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Added by Michael S on 13 Dec 2013 10:58
4340 Views 25 Comments

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

Michael S's rating:
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

Michael S's rating:
Average listal rating (234 ratings) 7.4 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:
Average listal rating (633 ratings) 7.7 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

Michael S's rating:
Average listal rating (99 ratings) 6.7 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

Michael S's rating:
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

Michael S's rating:
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

Michael S's rating:
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

Michael S's rating:
Average listal rating (263 ratings) 6.6 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

Michael S's rating:
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

Michael S's rating:
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

Michael S's rating:
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:
Average listal rating (527 ratings) 7.5 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:
Average listal rating (452 ratings) 6.7 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

Michael S's rating:
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

Michael S's rating:
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

Michael S's rating:
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

Michael S's rating:
Average listal rating (303 ratings) 7.4 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

Michael S's rating:
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:
Average listal rating (1220 ratings) 7.5 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

Michael S's rating:
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

Michael S's rating:
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:
Average listal rating (399 ratings) 7.5 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
Michael S's rating:
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

Michael S's rating:
Average listal rating (519 ratings) 7.2 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

Michael S's rating:
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

Michael S's rating:
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

Michael S's rating:
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:
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

Michael S's rating:

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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