Probably the most over-the-top comic on this roster, Jim Carrey has had varying degrees of sucess trying to play it serious. He failed horribly in The Majestic, was great in Eternal Sunshine (if you consider that a drama, I don’t), but above all else he was spot on in The Truman Show, where he played a hapless worldwide celebrity quite literally trapped in a bubble.
Steve Carrell’s carrer is still in relatively its early stages, so he’ll probably have more drama ahead on the horizon, but his most serious role to date was in the black comedy Little Miss Sunshine where he played a gay, suicidal author trying to deal with his insane family. Sure the film itself is a comedy, but look at that picture and tell me that’s not a drastic personality change for the man. And let us not forget about his new performance in Foxcatcher.
Here’s the thing. I actually liked Robin Williams much better as a serious actor. He was amazing in Good Will Hunting, One Hour Photo, The Fisher King and Death to Smoochy, often playing some truly messeed up characters. Sure he was great in comedies like Mrs. Doubtfire, but I’d rather see him play a psychopath any day of the week rather than to see the playful Patch Adams.
Pegg used to be unknown to the American masses but his two comedies, Shaun of the Dead and Hott Fuzz were both wide releases and instant classics that anyone with half a brain saw. He was very solid J.J. Abrams upcoming Star Trek. Like ike these other legends of comedy before him, Pegg can stepped up to the dramatic plate when he needed to.
Kal Penn in The Namesake – But he’s not particularly funny to begin with.
Vince Vaughn in Into the Wild – One of the most random cameos of that year.
John C. Reily in Magnolia – Part of the ensemble.
Will Ferrell in Melinda and Melinda – Yes, Will Ferrel was in a Woody Allen movie, for some reason.
Owen Wilson in Behind Enemy Lines – But it sucked.
Luke Wilson in 3:10 to Yuma – Blink and you’ll miss him.
Ben Stiller in Nothing, nothing at all – Branch out a little, man.