Saturday, September 13, 2014

The 11 Most Underrated Actors

The 11 Most Underrated Actors
My girlfriend and I were reading articles on the internet a few weeks ago, and we came across a list that crowned the ten most underrated actresses working right now. While I didn't completely agree with the whole list, I was impressed with it overall. I have been thinking about it for awhile now, and it inspired me to make a list of my own. I originally wanted to make a list of 10 actors, but had trouble shrinking my list to 11, so this is 11 actors.
In a few weeks, I will make my own list of underrated actresses, but right now, here you go.
11. Miguel Ferrer
Where do you know him: original "Robocop," "Star Trek III," "Iron Man 3," "Crossing Jordan," "The Stand," "Traffic," remake "The Manchurian Candidate," "Rio 2," and "Mulan"
I don't understand how an actor can be working on films and television for over 40 years and not be better known. Ferrer is somebody to look for because he can be a brute tough-guy as well as a sentimental gentlemen. His unique, rugged voice lends a surprising talent for voice work as well. Ferrer is guy who has been around for years, and it just doesn't feel like it.
10. Michael Jai White
Where do you know him: "Spawn," "Black Dynamite," "The Dark Knight," "Never Back Down," "Mortal Kombat: Legacy," The CW's "The Arrow" season 2.
You know, it kills me that Michael Jai White's scene was deleted from Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" saga, because it was a great scene and if there is anybody working in Hollywood who is a career doctor, its QT. Appearing in a host of dynamic roles, White is never the close to the first person at the top of list to head an action movie, which is something that needs to change. And no, me meeting him in August had nothing to do with him being put on this list.

9. Titus Welliver
Where do you know him: "Gone Baby Gone," "The Town," "Man on a Ledge," "Argo," "Transformers: Age of Extinction, "Marvel One-Shot: Item 47" 
Perhaps Welliver has typecast himself as being Ben Affleck's go-to guy when Affleck is sitting in the director's chair. But at the same time, it seems Welliver is finally coming out into his own. He's got a couple television shows being made by Amazon Prime which could up his cred a little bit. Let's hope so because he's an exciting talent who could easily lead a film effortlessly.
8. Cliff Curtis
Where do you know him: "Training Day," "Whale Rider," "Live Free or Die Hard," "Runaway Jury," "Sunshine," "Blow," "10,000 B.C." Colombiana" "Push" and "The Last Airbender"
It is pretty impressive that Curtis is an Australian actor of Maori decent who has been able to convincingly play Arabs, Hispanics and many other ethnic races onscreen. You'd think that would open many roads for him, but sadly, he's a name that doesn't get tossed around much, which is sad. He's always stealing scenes in his movies, and he's a name that deserves to be bigger than it is.
7. William Sadler
Where do you know him: "The Shawshank Redemption," "The Green Mile," "The Mist," "Die Hard 2," "Iron Man 3," "Machete Kills" "Bill and Ted's Bogus Adventure" and "August Rush"
Maybe I am little bit biased, since Sadler has appeared in two of my favorite Stephen King adaptations ever, but I think Sadler's talents have a wide range. He's been around a lot in a variety of roles and should be on everyone's radar.
6. Kevin Durand
Where do you know him from: "Walking Tall," "The Butterfly Effect," "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," "Smokin' Aces," "Real Steel," "Legion," "Robin Hood" and "3:10 To Yuma"

Until I met Chris Hemsworth, I felt Durand was the one and only choice to play Thor for Marvel. I mean how many insanely tall, muscle-bound actors can you think of that can actually act? Honestly, there are not that many, which is why Durand has a rare flair that should make him famous. He's perfect to be the next action hero and he just needs the right push.

5. John Hawkes

Where do you know him: "Miracle at St. Anna," "The Perfect Storm," "Contagion," "Martha Marcy May Marlene," "Identity," "American Gangster," "Miami Vice," "Lincoln," "Winter's Bone" and "Me and You and Everyone we Know"
John Hawkes is one of those guys that has experienced it all by now. He has been apart of blockbusters, he has done Oscar-bait films and he has done independent work that barely anybody knows about. How this guy hasn't won some type of award is frightening. Much like everybody on this list, Hawkes captures your eye in all of his movies, no matter how big or small his presence maybe.
4. Thomas Jane
Where do you know him: "Boogie Nights," "Face/Off," "I Melt With You," "The Mist," "The Punisher," "Stander," "Magnolia" and "The Last Time I Committed Suicide"

Watch all the movies I listed above. In fact, watch any movie Thomas Jane has ever starred in. Jane is so high on this list because he's got a particular talent. None of the characters he plays feel like the last. Sometimes, it feels all actors are kind of typecast. They play the same styles, same tones, same types of characters. With Jane, that is not close to true. His character in "Boogie Nights" is nothing like his character in "Stander" or "The Mist" for that matter. And none of those characters can begin to compare to Frank Castle. It seems Jane is constantly adjusting, re-working his style with ease. A great talent to look for.

3. Ethan Hawke
Where do you know him: "Training Day," "The Purge" "The Before Trilogy (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight)" "Gattaca," "Sinister," "Reality Bites," "Asault on Precinct 13" "The Newton Boys" and most recently, "Boyhood."

Yes, Hawke has been around for awhile. Yes, he seems very recognizable. But at the same time, I think Hawke's work goes underappreciated, year after year after YEAR. He proves at least once every year that he can lead a charge, he proves that he can shine unexpected light on a character that seems rather one-dimensional on-paper. So honestly, why isn't this guy on the same level as say George Clooney or Brad Pitt? Give this guy an Oscar for "Boyhood" already!

2. Frank Grillo
Where do you know him: "Warrior," "End of Watch," "Zero Dark Thirty," "The Grey," "Homefront" "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," "The Purge: Anarchy" and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance in "Minority Report."

I have heard that Grillo plays a good asshole. While I agree he is a great asshole, I think Grillo is capable of lots more. I mean, just look at him in both "Warrior," "End of Watch" and even "The Purge: Anarchy," the guy's range is not just limited to uncanny, tough-guy roles. Grillo is a guy who I think we are just beginning to see all of and I think he is slowly but surely revealing himself.

1. Sam Rockwell
Where do you know him: "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," "Moon," "Iron Man 2," "Conviction" "Seven Psychopaths," "The Way, Way Back," "Matchstick Men," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," "Frost/ Nixon," and "Everybody's Fine"

The biggest question for me that came from making this list was how in the world do we not see Sam Rockwell in at least three movies a year? How has he not been nominated for a role every other year? When I first started seeing Rockwell in films like "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" and "Matchstick Men," I had a feeling. I thought Rockwell was going to become someone truly special. I still see that specialty in every movie he's been in since, so why isn't everybody else seeing it? Why isn't Rockwell crushing the box office, the awards circuit, or anything else that remotely resembles Hollywood? I don't know, but it needs to change now.

So here's my list. Thoughts?


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