Times when actors "played against type"

Let’s have a thread where we chat about times that actors “played against type” and how successful they were at it

You know, like when Robin Williams was a serial killer in Insomnia (pretty good) or when Henry Fonda was a black hat cowboy in Once Upon a Time in the West (also pretty good)

off you go DIS

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Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo

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chat it up please

yes - a great example, I rewatched this recently and he really is a total shit in it

I think the 1st time I saw it I was so used to “nice guy JImmy Stewart” , it took me a while to realise how nasty he is in this

I think you’ve summed it up here.

Tony Curtis in The Boston Strangler is another one - at that point he was still deemed a heartthrob and so to take on that role was a big change.

(he’s excellent in it, too)

Maybe Heath Ledger in the Dark Knight? Was known as a handsome heart throb type, tended to do mainly light-hearted stuff (Brokeback Mountain notwithstanding). When he was cast, no one thought he’d do a good job.

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I heard once Leslie Nielsen was only known as a straight actor before Airplane - so him being wacky in that was playing against type, but then that type became his type

Imagine Leslie Nielsen trying to play a straight role post Airplane, impossible

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then he found that Tom Waits interview on youtube and he was sorted

De Niro was great in ‘A Bronx Tale’ playing a mild bus-driver getting into trouble with a gangster (Chazz Palminteri).

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He’s really good in The Forbidden Planet, a sci-fi version of The Tempest.

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Bruce Willis as the bumbling island cop in Moonrise Kingdom (very good)

Owen Wilson as a soldier in Behind Enemy Lines (very bad)

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yeah this is good

I wonder if King of Comedy counts as him playing against type - or when he switched to more comic roles like Midnight Run

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I’m finding that quite difficult to imagine, and stop calling me impossible

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Remember when Shaun Penn played Robert Smith from the cure in a film?

probably not cos I don’t think that film exists

Michael Caine as a cuddly stoner who calls people ‘amigo’ in Children of Men

Hugh Grant in Cloud Atlas is the correct answer methinks. Bad and distracting.

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I’ve seen this film, but I seem to have erased the Michael Caine bit from my memory

John Cleese’s current role of racist prick

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Even by his standards he was deeply annoying in that film.

doesnt seem against type

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