There are a lot of great actors that are worth the hype – Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro or Philip Seymour Hoffman. There are also some guys that are overhyped, like Tom Cruise. But this list is for the unsung actors who sometimes get accolades but not enough love. So here is some just-due love for five of our favorite unheralded actors.
5. Viggo Mortenson: Performance after performance, this guy delivers the goods and yet is very rarely talked about amongst the industries’ best. If you watch “History of Violence,” “The Road,” or “Eastern Promises,” he gets better and better with each film he does.
Here’s a nice clip from Mortenson’s Oscar-nominated roll in “Eastern Promises”
4. Alec Baldwin: He has never delivered a bad performance and is just as adept at comedy as he is at drama. If he hadn’t been such a pain in the ass to work with throughout his career he could have been one of the biggest stars ever. If you doubt his abilities, I recommend watching him in “The Cooler” or any of the times he hosted Saturday Night Live, or from his recent series 30 Rock.
Here’s a great clip of Baldwin in “Glengarry Glen Ross”
3. Sam Rockwell: The epitomy of the great actor that no one mentions among the best. He can play characters, he can do comedy, and he can carry the leading role. His skills were most on display in “Moon,” “Iron Man 2,” and “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”
Even in small roles, Rockwell steals the scene
2. Joaquin Phoenix: Before he went insane and started a career as a rapper, Joaquin Phoenix was becoming one of the great actors today. I felt he should have won the Oscar for “Walk the Line” and he was best performance in “Gladiator” despite Russell Crowe getting the statue. and in “Two Lovers” he anchored the entire film. I hope he gets his brain back and starts acting again because he’s a true talent.
Here’s a clip of Phoenix talking about learning to sing for “Walk the Line”
1. Tim Roth: This guy is a genius who is always believable no matter what the role is. He can do any style of film with any form of character and nail the performance time and time again. He’s played heroes, villains, bellhops, an ape, and other varied roles. He also handles the physical elements of acting roles in “The Incredible Hulk” and “Rob Roy.” Currently, he’s on the show Lie to Me and excels as usual. A truly gifted actor.
Roth freaks out in “Four Rooms”
Roth in the opening scene of “Resevoir Dogs”