Have you ever seen an actor in a movie and experienced déjà-vu? You feel like you’ve seen the character before, played by the same actor, but in a different film. If you have, then chances are you have come across the following offenders.
I don’t know whether it comes from laziness, typecasting, or just plain terrible acting; but these actors seem to play the exact same part in every movie they’re in. Have a look through my gallery of ingemination and find out for yourself. For the sake of convenience, I’ve given each actor a nickname that relates to their repetitious role.
Adam Brody (The ‘Hollywood’ Loser)
I’m not going to lie, I spent the vast majority of my teen years wishing I was Adam Brody. Well, not Adam Brody so much as his character on The OC, Seth Cohen. Seth was a nerd, but he dressed well and always had the funniest lines. The fact that he was picked on at school didn’t matter, because he had this fucked up self-confidence. In many ways, he was the ultimate juxtaposition – a cool loser.
Brody played the part well. Obviously a little too well, as Seth Cohen began to sneak out of him in his film career. He has a small role in Mr & Mrs Smith, a film that brought together two of Hollywoods most amoral philanderers. In the film, Brody plays a sarcastic nerd who is the target of the titular characters. Later the same year, he played Rob Lowe’s assistant in the hilarious Thank You For Smoking. He was equally silly and irreverent in that film.
Adam Brody is now well into his thirties, and is still playing the same roles. He showed up in Scream 4, as an immature cop. There may still be hope for Brody, as he is set to play porn star Harry Reems in the upcoming film Lovelace.
Michael Cera (The Realistic Loser)
Ah, Michael Cera. The very idea for this piece was borne out of my hatred of this hustler, who has managed to trick us all into buying tickets to see him play the same role over and over again. Cera tends to play the anti-Seth Cohen; characters who us losers can relate to on a more realistic level.
It all started with his role in Arrested Development. His solitude and cousin-loving made him a sympathetic, if not slightly creepy, fellow. Then came Superbad. He was hilarious as the foil to Jonah Hill’s zany, fat guy character. This was all well and good, until Juno popped. It seemed like Cera just traded in his corduroy pants for a pair of yellow running shorts, and kept going like he was still in Superbad. The trend continued in Year One, Youth In Revolt, Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Terrible.
Cera’s acting career will come full circle with the return of Arrested Development next year. Here’s hoping he uses the opportunity to expand his horizons. Even a little.
Zooey Deschanel (The Kooky Girl)
I first experienced Ms Deschanel as Andy’s kooky ex-girlfriend Kat on Showtime’s Weeds. There was something unorthodox and kooky about the character she played, and I liked it. Afterwards I watched Elf, in which she played a kooky New Yorker whom Will Ferrell’s character falls in love with. She then popped up in the otherwise terrible Failure to Launch, playing Sarah Jessica Parker’s kooky roommate.
Are we beginning to notice a pattern here? Deschanel seems to think that she can get by in the acting world by consistently doing the same thing, fooling us all with her big eyes. The worst part is that it appears to be working. Her debut as a leading lady in 2009’s (500) Days of Summer solidified her position as the kooky princess of Hollywood. Worse still, she now has her own television show, New Girl, which centers around a kooky girl who lives in an apartment with three guys. I think it’s time we let Zooey know that we are on to her and we’re not having any of her hipster bullshit. Right?
Fun fact: Zooey Deschanel is the younger – and more attractive – sister of angular-faced Emily Deschanel, who plays Dr Temperance Brennan on Bones. In fact, Zooey starred in a 2009 episode of the series as Brennan’s kooky cousin. How shocking.
Seth Rogen (The Lovable Stoner)
There isn’t much to say about Seth Rogen. Since his role in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, he has lost a shitload of weight, but maintained the same level of acting ability. One of these days, the guy is bound to win an Oscar for delivering terrible weed jokes while playing an immature loser.
In Knocked Up, Rogen’s character has a website on which he and his friends update readers on the exact location of female nudity in specific movies. As a tribute to Rogen, I’ve decided to do the same thing, but instead of nudity, I’ll pinpoint his finest acting moments. I haven’t managed to find any yet, but I still haven’t seen The Green Hornet …
Kristen Stewart (The Forgettable Lead)
Some actors can portray emotion solely through their eyes. Others use subtle changes in body language to indicate a change in mood. Kristen Stewart has distanced herself from these techniques by creating one of her own. When Stewart wishes to display any emotion – positive or negative – all she has to do is gently bite her bottom lip and awkwardly fidget with her hands. This has served her well in the movies where she is cast as an awkward outsider. Lets run through some of Kristen’s roles, and see how she employed her sophisticated techniques:
- Trapped in a panic room? Bite lip and fidget awkwardly.
- In love with your co-worker at a theme park? Bite lip and fidget awkwardly
- In love with a sparkly vampire? Bite lip and fidget awkwardly.
- Trying to escape the clutches on an evil queen? Bite lip, fidget awkwardly and fuck the director.
Something tells me Meryl Streep won’t be losing too much sleep …