Why so serious about serious actors in comedy roles.
When a comedy actor turns out to have great dramatic talent - then the whole film world writes about his achievement with surprise and respect, and the Film Academy often offers at least a nomination for a statuette. Reverse cases are much less frequently written. When a dramatic actor turns out to have a talent for comedy. It's a pity because being funny is really an art. Here are a few actors who amused me a little by surprise.
At the beginning, however, there are a few things to note. The first one I did not take into this list the situation in which I met the actor as a comedy to later discover that I lived in error - here is a perfect example of Leslie Nielsen - the actor who I and my peers knew mainly from roles such as Airplane or Naked Gun only after as an adult to discover that he had played mainly major roles before. I did not add to my list of actors about whom it was probably quite common knowledge that they appear in various films - like John C. Reilly - an excellent American actor who performs in comedic and dramatic roles and also sings well and in all roles he can find yourself. Similarly, Olivia Colman, who in one year received the award for the best dramatic and comedy role, and for no one it was any special surprise. As usual, there is a certain subjective approach and experience, i.e. some of you may have met the same actors in comedic roles and then surprised to discover their more serious career.
Jon Hamm - an actor known primarily from the Mad Men series has always seemed to me as such a typical American dramatic actor, created for the main roles. Classically handsome, frugal at his role, perfectly depicting the hero's internal crisis on the screen. What was my surprise when I first saw him in the comedy. This serious Don Draper with a silly smile perfectly matched the 30 Rock cast playing a man who is terribly stupid but so handsome that he succeeds and everyone treats him well. In Unbreakable, Kimmy Smith he played a pastor, a cheater who imprisoned the main character for years. Pathetic on the one hand, charismatic enough on the other to make his role credible. Today I must honestly admit that I am more eager to watch Jon Hamm in the comedy edition. At the same time, I wonder how many actors who have no chance to show off their comedic talent because they don't look like comedic actors. Indeed, Jon Hamm definitely looks more like a typical American star (though maybe from the Golden Era of Hollywood than modern) than a comedy movie actor.
Ralph Fiennes - for some time it could be concluded that Fiennes does not go on the set until the scriptwriter ensures that someone will die, be very unhappy, torn apart or even dissatisfied with life and entangled in history. His approaches to the lighter roles (remember The Avengers) were, say, slightly unsuccessful. And suddenly in recent years, this king of "dramatic productions, which certainly end badly, and the main character looks sadly into space" began to appear in the roles of lighter, or rather comedic. At first, Wes Anderson hired him for his team, giving him a chance to play a phenomenal role in the Grand Budapest Hotel. I was surprised at how easily Fiennes played his grotesque but sympathetic hotel concierge. In turn, Ave, Cesar! Fiennes probably played one of the funniest scenes I have seen in the cinema for a long time, when an experienced British director tries to teach a young American actor how to pronounce one film sentence.
I don't know what happened that Fiennes decided to take lighter roles (also on the stage) but he really works phenomenally.
Leonardo DiCaprio - he moved some by getting stuck in the horse's guts or running back and forth across the snowy wasteland. I must admit, however, that he genuinely delighted me in Wolf of Wall Street. And not with those pieces that can be considered dramatic or moving. I really gained respect for the actor when I saw him in comedy scenes. Especially the scene where our hero, unable to move too much, tries to get into his car. What Leonardo did in this scene - an authentic comedy slapstick, a scene requiring the rare gift of such a physical comedy surprised me. Because really few actors can be funny in this way and it's a pity that apart from a few scenes in their dramatic productions DiCaprio rather does not show his comedic talent. It's a pity because it really has something to show off.
Brad Pitt - one of my greatest discoveries of recent years - as a child of the 90s I was always convinced that Brad Pitt was on the cinema just because every generation needs a handsome blond with blue eyes who can play all those dramatic lovers and honest to bone marrow heroes. Hence, it was a great surprise to me how easily Pitt finds himself in comedy roles. Again, if you remember - the idea of casting him in such a fairly classic romantic comedy (The Mexican) proved to be a mistake. But when the Coen brothers took him - seriously, since I saw Brad Pitt as a total moron and a gym employee - nothing was the same. Playing a complete idiot is not as easy as it may seem, but Pitt did very it well. Since then, I have been happy to follow all flashes of his comedic talent, which he recently exhibits somewhat more eagerly. And rightly so, because he really is good at it.
