Stuck in a Rut: 15 Excellent Actors Who Stopped Acting with Variety

Do you know any actors who started off passionately in acting, but once they gained fame, they just started playing themselves over and over again? Well, Hollywood is a pretty big industry, and you can easily spot actors going in other directions in their careers.

Today, here are 15 actors that Redditors agree have been playing themselves more often!

1. Dwayne Johnson (The Rock)

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One Reddit user shared in detail, “As much as people have come to look at The Rock as more of a movie star than an actor who plays characters that are different from how they are in real life. I have to say, when I look back at some of his older movies before he became one of the biggest and wealthiest stars in Hollywood.

“He actually seemed like he was trying to act as a character, rather than just being himself.  For example, this might not be the best but his acting in Fast Five was actually pretty great where he was a no nonsense field operative that takes his job seriously and seemed pretty intimidating. However, once we move forward and got the sixth movie he drops that character he developed and throws in more of his own personal traits into Hobbs.

“When you look at his character in the fifth and sixth movie[s], you really notice the differences. Especially in the Fast & Furious spin-off; Hobbs & Shaw!  I’m not saying that he seemed to have skills where he could play a variety of characters, but before he became super famous, I felt like there was some potential in him where he could’ve really been a talented actor rather than just a movie star.”

2. Liam Neeson

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“I’m shocked this hasn’t been said. Liam Neeson. Went from Schindler’s List to… the same action trope,” said one.

“He has a small cameo in Derry Girls, and he’s very good. A lot of emotion without saying a word in the last episode,” the second person replied. 

“Cold, but I’m forced to agree—ever since Taken he’s just been doing action stuff which is a shame cause I’m a real big fan of his early stuff,” a third added in agreement.

3. Al Pacino

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“Al Pacino. An amazing actor and appeared in many excellent movies, but at some point in his career he basically became Al Pacino, playing a caricature of himself,” someone commented.

“There are two phases of Al Pacino. There’s the quiet Michael Corolone phase, then the ‘whoah’ phase that remains till this day,” replied another.

“​​Same with Robert DeNiro. Now he’s the same guy he played in Meet the Fockers. Squinting eyes, grimacing mouth, bobbing head, no range paycheck collecting motherf–ker,” someone added.

4. Sylvester Stallone

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One user said, “Sylvester Stallone is quite good in the original Rocky. And he was funny and charming at the Oscars. I don’t know why he didn’t get offered roles with more range throughout his career.”

A second person replied, “Because he quickly got into a position where he himself chose the projects, not the other way around. He was a bit late to the party of the New Hollywood and arguably way less talented than De Niro, Nicholson, Pacino, Hoffman, etc. to get their roles. His post-Rocky acting career was bumpy so he made Rocky’s sequel and reestablished himself as an action/fitness figure in the 1980s. I can imagine him playing Steven Bauer’s role in Scarface, but his ego was probably against it.”

5. Chris Pratt

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One Redditor said, “I kind of feel like Chris Pratt is slowly falling into this territory.”

The second person replied, “He plummeted head first into that territory, lol.”

Another commenter added, “He admitted in an interview, that ever since the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. He hasn’t had to audition for any roles. Every role he’s played since was offered to him.”

6. Robert DeNiro

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“Robert Deniro more than a little bit,” someone shared.

“By volume, yeah. He undeniably has a few of the greatest film performances of all time, but his filmography is just lousy with zero effort filler where he just plays Robert De Niro. Oh well. Flower Moon should be fantastic,” replied another.

 “I definitely agree with this one!” the third added in agreement.

7. John Travolta

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One person said, “John Travolta. After Battle Earth, he just stopped caring.”

Another person added, “His career was also a titanic disaster in the 1980’s, starred in some of the worst films ever made and was only given another chance for Pulp Fiction because Tarantino actively wanted to resurrect his career due to being a massive fan of Blow Out.”

Somebody also shared, “I don’t know why I did it, but I watched the Gotti movie he was in that was directed by E from Entourage. Might be hands down the worst movie I have ever seen. No joke, no hyperbole, that movie was so bad it was horrible.”

8. Gerard Butler

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“It’s funnier because I feel like he’s often really trying in the first act of the movie, and the accent is almost always back by the second act. It gets more jarring when the movie isn’t shot in order, so you can measure how committed he is scene-by-scene,” someone shared. 

“I actually kind of like how he found his lane and has committed to doing grimy, kind of sh-tty but sometimes entertaining action movies,” the second person replied.

9. Mickey Rourke

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“He was known as a super talented actor in his heyday in the 80s, and after The Wrestler, he played the same deranged villain type over and over again,” one Reddit user commented.

“Such a shame, as The Wrestler was amazing, largely because of him,” somebody replied.

Then the third added, “He did act perfectly as Marv in Sin City, but the character is quite deranged.”

10. Johnny Depp

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“The obvious answer is Johnny Depp. His acting range and skill were really good early in his career, when he received a wide assortment of roles. After Pirates of the Caribbean came out, his career exploded, and he only played Jack Sparrow from then on,” one person shared.

“When Curse of the Black Pearl came out, it was revolutionary for a performance, but each succeeding movie just led to Jack becoming a lot more annoying,” the second person replied.

11. Nicolas Cage

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One person commented, “Nicolas Cage is actually a really good actor. He’s got range. I think because of his whole ‘owing a gorillian dollars to the IRS’ situation he’s taking on roles for the check a lot of the time. Every once and a while he’s in a movie where it seems like he really cares, and it’s like watching something wake up inside him and shine through.” 

12. Stephen Dorff

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Somebody shared, “Stephen Dorff was so interesting in the 90’s then he did Blade and just started chasing the paycheck. With the exception of a handful of roles (Somewhere, True Detective), most of his movies are garbage now. He just plays the same tough guy/cop roles.”

Then another person replied, “He was really good in Felon with Val Kilmer, but yeah, he has mostly been meh.”

13. Ryan Reynolds

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One person said, “Ryan Reynolds at one point was committed to the art, but once he found success and heightened fame with Deadpool, he became Deadpool, so to speak, and hasn’t broken character since. Everything he does post-Deadpool is him acting like Deadpool, doesn’t matter if he is acting on set or in the real world with fans, it’s the same old quips, acting like a smart a– just like Deadpool does in the comics, acting like an unbreakable, confident man. One might say Deadpool broke the fourth wall in Ryan Reynold’s consciousness.”

Then the second person replied, “Ryan Reynolds has been Deadpool since Van Wilder.”

A third added, “As someone else on Reddit once pointed out, Ryan Reynolds has been playing the wisecracking smarta– for the bulk of his career. Deadpool just happened to be the perfect marriage of actor and character.”

14. Tom Cruise

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“People will hate me for this, but Tom Cruise. His last decade or so is mostly the same character. Not necessarily ‘playing himself,’ though. He found his niche and went all in,” somebody pointed out.

“Absolutely. Does what he does well, but The Cruise of Magnolia and Eyes Wide Shut (heck, even Vanilla Sky to some degree) were capable of some truly great work. I will say that he did do some more interesting work in Edge of Tomorrow, though the end product of his character arc is to become the typical Cruise persona,” added another.

15. Will Smith

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“Will Smith. Watch Six Degrees of Separation to check the potential he was showing early on, but soon settled on just playing Will Smith every single time,” someone shared.

“His wife convinced him he was the greatest actor of his generation and then forgot that he needed some roles where he wasn’t the only main character. Ensemble—that’s what I was trying to say, he has rarely been in ensemble movies,” a second person replied.

Do you agree with the actors listed here? Let us know your thoughts!

Source: Reddit.

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