It’s a hard old life for the Hollywood set. You spend years trying to get your name out there and once you do, you often find yourself packed up and labelled as a specific type. The five actors we’ve picked out here have all done extremely well out of their various types but we can’t help but wonder what would happen if they broke out of their boxes…
1. Michelle Rodriguez
Rodriguez is just about the only woman working in action films today who isn’t put in the cast to get off with the lead guy and take her top off (we’re looking in your direction Zoe Saldana). This is a girl we’ll never see in a rom-com! Instead, she has been typecast as the girl to kick some ass and look as convincing as the guys while doing so. From her debut Girlfight to Avatar and her upcoming role in Predators there is no other actress out there who looks so convincing with heavy artillery.
2. Christopher Walken
Christopher Walken is something a double threat when it comes to typecasting. Thanks to that famously creepy thousand yard stare, his early career saw him picking up a lot of roles as the unsettlingly intense guy who will probably crack up by the end of the movie (see Annie Hall, The Deer Hunter). Since that Fatboy Slim video though, Walken has carved out a nice little career for himself popping up in the most unlikely roles and generally messing about like a mad old uncle at a wedding. Just check out this scene from Romance and Cigarettes.
3. Drew Barrymore
If Julia Roberts is America’s Sweetheart, the surely Drew Barrymore is her goofy younger sister. Yes, Drew is always there to fill the part of the slightly dorky but adorable love interest. Less threatening than the usual screen sirens and always pleased to make a fool out of herself, she has charmed audiences in this fashion since her turn in E.T. in films like Never Been Kissed, The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates etc. Etc. Maybe now she’s turned her hand to directing she’ll break the mould.
4. Samuel L. Jackson
You want somebody to shot a lot, swear a lot and look damn cool while doing it? Jackson is your man. His is s type which can sometimes be menacing but over the years has become increasingly silly. This of course all came to a head with Snakes On A Plane where Mr. Jackson looked like he was having a hell of a good time playing up to his image as the shouty, sweary bad-ass. You have to wonder if he’s really all that pleased about it though. Maybe Samuel cries himself to sleep every night thinking of the rom-com roles that could never be.
5. Christian Bale
If we could think of one word to describe the screen career of Mr. Bale (let’s be polite, we don’t want to upset him) it would be INTESNSE. He may have done a great floppy haired job as Winona Ryder’s love interest in 1994’s Little Women but ever since he picked up the chainsaw for American Psycho, he has become the go-to guy for those roles which are dark and brooding, with a side order of barely restrained insanity. Judging by his famous outburst on the set of The Dark Knight, this goes a lot further than his film roles!