It doesn’t take a lot of spoken words to make a movie or a role great. Ever since the early days of film, it was the images that have been the most important pieces of a film, not the words. While many filmmakers are unable to present meaning without using speech, there are still many films that say a lot with characters who say very little. Some of the best performances in the history of film have had few spoken lines.
That being said, most of the more silent performances these days are due to characters that have some form of speech impairment. It's rare to find characters that are relatively silent by choice, especially when the actors playing them are megastars. It seems to be counterproductive to sign on a huge star and then silence them in the script. Yet, most of those silencing decisions, at least the ones on this list, worked out extremely well. It stands to reason that if a character can be brought to life with very few spoken words, they tend to develop quite nicely on screen. Maybe it says more about the writing than how audiences perceive them, but, either way, it seems to work more than it doesn’t.
Despite how gimmicky a character's silence can come across, we're going to go through the 15 best examples of a big star playing a relatively silent character. Some of these say the same things over and over; some of them just say very little overall. Whatever the reasons, these characters can speak, but choose not to. The list doesn't contain just any character with few spoken words. Instead it has characters played by A-listers, who chose roles that were relatively silent. Here are 15 big stars with the least spoken words in a role.
15 Vin Diesel/Groot – Guardians of the Galaxy
14 Anthony Hopkins/Hannibal Lecter – The Silence of the Lambs
13 Tom Hardy/Forrest Bondurant – Lawless
12 Henry Cavill/Superman – Batman v Superman
11 Leonardo DiCaprio/Hugh Glass - The Revenant
10 Arnold Schwarzenegger/Terminator – The Terminator
9 9 Johnny Depp/Edward Scissorhands – Edward Scissorhands
8 Robert De Niro/Vito Corleone - The Godfather II
7 Robert Redford/Unnamed – All is Lost
6 Mel Gibson/Mad Max – Mad Max: The Road Warrior
5 Matt Damon/Jason Bourne – Jason Bourne
4 Dolph Lundgren/Ivan Drago – Rocky IV
3 Tom Hardy/Mad Max – Mad Max: Fury Road
2 Ryan Gosling/The Driver – Drive
1 Scarlett Johansson/Laura – Under The Skin
With only 3 spoken lines in Under the Skin, the character of Laura, played by Scarlett Johannsson is one of the better silent characters in modern film. Laura is more than capable of speaking, but to distance her from the humans she's acting alongside, the filmmakers had her remain almost entirely silent. While many of the beautiful actress's devoted fans would say that it doesn't matter how often she speaks, her near-silent performance is one of the better ones in her great career, and her looks are completely secondary. Since Laura is on Earth to observe and blend in, the less she speaks, the better. The film is a bit heavy-handed in its approach, but its simplicity and use of sound is utterly fantastic.
Sources: Wikipedia; RadioTimes; IMDB
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheRichest?Get Your Free Access Now!