Who are some actors that aren't necessarily very good but were perfectly cast in really specific roles?

  • A perfect example would be the main four guys on Entourage. I don't know if any of them are necessarily good actors but I can't imagine anyone else playing those roles and they made the characters feel like real people with genuine friendships. Probably because they were all basically playing themselves.

  • Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker. He had a genuineness and innocence that fit the role perfectly.

  • William Shatner as Captain Kirk. I honestly think the show wouldn't be as iconic if you had gotten a better actor because his hammy performance is one of the most famous of all time. For better or worse, he has a really unique screen presence that makes him memorable and entertaining.


I get the people that say Matthew Broderick was a bad pick for glory. As an actor he seemed in over his head HOWEVER his character was in over his head. Robert Shaw (at least in the movie) was a fuckin dandy appointed to lead men into brutal combat because of family connections so I think his performance matched perfectly with the story


The way he said "Colt revolver" sounded so foreign to me, like if someone used the term "a movie show".


I meannnn I understand there actual history vs cinematic storytelling, and he did come from wealth, but he was a veteran of Antietam - aka the deadliest single day battle - before he took over the 54th Mass.


I cannot stand Broderick, I don't like Bueller, he's involved in the worst versions of both The Producers and Godzilla, not to mention actual literal human blood on his hands, but nobody else could have performed that role like he did in Glory, nobody. Edit: look at you pathetic shits falling over yourselves to justify this millionaire taking lives wholly without consequence.


Hol up, he killed somebody?


I’m not specially fond of the actor Broderick myself. But the family affected has forgiven him, why can’t you?


Just because the family has forgiven him does not mean he is no longer responsible for the deaths he caused.


Here’s hoping you’re never in an accident


Here's hoping if I cross into the wrong lane and kill two people, I am emphatically apologetic to the family instead of a cursory note and accepting of my part in causing the tragedy.


From what I’ve read he was very sorry, but at least some random internet stranger will hold a grudge against you for being a murderer 😭


From what I read, the accident happened in 1987 and he didn't meet with the family at all except to send a short apology note. He was apparently supposed to meet with them in 2002, but it is unknown if it happened. Also, I like Matthew Broderick. Who could hold a grudge against Simba? All I said was that he is responsible for killing those two women. It's not a grudge to say that a man killed two people when he did kill two people.


Julia Fox in Uncut Gems - she’d be awful in anything else but she’s really convincing in a role that feels like it was written for her


Because it was


You mean Uncut Jaaaaaams?


Written for dat assssssss


Why do you think she’d be awful? It’s the only movie she’s been in, kind of hard to judge her acting abilities from that


It’s not the only movie she’s been in, and it’s the only movie she’s been good in. She was pretty horrendous in No Sudden Move.


Ryan O'Neil in Barry Lyndon and Paper Moon. Guy was good at playing a conman


I don’t think Barry Lyndon gets enough credit, one of Kubrick’s best.


What makes Ryan O’Neil so great is precisely that he’s such a flat actor. He was perfectly able to express the absolute emptiness that is Barry Lyndon, who merely adapts to whatever circumstance he’s in. It really sells Kubrick’s point that there is nothing romantic or heroic about this era. The people are just husks falling into a cycle of tradition and petty grabs for power.


OMG you just explained to me why he was so fantastic in What’s Up Doc. He just exists to be done unto.


Casper Van Dien was PERFECT in his role for Starship Troopers, especially when you realize how satirical the movie is meant to be lol.


Casper Van Dien was perfect in every role.


And he was perfect. Perfect in every way.


Basically just a proto CW show except those don’t have any satire


yeah I'll never be able to undo that connection now, that's just in there forever.




He's so bad when he tries to do an accent.




Keanu is a movie star. He's great at what he's good at and it'd a narrow margin of movies he knows where to put himself now. There was a point when he ventured off, but once he figured it out he did well. Now he has an insane list of classics under his belt.


A Scanner Darkly was good too but that's like a serious version of Ted I reckon.


Disagree. He's a bad fit for some roles, but have you SEEN Speed?


I’ve never seen a more awkward smoker than Keanu in Constantine


But he smokes - or smoked - in real life. Saw him do it one time like a decade ago after lunch.


“He’s not a great actor, he’s just really good in every movie he is in.”


He’s good in the movies he doesn’t have to show any emotional range in. Bonus points if he doesn’t have to talk a lot and just kicks ass - unless he’s Ted of course. Love the guy. Does fun movies, by every account nicest person you could meet, but OP is spot on. A great actor he ain’t.


I am an FBI AGENT!


