Since the days that people began to actually care about who created the films we watched, we also started making assumptions based solely on who is starring in, writing, or directing the newest films. Audiences knew what to expect if Charlie Chaplin was making a new movie, and very little has changed since those times. If I told you that Liam Neeson had a new film coming out this summer, you would probably assume that it was an action movie about a man who is seeking revenge against somebody. You would also probably be right. Many times that boils down to typecasting, something that can hurt or help an actor, but it can also be that some actors are just always the same, no matter what movie they’re in.
Some actors have built entire careers out of playing the same role. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been playing the same cigar chomping, gun firing, good guy in almost all his films. After stepping away from acting for politics, he returned to do the exact same thing he had been doing before, going so far as to return to the Terminator franchise. There were moments outside of the action genre for the actor, but even those films typically cast him as a person who was a cop, or still managed to beat up a few guys in the movie. Sylverster Stallone, Jason Statham, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, and Jean-Claude Van Damme are all examples of this, and they usually stay within the action genre.
Since the days that people began to actually care about who created the films we watched, we also started making assumptions based solely on who is starring in, writing, or directing the newest films.
The other genre where actors and actresses tend to always be the same is comedy. For years, Tom Hanks played the same character over and over, just stuck into different situations. Adam Sandler has childishly worked his way through plenty of films, and the over the top antics of Jim Carrey have featured in a number of films. Melissa McCarthy tends to deliver the same type of film now, while Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell have done the same.
Comedy also seems to be the one genre where the actors and actresses eventually want to be taken more seriously. Hanks has done it best, basically leaving comedy behind after Philadelphia in 1993. Sandler and Carrey have stepped out of the genre at moments, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see McCarthy want to move away from comedy as her popularity rises.
Almost all of those actors and actresses named above have stepped out of the genres they’re known best for and delivered outstanding performances that are celebrated for being so different from what they typically do. However, there are also a number of actors and actresses who always seem to be the same in their films, even when their roles are quite different from each other.
Comedy seems to be the one genre where the actors and actresses eventually want to be taken more seriously. Tom Hanks has done it best, basically leaving comedy behind after Philadelphia in 1993.
Sigourney Weaver is an actress who has a specific style but is always in various different roles. Weaver tends to get roles that feature her as a fantastically strong character, even when she played Dana Barrett in the Ghostbusters franchise, a role that could have easily left her as the damsel in distress. Yes, Dana Barrett is a character who winds up getting saved by the Ghostbusters, but she’s also strong on her own, including being a single mom in the second film.
Typically she’s the one who is in charge, especially in recent years, and there are times where a streak of evil runs through her character. Weaver always seems to have it together, even if things don’t work out perfectly for her character. Over the last few years, she tends to wind up as the head honcho, whether it’s her role in Paul, The Cabin in the Woods, or Chappie. With talks of another Alien film, Weaver will be returning to what may have been her greatest character, and winding up as another strong woman in charge of things. If you’re going to play the same type of role numerous times, you could do worse than what Weaver has been up to.
With talks of another Alien film, Sigourney Weaver will be returning to what may have been her greatest character, and winding up as another strong woman in charge of things. If you’re going to play the same type of role numerous times, you could do worse than what Weaver has been up to.
Chris Pratt has become a big name star now, with his roles in The Lego Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Jurassic World, but he’s also immediately become the same guy in every film. People are now talking about him being the next Indiana Jones, which makes sense since he’s basically played that same role in the three previously mentioned films. He’s handsome, charming, and a little bit of a smartass, exactly what he would need to be Indiana Jones.
His roles in those previous films are very similar as he tends to be the unlikely hero, although each film places him closer to being more aware of how awesome and heroic he actually is. His future roles sound like they’re also going to be rather familiar, and if he does manage to take on the mantle of Indy, it looks like Chris Pratt will be the next addition to stars who are always the same.
Finally, there’s Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg is a personal favourite, and it mostly has to do with the look on his face in every movie he’s in. He always seems confused that he’s even awake, so watching him in a role is always entertaining. Somehow he manages to get cast in a huge variety of characters though.
Mark Wahlberg always seems confused that he’s even awake, so watching him in a role is always entertaining.
He’s been a porn star (Boogie Nights), a scientist in space (Planet of the Apes), a rock star (Rock Star), a football player (Invincible), a video game action hero (Max Payne), a stoner (Ted, Ted 2), and an inventor (Transformers: Age of Extinction). In every one of those roles, his confused look always fills the screen, and he’s not exactly believable in many of those roles. There’s something about Wahlberg though, and many of his films do very well.
It’s as if he’s the opposite of being typecast. He really should be playing the same kind of character in each film, and his personality, mannerisms, and delivery rarely change from film to film, but he is somehow offered a growing list of roles. Even if he looks confused in his films, it’s obvious that he’s incredibly intelligent and has a great business sense, or at least a great manager. By avoiding being in the same type of film numerous times, he’s managed to spread his roles all over the spectrum, from intelligent characters to his role in Ted. It’s not a smart character he’s playing there, but at least he’s hilarious, and not just because he looks confused.