George Clooney - Dr. Ross from E.R was charming but it is hard to consider him as a comedy character. Just as it is hard to consider Clooney's later incarnations as comedy heroes - they were mainly classic heroes of American cinema, with a slight admixture of charm. It is hardly surprising, because Clooney was handsome, and such comedic actors are rarely proposed. And again we should be grateful to the Coen brothers - thanks to their films I saw another Clooney - funny, slapstick and incredibly stupid. As Clooney, hardly anyone can play idiots, which the Coen brothers have shown beautifully in Intolerable Cruelty or * Burn After Reading*. Clooney is also a great comedy actor because while in dramatic roles he seems quite conservative, in comedy he goes all the way. He is not afraid to look bad or stupid and has the rare gift of speaking the most moronic lines of dialogue with a deadly serious expression. In addition, he perfectly plays with his well-known film image. Knowing what to expect gives us a little different. Clooney is an unexpected comedic actor because in the end we have the impression that he laughs mainly at himself which does not happen so often.
Robert DeNiro - today it is difficult to recognize DeNiro's comedy career as an addition to his dramatic career because the actor is now beginning to equalize the number of dramatic and comedy roles in his CV. Which doesn't change the fact that for many viewers - it was a surprise to me when DeNiro first appeared in comedy productions. And the first comedy performances of the actor were all the more fun because we were constantly aware of "But This is DeNiro!" All in all, I still wonder if most of the actor's comedic roles are still based on the audience's surprise that the Taxi Driver or Godfather can really be fun. Although DeNiro has his moments in comedy films, he is not an outstanding comedic actor. Good, but there is no flash of genius that could be seen when he played in dramatic films.
Johnny Depp - today it is impossible to think of Depp only as an actor of dramatic cinema. But it wasn't always this way. Before the Pirates of the Caribbean, it was obvious that Depp plays in these sad and serious films, hangs out with directors such as Kusturica or Jarmusch, and even if he is potentially funny then in a film that is hard to classify as a classic comedy (Las Vegas Parano is hard to consider as a classic comedy). The greater surprise was when it turned out that Depp can create an extremely funny character. What's more, he can give a characteristic way of moving or speaking. Few actors have introduced the character to such a more generally pop-cultural awareness, but Depp managed to make today Jack Sparrow (somewhere there should be a captain) is a well-known character that we can easily refer to. Another thing - Depp repeatedly tried to approach comedy roles many times and it never worked out so well. Mainly because we saw some of them in Sparrow.
Tom Cruise - if something seemed certain, is that Tom Cruise doesn't like when to laugh at him. It is true that at the beginning of his career he played a minor role in Risky Business but then you could come to the conclusion that he is not interested in any film in which he will not save the world or suffer. For me, like probably for everyone, his role as a film producer in Tropic Thunder was in which he not only laughed at himself but also at all existing film producers. The role was really successful and like everyone who watched the movie, I began to wonder what would happen if Tom instead of saving the world decided to make us laugh a little. For now, we do not have a definite answer, although it must be admitted that the comedy elements Edge of Tomorrow are one of the best I've seen in an actor's performance, so maybe we should put him somehow, for a movie in which he saves the world but it's fun. Especially since glimpses of this comedic talent could be seen a long time ago (in total in Interview with the Vampire).
That's it for now. I found many lists on the Internet that suggested adding Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges or Christian Bale here.
I was also wondering whether to put Cumberbatch on the list, because he really was very good at Starter for 10. However, this does not change the fact that all the lists of dramatic actors who have proven themselves in comedic roles are surprisingly short. While writing the list the other way around - comedic actors who surprised in the drama, is incredibly easy, you have to do some gymnastics this way. However, for me it is a reward - discover that a dramatic actor can also be funny. At the same time, I began to wonder - how many actors could really surprise in the comedy role. I would love to see if Fassbender can be funny (there are grounds to think so - in the end he played in Frank and the Inglourious Basterds) or Hiddleston. In general, I have the impression that every actor should show us at least once in a lifetime from the comedy side. And since we're here, who would you like to see in the comedy role? And who did you see and I forgot about it completely? I am very curious.