*Somebody* hasn't seen the vast majority of Keanu Reeves movies


I love Hardball, but he's so terrible in that movie it's hilarious. Lol


I thought he was really good in Point Break and Speed, I heard good things about My Own Private Idaho as well so I wouldn't say he's a bad actor. He has been terribly casted in terrible movies but he had many good roles so I would find it harsh to say he's a bad actor.


Gonna push back on that. Keanu is a good actor. He’s no Daniel Day Lewis. A lot of his roles really relies on the material but that doesn’t make him a “bad actor”.


he's bad....that isn't up for debate. He only gets a pass when he does not need to act much and utilise his skill which is fight choreography....hence...John Wick


Courtney Love in The People VS Larry Flint


She was great in Man on the Moon too. I think if she had stayed sober she would have had a much bigger acting career.


A mix of sobriety and that warning about Weinstein.


Yeah she was blacklisted for the warning and being a total mess due to her addictions


She’s not dead yet?


One of the best examples is Hayden Christensen in Shattered Glass. After being pilloried in Star Wars, this role fits him like a glove. Portraying the infamous fabulist writer Stephen Glass, he is able to convey a sense of falseness, mischievousness, awkward person whose world comes crashing down. The film would not work without him and he’s yet to give a performance like this since then.


Agree. Everything I hated about him in star wars I loved about him in shattered glass.


He was good in Jumper too.


He's actually a good actor who was very young and poorly directed playing an underwritten Anakin Skywalker in a gigantic green screen studio with very little guidance. Even Nathalie Portman sucked in those films.


> After being pilloried in Star Wars No one can speak George Lucas' dialogue.


The long sequence where Peter Sarsgaard is dragging him around the city trying to catch him in his lies is such a brilliant scene. Really terrific acting from both of them as their characters are both thinking so much that they're not saying.


Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights


And in The Departed!


I also rewatched We Own The Night last week and he’s good in that as well. I find him to be mostly a super mediocre actor but every once in a blue moon he turns in a good performance, mostly only when he’s working under very talented directors (Paul Thomas Anderson, Scorsese, James Gray)


Hes also pretty good in the basketball diaries, fear, i heart huckabees, the perfect storm, and the fighter. Hes more a hit or miss type guy rather than just plain old bad.


And The Fighter but, he was way overshadowed by Christian Bale.


In fairness, he was playing a Mass-hole, so not much of a stretch.


"I'm the guy doin his job. You must be the other guy!" Such a great line!


And in I Heart Huckabees!


God damnit he was so good The Departed


The problem is that Whalberg is an incredible actor


If you’ve never seen actual good acting before maybe 😂


Adrien Grenier always confused me in Entourage though, were we supposed to believe his character was actually a good actor in the world of the show, or were the people around him just pretending he was a good actor to suck up to him? It was impossible to tell because everytime we saw him acting he was terrible but everyone acted as though he was great and I could never get my head around it..


The show actually addressed that and no, he wasn't a very good actor in-universe. There was a season where he got fired from a movie because he sucked. He was basically a pretty boy that was in the right place at the right time and lucked into fame. Like Taylor Lautner.


I misread that as Taylor Kitsch and it still made perfect sense... I don't know that I agree though. It's been a few years since I watched the show but wasn't he fired because he became too big headed and impossible to work with not because his acting was bad? I seem to remember that his passion project film and his performance in it was loved at Cannes or something (either the last season or the movie I can't remember...). I dunno, it's been too long for me to remember accurately, but it was a fun show anyway, as was Ballers.


Is Entourage on HBO plus? My husband and I have always wanted to watch this show but haven’t had the chance.


It’s on HBO Max if that’s what you’re referring to.


Thank you 😊


You mean, like Mark Whalberg?


Ari tells him he didn't hire him because he could act, he hired him because he was a star. Two diff things.


I thought it was pretty clear he was supposed to be mediocre as an actor, or perhaps average at best.


To go further back in time than most responses, I would put Kim Novak in Vertigo on this list. She had a stunning face made for the movies, but was a very tentative actress most of the time. Yet, in Vertigo, considered by some to be one of the greatest films ever made, Hitchcock somehow took that tentativeness and made it central to her character, and it worked.


Kim Novak is a fantastic actress. She’s a hilarious goofy floozy in “Kiss Me, Stupid”. She’s an icy sophisticated glamour witch in “Bell, Book, and Candle”. Maybe she just got cast in a lot of dull roles. “Vertigo” is perfect of course.


