5 Actors Who Play The Same Role In Every Movie

michael ceraHave 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)

Adam Brody

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. 

Seth&Summer4Eva

Michael Cera (The Realistic Loser)

Michael Cera

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)

Kooky Deschanel

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)

Seth Rogen

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)

Lip-Loving Kristen

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 …

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Comments

  1. Velandrae says

    You are so, so right about Kristen Stewart. I’ve long thought her talents must lie somewhere other than acting & now we all know. She is just painful to watch.

  2. Eric P says

    Actually, there were enough for a top ten. Number one is John Wayne. The king of playing the same guy in every movie. Then there is, as Sheila mentions, Nic Cage and Bill Shatner. What about Paul Walker? Or Keanu Reeves? (although in the last two cases, it may be that their acting is SO terrible, it just seems like the same character)

  3. Eric P says

    And Adam Sandler’s Man-Boy character. For two decades, he just played the same guy in different settings. Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Water Boy, Little Nicky, Big Daddy, Mr. Deeds, 50 first dates, wedding singer, etc.

  4. Ticolo Dimanch says

    God; you just missed Jason Statham… The guy plays over and over again in every of his 4 movies per year; same and same character: tough guy who doesn’t have a single recolection of danger and always wins… His most different character ever is The Transporter… Wait, no, on all movies he also knows how to crazy drive… Anyhow, you get the point!

    How about Tom Cruise? He’s always action-adventure-tough skilled guy and, as if it stayed it so on the contract; he must have a running super-fast scene…

    In the end, all of Jason’s and Tom’s movies are simply great… But they are cliches of themselves over and over again.

  5. sb says

    I thought i was missing something, but i have always said i thought Kristen Stewart is a terrible actress….everything she says is in monotone, no expressions, nada…i too think its uncomfortable to watch her and thought I was the only one that thought that..

  6. John Mayo says

    Let’s see: Jean Claude Van Dam (lots of kicking), The Rock – Dwayne Johnson (lots of fighting, gunfire, violence), Jennifer Aniston (hopeless romantic, ditzy), Salma Hayek (she plays the most beautiful woman in the world every second of every day), Jason Stratham (drive fast and fight), Sylvester Stallone (too easy), Edward Norton (geeky annoying guy), Vin Diesel (see descriptions for JCVD, The Rock and Stratham, just more with vintage “muscle cars”), Owen Wilson (is he unintentionally funny, or just funny?), let me think about this for a while. Matt Damon is the smart “go getter”. I can mention many more. If you disagree about the above, please tell me why.

  7. Tina says

    @sb, I always thought the same thing, too, about Kristen Stewart. You could interchange her in any movie that she’s made, and it wouldn’t change anything. That same I’msick/I’msuffering look all the time. You could take her out of the Panic Room and put her in the woods with Edward, or in the woods with the Evil Queen Whatserface from SnowWhite and the Huntsman. Same look.

  8. Noobfulness says

    I can’t say much about the others, but if you think that Zooey Deschanel can only play kooky then you obviously haven’t seen Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or the SciFi original, Tin Man. Just saying.

  9. Leticia says

    Please, pleaseeee, take Edward Norton and Matt Damon out of this. Have you EVER in your life watched “Fight Club” and “The Illusionist”?? Norton is totally different in both of them. And have you ever watched “The Bourne Trilogy”, “Good Will Hunting” and “The Informant”??? C’mon! Damon looks genious in all his movies and plays different roles every time. And about Vin Diesel, he’s main role is the tough guy, but his acting qualities change from “The Pacifier” to “Find me Guilty”.

  10. Mitch says

    Where is Liam Neeson the ex special agent that seeks revenge on a whole slew of ppl and kills all of them

  11. Heather says

    Number one should have been Richard Gere. Hands down. He only has one facial expression and one tone of voice. I have no idea how he got so many roles in his day. As for Kristen Stewart, anyone ever see her in Zathura? It was before she became famous and I actually didn’t believe she actually played the character when I saw it on IMDB.com. I had to watch it again to believe it-her acting was so much better then. She’s probably under contract to “be” Bella until the Twilight series is done and over with. If you think Liam Neeson is always the same character, you need to watch Shindler’s List.

  12. Morgan says

    Stewart was passable in some of her movies as a child. Zathura wasn’t bad and neither was Catch That Kid, but since then she’s just gone downhill. At this point her acting has gone from passable to non-exsistent. Even before she played Bella she was doing a lot of this stuff. Twilight just made everyone see it.

  13. Morgan says

    They definitely could have added Nicolas Cage and Adam Sandler. I love Cage in the National Treasure movies, but he really is pretty much the same in all his movies. And Sandler’s played the loveable man-child, as someone called him, so many times that he’s almost gotten annoying in that role.
    Of the above, Stewart definitely fits the best as the same in every role, but I think that’s simply because she’s exactly the same whether she’s acting or not. In other words, she doesn’t really act at all. She is the single worst actress I have ever seen and I honestly cannot imagine how anyone can possibly like her or any of the movies she has ever been in. Twilight should have been a flop solely because of her inability to act.

  14. Hal says

    I think the author is discounting the fact that a lot of actors, even big name stars, are type cast and CAN’T get hired to play new types of characters. I don’t think that’s the case with Stewart, because who gets known and hired solely for their awkward lip-biting abilities, but I do think it’s valid for actors like Michael Cera, Seth Rogan, Zooey Deschanel, and Adam Brody. They have excelled at a particular archetype so much that it has became more or less their brand. It can get them success but it can also take away their freedom of choice. I just wanted to mention this because the tone of the article is very much “why don’t they try anything new for once?!!”

    It’s not like actors – aside from a very, very, very few – get to sit around and go “I think I’d like to star as a drug-addicted serial killer. After that I’ll go for a comedic genius sort of role. Then maybe a noble soldier…”

  15. lw says

    The one on your list I don’t agree with is Ed Norton. His roles have some variety. He played a drug dealer/kingpin type in Spike Lee’s 25th Hour, a repentant (and extremely muscular) neo-Nazi murderer in American History X and most recently, he played a white trash convict with corn rows in some movie with Milla Jovovich and DeNiro (didn’t see it – can’t remember the name). He’s been the villain and the good guy. Not the same as Michael Cera who has played George Michael Bluth in EVERYTHING.

  16. ray says

    Will Ferrell, plays the same grown up moron, just like Adam Sandler’s Man boy character, I haven’t seen more than 2 Kristen Stewart movies and was bored with her after Panic Room, Michael Cera has a little more range, but not by much, it wasn’t til I saw a rerun of Arrested Development that I realized he’s still playing that character. Seth Rogan doesn’t always play the stoner, Observe and Report and Green Hornet were different characters, how about the cop in Superbad. Zooey Deschanel in Tin Man was not the quirky part she plays in other films and after seeing it a couple of times repeated on a Cable channel her role in Big Trouble (as Ben Foster’s blond girlfriend) was completely different. There are a lot of ‘ One Trick Pony’s’ out there, I think someone is just trying to key on some of the more well known’s in a few parts, rather than looking at a career of playing the same character in every movie with a different Name, the one that stands out the most to me is the incredibly and painfully unfunny Will Ferrell, From Elf to Land of the Lost, same guy different movie. I don’t see how anyone would intentionally watch any of his movies without being on the verge of euthanasia, Semi Pro, Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers, how many bad movies can one talentless hack star in?

  17. Mairin says

    Woody Allen. I wish he’d just stay on the other side of the camera. Is it possible that he is playing himself in every movie – always a stupid, neurotic, bumbling, stuttering bore?

