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Added by Michael S on 13 Dec 2013 10:58
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Underrated and Overlooked

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Fichtner is usually the first actor that comes to my mind when I think of underrated and overlooked. He's one of my favorite supporting actors working today. While I've yet to see half of the movies he's been in, of those that I have, William Fichtner's roles are well remembered.

Favorite roles:

Sanderson in Blackhawk Down

Sully in The Perfect Storm

Col. Sharp in Armageddon

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I'm sad that I came upon Pete Postlethwaite so late in his career, for when I did I was sorely impressed. If I'd discovered him earlier perhaps I would have went into any number of movies more avidly. I'm even more sad that this truly incredible actor is no longer with us. Yet he left his mark well and I know that I will enjoy the remainder of his movies that I have yet to see.

Favorite roles:

Ray in Among Giants

Roland in The Lost World

Veeck in Dark Water

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Average listal rating (178 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 0
Barry Pepper is truly amazing and has the chops to hold his own with any A-lister. He is a true blessing and addition to any film that he is in. He's been on my radar for some time now and I can honestly say that I would much rather watch a film with him in it than without.

Favorite roles:

Joe Galloway in We Were Soldiers

Roger Maris in 61*

'Lucky' Ned Pepper in True Grit (2010)

Michael S's rating:
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Average listal rating (467 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
Cheadle gets a bad rap from a number of people I know, most prominently for being the 'second Rhodey' in IM2, but the guy is a fine actor. Personally I find him much better than Terrance Howard, who I don't really care for anway. The majority of Cheadle's roles have been in a supporting capacity but many actors make their living in that area and are great.

Favorite roles:

Emmit Reese in Volcano

Basher in Ocean's 11,12,13


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Average listal rating (89 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 0
Hawkes is a phenomenal talent and onscreen presence. More than once, I've watched movies with him in a supporting role and he was the most memorable and/or impressive actor involved.

Favorite roles:

Pete the liquor store clerk in From Dusk till Dawn

Bugsy in The Perfect Storm

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While he may not be the most handsome fellow, which seems to be one of the leading attributes of leading men, he more than makes up for it with talent. Giamatti is a definite plus to any cast and a joy to watch. While a number of actors today are one-dimensional, this guy continually shows new facets to his personality time and again.

Favorite roles:

Hertz in Shoot 'em Up

Todd Woods in Duets

Cleveland Heep in Lady in the Water

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I thought twice before adding Gabriel Byrne to this particular list, as the man has certainly made his mark in the industry. Yet he is often overlooked as so often he appears in supporting roles rather than leading ones. Regardless, he is one of the best actors working today and one of those whose mere presence will lure me to watch a film.

Favorite roles:

Tom Reagan in Miller's Crossing

Murphy in Ghost Ship

Dean Keaton in The Usual Suspects

Satan in End of Days

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God, I love this guy; especially when he has a role where his humor can shine through. I look forward to seeing Schreiber in virtually anything these days.

Favorite roles:

Deputy Stu in Phantoms

Zus Bielski in Defiance

Robert Thorn in The Omen (2006)

Creed in X-men Origins:Wolverine

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Average listal rating (224 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 0
Easily the most talented member of the 80's Bratpack, Lowe has long since proven his viability as a leading man. He's gotten a bad rap for years from certain circles but he's one of the best working today in my book. A definite asset to any cast.

Favorite roles:

Sam Seaborne in The West Wing

Nick Andros in The Stand

Billy in St. Elmo's Fire

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Like a number of the other actors in this list, Peter Stormare has a certain quality about him that causes him to stand out in every movie I've seen him in. I just can't overlook the guy; yet it seems that he is by many. I don't see him talked about all that much, yet in numerous films his characters are the most memorable for me.

Favorite roles:

Satan in Constantine

Lev in Armageddon

Dieter in The Lost World: JP

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Cromwell is as fine an actor as any and possesses a quiet competency about him. The man stands tall in more ways than simply his height. Yet as both his parents were involved in the theatre, perhaps it was a foregone conclusion, or fate, that he would choose the path of an actor. Fortunate for us.

Favorite roles:

Zefram Cochran in Star Trek: First Contact

Farmer Hoggett in Babe

Dudley Smith in LA Confidential

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No matter the size of the role, Gleeson makes it his own and memorable, as well. A superb addition to any cast. I'm not sure in which film I saw him first but since that time he has stayed on my radar.

Favorite roles:

Mad-Eye Moody in Harry Potter

Hamish in Braveheart

Reynald de Chatillon in Kingdom of Heaven

Michael S's rating:
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Average listal rating (406 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
I've been a fan of Isaacs for some time now and I must say that I was thrilled to find that he was a part of the Harry Potter cast. In fact, I've always thought that he would have made a fine James Bond.

