Check it, you’re watching a movie and you see a character or actor that you love in the movie and are emotionally invested in. What you end up doing later is check the list of films they have been in or will be in. You’re shocked at the minute roles they play in some of these films and you’re downright stunned at the fact such a talented performer isn’t highlighted more in other films. You find out their name and realize that they’d fit in so many other films than the ones they are in and become a hipster fan of this person.
It’s because of this raw and emotional response I felt it was right to highlight those men (women will have a separate list) that don’t get the screen time they deserve. No more will we stand in the rubble of the halted careers (even if it isn’t really stopped) of these fellas as they go through Hollywood with a Tom Brady like mentality being the talents that weren’t given a prime chance of success as leads for the many directors out there. Today, WE CANCEL THE APOCALYPSE!
I was getting into the wrong speech there….
What I’ve been meaning to say is that I’ve conjured up a list of those actors who deserve to shine more than they have. These aren’t underrated talents per say, but underused talent that could fit happily in endless amounts of roles than the ones they’ve turned up in even if they’ve made cameos in “bigger” films. The criteria is that they have to be male….simple as that.
10. Josh Lucas: You may know Lucas from stints in that weird movie Stealth alongside Jamie Foxx and Jessica Biel, but his best roles were in Glory Road where he was the victim of sloppy direction and lackluster emotional depth and pacing and… He was also in The Lincoln Lawyer which was a great film…point is here is that Lucas sadly has been cast in mere supporting roles or roles no one knows or cares much about. He has looks, charm, and talent, but he doesn’t seem to be anyone’s cup of tea when it comes to casting him for these larger and better roles.
9. Idris Elba: Yep, Idris Elba is underused. If anything, he is used poorly. The world knows by now how great this effing guy is with his Midis touch on roles, but while he should be doing more film roles like he did in Pacific Rim where he gets a chance at showcasing what he’s capable of, we get him as Heimdal…DC should be throwing boxes of cash at his home to get him out of that stupid Marvel contract and get his ass in a Green Lantern costume as John Stewart, no not the one you’re thinking of. I mean heck, put him in anything really, just not these failed attempts at films that he seems to show up in all the time. Where’s the juicy roles he can sink his pearly whites in, huh?
8. Clive Owen: Though he has his fair share of quality roles, this transformative juggernaut of an actor can’t be in enough movies. Throw him in as villains and antihero like characters all day and I think we’d be fine. Not only the “sort of bad guy” roles fit him either. He ranges as a dry humor comedic actor (unintentionally sometimes) to the love interest or whatever you want him to be, but his range is strong and yet he’s nowhere in sight in the coming years…is he?
7. Sam Rockwell: Rockwell has had his chances and proven to surpass any expectations the studios or directors have likely had. He is respected by all in his field of work and taken the reigns of any film he has been in, but it doesn’t change the fact that we have only seen him in a poorly done remake of Poltergeist. His sick and twisted performance in The Green Mile proved he can get your blood pumping with rage and hatred and he also proved he can hold a film on his own when he was the solo star of Duncan Jones’s Moon.
6. Alan Cumming: Remember your favorite part of X2, the sequel to the 2000 hit X-Men? Yeah, it was Nightcrawler and Alan Cumming’s performance as the religious Quasimodo like mutant with blue skin. Since his one-shot role as the popular mutant, we’ve only seen him in reruns of Spy Kids and The Son of the Mask which should break some hearts that Cumming hasn’t shown his face in such a span of time, Smurfs 2 not withstanding.
5. Nate Parker: Don’t know his name, but I’m sure you’ve seen his face. In the also underrated/underappreciated category, The Great Debaters delivers strong performances by it’s star and director Denzel Washington as usual, but the weight falls on it’s co-stars and one of them happens to be Nate Parker. He oozes confidence, but not on the line of arrogance. He’s a presence that commands your attention and it’s a shame he isn’t in more because he is leading man handsome, can actually act his ass off, and he is diverse. Come on Hollywood, get this guy in some sh**!
4. Justin Long: Last viewing was in Kevin Smith’s body horror film, Tusk, and I wish I could say I enjoyed the film, but I didn’t…but I enjoy Justin Long. He’s one of those guys you’d think would be bigger than he already is, but it just hasn’t happened for him like we had hoped. Hopefully he emerges in some critically acclaimed film that brings some more opportunities for him in his career. At 36, he has plenty of time to pull out a “break out” role for the ages, and do an Eddie Redmayne or something, maybe.
3. David Oyelowo: He played Martin Luthor King Jr. and no one seems to know his name. Black British actors are coming to America and showing their stuff in a huge way and David Oyelowo will hopefully keep getting more chances as he becomes a more well known commodity in Hollywood.
2. Ben Foster: Scene stealer for the ages and has rarely been recognized for the work he has put in as a top-tier talent in Hollywood. He’s acted around the best of them and delivers every time. His latest venture could hopefully change how we look at him as he embarks on the video game adaptation of Warcraft as directed by Duncan Jones.
1. Djimon Honsou: I…I can’t fathom the idea of this man not being more and more great characters. He was the silent star of Blood Diamond showing that the man can do drama with no effort. He showed it again in his first role in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad and has since made appearances in Furious 7 (wasted character) and was in Guardians of the Galaxy (wasted character).
I never want to be the film guy who only speaks about superhero stuff, but you have to understand that if an actor is clear as day a viable candidate for such new-age roles such as heroes or villains you should be capitalizing on the right choice for your films. Imagine Honsou lending his great Bonin accent to a Martian Manhunter or someone of that nature. He’s already brought his voice to animation in How to Train Your Dragon 2 and thankfully has some roles in the upcoming Tarzan retelling and Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur film, but I doubt Honsou is going to have an overly large role about a British king.