  18. Annabella says

    Topping this list should have been Jennifer Aniston, who, ten plus years after “Friends” is still playing Rachel Green in every single role she plays, closely followed by Jessica Alba, J-Ho, and Emma Watson. And yes, I also agree with Richard Gere, Nicholas Cage, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, and most of all, Woody Allen.

  19. El Conquistador says

    I cannot fathom how you left off George “One-Note” Clooney!
    Granted, it isn’t a bad note, as long as the role requires a guy to act JUST LIKE GEORGE CLOONEY. I cannot think of a role where he ever acted at all.

  20. jerry says

    Christoph Waltz, same mannerisms in every movie he’s ever ‘acted’ in.He’s essentially the same character, only slightly tweaked, in Django Unchained, Inglorious Bastards and Green Hornet. I can’t be the only one who has noticed this…

  21. Rachel says

    Kristen Stewart is the most awkward, uncomfortable actress I’ve ever had the displeasure to watch. I don’t think she’s purely bad at acting, I think she just doesn’t understand HOW to act. Apparently she didn’t get the memo that fidgeting with your hair and stuttering with every word doesn’t count as being a good performer.

  22. krjemb says

    Fun fact about Zooey…neither fun nor fact, just an opinion. And seriously Kristen was like nine years old in Panic Room.

  23. Shari says

    I was thinking the same thing; I love Tin Man and Zooey does a beautiful job. I don’t think her characters are always the same, they just look that way because of those eyes.

    I knew the moment I saw the title of this piece that Michael Cera would be #1, I swear he is not an actor, he just shows up and cameras film him and call it a movie.

  24. Shari says

    Supporting argument please…

    Depp has never played the same character from one movie to another unless it was a series. He can be a fantastical creature (Mad Hatter), a normal person (J.M. Barrie), and pretty much everything on the spectrum inbetween.

    You do not have to like him or you can hate that your g/f thinks he’s hot, but you have to respect that he is one of the greatest character actors (if not the greatest) of our generation. I think he ranks right up there with Dick VanDyke on that count.

  25. Chris Stoll says

    Saying that an action star plays the same role because they fight in every movie doesn’t make sense. That’s like saying a comedian plays the same role all of the time because they’re always making jokes. Sylvester Stalone’s character in his two most famous movies, “Rocky” and “Rambo” are completely different. Same with Vin Diesel “Ridick” and “F&F”

  26. Chris Stoll says

    Jim Carrey – came from being type cast as a weird ridiculous character and has been amazing at all of his roles.

  27. Chris Stoll says

    Will Farrel has strayed from his idiot role in some of his movies, but I agree MOST are the same.

  28. Tina says

    Zooey’s Trillian isn’t kooky, but you can see her trying to act like a smart nerdy girl by playing up her trademarked “awkwardness.” Painful to watch, really, and just about the only bad thing in the otherwise excellent movie. Damn hipsters ruin everything. Granted, she’s flipping gorgeous, but not so much with the acting chops.

  29. says

    I don’t always think it’s a bad thing to be a “one character” actor. Jack Nicholson is my classic example. He does the “crazy” guy to varying degrees in every movie. No one would argue he isn’t brilliant, but he plays a certain type of role.

  30. Reeb says

    Calling Kristen Stewart “The Forgettable Lead” is the most accurate description I’ve heard of her yet. Bravo!

  31. Deborah Bee says

    Jennifer Aniston is Rachel in every movie. It’s so true about John Wayne didn’t make a difference if he was in a Western or not. Johnny Depp is getting tiresome to look at. Though it may be because he plays that pirate character too often, that its mannerisms seem to be in every other character he plays. I wish the media would call these actors out on their acting “skills” more often. I’ll add Daniel Day Lewis to the list too. He’s like Depp. No matter what those two do, you feel as if you’ve seen it all before.

  32. wtf says

    What are you talking about? Norton does not play geeky annoying in any of his movies.
    American history X?
    Fight club?
    Primal Fear?
    The Painted Veil?
    Same thing for Damon? you clearly have never seen any of their movies.

  33. doro8202 says

    Guess you forgot the biggest of them all JENNIFER Anniston. She can’t act worth a bean, she just keeps playing her friends character over and over and over and over and over again. Worthless overpaid.

  34. doro8202 says

    I am right there with you. Perfect example of nepotism if there ever was one. Good thing she had influential parents or she would be working McDonald’s. Not to insult the people at McDonalds, they at least smile.

  35. Mike says

    The only person that has been tricked is you thinking this article has any worth. Maybe we like to see these actors play similiar roles because we like those characters. There are plenty of movies out there so who cares? I love Cera and everything he is in as with most of the actors on this list. Yeah Twilight is lame and boring but that’s not Stewart’s fault, its the writing. I bet Michael Bay ruined your childhood too. Was there a point to this article other than, “I’m bored and have nothing to say but I feel like complaining”? If so, congrats, you succeeded!

  36. jennie hollis says

    Fisrt on your list should have been AL PACINO! He plays the same character in every single movie I have ever seen. He doesn’t compare with Robert de Niro. Now he is an actor! Except for the “Fockers” movies.

  37. Sam says

    Cage won an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas, nominated for Adaptation and was killer in Wild At Heart and Raising Arizona and Moonstruck … etc etc …

    NOT a one dimensional actor ….

  38. MB says

    I disagree about Aniston. The Good Girl and Friends with Money were departures for her.

    On the other hand, I’d add Julia Roberts to this list. She’s always the same “beautiful, but edgy” woman. Erin Brockovich was just Pretty Woman in California, ten years and three kids later. To borrow a phrase, “That’s just geography.”

  39. Deb says

    I agree with those who have commented about Edward Norton. The movie, I think it was Primal Fear, oh my gosh, he was creepy-scary and I was stunned when he flipped (spoiler) into his real persona. Yikes! I’ve seen him in a variety of roles and think he is very talented. Matt Damon too!!

  40. Deb says

    I’m surprised to hear this about Kristin Stewart. I have only seen her with one expression and one tone of voice in movies or on talk shows. there’s nothing there, it appears. She has zero personality and the same amount of acting talent.

  41. Sarah says

    Yes! I was looking through these comments to see if Christoph Waltz was going to be mentioned. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has noticed. I saw him in Inglorious Basterds and loved his acting, saw him in Water For Elephants, loved him again… but noticed his character was very similar. The other day I watched Django Unchained, and as much as I like him, I’m getting a bit fed up of the same shit.

  42. Kyle Vesa says

    Why is everyone up in roar about this shit. You all still seem to watch the movies to know that they are the same character, so maybe dont watch them in movies. Some people like seeing the same character for christ sakes. Some of you think your all high and mighty but no zero about the business, not every actor has the chance to jump on a totally new role that will gain them the income they want. Now yes famous people are soo rich bla bla whatever. Its the job they want, and sometimes you just gotta play the same character to pay the bills.
    This list is missing older actors though, your attacking many young actors who have a long career ahead, let them grow outta the parts that made them famous first. If you really break it down youll find many actors play the same roles, because they people that make the moives cast them cause they saw them in a role that would work for their movie. Its not always the case of course but I mean you gotta give them a break at some point. Also Seth Rogen isnt always the same character, you just no nothing about stoners.

  43. Scott says

    Seth Rogen (The Lovable Stoner)

    Sorry, but I’ve never seen anything lovable about Seth Rogen.

    And you should watch The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, because it might be the only time Zooey Deschanel isn’t kooky.

  44. ProDrums says

    Personally, I think that Jason Segel is more guilty in this category than Zooey Deschanel. Every role he has ever played is just his character from Freaks & Geeks at different ages and in different situations. And now on top of his shitty acting, he’s looking kind of fat. He’s just not talented or good looking enough to go getting fat. Sorry, bro, but acting lessons and weight watchers should probably be in your near future.