Favorite roles:

Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter

Col. Tavington in The Patriot

Steele in Black Hawk Down

Michael S's rating:
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Average listal rating (400 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 0
The first time I saw Paxton I actually didn't like him. In all fairness though it was the character and not the actor (Chet in Weird Science) that I didn't care for... but we weren't supposed to, right? He's come a long way since those days yet it blows my mind that his rating onsite here is only 6.4! WTF!?!?

Favorite roles:

Pvt. Hudson in Aliens

Severen in Near Dark

Jerry Lambert in Predator 2

Bill Harding in Twister

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Like Bill Paxton, the first thing I that comes to mind with regards to Henriksen is Aliens; the second is Near Dark. The guy is just unforgettable and so are many of his characters. Movies need more guys like this!

Favorite roles:

Jesse in Near Dark

Ed Harley in Pumpkinhead

Bishop in Aliens

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I have to say that I'm not a fan of his son, Alexander, and the fact that he has a rating of 8 compared to Stellan's 6.8 is mind-boggling. All I can assume is that it's because of True Blood fans (of which I'm not); I don't even watch the show. So now you know why Stellan makes the list (in part anyway) because he is an amazing actor.

Hopefully roles in such popular blockbusters as Thor, Pirates, etc...will garner him more attention. He deserves it.

Favorite roles:

Cerdic in King Arthur

Bootstrap Bill in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Capt. Tupolev in The Hunt For Red October

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Oh, Billy...what happened? Such promise and a number of good roles in successful films yet he's gone on to appear in a number of cheap stinkers. Still though this obviously hurts his image, he is a legitimate actor with loads of talent and charisma. Perhaps he's overlooked because of his choices of films that he's settled for...idk. Still.

Favorite roles:

The Collector in Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight

Valentine in Memphis Belle

Miller in Sniper

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Average listal rating (216 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 0
Wenham is just one of many wonderful actors from the shores of Australia, yet while a few such as Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett have made their mark as leading men and ladies, David Wenham has been more of a supporting actor. He's that guy with the familiar face though many don't even know his name. They can tell you what movie they remember though.

Favorite roles:

Carl the monk in Van Helsing

Faramir in Lord of the Rings


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David Thewlis truly came to prominence with his role of Professor Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter films but the guy's been around for awhile now and around the block as well. A veteran actor of both stage and screen, this Brit has a quality about him that shines through in every role he plays.

Favorite roles:

Professor Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter films

Dan Starkey in Divorcing Jack

Michael S's rating:
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Average listal rating (961 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Perhaps not underrated but a bit overlooked, I think. Out of all those on this list, I think Weaving skirts the line the most. Even I didn't know who he was until his memorable role in The Matrix as the main antagonist of Neo, Agent Smith. He went on to play the Elflord, Elrond, in the epic trilogy Lord of the Rings and, it is certain, in doing so he has (at least) cemented his visage in the minds of most.

Favorite roles:

Elrond in The Lord of the Rings

Agent Smith in The Matrix

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Average listal rating (548 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
One of the most talented (and beautiful) young actresses working in Hollywood today, Emmy doesn't get half the credit she deserves. Granted, many of the films I've seen her in aren't the type to garner awards but she's young and has a most promising career ahead of her. I have yet to watch the series Shameless yet but I hear that she is flat-out amazing in her role.

Favorite roles:

Bulma in Dragonball: Evolution

Laura in Day After Tomorrow

Jennifer in Poseidon

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Average listal rating (427 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 0
Selma just seems to get lost in the shuffle. Perhaps it's the movies that she's starred in or maybe the fact that other actresses just get more publicity. I can't think of anyone else I would have chosen to reprise Adrienne Barbeau's role of Stevie in The Fog than her; she was perfect for it.

Regardless, she's a great actress and a beautiful lady, as well. Here's hoping she'll be fortunate enough to star in a few more 'popular' films and get the attention that she deserves.

Favorite roles:

Liz Sherman in Hellboy 1 & 2

Stevie Wayne in The Fog

Michael S's rating:
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Average listal rating (226 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
I'm still discovering Alice Braga but what I've seen so far of her has impressed me to no end. The lady's got talent and it doesn't hurt that she's gorgeous either. I can't wait to see her in Elysium.

Favorite roles:

Isabelle in Predators

Anna in I Am Legend
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I never hear much put out there about Saffron and it mystifies me. She's an excellent actress. I know she began her 'career' as a model but she was born to be an actress.
I remember when she joined the cast of Law & Order: Criminal Intent w/ Jeff Goldblum (both of whom I'm crazy about) and how I couldn't wait to start watching it.

