Five Hollywood Actors who are Excellent Stage Actors

Hollywood actors have always appeared on Broadway from time to time but in the last 5 years or so we’ve seen a tremendous surge of celebrity finding their way to the stage.    And this year they even invaded the Tony Awards.

I’m impressed when these folks try their hands at stage acting.  Particularly because when you’re performing in a show you only get one take.  That to me is true acting and many people would agree with me.  Don’t get me wrong.  Movie acting is also an extreme skill but at least there you have “do overs” and editing.

Which is why I don’t think there’s too many actors out there that can cut it on Broadway.  However, here are five that I think are worthy of a mention.

Liev Schreiber

I actually saw Schreiber star in Talk Radio when that came to theater and man can this guy act.  First of all he has a great speaking voice.  Second of all he was built for this role.  A snotty, arrogant disc jockey who is trying to make it big.  Oh and P.S. this is just one of many fine performances he’s had on stage.  Guy has super talent.

Hugh Jackman

I think Hugh Jackman was built for Broadway.  He’s very handsome.  He has a great singing voice and he’s just got that charisma that everyone in that world loves.   He can act fine but he’s definitely more of a “performer” to do songs and what not.  Great personality though.

Denzel Washington

He won a Tony this year and something tells me that as he gets older we might continue seeing Washington perform on stage.

Ed Norton

Not many people know that Norton began his career in off-Broadway plays before he shocked Hollywood with his screen test for Primal Fear.  I was lucky enough to see Norton in a play called “Burn This” which happened to be amazing.   I hope he gets on stage soon because I would definitely pay to see him again.   Personally I thought he should have gotten a Tony for that one.

Catherine Zeta Jones

Zeta Jones is kind of my equivalent to Hugh Jackman but as a female.  She’s incredibly good looking, has a very solid singing voice and brings that personality that you don’t see often.  It’s kind of like how you have to act in a commercial, a little over the top but fun enough that the crowd loves you.

  • Zuhalter2000

    Neil Patrick Harris?

  • Training Day…The Musical. Epic.

  • cenaris

    This is list is perfect in every way. But what about Patrik Stewart? Versatile on camera or on stage.

  • nathan lane anyone?

  • Cheryl

    Ian Mckellan? I’ve only seen his performances on tv but loved him in Macbeth.

  • pt

    how about mandy patinkin. LOVE him!

  • Chrystani

    That first pic kills all my Wolverine fantasies…


    Its the equivalent of a cold shower for a man.

  • There are really so many but these are the best/ fun to watch and some can really really sing, I’ll stary with the best singer

    Ewan Mcgregor- played Othello and did the movie Moulin Rouge! and all the voice overing was actualy him in studio
    Neil Patrick Harris- need I say?
    Mandy Patinkin- too many to list
    Patrick Stewart- Currently on Broadway in A Life in the Theatre
    Kelsey Grammer- Currently on Broadway in La Cage aux Folles
    Nathan Lane/Matthew Broderick so good they made a movie of the Producers
    James Earl Jones – Currently on Broadway in Driving Mrs Daisy and come on its freak James Earl Jones!!
    Al Pacino- Currently on Broadway in The Merchant of Venice, though dont expect him to do drugs or shoot up the place
    David Duchovny/Amanda Peet- Currently on off-Broadway in The Break of Noon

  • pardal711

    ian mckellan, patrick stewart, and jude law…all AMAZING on stage!

  • prowse

    Odd thing here is – each one you named STARTED on the stage, in each case became rather established there, THEN went to TV/Movies, re-established as Film/TV actors, THEN decided again to re-enter the stage a few more times; and perhaps continue (as in the cases of almost any actor in the Movie “Snake Eyes”, with a possible exception of Nicholas Cage, where each had a rather simultaneous career both off and on stages)

    By the premise of this article, Stewart Patrick wouldnt make the list as he started his career on stage – not TV or film.

    Try naming 5 that NEVER hit the stage until they were well already ESTABLISHED film (and probably TV) actors: (And let’s just add Stand-up and improv shouldnt count as “The Stage”)

    Steve Martin (not only on stage, but later est. playwright)
    Jim Carrey

    OK, that’s two. I can’t think of any more right now.

  • John

    I have no idea if this was actually “good” or just “weird,” but I know that Jeff Goldblum went off-Broadway to play Harold Hill in the “Music Man.”

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  • Ive read Jeremy Piven’s run on Speed-the-Plow revival received fairly positive reviews. but he had to leave the show early. the producers of the show even threatened to slap him with a lawsuit for his exit from the show.

  • OTWarrior

    Neil Patrick Harris missing from this list? WTF!