  45. Dizzy says

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned Vince Vaughn. After I saw “The Dilemma” I vowed never to watch another movie with him in it. I also agree with Tom Cruise.

  46. Nancy says

    Jennifer Aniston departed from her “Rachel” typecast in Horrible Bosses. Johnny Depp is timeless not tiresome. You need to watch Cry Baby, Benny and Joon, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Donnie Brasco, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Sweeney Todd, Public Enemies to see his range. Daniel Day-Lewis? Have you not seen In the Name of the Father? how bout Gangs of New York or most recently Lincoln? I thought Kristen was good in Zathura, The Messengers and Cold Creek Manor but yes her performance in Twilight has left me wanting. I did enjoy Snow White though :S. Always loved Nick Cage. Yes he has been typecast in many movies but that does not disprove the range he has ie Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas, City of Angels, Moonstruck.

  47. nick says

    Steven Seagal Always plays a cop or cop type and always plays the hero. I’ve never seen him play a villain

    John Malkovich always plays the eccentric or outright nut

    ving rhaimes is always the con or ex con big bad tough guy

    I actually like watching ving and john but i cant stand seagal anymore

  48. Amy says

    How about Sean Connery? Harrison Ford for most of his films? Pierce Brosnan? Admittedly, they’re very enjoyable films, so I don’t mind so much. Except for Pierce Brosnan’s Irish Dreamtime, they just suck.

  49. Heather says

    Okay…an actor who has played different roles (as suggested by a previous blogger):
    Susan Sarandon (Bull Durham,
    Kevin Bacon (Footloose, A Few Good Men, Sleepers)
    Nicole Kidman (Far and Away, Moulin Rouge,
    Leonardo DiCaprio (Gilbert Grape, Revolutionary Road,Titanic, The Departed, The Aviator, Django)
    Kate Winslet (Beautiful Creatures, Titanic, Revolutionary Road, Mildred Pierce, The Reader, Sense and Sensibility)
    Daniel Day Lewis (whomever said otherwise is on drugs–My Left Foot? There Will Be Blood? Gangs of New York? The Age of Innocence?)
    Tom Hanks (Splash, Big, Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, That Thing You Do, The Terminal)
    Sally Field (Cannonball Run, The End, Places in the Heart, Where the Heart Is, Lincoln, Forrest Gump)

  50. Heather says

    I agree. He was just not good looking, not charismatic and overweight in the movie Bad Teacher. He just seemed odd coming between Cameron and Justin.

  51. Heather says

    Old actors, same role:

    John Wayne (bloated go getter on a horse)
    Maureen O’Hara (pissed off Irish sex kitten)
    John Belushi (hysterically funny slob)
    Eugene Levy (geeky wit)
    John Candy (raunchy, witty comic)
    Steve Martin (cerebral palsy-esque gyrated comedic responses–except for Shop Girl)
    Ben Stiller (the quiet guy who goes over the edge and loses his cool with verbal tantrums)
    Owen Wilson (the guy with the offbeat look and goofy comments who somehow ends up with the girl)
    Samuel Jackson (the pissed off guy who’s always screaming and cussing)
    Joe Pesci (the little guy with a huge mouth and a temper)
    Ryan Gosling (Pure sex–not that it’s a bad thing lol!!)

  52. Margaret says

    Ummmm…you forgot one – Jennifer Anniston! They basically have changed the scenery, her clothes and co-star in most all of her romantic comedies, but she is, basically, reprising the same role over and over again. Her depth as an actress is limited.

  53. Dan says

    You lost literally all credibility when you mentioned Edward Norton. Have you ever seen American History X? Watch that then watch fight club, and you’ll realize Ed Norton can play literally any role he wants to.

  54. s mc says

    the one female actress that irks me everytime with the same movements, same looks on her face, and does she really walk like that,reminds of someone loping along don’t know how that really looks but i
    think like
    the way she walks, same,same but not yet mentioned in this column,anyway ‘m talking anout meg ryan.

  55. Samantha says

    Liam has a variety. It sounds like the “Taken” movies is the base of your comment. He has played a ex-convict is Les Misérables, a Jedi is Star Wars-The Phantom Menace, a leader of a gang in Gangs of New York, Zeus in Clash of the Titans, a lion in Chronicles of Narnia, and is character in The Gray. So, I think we all can agree he has a wide-range of characters that he plays extremely well.

  56. SpectrumB4U says

    Has anyone else ever seen Adam Sandler in “Reign Over Me,” or “Spanglish?” I am certainly not an Adam Sandler fan BECAUSE most of his roles are that annoying “man-boy” character others have mentioned, but he is capable of doing other, much better things.

  57. Charlotte says

    I think that the most true out of all of these is Michael Cera. He always plays the quiet, normal-ish, outcast-ish guy. Always lovable at the same time. AND…he always gets the girl. Not even because he’s charming or anything. I guess wierd girls in movies really like little awkward boys.

    I agree with the thing about Seth Rogen and Zooey Deschanel a lot too.
    I disagree with the people that keep mentioning Jennifer Aniston. Scratch that, but I think her characters are all so different in every movie that it doesn’t matter what her acting is like. I think she COULD go outside of her current zone and play different characters.

  58. LA says

    What is funnier to me is that actors seem to go from role to role staying in similar professions (like they are getting actual job experience in the roles they are playing). E.g., somoeone plays a medical assistant, and might get ‘promoted’ to a resident doctor in a future show.

  59. LA says

    She does. I recently saw a ‘retro’ showing of Office Space at a local theater. It was like I was watching the Rachel character in friends, with all of those same overly-noticeable mannerisms {AGAIN}.

  60. Michael says

    True, but when the “same guy” is someone as badass as John Wayne, it’s ok (well, except the time he played Genghis Khan….yikes!) I think Bill Shatner tried to be an actor early on, but now he does it on purpose.

  61. Michael says

    I agree, Samantha. Taken is very recent is his filmography. He was Oskar Schindler in “Schindler’s List”, a goofy ghost in “High Spirits”, Sir Gawain in “Excalibur”; he’s done a pretty wide range of characters over the years.

  62. Amy says

    I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to critisise the actors for the playing the same kind of roles.

    You can just imagine how Michael Cera for example must keep getting offers for the same kind of roles. Producers wanting him for parts so that he can play them the same as other famous parts he’s had.

    I think it’s a pity, but I’m not going to begrudge someone their job because they don’t have the opportunity to do a variety of things.

    Also, this: http://twitpic.com/6w7135

  63. Ryan says

    There’s a lot of generalization going on here after reading through the comments… the 5 in the article were spot on though.

  64. kartinger says

    I cannot believe Jennifer Aniston was not mentioned. She plays the same character in every stupid RomCom she does. The woman cannot act her way out of a paper bag. She is so over hyped!!! and I am so over her and her mindless acting.

  65. Chaz says

    Dunno, the guy plays more than just action heroes. He’s won 3 Golden Globes and been nomonated for 3 Oscars. Looking back at his filmography I see more non-action movies than action movies. Think about Magnolia, Vanilla Sky, Jerry McGuire, Born on the 4th of July, Rain Man, Eyes Wide Shut, Valkyrie, Lions for Lambs, Rock of Ages, The Firm (ok he ran a little in that one), Interview with the Vampire (ok he flew a little in that one), A Few Good Men (ok he yelled a little in that one), Risky Business, Cocktail, and All the Right Moves. All those without a single Mission Impossible action-hero character. The guy has a bit more depth and breadth than Statham and all of these other guys. Not saying he is Kenneth Branagh or Anthony Hopkins, but he sure isn’t Nicholas Cage.