Favorite roles:

Dr. Susan McCallister in Deep Blue Sea

Martine Love in The Bank Job

Lilly in Perfect Creature

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Average listal rating (391 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
Granted, I haven't seen much of Laura Linney's career
but what I have seen has made an indelible mark upon my memory. I have every intention of taking in more of her movies at the first opportunity; here's hoping others will, as well.

Favorite roles:

Dr. Karen Ross in Congo

Kate Whitney in Absolute Power


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Embeth is not only a lovely and talented actress, she has a look and a way about her that demands attention...at least from me. With a Listal rating of 6, I wonder how many others have failed to see her in movies, or have forgotten. I find it hard to believe that she is viewed as average, or worse. She deserves better.

Favorite roles:

Helen Hirsch in Schindler's List

Kalina Oretzia in Thir13en Ghosts

Sheila in Army of Darkness

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Perhaps I'm skirting the line by including Patricia here; after all, she's won numerous awards in her storied career and been nominated for even more. Yet you never hear anyone talking of her or the parts she plays.

Favorite roles:

Shirley Wershba in Good Night, and Good Luck

The second Rachel in Shutter Island

Samantha Walker in The Dead Pool

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Much like with Laura Linney, I haven't seen the majority of films in which Olivia has starred in but, in those that I have, she has impressed me greatly. The lady's got talent, people.

Favorite roles:

Claire in Below

Adelle DeWitt in Dollhouse

Michael S's rating:
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Average listal rating (291 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 0
I love Laura Dern; it's not her looks or talent (both of which she has plenty of) but just her way. The way she carries herself and the core of herself that shines through into the characters she plays.

Favorite roles:

Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park

Kathleen Robinson in Fat Man and Little Boy

Miss Riley in October Sky

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What exactly is the winning formula for becoming a star? Certainly looks and charisma play a part, as does sheer luck; sometimes even acting ability is part of the equation. Yet there are countless actors in the film industry that are so often overlooked that are simply amazing. Sometimes they break free of the supporting actor niche, the 'Oh, yeah, that guy!' lot in life but, more often than not, it just doesn't happen.

The A-listers overshadow the rest and garner the plum roles while the rest put forth stellar performances, time and again, in supporting roles, cameos and lesser-known films.

You won't find George Clooney, Johnny Depp or Julia Roberts on this list but I bet you'll find more than a few who you'll recognize and remember films you've seen them in. Perhaps you'll even smile.

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Comments

Posted: 3 years, 10 months ago at Dec 21 20:10
Great !
Posted: 3 years, 10 months ago at Dec 25 13:09
Bill Fichtner was great in Prison Break. Nice list!
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Dec 30 21:24
All your picks are good. These people are great supporting, and in some cases, leading actors. I'm not sure if the title of your list, "Underrated and Overlooked," is accurate, though.
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Dec 30 22:13
I would suggest Rick Moranis to be on the list, but after he released an album earlier this year, it doesn't seem to be the case at the moment.
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Dec 30 22:24
Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti were also fantastic in the miniseries John Adams. Great list!
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Dec 30 22:39
@transparentworld: Thanks! I've been meaning to check out John Adams but haven't had the chance yet.

@Emily J: Sorry, but I've never liked Moranis. I don't think he's really overlooked though; since the 80's, he's been in some pretty popular movies...

@Lorenzo: Thanks. The title was meant to be a one-or-the-other in some cases and in others for both to apply.

@everyone else: Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you liked the list! :)
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Dec 31 10:05
great list my favorites are Barry Pepper and Alice Braga
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Dec 31 22:50
great list
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Jan 1 22:23
While I like Bill Paxton's character in Twister you have to admit his acting is that movie is pretty bad. Phillip Hoffman and the other supporting storm chasers steal that movie in a variety of ways.
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Jan 2 0:18
@Ashley: I've wondered about his role in Twister (which I loved) before and seeing how well he did with roles in other movies like Predator 2, Near Dark, Aliens, U-571, Vertical Limit, and more I've come to the conclusion that it's not a case of bad acting; that's exactly how the character was portrayed to be. He's knowledgeable, has an incredible knack for storm chasing, is a bit of a nerd...and is a bit whipped, when it comes to the ladies.

That's just how I see it. I do appreciate the comment though. :)
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Jan 2 0:49
Paul, and William I second, the rest I haven't seen much as it is, so I don't know, while with a few I just disagree. Anyway, nice list.

