Being typecast in the Hollywood community is like getting lice: you don’t want it and it’s an extreme pain to get rid of. Most of the time, an actor who is considered typecast either 1)plays the same character in every film or 2) stars in a film franchise early in their career making it difficult for audiences to see them as anyone else. Sometimes it’s both 1 and 2. In this article we will look at actors and actresses who have escaped being typecast or have built blockbuster careers from it and those who can’t seem to escape the big “T”.
Note: The information expressed is opinion only.
Hit: Harrison Ford
When he appeared in American Graffiti, Ford was fairly new to the scene. He then went on to star in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. Both Han and Indiana were action men with some great zingers and quips yet you watched two different characters. Despite the two famous franchises, it didn’t keep him from portraying different characters such as Jack Trainer (Working Girl) or Dr. Richard Kimble (The Fugitive). His career continued to be successful with the thriller What Lies Beneath. I will say that some of his later roles have become more and more similar, but for a forty plus decade career, I’d say he’s done very well for himself.
Other Hits: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Daniel Day-Lewis
Miss: Shia LaBeouf
LaBeouf seemed to have a lot of potential. Disturbia and Transormers did very well. However both characters in the films seemed like they had just been cloned. It seemed like he would really take off with his role as Jake Moore (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) and Jerry Shaw (Eagle Eye). He seems to have taken some pretty intense roles for the future, but he still hasn’t made quite the dent necessary to really be praised and noticed in Hollywood.
Other Misses: Seann William Scott and Michael Cera
Hit: Amy Adams
Her first film role was in Drop Dead Gorgeous playing a brainless, cheerleader. She played opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me if You Can playing another bubbly, but very sweet young woman. She seemed to have a knack for these roles as she portrayed a princess and a Julia Child wannabe. She played more serious roles as well but it wasn’t until The Fighter that she really proved to the world that she was an actress not to be reckoned. Long gone was the sweet, bubbly, engenue. Instead she gave us sass and a good Irish kick in the pants.
Other Hits: Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, and Toni Collette
Miss: Kristen Stewart
Yes I am going there. I know she has many fans as Bella Swan/Cullen, but if you look at her movie track record, she plays the same characters over and over and over and over: an underage, oversexed one-trick pony. Twilight was supposed to really showcase her talents (I’m still confused there) and break her out of the “indie” scene, but that hasn’t happened. Yes she has made other movies since then (The Runaways, Welcome to the Rileys, Snow White & the Huntsman), but they have not done well at the box office and/or haven’t lasted long in theaters. Maybe it’s the story or perhaps it’s because it’s Kristen Stewart playing Kristen Stewart. She has nothing lined up right now and that’s not a good sign. Maybe she can use this down time to go to acting classes. Yes, I went there again.
Other Misses: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, and Meg Ryan