Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Underrated Actors

Maybe the term “underrated” isn’t exactly accurate here—the very fact that these guys are paid, working actors in an industry that is virtually impenetrable is a testament to the ways in which their talents and assets have been recognized. I simply mean to suggest that it would be nice to see more of these actors—I would love to see any of these guys try their hands at Leonardo DiCaprio’s Frank in Revolutionary Road, Matt Damon’s Will Hunting in Good Will Hunting, or Brad Pitt’s Tyler Durden in Fight Club.


  • To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; Moulin Rouge; Carlito's Way; Romeo and Juliet (1996); Spawn; Summer of Sam


  • Million Dollar Baby; She Hate Me; Haven; Half Nelson; Notorious (2009); We Are Marshall


  • Chasing Liberty; Imagine Me and You; The Look-out; Matchpoint; Brideshead Revisited (2008); Watchmen


  • Antwone Fisher; Pieces ofApril; Biker Boyz; Friday Night Lights; Lions for Lambs; Catch a Fire; Miracle at St. Anna; Definitely, Maybe


  • American Dreamz; Harold and Kumar go to White Castle; The Air I Breathe; Smiley Face; American Pie; In Good Company


  • Without Limits; Waking the Dead; Jesus's Son; Almost Famous; Big Fish; Trust the Man; Stage Beauty, Watchmen
My favorite of the bunch. I know he's already famous and was in the tabloids for ditching his pregnant girlfriend, but Billy Crudup always seems to mean what he says, no matter how shoddy the script, direction or co-star. I would watch him read the phone book.


  • All the Real Girls; George Washington; Elizabethtown; The Family Stone; The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; Lars and the Real Girl


  • Tigerland; Minority Report; Phone Booth; Daredevil; The New World; Miami Vice; Cassandra's Dream; Alexander; Ask the Dust

I don't care what anyone says, I stand by my choice. I've gotten into more than one debate over whether or not Colin Farrell can actually act. I say objectively, hands down, he is one of the best working actors out there. The only reason I include him in this list is because his personality seems to loom larger than his skill. I understand why the drinking and the drugs and the porn are distracting, but his John Smith in The New World was heartbreaking. And I'm not just saying that because he's cute.


  1. What a great list! There are indeed some heavy hitters on this list that few in the mainstream would even think to put on top anything lists. Billy Crudup is extremely talented, John Leguizamo played an incredible Tybalt and stole Julie Newmar, and i totally agree with you, Colin Farrell is a really talented actor. He completely won me over in Cassandra's Dream and then reinforced it with In Bruges. great list!

  2. i would be willing to say that colin farrell is ok. but it takes more than a so-so performance in a so-so woody allen movie to convince me he's nothing more than a slightly-better-than-average-pretty-boy

  3. the rest of the list i'm not very familiar with, but i love me some john leguizamo

  4. one more thing. most underrated actor around? i have three words for you. charles. s. dutton.


  5. Love Anthony Mackie but...Colin Farrell?