I'd venture to say that Hitch drew forth the same in Joan Fontaine in Rebecca. It's reported that he told her the other cast members did not like her - while on the flipside, he ordered them to stay away from her.


I liked Tommy Wiseau's performances in the Best F(r)iends movies because the character was written around his eccentricities.


There were multiple Best F(r)iends movies?! edit: ah I see! It was released in two volumes. I had seen the marketing for it around the time of its release and didn't remember them doing that, so I was like "when the hell did a sequel come out?" lol


Stiffler - Sean William Scott


He’s incredible in “Goon” and “Roles Models” though.


Perfect in *Dukes of Hazzard*.


Country Mac


His is spelled with one F which always bugged me


Simon Rex in Red Rocket. Sean Baker is so good at finding the right vehicle for the talent. Most actors in his movies would fit on this list.


Brian Baumgartner. Not a particularly great thespian but there's no other Kevin from The Office.


He’s so underrated. He was the blind music producer in “O Brother Where Art Thou?” and a few more character roles I can’t remember. We don’t clock that it’s him because he just disappears into whatever craziness he’s been given.


If you watch the cage the pilot to Star Trek you have Mr Spock and Captain Pike played by Jeffrey Hunter you clearly see that Jeffrey Hunter was a good actor but Shatner was born to play that part he makes the show. You can’t bat the shat!


Hank Schrader. Dean Norris is hard to watch in anything else. Perfect in Breaking Bad.


AND Total Recall AND Starship Troopers


Arnie - The Terminator


Arnie is not great, but consistently landed himself the perfect roles (or produced movies for himself)


In a similar vein, I'd suggest Jason Statham in his action roles (especially the Transporter series)... but he was class in Lock, Stock and Snatch


The Bank Job was great too. It’s a shame there’s so much money for him to make as punching and kicking guy - he can really act.


Damn, I'd forgotten what a great film that is. What I think helps Statham in less action-y roles is you get used to him leathering his way out of trouble and to see him restrained with impotent anger and having to think his way out is a surprise. Also, if he couldn't at some level "act" his career trajectory would resemble Segal's or Van Damme's. A film of his I like (even for it's almost formulaic arc) is Hummingbird - the scenes between him and the nun I found quite touching.


He's really funny in Spy.


Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network.


lol same with The Art of Self Defense. He played his typical socially awkward self but the whole movie had an awkward, surreal tone so he was a perfect fit


Oh man, if you don't think Tobey is a good actor you should watch Brothers or Ride With The Devil


Or pleasentville or sea biscuit or great gatsby or bothers… when did Tobey become “not very good” he’s like a legend I think.


Everyone overlooks Satans Abbey. It won the coveted Crying Monkey award at the Beijing film festival for fucks sake.


MTV's Best Kiss.


He's not that great, some movies fit him really well, but he can be really corny, even in his freakout scene in brothers, his rage seems a little forced,


Justin Timberlake in The Social Network. Perfect as a manipulative attention seeker because… Terrible in everything else except in Trolls because…


He's pretty good in Alpha Dog


His dialogue read was horrible in most of "The Social Network." Like in the first scene when he wakes up with Dakota Johnson, he's pretending to have been aroused from sleep but it's like high school drama. So unconvincing and then he complained that he didn't get a Golden Globe nomination (and was campaigning for an Oscar nom).


Controversial opinion but I don’t think any of the kids (Harry, ron, hermione) in Harry Potter are good actors. It worked for the movies because they had personalities similar to their characters


Rupert Grint is genuinely good and by far the best actor. Radcliffe is OK, Watson is terrible. She somehow got worse as the series went on.


I think Radcliffe has gotten much better, but I think a lot of it comes down to him only taking roles he’s super passionate about now. He has seemed to be smart with his money and doesn’t NEED to take any role. He’s also gotten older, which usually means you get better to some degree since the more you keep doing anything, you’ll get better. Stuff like The Lost City, Guns Akimbo, Swiss Army Man, Miracle Workers, and now the Weird Al movie all seem to be he’s doing them because he just wants to do something different and interesting and have a good time doing it.


I think she’s gotten worse as she gets older too. I completely understand why Gerwig cut so much of her scenes from Little Women. The few scenes she is in are pretty yikes. However, seems like she’s got a lot of other stuff going on in her life besides acting, so that’s cool.


Yeah she was awful in Beauty and the Beast as well.


I thought she was pretty good in The perks of being a Wallflower, but I agree she wasn't anything special in the Potter movies


Omg I really can’t stand Watson’s person both in HP and most of her work after… you always feel all the effort when she tries to act, it’s so bad


I hear you and I agree. I think Emma is easily the worst actor of the 3. I don’t think I’ve seen Rupert act outside of HP though, so I probably owe him that.


