Do you ever walk out of the movie theatre after seeing a film and just want to applaud? It can be so satisfying when your favourite actor holds their own in a serious role, successfully transitioning from funny to dynamic and back again. The best actors have mastered the skill of seamlessly segueing between different tonal registers, creating memorable performances that stay with you long after the credits roll. Below are the top 15 picks for those who excel at humorous and dramatic roles!
1. John C. Reilly
“John C. Reilly, who even had a comedic song at the Oscars once at how he was both in Boogie Nights and Talladega Nights.”, shared one user.
One user quoted, “‘I got cut in half real bad.'”
2. Olivia Colman
One user shared, “Olivia Colman, winner of the 2013 BAFTA TV Award for Best Female Comedy Performance, and Olivia Colman, winner of the 2013 BAFTA TV Award for Best [Dramatic] Supporting Actress.”
Another user replied, “Love her so much. My wife was a huge fan of Peep Show, and we thought she was so funny; then we watched Broadchurch, which blew us away. Now she’s a movie star, and I couldn’t be happier for her.”
3. Bryan Cranston
One user posted, “Bryan Cranston. Amazing in Malcolm in the Middle and Breaking Bad. Simply one of the best.”
Another user commented, “I wonder why I had to scroll down that far. He played both one of the funniest and most threatening roles on TV. There were a few interviews where he slipped into Heisenberg conversation, and it’s fascinating how he can transition flawlessly from funny answers to being hyper-serious and scary.”
4. Rose Byrne
“Rose Byrne.”, posted by one user.
Another user shared, “Came to say this—she’s clearly had dramatic chops since the Damages days, but she’s also hilarious in any comedy you put her in, even if the movie itself isn’t.”
5. Steve Carell
“Steve Carrell always had that comedic actor label for the longest time for me. Even with more serious roles like in Dan in Real Life he still played it funny. But then I saw Foxcatcher, and he just DISAPPEARED into that role and was absolutely terrifying. I totally bought him as Du Pont, and despite all of the comedic roles he’s done before, it did not take me out of his monstrous performance he did one bit. Great addition!” said one user.
6. Sam Rockwell
One user mentioned, “Second him. In my experience, all his characters are likable and charismatic in some way. In The Green Mile, he was not exactly a likeable guy, but his performance was so energetic it was hard not to enjoy watching it.
Loved him in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. That was a character that felt part realistic, partly like a comedic character. Serious and humorous. Such an outstanding balance.”
7. Jeff Daniels
One Redditor stated, “Jeff Daniels.”
Another added, “Lol My Favorite Martian and Dumb and Dumber to Newsroom is so insane because it’s such an extreme contrast in terms of performances but he nails both perfectly. I think this is my favourite addition. Thank you!”
8. Robin Williams
“Robin Williams. He can break your heart, make you just about [pee] yourself laughing, then break your heart, leaving you sobbing all over again, all in the space of 3-4 minutes,” posted one user.
9. Adam Scott
A Redditor added, “Surprised no one mentions Adam Scott. Significant in Severance and Step Brothers/Parks and Rec.”
Another user replied, “I was in awe at how amazing he was in Severance. I wouldn’t have bet on him being this good.”
10. David Tennant
“David Tennant. One of the most popular incarnations of Doctor Who; played the insidious Purple Man in Jessica Jones; then was fantastic in Broadchurch (alongside another worthy mention Olivia Colman) and is currently back as Crowley in Good Omens,” commented one user.
11. Emma Stone
One posted, “Emma Stone.”
Another user replied, “Great choice! I absolutely cannot wait to see her in Poor Things.”
11. Bob Odenkirk
“Bob Odenkirk deserves a mention,” shared one user.
12. John Goodman
One user shared, “John Goodman.”
Another user replied, “Check out the TV series Treme. The first season, he was amazing.”
13. Phillip Seymour Hoffman
“I’m pretty amazed everybody in this thread really forgot about Phillip Seymour Hoffman,” one user posted.
Another Redditor added, “Same, I thought he’d be close to the top. He was the first actor I thought of.”
14. Robert de Niro
One Redditor shared, “De Niro made a pretty solid transition to comedy with Analyze This and Meet the Fockers, but then it didn’t quite continue, and he made more bad comedies than good. Still, he himself can definitely do perfect comedy and is believable; just should have picked better scripts.”
15. Meryl Streep
“Meryl Streep,” shared one user.
One Redditor commented, “Meryl does whatever the f- she wants because she can, and she pulls it off. Same with Helen Mirren. They’re perfect and my life goal for beautiful aging.”
What do you think of the actors listed above? Share your thoughts, or you can read more here!
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