Top 5 most underrated, talented Hollywood actors

Actors have the ability to make or break the films they perform in — a simple script can be brought together or torn apart by the people that act it out. Many actors are recognized for their talents by earning major acting awards while many are left behind with audiences seeing them play a great role and simply say, “Hey, I like that guy!”  Often, these people do not play lead roles — or they don’t anymore — and their talents can be lost or drowned out in the shadows of others, especially in ensemble films filled with big names.

Of course, many actors have developed or just recently been recognized for being awesome performers, which is truly a wonderful thing.  Unfortunately, not many people get the opportunity to be Don Draper, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson or Walter White.  Eventually, being “great” tends to catch up with actors like Steve Buscemi, who spent far too long typecast as a really strange and creepy guy, and Bryan Cranston, who proved he was not solely capable of portraying the blundering parent-type that was easily on par with Neil Flynn from “The Middle.” With that being said, The State Press has composed a list of actors whose talents have rarely been recognized by the media, the critics and the general public.

  1. Gary Oldman:  Oldman has recently found his way into the hearts of audiences in two extremely prominent roles that displayed him as an understated, but righteous hero with a darker side.  However, prior to his famous Oscar-nominated role as George Smiley in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” and in the most recent “Batman” trilogy as Jim Gordon, most people may not know him from Adam.  His career has shown his immense depth and ability beyond those two roles.  From his slow-witted Shakespearian banter as Rosencrantz in “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead,” to his plot to kidnap the president to keep the Communist Party alive in all of its Cold War glory in “Air Force One,” onward to his roles as Lee Harvey Oswald, and the outlandish Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg in “The Fifth Element,” Oldman is an extraordinary actor with not enough recognition.
  2. Tim Roth: The career of Tim Roth has been fun thus far from his role opposite Gary Oldman as the much wittier Guildenstern, to the iconic role of Mr. Orange in “Reservoir Dogs.” Tim Roth’s real talent is evident in all of his films.  As a regular in Quentin Tarentino films, he has been featured in “Four Rooms” and “Pulp Fiction.”  Despite the recent cancellation of “Lie to Me,” fans can no doubt expect more from Roth in the future.
  3. John C. Reilly: Despite his recent success in the slapstick comedies, Reilly’s dramatic talents have been lost almost entirely in the fold.  His efforts in “The Aviator” as Noah Dietrich and in the legendary “Gangs of New York” as “Happy” Jack Mulraney, John C. Reilly’s acting abilities are far beyond what they are given credit for, with the exception of an Oscar nomination for his role as Amos in the on-screen musical, “Chicago.”
  4. Pete Postlethwaite: With Postlethwaite’s death in 2011, the unique-faced man with the heavy accent has left audiences with a large sampling of his talents.  In “Alien 3,” he plays an unfortunate prisoner who is a victim of the creature.  He played Mr. Kobayashi in “The Usual Suspects,” a very intimidating character who finds a way to manipulate the entire cast.  In “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” the hardened hunter Roland Tembo is a main villain, contrasted nicely by his dual role in “Animal Farm” where he plays both Benjamin and Farmer Jones.  In one of his final films, “The Town,” he plays a very sinister florist who runs a portion of the crime that runs through Charlestown.  Postlethwaite was always a great supporting actor, and should be recognized as such.
  5. Tim Curry: There is not enough that can be said about Tim Curry, Dr. Frankenfurter, the Sweet Transvestite; Wadsworth, the witty butler; and, for many, Long John Silver with the entire Muppet cast.  Between “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Clue,” and “The Muppets Treasure Island,” many know and love him, but Curry’s current work, mainly in voice acting, sells him short.  Hopefully, Tim Curry will make a physical appearance on the silver screen soon.

 

Reach the reporter at argarre1@asu.edu