  66. JT says

    Are you kidding me?! His performance in Syriana, which he won the Oscar for, is nothing like Out of Sight, which is nothing like The Descendants, which is nothing like Michael Clayton, The Oceans movies, Three Kings, etc…..

  67. Sylvan says

    I’m convinced that there has been only one Adam Sandler movie, about 40 hours long, cut up into pieces that can be swapped, mixed-n-matched, and churned out like a modular meatloaf.

  68. Sylvan says

    Although, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” was a really, really good movie and Cera (cookie-cutter-character or not) was really instrumental in making it work that well.

    Just playing Devil’s Advocate…

  69. Cris says

    About Salma Hayek always playing the most beautiful woman in the world, I think you forgot she played Frida Kahlo.

  70. Janey says

    I love Mr. Depp since 21 Jump street. I can’t help but feel Tim Burton is the worst thing that happened to his career. Edward s Hands, sleepy Hallow, Sweeney fleet street barber, corps bride, Pirates….Even Victor in Frankin weenie sames like Victor in corps bride.

  71. Janey says

    I’m so sorry but, I have to add Sandra Bullock (except the blind side). Her expressions are always the same.

  72. Andrew says

    You have the right to choose your own path as an actor. It’s probably true that Cera was noticed for his unique style of awkwardness and was offered roles that fit that style. If Michael Cera wanted to cash in because it has worked for him, so be it. He has to be willing to accept criticism for that. But I’m sure he’s been offered more diverse roles for other movies that he turned down. Either that or he’s turned diverse roles into George Michael Bluth roles because he can’t act. Only time will tell.

  73. Andrew says

    Adam Sandler is so one dimensional that PT Anderson made a movie for his man-boy character called Punch Drunk Love.

  74. munhasen same in every says

    I’m sure somebody mentioned them already but Will Ferrell is the same in every movie along with Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan.

  75. Jennie says

    I totally agree with what you said about Kristen Stewart in Zathura. She wasn’t that bad. But after watching the first Twilight movie, I just couldn’t endure watching the rest of them.

  76. Michelle says

    To me, Emily Deshanel is prettier than her younger sister Zooey. Please don’t state your opinion as fact.

  77. Rob says

    Anyone who doubts Will Ferrell needs to watch Strange Than Fiction. I saw that movie and said, “Wait, what? He can ACT!” It’s a great film.

  78. Rob Homig says

    uh…Denzel Washington! Angry man with baggage from a damaged past. Every single movie…most overrated actor in film.

  79. Stuart says

    Jonah Hill plays a fat, stupid awkward loser in every movie and I’m pretty sure in real life too

  80. mari says

    you should watch “what’s eating gilbert grape”, “Benny & Joon” and “finding neverland”

  81. juli says

    ryan gosling? have you seen Drive and Noah Notebook? Gosling is totally different in both of them.
    In Murder by Numbers he is different too

  82. TippyToe says

    Yes thank you for mentioning Watlz. It’s a complete sham
    he has won 2 Oscars in 5 years for essentialy the same thing different setting.

  83. Gail says

    Zooey Deschanel more attractive than her older sister Emily? Bite your (lower lip and ) tongue, fool

  84. OkieDi says

    I’m honestly disappointed by the comments here. Who cares if someone plays the same sort of role? Does a jock change sports mid-life (and yea, some could. I know) If some person has their role down, is reckognized for it, and plays it many times, who cares??
    Are you going to try to attempt to tell me that YOU jump jobs and change what you do every time? So, you are an accountant, then a coach, then a cop, then a doctor, the president, a scientist, an alien, a zombie, a waiter, a jockey, a lawyer, a beautician, a librarian, a pilot, a prisoner, a reporter. Yeahhhhh. Cuz the part you play in your life is so diverse. Everyone else should be just like you, right? Get over youselves….

  85. larry says

    No, the brain washed Scientology cult loves Cruise because he brings them money. In the real world, we don’t like, respect, or support still in the closet Cruise because he sucks.

  86. MaryB says

    Adam Sandler? Definitely. You also need to include Ben Stiller….the worst of the worst.

  87. singlen8tivedude says

    i loved all them Tim Burton movies. And Depp was awesome in all of them. Depp has a lot of range when it comes to playing parts.

  88. singlen8tivedude says

    You never seen the woman in black i take it.. and he had just done 8 movies playing the same character. duh.. i dont believe he was a wizard on stage either

  89. singlen8tivedude says

    i thought that was funny too because ive seen that dumb one where she worked at the carnival.. she is in the same character. boring and dull come to mind

  90. AHW says

    Hayek may have attempted to play Frida Kahlo, but she did a piss-poor job. That said, Kahlo possessed a quirky beauty. You all forgot one of the worst offenders, Keira Knightley, who subscribes to the “if I part my lips and stare a lot, then people will think I’m acting” school of drama. She ruins every film in which she appears, so I’ve stopped seeing anything she’s in.

  91. AHW says

    Let us not forget Neeson’s splendid work in Michael Collins, let alone his gorgeous stage work with or without his much lamented late wife, the spectacular Natasha Richardson. Those two set the stage afire.

  92. AHW says

    I also cannot stomach Will Ferrell. I cannot even watch an ad for his films. What a relentless twit! Ditto for Aniston and the rest of the tedious, talentless Friends bunch. Alba and J-Ho also top the relentlessly bad list, as does Gwyneth Paltrow these days. Woody Allen was at his best when he had Diane Keaton, then Mia Farrow as his muses. Since he took up with the obnoxious Soon-Yi, his films have been really one-note. He even hires other actors who channel him. Yawn. I miss the glory days of Crimes and Misdemeanors and Hannah and her Sisters, etc.

  93. Your Mum says

    The last point on Kristen Stewart was quite rude, but funny at the same time.
    i do love Kristen Stewart dearly because she is different, but she does always do the same thing when she is in the movie, always the same characters.

  94. Alyss says

    Keira Knightley in The Duchess and Anna Karenina
    Fran Drescher in The Nanny, Living with Fran and Happily Divorced. her name is fran in every role and almost the same character

  95. Joey Belmont says

    you forgot the foremost among all, Michelle Rodriguez! She did more movies together and they all still the same character!

  96. David Trif says

    Seth Rogen is nothing but F this F that F%$# everyone and Michael Cera is just a fruity queer!

  97. Heidi DeSoto says

    You totally forgot about Adam Sandler: the guy who is famous for being the funny, kid-loving, and jerky “big shot” that ends up with a knock-out girl. Examples: GROWN UPS, JACK AND JILL, BEDTIME STORIES, CLICK, & JUST GO WITH IT.
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001191/

  98. Mark says

    It is nice that they are being forgotten here, because that might suggest their 15 minutes of fame are finally over – but RICHARD GERE is the same guy in every movie he is in – as is KEVIN COSTNER.

  99. Andrea says

    Don’t forget JENIFER ANNISTON………..she has never been able to act, let alone do different characters in the broad actor sense……….

  100. Sonia says

    Here are my top 5:
    1. Michael Cera
    2. Seth Rogen
    3. Adam Sandler ( I like him though)
    4. Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell :) like them too.
    5. Jennifer Anniston

  101. crystalawesome says

    I think the problem with these actors is that they basically play characters who seem to be very similar to who they are in real life. So, by definition, they aren’t really acting. If they were known for brilliantly playing characters that were vastly different from their actual persona I don’t think anyone would be complaining about them.

