Wait, That’s The Same Person?~In Which I Am In Awe About Actors’ Amazing Abilities

Greetings, my friends!

There are a lot of pretty fantastic things in the world. Like books, for example. And salmon. But we are not going to talk about books or salmon today, alas. We are going to talk about actors.

I watch a lot of movies, okay. I am basically an expert in the art of cinema. To be honest I spend most of my time tearing it apart, but today I am going to talk about something that is actually quite fantastic.

There are a lot of talented actors out there. Actors can be considered amazing for a multiplicity of reasons, but in this post I will be highlighting one reason in particular, namely the ability to play roles that are widely different from each other.

Some actors play one particular type of role extremely well, but they don’t do much else. Some actors really jump all over the place. They are impressive, let me tell you.

Thus, I have formulated a list comprised of a number of actors who have impressed me with their skill in this area.

Roger Bart (Hercules, Snoopy, Vice Principal Nero)

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The sweet, dreamy eyed youth (Hercules) who pours his heart out with “Go the Distance” is also Charlie Brown’s supper-obssessed beagle (in the 1999 off-Broadway production) and the slightly deranged Vice Principal of Prufrock Preparatory School (A Series of Unfortunate Events).

I guess the only similarity that I can come up with between these three is that they all have some kind of dream. Other than that there is really nothing. I mean…you all remember Hercules, right?

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He’s terrifying, isn’t he?

Hugh Jackman (Roddy St. James, Charlie Kenton, Wolverine)

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Okay, so Wolverine (X-Men) and Charlie Kenton (Real Steel) are pretty similar. They are both cool and athletic and moody and good at making really stupid decisions. I thought that was Hugh Jackman’s thing.

(If you haven’t seen Real Steel, look it up, it’s a spectacular movie.)

But then I realized…

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…that this fantastic, fidgety, mild-mannered rat (Flushed Away) was voiced by Hugh Jackman.

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And naturally my respect for him increased significantly.

Also he does Broadway, and I always appreciate a human who sings, even if they also do the whole superhero thing. Superheroes should sing, guys.

Neil Patrick Harris (Toby, Count Olaf)

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The first thing I saw Neil Patrick Harris in was A Series of Unfortunate Events. Count Olaf is delusional, creepy, sinister, and just plain melodramatic.

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Then I saw him as Toby in a concert version of the musical Sweeney Todd. He was just this sweet, innocent child.

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Of course with several of these characters, make-up has something to do with it, but if you could see these humans in action you would be see that there is a lot more to it than that. It’s like a whole alternate way of being.

Jessica Chastian (Celia Foote, Murph, Commander Lewis)

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Murph (Interstellar) and Commander Lewis (The Martian) are both intense geniuses who do stuff in space. They are cool and collected but also filled up with emotions. Jessica Chastain is brilliant as both of them.

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But she is also the giggly, hair-brained Celia Foote (The Help). And somehow you love her just as fiercely as this character. She manages to be so silly and so authentic at the same time, which isn’t easy to do.

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Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange, Mrs. Bucket)

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She is kind of known for playing creepy, deranged roles like Bellatrix Lestrange. And she’s really good at it.

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But she is also totally adorable as Charlie Bucket’s mother (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and we have to give her points for not creeping us out even though she has the same face.

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How can you not love this woman? She is holding a cabbage.

Paul Giamatti (Ralph, Eugene Landy)

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I first noticed Paul Giamatti’s awesomeness in Saving Mr. Banks, in which he plays the lovable chauffeur Ralph. He’s literally the friendliest, sweetest man on the planet and it’s practically impossible not to like him. Even P.L. Travers warms up to him eventually, and she’s a tough nut to crack.

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(That’s her in the back, being cold and grumpy- and also awesome, because she’s Emma Thompson.)

But then I saw him in Love and Mercy, in which he is the slimiest creep to crawl this earth. Even his smile gives me the creeps.

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Yeah, he’s the creepy one on the right.

Epilogue

Well, there you have it. It amazes me how the same person can come across as having such a completely different…soul. Like, they look the same but they are NOT THE SAME. It’s crazy. I mean, I guess it’s just normal. But still crazy.

Do you ever geek out about actors being able to portray such widely different types of characters, or are you pretty chill about it? Which actors have impressed you the most with their abilities to play different kinds of characters?

17 thoughts on “Wait, That’s The Same Person?~In Which I Am In Awe About Actors’ Amazing Abilities

  1. It is amazing how an actor or actress can play so many kinds of characters- from villains to non-villains, etc. Hard to believe the talent you can find in them

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gosh, I didn’t know Vice Principal Nero was actually handsome in another life (as in the real life actor 😂😂). And I love the mention of cabbage and gentle Helena!

    The first versatile actor that came to mind was Benedict Cumberbatch. There’s his roles as Sherlock, the founder of Wikileaks, Smaug, Dr Strange, a spy in the Cold War, a major in War Horse, a clumsy illegitimate son, Vincent van Gogh, Stephen Hawking… and the list goes on 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How ’bout the time Leonardo DiCaprio played two completely different roles in /the same movie/? Louis and Phillipe in “The Man in the Iron Mask”. (Boy shoulda won himself his Oscar right there … if only he could pronounce the Musketeers’ names with anything resembling a French accent, lol)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes! I just watched that movie for the first time. It is so cool how he was able to be such a brat and so innocent in the same film. I pretty much hated Louis but I wanted to protect Phillipe at all costs. Impressive acting indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Helena Bonham Carter blows my mind. For example, the first time I saw her in a movie was the newer Cinderella movie. She was sweet and bubbly and such a fun fairy godmother. And then I saw her in Les Miserables. And she was Madame Thenadier. AND THEN I saw her in The King’s Speech…and she was the most wonderful woman to ever grace the British Monarchy. I really don’t know how she does it.
    Also, Mandy Patinkin. How can he be someone like Inigo Montoya, and then Archie Craven?
    I’m in awe of anyone who can play multiple types of characters. It truly is an art. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH YES. How could I forget The King’s Speech? That role is completely different than both Bellatrix and Mrs. Bucket, as well as the characters you mentioned. It is so impressive, I love her.
      Haha, yeah, Inigo and Archie Craven are very different, and he is brilliant as both of them!
      It IS an art. It proves that they are really acting instead of relying on their natural personality to make a character seem real. It is so cool!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Whoa, I’ve never thought about this but I agree, that’s amazing. It’s kind of weird because I feel like if you got a really really big part in something, it could hurt you in the future because you’re so connected to that character. I know that the actress who was Pam on The Office has receptionist in a past life or something along those lines in her instagram bio. That’s why I think it’s so impressive that these actors played such different and well-known characters. Also, I know it just came out, but have you seen Tolkien? And if so, what are your thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is crazy. It is true that a lot of times actors can get stuck in a rut of playing the same type of character because that is what everyone thinks of them as, even if they are really capable of other things. People like these remind us to think outside the box and give people a chance to show us what they can do.
      I have not seen Tolkien yet, but I want to. I may be patient enough to wait until it comes out on DVD…but I am not sure. I haven’t heard very good things about it… Have you seen it?

      Liked by 1 person

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