Village, Hotel Rwanda, Walk the Line, The Master and Her. He has shown a great deal of variety in his acting style, portraying the sheepish gullible man in some roles, and the confident warrior in others. No matter what role he is playing at the time, it is clear that he does a great job at it. He has a great mind for which movie role to take and which to pass on. I can’t think of a single movie he’s taken that didn’t do amazing numbers or get great reviews.
5 Leonardo DiCaprio
One of the biggest complaints in Hollywood, up until this year, was that Leonardo DiCaprio had never won an Oscar. It is a widely known fact that he can act, and he can act well. He happens to find amazing roles, starting way back in the day with Titanic and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, where he captured hearts and eyes everywhere. He was recognized almost instantly as a heartthrob and as a talented young actor with a bright future. As he has gotten older, this has only held more true. With roles in films such as Inception, Django Unchained, The Departed, The Revenant and The Wolf of Wall Street, DiCaprio has a wide range of talents. He is often recognized for his commitment to roles and researching characters, whether it be staying in character through personal injury or suffering, or researching with experts for hours or days on end. DiCaprio seems to find the good roles and then adjust himself to play them instead of just finding roles that make him comfortable- and it pays off.
4 Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz sort of came out of nowhere into the spotlight in Hollywood. After a long career of mostly television shows and movies, he starred as Colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds. His poise, ability to speak different languages, and his amazing talent made him one of the best parts of the movie. After this breakthrough, he was picked up by Quentin Tarantino to star in Django Unchained. If that doesn’t secure you as a great actor in Hollywood, then I don’t know what does. He even got a role in the James Bond movie Spectre, to further concrete the fact that he was an amazing actor and someone to fight to cast in your movie. It seems that every movie he touches does well, and it’s very easy to see why.
3 Heath Ledger
One of the depressing aspects of Hollywood is that we also lose young, wonderful talent too soon. Heath Ledger is a perfect example of that. He grew up acting in teen hits such as 10 Things I Hate About You, where he convinced every teenage girl that the bad boy wasn’t always so bad- thanks for that. He continued a string of big Hollywood hits with The Patriot, A Knight’s Tale, The Brothers Grimm, Brokeback Mountain and Casanova. However, it is commonly said that the best movie Ledger ever chose to be a part of was The Dark Knight, where he delivered one of the best portrayals of The Joker ever seen on screen. People said he threw himself so much into the character that they couldn’t tell where the man began and ended compared to the villain sometimes. This is the type of acting that makes movies amazing, and Ledger has a talent for finding the roles that would flourish for him.
2 Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Joseph Gordon-Levitt seems to be a true jack-of-all-trades with his acting and performance skills. The guy can dance, sing, play instruments, act, and just about anything else a role may call for. He caught the eye of Hollywood early, starring in such hits as Angels in the Outfield and 10 Things I Hate About You, where he and Heath Ledger were at least a few girls’ first loves. He continued success with a string of television shows and then a number of hit movies such as 500 Days of Summer, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, Looper, Don Jon and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. He broke into Hollywood strong and fast and has kept up a steady pace of appearing in hit after hit. I wouldn’t expect him to go anywhere anytime soon.
1 Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal takes the top spot on our list this time. With a career that has spanned over a decade, Gyllenhaal has racked up quite the acting resume. With his big breakthrough coming in the early 2000s with his chilling performance in Donnie Darko, Gyllenhaal has continued to impress everyone with his dedication to his craft and ability to portray absolutely crazy roles. He has starred in blockbusters that cover a variety of topics, such as Southpaw, Nightcrawler, Love & Other Drugs, Zodiac, Jarhead and Brokeback Mountain. He even had his share of comedies with a hilarious role in Bubble Boy. It seems that he really has no limit to what types of roles he can play, and he seems to have a knack for picking the movies that will do well. Whatever the reasoning behind him picking the movies he does, we are definitely glad to see him on the big screen any chance we get.