  102. crystalawesome says

    The top of my list in this category is Jack Nicholson. He always plays an unhappy smart-ass who doesn’t give a shit. Which, in my opinion, is not acting b/c he’s basically playing himself. And no, I’ve never met him, but that’s definitely the face he shows to the world.

  103. Yahoo says

    The best role Adam Sandler ever did was Punch, Drunk, Love and that’s because of his supporting cast members. Now… Adam Sandler, makes his own movies, picks his own people (especially pretty girls that in his wildest imagination could never snag), directs his own movies, produces his own movies…you get the picture.

  104. Yahoo says

    Seth Rogan may not always play the stoner, but he plays the bumbling dolt pretty well. I disagree about Will Ferrell. He really does have range.

  105. Yahoo says

    Honestly Cera can’t act. Because you are offered and play the same role has nothing to do with you playing the character the same way. It’s two different things. The actor can always change how the character walks, how they use their hands, their mannerisms, their laugh, their facial expressions, how they move those expressions…things like that. Michael Cera acts the same way basically because he can’t act.

  106. Yahoo says

    Yeah even after the weightloss, he still has man boobs and still acts the same way.

  107. BooBooChile says

    Norton was also great in Primal Fear, when he plays mentally ill to beat a murder charge. The movie was not the greatest, but I thought he was awesome.

  108. BooBooChile says

    hahahaha… Good one. I like Woody Allen movies. But he is always bumbling, neurotic, and boring. And he manages to have on camera relationships with women who are not his character’s equal. We know his intellect and money landed the gorgeous Mia Farrow. But his on camera personas are not as wealthy.

  109. BooBooChile says

    He was great in Finding Neverland. Then there was The Ninth Gate, Public Enemies, The Rum Diary, The Tourist.

  110. BooBooChile says

    I did think she was very good in Derailed with Clive Owen. Not to mention the movie Leprechaun (I actually laughed as I typed that one). Derailed was good though.

  111. BooBooChile says

    He was phenomenal in Glory and Malcolm X, for which he received an Oscar and was nominated for one, respectively. There’s also the film adaptation Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare), Inside Man (disgraced cop accused of stealing, trying to redeem himself), Mississippi Masala (in interracial relationship with strick Indian woman), Remeber the Titans (coach who led racial divided team to victory), The Bone Collector (paralyzed government agent trying to catch a serial killer), Philadelphia…The Pelican Brief… I could go on forever on Denzel.

  112. Twintosser says

    YOu left out Will Ferrell, in every movie
    he over acts, is a huge oblivious jerk to everyone
    at one point does something seriously stupid,loses
    friends and support of everyone, gets drunk and goes
    on a huge eating BINGE. Then comesback and apologizes thats
    like ever movie he has ever done.

    btw Brody was a serialkilling singer in Jennifer’s body, Id say he brokeout of that role you claim he fits.

  113. Don says

    Denzel Washington, Kevin Costner, Nick Cage. George Clooney.
    I really do not get why Hollywood has to reuse the same faces. I love movies with some unknown actors, it makes it feel more real. fire all these arrogant, self absorbed fakers and hire some fresh blood, from time to time.
    I guess that’s to much to ask from producers and directors who cannot even come up with an original movie. How many times are we going to see sequels and remakes of movies that weren’t that good the first time around?

  114. Marco says

    Will Ferrel. Plays a retard in all his movies. Retard who thinks he’s an elf. Inbred retard race car driver. Retard news caster. Retard stepbrother. I’m wondering if he really is that stupid.

  115. Tito says

    I think not. Colin Firth in Pride & Prejudice (must watch), Mamma Mia, The King’s Speech

  116. tanya says

    I have to say Jack Black is close to top of my list, alongside Stiller, Rogen, Wilson, Stewart, Aniston. I agree with adding Steven Seagal. The ONLY time he’s played a villain was in “Machete”. I can also say that to add Harrison Ford and Sean Connery to the list is wrong. Ford was great in The Fugitive and The Devil’s Own as well as Regarding Henry. Connery has been just about everything in his career. Spy, knight, king, dragon, an immortal, a doctor, a young Irish caretaker in a Disney film. I wanna add Cameron Diaz to the list. Not much range with her at all. She’s no Streep or McClaine.

  117. Thomas Williams says

    Don’t see Hugh Grant on the list…..always plays the stupid British school
    boy…….duh..ooh.

  118. Me says

    Yes, he is that stupid. He helped create that POS web site “Funny Or Die”, which isn’t funny and won’t die!

  119. weissgirl says

    Just had this conversation with my sister yesterday about Jennifer A. She’s Rachell outside.

  120. weissgirl says

    but it’s not just the charactors that are similar it’s how you invent the charactor you’re playing. So he’s nerdy doesn’t mean this nerdy charactor will walk the same as the charactor you played in the last movie. People do have unusal quirks

  121. blah blah blah says

    I dont know how i ended up here but if i wasnt trying to fall asleep i wouldnt even have read the comments i could bear to. There may have been a few people who werent retarded. Just get your head out of your ass and dont watch actors you dont like. Damn. Just like those dorks in high school who wouldnt shut up about things that dont matter. I dont care how long ago you posted your thoughts, youre probably still the same, im just tryna help you out. If you dont like it, go make 20 movies with the most diverse characters in the universe, be phenomenal, get back to me, and ill eat my own shit.

  122. Cruise says

    In the real world, I like Cruise as an actor, because he stars in pretty entertaining movies. Doubt I’ll ever forget A Few Good Men and Jerry Maguire, for instance. His choice of religion, questionable sexuality, number of ex-wives, and propensity to jump on couches don’t matter.

  123. Cruise says

    Kidding, right? The guy went from playing a stripper in Magic Mike to a drug addict with AIDS in The Dallas Buyers Club.

  124. Cruise says

    Have you ever seen him in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? He’s also been Joker in the Batman, a general in A Few Good Men, a guy with OCD in As Good as it Gets, even did some rom-coms like Something’s Gotta Give.

    The guy’s been nominated for so many oscar’s, i can’t even remember.

  125. erman says

    I can clearly see how silly, close-minded, retarded you are at this topic. Except the first one (i don’t know him completly) they are all good actors. And for example, Cera … How dare you say terrible to his acting? He acts the best he or anyone can do.. He just acts what is written and roles are given to him because he is the most suitable person who can act, who can make real the character. This is GOOD CASTING. This is GOOD ACTING. You can’t just pretend like this is their fault or anyones. RESPECT!!

  126. rob says

    I’ve always said that Jack Nicholson isn’t acting. He is just being himself. You know who I can’t stand to watch on screen because I think she is just reading lines is Anne Hathaway. Not saying she plays the same character all the time, but she just can’t act.

  127. Matthew Shempert says

    No kidding. Tom may be a nutbar, but he’s a great actor, who happens to get picked for a lot of great movies(action or no action).
    stick to the Nick Cages, and Adam Sandlers, k? :D(and god, I think Sandler is *THE* worst. I still like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, but there’s only so many times you can see the same movie :P)

  128. FunnyGirl says

    Sandra Bullock was also terrific in “Crash”. I’m sure that movie probably led to her role in The Blind Side. I agree with the comments that actors get type cast after having a successful part and that’s what they get offered. Movies cost so much money that producers want a sure thing when they cast actors.

  129. FunnyGirl says

    Don’t forget about Denzel in “Crimson Tide” and “Courage Under Fire”. Meg Ryan was great in that one too because she played the same character lots of different ways in the various flashbacks.

  130. Josh says

    The reason they play the same roles is because they are good at it. They are cast FOR THOSE ROLES. If not them, some other actor/actress would be cast in the exact same roles and not play them as well. If you don’t enjoy their movies, don’t watch them. I agree that they do play the same roles in nearly every single movie, but they are still very entertaining to me. I agree 100% with Erman.