Emmy & Selma aren't really that.. underrated, now that I think about it, most of the movies they were in are just average, so they just kinda.. blended in with the rest.
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Jan 2 1:17
You've mentioned some of my favourite actors here! William Fichtner, Peter Stormare, Stellan Skarsgård and Pete Postlethwaite! Tremendous, and shamefully overlooked actors.

To this I would also like to mention David Thewlis and Hugo Weaving, whom also doesn't even get half the credit they deserve.
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Jan 2 3:13
It's sad how this super talented actors don't get the recognition they deserve... but Nice list!!!!
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Jan 2 3:19
@HollowPrince: While I don't consider Hellboy average, I'll concede that the majority of movies I've seen the two of them in have been average, though I haven't seen them all. I still find the two of them quite talented and overlooked...as well as underrated. But, in the end, it's just my viewpoint. :)

@Bml: Glad to hear some of those listed here are favorites of yours. Those you mentioned are, I agree, vastly underrated & overlooked. I appreciate you mentioning Thewlis and Weaving, too. I can't believe that I forgot about them!!! I'll be adding them soon.

and thanks, PotterGirl! Glad you like it and that you agree, too. :)
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Jan 2 13:54
I agree on every actor on the list. Nice work!
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Jan 2 14:38
@AesthetiX

Of course, I'm just expressing my opinion, same as you, though on your list which caught my eye ;P

Personally I do, since there's a bunch of movies in similar style, and although I liked it, it didn't really require great acting to start with. Then there's Anger Management in which I liked her role, but the whole show is so-so, and acting.. ehh.

There's a few others which (I feel) are missing on this list, like Tim Curry, possibly Danny Dyer, Zooey Deschanel..
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Jan 2 14:38
@AesthetiX

Of course, I'm just expressing my opinion, same as you, though on your list which caught my eye ;P

Personally I do, since there's a bunch of movies in similar style, and although I liked it, it didn't really require great acting to start with. Then there's Anger Management in which I liked her role, but the whole show is so-so, and acting.. ehh.

There's a few others which (I feel) are missing on this list, like Tim Curry, possibly Danny Dyer, Zooey Deschanel..
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Jan 2 17:32
@AesthetiX - if you have not done so already check out Bill Paxton in the horror film Frailty...he also did a great job directing it
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Jan 3 4:13
Yes!
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Jan 3 19:36
@HollowPrince: Yep, we've all got our opinions. ;) I loved the Hellboy comic and was thrilled that they, not only, made a movie but that it was so well done. I will admit that it's not 'grand cinema' but I loved it. I definitely want to see more of the fair Miss Blair.

I'm not familiar with Danny Dyer but Zoey is really coming into her own; I loved her in Tin Man and The New Girl which I started watching not long ago. Curry is definitely a promising addition to the list though. The guy's no Gregory Peck but he's got a warped style that I love...yep, I don't know why I didn't think of him already. ;D

Thanks, man, for the suggestions and your comments.

@xxixii: I did see Frailty a while back and Paxton was quite impressive, even moreso now because I did not realize (or notice) that he had directed this. Thanks for sharing that!
Edit: 3 years, 9 months ago
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Jan 4 1:49
Haven't read the Hellboy comic so I can't really compare it, but I did enjoy the movie.. then again, I like anything with Ron Perlman in it, something like with Nicolas Cage - both make nearly anything watchable ;P I'm still hoping for third part..

Danny Dyer mostly acts in British lower budget movies, which is imo a shame, since I think he's quite a good actor. And apparently, not a lot of people like him there either, for some reason.

Aye (: Though a lot of people don't seem to like her in New Girl, or at least her style of acting. As for Curry, yeah. I thought of him a few days ago, and going over his movies, he doesn't seem to have many 'famous' ones (well except IT/Clue), but in pretty much any movie I've seen him I thought he was rather good.

:)
Posted: 3 years, 8 months ago at Jan 28 11:34
Great list. I especially agree with Bill Paxton. Sharlto Copley is another really underrated actor.
Posted: 3 years, 7 months ago at Feb 26 22:41
I love Liev Schreiber!
Posted: 3 years, 7 months ago at Feb 27 4:58
I love Gabriel Byrne, Don Cheadle, Embeth Davidtz, Alice Braga, Selma Blair, Emmy Rossum, Hugo Weaving, David Thewlis, Billy Zane, Stellan Skarsgaard, Lance Henricksen, Bill Paxton, Jason Isaacs, Brendan Gleeson, Peter Stormare, Liev Schrieber, and Paul Giamatti. As for the others I do enjoy some of the characters they pick, but they aren't always so lucky in my opinion. Nice list though.
Posted: 3 years, 7 months ago at Feb 27 11:21
I love this list! Good job!

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