There’s certainly no shortage of bad actors in Hollywood, and it seems that many major roles go to actors who either “mail it in” or who the public is sick and tired of watching anyway. I’m not saying that Ghost Rider would have been good without Nic Cage, but maybe it’s time for some lesser-known actors to get a shot at playing in some major roles. There are five actors in particular that have been, in my opinion, pretty stellar in just about everything they’ve been in, but for the most part, they’re known individually as “that guy from show X” or “that dude who plays character Y.” Keep reading for five actors I think should be getting (and in one case, continue to get) major roles.
1. Nathan Fillion
You may have seen him in: Firefly, Serenity, Slither, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
Obscure roles: Father David (Dracula 2000)
Fillion is handsome, charming, and the type of actor who geeks love because he doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously (as opposed to someone like, I don’t know, Vin Diesel). Captain Mal Reynolds (Firefly, Serenity) is a legendary character as far as I’m concerned, and Fillion’s consistently strong and sometimes humorous performances show that he’s perfect to play a leading man in any type of action or blockbuster movie. Fillion, to me, seems to have that “aw shucks” charisma and when push comes to shove, can play a badass with no trouble at all. I mean, who didn’t think Fillion was perfect for that Green Lantern fan-made trailer? Put him in some blockbusters already.
2. Zachary Quinto
You may have seen him in: 24, Heroes, Star Trek
Obscure roles: Mike (Touched by an Angel)
Known to just about everyone as Sylar – and now Spock – Quinto did a real good job with the crappy material the Heroes writers fed him week after week. Despite his character being thrown through nonsensical arcs and flip-flopping between good and evil, Quinto managed to portray Sylar with a certain gravity that kept audiences either loving or hating him. He got a big break playing Spock in the new Star Trek film – and rightfully so – and there’s no doubt he’ll be back for a sequel. So, he’s gotten his major role, but I’m hoping he’ll do more than just play Spock and will be given the opportunity to play various characters in other movies that are as popular as Star Trek.
3. Ben Foster
You may have seen him in: 3:10 to Yuma, Alpha Dog, X-Men: The Last Stand
Obscure roles: Big Q (Phone Booth)
Quite simply, Foster has been good in everything I’ve seen him in. He’s intriguing and unnerving as Charlie Prince, Ben Wade’s effeminate right-hand man/killer in 3:10 to Yuma, convincingly plays a scumbag psychopath in Alpha Dog, and manages to steal away much of 30 Days of Night despite his rather brief appearance. Foster’s range is incredible; he is capable of playing just about any character and doing it well, too. He might not have the looks to be a leading man, but I’d gladly see Ben Foster as a villain any day of the week.
4. Alexander Skarsgard
You may have seen him in: Generation Kill, True Blood
Obscure roles: Meekus (Zoolander)
HOW THE F*CK THIS GUY GOT PASSED OVER FOR THE ROLE OF THOR I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND. In any event, Skarsgard has a screen presence that forces you to focus on him, often towering over the standard, 5-6″ pretty boy actors that surround him in any given scene. Gone are Stallone and Schwarzenegger, and the new generation desperately needs a new, believable action star. With The Rock tied up making Disney movies, may I suggest Alexander Skarsgard? Like Ben Foster, though, Skarsgard may be better suited to playing villains. Again, fine by me.
5. Garrett Dillahunt
You may have seen him in: Deadwood, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Obscure roles: Jesus Christ (The Book of Daniel)
I first saw Dillahunt as a dim deputy in No Country For Old Men, so when I saw him play a cold, emotionless Terminator in The Sarah Connor Chronicles, I could hardly believe it was the same actor. Even more impressive, Dillahunt’s role changed about halfway through the show; his Terminator chip replaced with a learning A.I., Dillahunt transformed into the childlike John Henry. Simply put, Dillahunt is a tremendous actor and can believably play just about any role – human or otherwise. He’s got a role in the upcoming movie The Road, but as he’s listed as “Gang Member,” I suspect it won’t be the type of major role I wish he’d land.
Any actors out there you feel should be given the chance to play some major roles? Someone out there you think needs more exposure? Let me know in the comments section.