  131. journeyman says

    and the king of the same roll in every movie is……..Keanu Reeves! He has the acting range of a rock. Even “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson out emotes him…

  132. journeyman says

    How about Tom Cruise,” Im the coolest, most dangerous hot head but with the most raw talent/ natural ability guy”

  133. Unnichan says

    THANK YOU! There are tons more but these are some of the cream of the younger crop of this generation. It’s disgusting to think that they have careers as “movie stars.” It brings a stench and scoff to the craft of acting.

  134. jess says

    I’m so glad someone else brought him up he is a manipulative person who overtalks everyone in every movie

  135. jon says

    she is painful to watch,how is she even getting roles…she’s got to be a real life stoner cause she plays the part so well or like she’s a burnout!

  136. jon says

    that’s why we have so many English,Austrailian,and Canadian actors playing American roles,because they have more diversity,and are more convincing actors.

  137. kiren111 says

    Honestly most actors/actresses are like this, either they don’t have range to begin with or they choose to go with what the audience has loved about them, I’m never gonna accept Zack Galifanakis in any other role than the character he played in the Hangover

  138. Apple says

    “If I part my lips, *squint slightly*, and stare a lot.” Always with the slight squint.

  139. batfan1970 says

    So many people on here don’t know the difference between seeing the same face on multiple characters in various movies and an actor always playing the same role. My two cents: Jason Bateman is always an uptight, at least somewhat successful business man type (The Change-up, Horrible Bosses, Arrested Development, etc.). I love Jason Bateman and I think he plays the role really well, but you have to admit he is pretty typecast.

  140. May says

    Who are the “We” that you refer to? as far as I know Tom is known for his amazing skill as an actor and he is very well admired and appreciated in the industry he is part of. Regardless of his sexual identity, religion choice and enthusiasm on the way he expresses himself everyone here is looking at the actor or actress on they way they are able to take the role and deliver when on camera, not off it. Take your “we” generalization elsewhere buddy.

  141. TT says

    Harsh….really harsh! Have any of you ever thought about the fact that these actors can’t get other roles because Hollywood won’t let them shift to anything more meaningful? Let’s look at Marilyn Monroe as an example – she was talented but all that Hollywood could see as the talent were the two most obvious ones on her chest. She had only one role she really liked that was meaningful and that was towards the end of her life. Have a heart and stop being so hateful.

  142. Robin says

    I agree about Kristen–so flat, no talent!

    But on Zooey, she’s not even half as beautiful as Emily Deschanel. And Emily is a terrific actress! Zooey, not so much….

    I don’t know about the others–I don’t recognize them….

  143. Brian says

    Lol…..that was a good one….but he does play a role in a movie where he plays an alcoholic (Everything Must Go)…I was very impressed by him in that role….but, still shocking

  144. luis says

    You defenetly missed Katherine Heigl. “The Control Freak, Hopeless Romantic”

  145. Tim says

    The writer of this article forgot one particular actor that plays the samething everytime….Nic Cage.

  146. Victor says

    Well, I think he is hilarious. You on the other hand, have horrible grammar and an obvious misunderstanding of the word retarded. Stop using that word, you are offensive.

  147. Lara says

    I think Segal is like Adam Sandler – he writes himself into the lead parts – hires the gorgeous girls (who’d never look at him in real life) – like 5 year engagement with Emily Blunt. And i agree he’s still that creepy guy from Freaks & Geeks

  148. Shiza says

    Incomplete list!!! You definitely missed not only Adam Sandler but Denzel Washington as well…Always the good cop and a hostage situation..

  149. Waldo says

    I thought I would do a summary of names to this point
    As much as I liked Michael Cera from Arrested Development
    It’s true that he belongs on this list in the top 5

    Michael Cera, Seth Rogen, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Costner, Hugh Grant, Richard Gere, Woody Allen, Bruce Willis, Keanu Reeves, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Adam Sandler (except for Punch Drunk Love), Charlie Sheen, Jack Black, Steven Seagal, Will Ferrell, Renée Zellweger, Jennifer Aniston, Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, Helen Hunt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kristen Stewart

  150. Twintosser says

    Will Ferrell is right on. Every movie he is in, he winds up being an idiot, getting depressed, naked, food binges, and then goes back to win the day. Its in every movie of his. The director must have reined him in for The Campaign because that’s the only movie from him in years where I actually laughed.

  151. Ajack says

    I liked Ving Rhames when he played in “Holiday Heart.” He did a good job playing a gay man who takes in a woman and her child.

  152. Lynne says

    Mads Mikkelsen tends to play villians with damage to one eye (Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, that one mute Viking in that film I forget the name of; there’s at least one other….)

  153. Steve says

    OkieDi – I encourage you to print out what you wrote and sit somewhere quiet and go over it until you realize that you are the one who doesn’t understand how it works. The roles they play are not their jobs. If you see someone playing a ruthless drug cartel leader in one movie, and then the next one they are a successful surgeon, it does not mean they jumped jobs you f’ing moron. They didn’t attend med school and go through a 10 year residency, they were handed a lab coat and walked onto a set. Their JOB is an actor. So no one is asking them to switch jobs. So saying it’s like me being a lawyer today and a coach tomorrow and a singer the next is just completely wrong. What people are saying is that the measure of success in this career would be being able to truly “act”, which would be evidence by a variety of roles.

    So you have an inability to comprehend that this people are ACTORS they ACT and their JOB isn’t changing. Ever.

  154. Jc says

    You forgot Paz de la Huerta, “plays” a loud slow ho in every movie/show she’s in.

  155. RossEskimo says

    Oh puleeze … if ever there was one actor who played the same character in every movie, it’s Hugh Grant.

  156. marty says

    Mel Gibson….. He has had some differing roles but mostly ” I don’t want to fight but your making me.” Mad Max, The Patriot, Braveheart…. or cynical love interest Bird on a Wire, Maverick, Tequila Sunrise, What women Want. Or a combination of both…. Lethal Weapon 1,2,3,4., Air America, Payback, Conspiracy Theory. Thing is that certain actors get cast in certain roles and then those are the types of parts that they are offered (type-cast). IE Chistopher Walken. I love them both but they are always in familiar roles.

  157. Kelly says

    The only Will Ferrel movie that I liked was Stranger Than Fiction. It was an adult movie with real dialogue.

  158. Kelly says

    Kristen Stewart can’t even smile, let alone act! One movie critic said that, in the Twilight movies, she always looks as if she just smelled something bad.

  159. Nicole says

    Can you tell me how a navy trainee (An Officer and a Gentleman), an idealistic defense lawyer (Primal Fear) and a male prostitue framed for murder (American Gigolo) are all the same? Because they don’t seem all that same to me.

  160. John says

    You’ve either haven’t seen all of his movies, or you have an extremely limited (“retarded”?) vocabulary and are unable to express much beyond the ability of a 2nd-Grader. Maybe both.

  161. Zeroed Out says

    I don’t understand why people give actors like these a hard time, while older actors get a pass. For quite a while, actors like Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Robert Deniro, and Al Pacino played very similar roles in almost every movie they were in. Just like many authors, screenwriters, directors, etc. stick with movies and/or stories that are very similar in nature. What’s the difference?

  162. Adam Scott says

    Hey Glory,

    What is it like to have horrible opinions?!

    #BitchPleaseMoveAround

  163. Pyro says

    To the people who said Jack Black . . Thank you. I don’t know what it is about him, but I absolutely can not stand him. I can not watch a movie that has him in it. Maybe it’s me. How many/what movies has he been in? I’ll take a chance in being persuaded to check him out, but it seems just to hard to adjust to him.