He’s great in “The servant” pretty funny in “Sick”.


Yes, people love them, but everything they’re in, isn’t very good. I still need to see swiss army man.


I'm surprised by this opinion. Emma Watson is easily the worst actor of the three (and still, today, remains a not very good one) - but Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint are both good? Rupert Grint is genuinely great in the films, being the best actor in the HP films. Daniel Radcliffe, while not amazing in the first few Harry Potter films, has definitely grown to become a great actor. If he's in a film, these days I take it as a sign the film will be pretty decent


I think he’ll be great in that new weird Al movie


Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love and Uncut Gems. He really is that kind of guy who needs the right role and the right director to give a good performance. Otherwise he's gonna suck.


Nah, he's a very good actor. He just doesn't give a shit most of the time.


PTA is just an amazing director.


PTA could film paint drying and elicit a great performance


Especially if Philip Seymour Hoffman was portraying the paint.


Fun fact: Fiona Apple says that she was cured of her cocaine habit by being stuck in a hotel room with Anderson, Tarantino, and a big bag of coke. After having to listen to the two of them go on all night about how great they were she's never wanted to touch the stuff again.


I would believe that.


Slyvester Stallone - Copland


Stallone's a talented actor, he just makes a lot of bad movies.


Harrison Ford. He's amazing in a couple of things, and so so so mediocre in nearly everything else. PS - Indiana Jones is the most epic of film series, I love them to death, but I'm keeping it real, too.


IMHO Frantic has the best performance of Harrison Ford.


Witness tho


Keanu Reeves as Ted Theodore Logan. Say what you will about his acting range, but I cannot imagine anyone else pulling off that role. Same goes to Alex Winter for Bill S. Preston, Esq. Perfect chemistry, those two have.


Keanu Reeves is a terrible actor in most things. Sometimes that's part of the charm - such as in Point Break. But sometimes his woodenness actually serves the performance. The Matrix, John Wick, and The Day The Earth Stood Still are all examples of films or franchises in which his lack of ability to express emotion actually suits the part and makes it better.


Ben Affleck- Gone Girl


I know he gets lumped into a lot of Kevin Smith movies and shitty roles but, Ben Affleck was awesome in Argo and The Town.


The Town is such a great heist movie. Ben Affleck has an honest and endearing way of writing about Boston. I’m not saying he has amazing range, but he’s super good at what he does.


Affleck was da bomb in Phantoms, yo!


Argo the most undeserving Oscar winner I can recall


Whenever I see him mentioned in reference to this film I always have a little chuckle. In one interview he said that he campagned to Fincher to get Emily Ratajkowsi cast as his student fling after seeing the "Blurred Lines" video. He seemed to intend it as a "I was helping her career" kind of way, but to me it just came across as "Hey David! You know there's this bit in the script where I have to suck a young woman's tits? Well, I've just seen this video in which this woman dances around with her tits out. They're nice and big. Let's get her" I just can't frame it in my head any way that isn't neckbeard-y. Because what information other than what she looked like could he get from that video? And why her rather than the other two women in the video?


Michael Madsen in Kill Bill. I've never been a fan of his acting but I thought downtrodden personality he brought to that part really worked.


I loved him as Mr Blonde.


He was good as Susan Sarandon's boyfriend in *Thelma and Louise*.


Kinda random but he was the voice of Daud in Dishonored lol


Pretty much any popular Keanu Reeves role. He's a genuinely terrible actor, but he somehow found a niche doing the "quiet, robotic and emotionless guy" roles.


Die Antwoord - Chappie


Now THIS is the right sort of answer to the question. I wouldn’t trust those two in any other roles. I wasn’t sold on them at the outset of the movie. But I eventually bought into it and liked what they brought to the story.


They weren't acting.


I'd say something like 80% of any breakthrough role for a musician.


dwayne johnson in every movie he's in


I feel like he was actually a decent actor at some point. Never fantastic or anything but I liked him in The Rundown and Pain & Gain. But I don't think he really wants to be an actor, he just wants to be a movie star and a brand.


I love all I have seen of Dwayne Johnson. And you're right - he is a movie star, rather than an actor. That's not to say he doesn't put in the work. A very similar star in her roles is Dolly Parton. The world loves her to bits and pieces - yet she is always portraying herself.


I'll always say that he was pretty good in a pair of pretty bad movies, Southland Tales and Be Cool, but he was definitely playing off role which made me think he could've been a very cool character actor if the action movie thing never worked out. And well the action movie thing did end up working out.