  164. pilar says

    They seem to be very similar to who they are in real life, because all you get to see are the roles they do, wich are the roles that they get offered to do, which are the roles producers think fits them best. So, tell me, do you know any of those actors in real life? Are they just like the roles they play?

  165. David says

    John Wayne? Really? Always on a horse? How about The Quiet Man? War Movies (Flying Tigers, Sand of Iwo Jima, Longest Day), Cop Movies (McQ, Branigan). You are right about Owen Wilson, though.

  166. Erick the Redd says

    THIS is exactly what I feel about Metallica… different genre same topic

  167. April says

    Two exceptions: Punch Drunk Love and Reign over me. Sandler was awesome in both, and neither one of these movies is like anything else he has done.

  168. Gary says

    Owen Wilson is my pick, too. Stoned Surfer Dude. Followed closely by Will Ferrell. I think Owen Wilson’s brother Luke is much more enjoyable to watch.

  169. shrubsrock says

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Joel is so sublimely shy and awkward he’s hard to watch. I thought I hated Carrey until that movie and assumed he went to audition for Clementine, the director just knew better. :)

    As a more general comment, I suspect one-character actors do so because it’s easy and pays well. Kind of like expecting the Pizza Hut to have Michelin Star Sunday. They make pizza. It’s not good, but it sells!

  170. shrubsrock says

    Meh. Young Rachel + sex is still Rachel and she was the worst part of that movie, she didn’t handle the departure well.

  171. Salq says

    Where’s Jack Nicholson? Where’s Christopher Walken? In those cases, I’m not complaining at all, I can’t get enough of those guys being their acting selves.

  172. Darryl says

    What about Jenna Jameson? She is always playing the sensuous, sexual nymph, ALWAYS!

  173. a straight white male says

    Well, except he was playing that exact same dude in Punch Drunk Love — which was the whole point. Deconstructing, yo.

  174. Emily says

    Kristen Stewart is actually a pretty good actress but people are too hung up on Twilight to realise it (and too hung up on shaming her for sleeping with the director without putting any blame on him at all even though he was in a position of authority and could have easily manipulated her… just saying)

  175. Gary says

    The fact is that most actors/actresses aren’t acting but just being themselves on camera. This has been the case since the beginning of film. Hollywood must believe that we will be so starstruck that we won’t notice or maybe they actually are so arrogant and self-absorbed that they actually believe they are acting.

  176. Claire says

    I like this article, but author: In the future, when you are talking about an actress’ acting chops, don’t start talking about their looks and who they are prettier than. Zooey’s looks have nothing to do with sucking at acting, and I sure didnt see you taking digs at the boys on the list for being unattractive. A woman’s looks have NOTHING to do with her competence, or lack thereof, in her chosen career, and including them on the list in inappropriate.

  177. Denny DeGross says

    Has anyone ever seen Al Pacino in a movie where he wasn’t the same old moody son of the Don? He’s a one-trick pony and always has been – Robert Di Nero now, that’s another story alltogether = a true artist in every way!

  178. azuka says

    Thank you. Nicholas cage remains one of my best actors. He does action movies so well. No wonder he is ‘type cast’ and besides add”waking the dead” to his non sterotype list. Frankly I do not fancy bradjelina at all and I wonder why people do!!

  179. azuka says

    Thank you!! Leave these so called sterotyped actors alone!! They are beautiful, rich and successful. They don’t like their movies? They should watch something else*! Just as I don’t watch brad and Angelina ‘s movies

  180. oneday says

    Oh. My. Lord. How the heck did Johnny Depp get into this? He and Rachael Mcadams are two of the most phenomenally talented actors I have seen. I literally don’t even know when he is playing a different part because I DONT RECOGNIZE HIM. He acts like a different person, which is why he is so sought after and has received countless awards. Geez. Get your head out of your as*.

  181. Matt Mosley says

    1) Christopher Walken
    2) Jason Statham
    3) Jack Nicholson
    4) Anthony Hopkins (as much as I love him)
    5) Denzel Washington
    6) Gene Hack man
    7) Tim Robbins
    8) Clint Eastwood
    9) Samuel L. Jackson (the bad mootherf**ker)
    10) Nicolas Cage

    the list goes on …

  182. In LA says

    I completely agree. Stranger Than Fiction was not silly man-child material and the only movie in which I could actually watch Will Ferrell as a lead character.

  183. In LA says

    You definitely need to add Will Smith to the list (Wise cracking, arrogant, look at me know it all show off) in every movie. Don’t forget Kevin James (Fat guy, fumbling buffoon) and even Keanu Reeves (Clueless idiot) in every movie.

  184. pip31453 says

    Let’s add George Clooney–always the cool, tough independent guy in political thrillers; just what he thinks he is in real life. BORING!

  185. Laurie says

    Watch Mads Mikkelsen in After The Wedding and Adam’s Apples. He’s brilliant and versatile.

  186. CeraIsn'tSoBad says

    Ceraa isn’t that bad.

    Juno – Innocent track runner that has a kid with an awkward teen girl, and he tries to be cool to her in the process.
    Superbad – Awkward teen trying to get the girl.
    Year One – Awkward caveman trying to get the girl and learn about life outside of his undeveloped tribe.
    Youth in Revolt – Awkward teen trying to be as cool as the other awkward teen girl, and develops a split personality to do so.
    Nick and Norah’s etc. – Hipster band member that tries to get the hipster girl, while trying to dodge his ex.
    Scott Pilgrim – 20-something-year-old womanizer that fights evil exes in order to get the cooler girl.

  187. armirod says

    I think there are actors who impose their personality to the character who represent, that´s the case of Jonh Wayne or Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford…..even Clark Gable and Humprey Bogart!!! that´s why somebody can think that they represent the same part in different movies, but I think there are some differences… Jason Segal, Adam Sandler, Jack Black, Ben Stiller,…well they are recognized comic actors who have to assure some comercial success in their movies and they can´t take the risk of change (an exception I think is Jim Carrey.I don´t like him, but I respect him for trying to do different things). Same thing with the action (Jason Staham, Bruce Willis) and rom-com leader actors (Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullok). But some actors play very, very really very similar character movie after movie. What could be? Typecasting? Limited acting abilities? Simply laziness? All of them? The actors named in the article are present cases but there are a lot more: Meg Ryan (and she really try to do something different, but she only succeed in Courage under fire), Marilyn Monroe, Hugh Grant (well, he interpret two characters: the inmature jerk and the clumsy, shy boy) and many more… the Kirsten Stewart case I think is simply bad acting, and the same is for Keanu Reeves, Cameron Diaz, J. Lo, and many more…

  188. vagrant says

    No one should watch The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy because it’s terrible.

  189. vagrant says

    “Oh man, I was typecast the minute I did a film called Girlfight years ago. You allow yourself to be typecast. If I decided I didn’t want to be typecast tomorrow, I’d just do an indie film where I play some poor girl who goes through some excruciating experience and win myself an award for crying or being raped. But at the end of the day, I’m not in it for the acting. I only wanna be someone I respect or someone that I consider interesting or fun. I’m here to entertain people and make a statement about female empowerment and strength, and that’s what I’ve done for the last 10 years. I pigeonholed myself and I put myself in that box by saying no to everything else that came on my plate. Saying no to this, no to that, and eventually I just got left with the strong chick that’s always being killed, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

  190. neonglo says

    I guess the people who keep mentioning Nicholas Cage don’t see a lot of movies. He does sensitive and funny as well as freaky and murderous: It Could Happen to You, Guarding Tess, Peggy Sue Got Married are a few of those I prefer to the action and thriller genres. And yes, especially Moonstruck.

  191. Edge says

    Nonsense.
    1. Walken, blast from the past, mouse hunt, True romance, deer hunter not the same character
    2. Statham, he is pretty typecast.
    3. nicholson, batman, easy rider, chinatown, one flew over the coocoo’s nest, as good as it gets aren’t the same character
    4. Hopkins, best known for Hannibal lecter, who is not the same character he plays in any of his other work
    5. Denzel washington, Philadelphia, training day, fallen, love and basketball not the same
    6. Hackman, lex Luther, unforgiven, Hoosiers not the same
    7.Tim Robbins, shawshank, mystic river, bull Durham, definitely not all the same character
    8. Clint Eastwood’s two most famous personas are distinct from each other, the man with no name and dirty Harry. He also has loads of non action drama where he doesn’t resemble either character.
    9. Samuel l Jackson isnt the same in pulp fiction, deep blue sea, the long kiss goodnight etc
    10. Cage, has several famous and distinct roles. How are his characters in con air, moonstruck, leaving las Vegas, face off and the rock all the same?

    You have listed numerous nonsensical examples of actors who have appeared in dozens of films as a range of characters. Many of them have a strong screen presence, but almost all of them have multiple well known roles that are different from each other.

  192. Edge says

    Smith does a version of his fresh prince character for a lot of action and comedy, but he’s also branched out.

    You may not think reeves is a good actor, but he’s played a range of roles. He doesn’t act like his character from bill and Ted in his action roles and he’s made a bunch of dramas as well where he is certainly not playing his character anything like that. There’s really no way to say the guy from speed, parenthood, and a walk in the clouds are all the same character.

  193. Edge says

    I keep seeing Stiller come up, I don’t see how his ‘love able loser’ type from something about Mary, meet the parents is the same character as the nitwit from zoo lander or tropic thunder. I’m not going to claim he has great range, but he has multiple characters. Zero effect has a different tone to it, his character in that isn’t a huge departure or anything but he’s clearly leagues away from his tugg speed man character.

  194. Matt says

    I haven’t seen all his roles but I’m surprised Jeff Goldblum didn’t make anyone else’s lists ;)

  195. hhoard says

    Disagree with Kristen Stewart………… just because she plays the role the same way in every movie doesn’t mean that’s the way the role should be played she’s just a bad actress who plays every roll the same way. There’s a difference between the 2.

    That being said Will ferral was already mentioned…. soo

    Adam Sandler
    Robin Williams
    Bill Cosby
    99.9999999% of actors/actresses which is why movies suck

  196. hhoard says

    THere wasn’t a lot of violence in the tooth fairy ………….or the journey……… or the journey 2……….so the rock does play varying roles

  197. hhoard says

    More like now she just gets handed roles, really she can half ass her job and get paid millions…………… can you really blame her?

  198. hhoard says

    i think that’s a big part of adam sandlers problem that he casts the same people in every movie which is why they all feel the same.

    that being said got to give it to him for being loyal

  199. bawb says

    I actually did a lil reading on william shatner earlier today, funny enough and from what i understand he was originally a serious, drama-action type actor in his time, doing star trek especially (never watched it, just from what i read) and only later in his career turned to comedy which isn’t really playing the same role consistently…also there was a lot more depth in his Boston Legal character Danny Crane than there is in most of his other comedic roles. I don’t think he’s done too bad at all. Nothing as bad as adam sandler, will farrell, kirsten stewart etc… P.S in defence of some of the actors named in the list and in comments, it isn’t all they’re fault, sometimes you get type casted in a single role then you’re basically screwed. The likes of Heath Ledger had to fight to make sure they didn’t get into the trap and the result was some bad reviews on lesser known roles, even Ledger was reviewed as ‘horrible’ for some roles but in the end worth it as by the end of his career he could play any role he wanted

  200. jay says

    you lost me on deschanel when you used the word “kooky” 11 times in 3 paragraphs~ unless it was ironic. then bravo.

  201. vince says

    Take Robin Williams off your list. He’s played a diverse number of rolls. Comedic in Mrs. Doubtfire – Night at the Museum, dramatic in Awakening (w/ Robert DeNiro) – world according to Garp, psychotic in One hour photo.

  202. adam m says

    he is a very smart man with a set acting style so if you have a character that is a middle aged man playing a child you pick will ferrell to play the part

  203. Gary Cooper says

    Agreed on Punch Drunk and Spanglish and even Wedding Singer – Sandler has more range within his loopy persona than expected

    Jack Nicholson usually plays himself, but again shows he has range to do more than that. But if the role you play is in demand, where’s the percentage in changing it just to show you can?

  204. MrWriteSF says

    If anyone’s interested, the same could be said for several actors OVER the age of 30:

    Albert Brooks: the neurotic (both live and in animation)
    Adam Sandler: the overgrown frat rat
    Jason Lee: the malcontent
    Cameron Diaz: the socially inept ditzy blonde
    Will Ferrell: the bumbling fool

  205. Ryan says

    I would argue that he didn’t play such a role in Everything Must Go. He plays a depressed alcoholic, whose wife kicks him out and throws all his stuff on the lawn, where he continues to live after his life falls apart. It’s not a GREAT movie per se, but I was intrigued since he wasn’t playing his usual role. If you’re interested check it out, if not just saying.

  206. Dexterlogan says

    I know this is late but you really do need to take Ed Norton off of this. I don’t think he ever played the same character twice. You dont’t have enough experience watching his films to put him on this list. It is frustrating to see him on this list. And to Jennifer Aniston’s defense yes she does play similar roles but it really was only in “Friends” that she played a ditzy role and that was only in the beginning few seasons and she does have the ability to play different roles, example “The Good Girl”.

  207. Ivonne says

    Also, Jeff Bridges. I finally saw him in RIPD, finally a movie where he doesn’t act like Star Man.
    Also Michelle Rodriguez. Always the same character, SWAT, Lost, Fast n Furious series, Avatar, and so on.

  208. Guy says

    I didn’t read the whole thing, just another hater, these guys are still funny or hot (Zooey) and people watch them because they play that same character, so grow up and get over it guy who just looks for something new to hate on and write about…which is like the easiest freakin’ job, I hope you don’t get paid for this. Saw your other articles boo, at least write about something true or interesting or good. I mean really ‘The Big Bang Theory is the Cause of All the World’s Problems’ stoop, more like MTV and all their pathetic shows that are making every new generation of kids more stupid and lazy, just plain gross and worse..trying to have kids so they can be on Teen Mom BS it’s sickening I almost puked while writing this and thinking about it. But it’s also their damn parent’s not taking care of them, letting them play violent games and think it’s cool and no manners anymore no etiquette uh I’m sick, those stupid little $H!T$.

  209. Guy says

    Oh yeah and if you don’t like seeing the same person in the same role then why don’t you get smart and stop watching their movies, learn. It’s like you keep watching their movies just to talk mess, if you keep hoping for some different role and it’s like their third movie well that’s shame on you buddy.

  210. char says

    You have got to be kidding right? She is a horrible actress and has no range what so ever…same ol same ol

    BTW, Miss bad ass herself was manipulated? LMAO! She freely participated in the affair.

  211. Paul says

    Another good film Robin Williams was in was Insomnia, a film by Christopher Nolan, and I was impressed with him in that movie, the way him and Al Pacino worked in some of the scenes was fantastic. Another actor I would add to predictable is Vince Vaughn. He always plays the pessimistic, lazy intelligent guy who at the end of the movie comes around and saves the day/get the girl sort of thing.