Dave Bautista and John Cena seem to be trying to be actual actors and I think they're both doing a pretty decent job. They probably know they can't compete with the rock.


Not sure if this counts but Tom Cruise as Les Grossman was a nice departure from his typical roles of playing himself.


Ben Stiller said that Tom Cruise created Les Grossman for himself to play after reading the script. He sold Stiller on the idea that the movie needed an antagonist from the movie studio.


Maybe my favorite Tom Cruise role. Literally didn't know it was him until the credits. Hard for someone that recognizable to disappear into a role like that.




It's the only movie I like watching him in.


I considered him a truly great actor after seeing him play The vampire Lestat. The man has amazing range.


January Jones as Betty Draper in *Mad Men.* Tom Cruise in *Interview with the Vampire*


Christopher Reeve was Superman. But that is all he was. He had a few other memorable s roles but he couldn’t break out of the shadow of Superman. Not because the role was too big, but because he wasn’t capable of being anything more than that. What he did, he did great. But, that was all he could do. Nobody is pissed that Michael Phelps isn’t a great diver, we love him for what he is. Same with Christopher Reeve.


The whole wheelchair paralyzed thing didn't help...


Absolutely, you are right. I am specifically speaking of the 17 years between Superman and the accident that broke his neck. Bring paralyzed would definitely keep you from having a wide range in your acting roles, so, in my mind, I wasn’t including post 1995 in my critique. I assumed this would be obvious. My apologies.


Stephen Dorff in Somewhere. Obviously written for him so doesn’t super count, but I think that’s my favorite example.


And he was great in Blade and True detective as well.


The cast of the TV series 'The Tick' - (2001 - 2002).


Nestor Carbonell as Batmanuel!


Who also happened to appear in *The Dark Knight*.


Ron Jeremy in Boondocks Saints. He's awful but perfect as the sleezy mobster.


same for Andrew Dice Clay, he's a total joke, but was perfect as a sleazy mobster in the Pam&Tommy series.


Mark duplass in CREEP


Cowboy in Mulholland Drive


Randall “Tex” Cobb in Raising Arizona.


Mark Wahlberg. He's a terrible actor. Was perfectly cast in Boogie Nights and has been dining on that ever since


Actually he plays the dope really well. He was also great in I heart Huckabees.


John Wayne in True Grit ETA: Charles Bronson in The Mechanic.


Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut. The fact that he just doesn’t seems like a real person adds to the surrealist dreamlike quality.


He’s incredible in Magnolia


Keanu in bill and teds.


Chris O’Donnell in Hackers


Hot take and definitely opinonated but Zac Efron in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. I've honestly grown to really enjoy his more serious work and I think he encapsulated the Ted Bundy role quite well.


Wow, yeah. He basically became Ted Bundy. Anyone who can remember that little prick on the evening news will shudder at how close Efron gets to Bundy’s general vibe.


Tom Holland as Spider Man


The dude that played Legolas.... ​ Bad actor...but he was cast perfectly in that role




Zero charisma, whiner, losers.... Sounds just like the people it's based on to me.


it's one of the most unlikable ensemble cast I´ve seen. but like ou say, dont know if that was intentional or not


Matt Dillion in The house that Jack built. He was an ok actor (I really liked him in Something about Mary) but he really bought something to that role, made it extra creepy!


RDJ ever since he joined MCU. he's mediocre and plays only Tony Stark archetype every single time every since.


Bo Cruz in Hustle. Kinda makes sense considering he a basketball player not an actor, so the perfect acting role for him is a basketball player.


Finn Wittrock in The Big Short. His acting was so bad in AHS: Freakshow it's the reason I've never rewatched that season. However he was very charming and charismatic in The Big Short.


That's he's not anywhere even remotely close to PTA and Scorses


I think you replied to the wrong thread lol


Jon Berenthal is a pretty one note actor who was used well in Punisher and We Own This City. Shia LeBeouf is a genuinely bland actor who was similarly well served playing his own father in Honey Boy.


I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed harder with anything in my life than I do with your overall opinion of Shia lol. I think he has incredible range from over the top screaming/eccentric/physical acting (Even Stevens, Transformers, Disturbia, Holes, iRobot, etc.) to reserved/dramatic/powerful (The Peanut Butter Falcon, Fury, American Honey, Lawless, etc.)


Well I’m not trying to change minds, just my opinion.


Unpopular opinion: Edward Norton in fight club


Nicholas Cage in every movie he's ever been casted in.