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Old 06-10-2019, 12:30 PM
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Actors who starred in their own projects and exceeded expectations


As a counterpoint to russian heel's thread Actors who clearly wanted and put their hearts into the role.... but it just didn't work

For this, I nominate Bill Hader's Barry. I expected a dark comedy, and it is, but it's so much more layered than that.

Hader plays a war vet who makes a living as a hit man. He stumbles across an acting class by accident and it hooks him in.

Barry is obviously an amateur at first, and realizes he's way over his head. So, Hader is playing someone inexperienced at acting. He has to channel the frustration and lack of talent he had when he first broke into show business.

Barry doesn't like being a hit man so much, but keeps getting roped into it. When he carries out a contract however, he does so with cold-blooded efficiency like a true pro and makes sure there are no witnesses. Sometimes he has to shoot up an entire building of people. Hader isn't scary looking irl, but somehow he manages to become a thing of nightmares when he goes into hitman mode.

Henry Winkler, also brilliant, manages to convince Barry to remember tragic moments in his life when delivering a line to capture the emotion. Barry's girlfriend wants him to say one line while she portrays Hamlet. All he has to do is step on stage and say "The queen is dead." During rehearsal, he does an unremarkable job, but on performance day he experiences PTSD. He steps on stage in tears and chokes out the line. It inspires his gf to put on the performance of her life and the audience gives them a standing ovation.

Hader shows acting talent that surprises everyone who's used to him playing comic roles in SNL.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:01 PM
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With Barry it is so much more than Hader though. Noho Hank is a wonderous creation and will stick with me forever. The sharp turns in the plots help massively too. It also has one of the most batshit crazy episodes (martial arts) of any comedy drama I've seen... Hader is a placeholder, but he's chosen some great talent to be with him.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:04 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knowed Out View Post
Barry is obviously an amateur at first, and realizes he's way over his head. So, Hader is playing someone inexperienced at acting. He has to channel the frustration and lack of talent he had when he first broke into show business.
Regarding this, there was a funny example of his inexperience in the second season that just ended. Somehow, he lucked into the possibility of getting a lead role in a movie. But he's so clueless, he thinks it's just a "feature" and doesn't realize that's the same thing as a movie.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:25 PM
Annie-Xmas is offline
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Sylvester Stallone as Rocky & Rambo.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:08 PM
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Billy Bob Thornton was a maybe-you-recognized-him supporting actor when he put out "Sling Blade". His project all the way. Won the Oscar for Best Screenwriting, and was nominated for Best Actor.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:14 PM
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Orson Welles made Citizen Kane and it is one of the best "own project" type things out there.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:27 PM
blondebear is offline
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The success of John Krasinski's A Quiet Place was a bit surprising to me. I knew he was a decent actor, but he did a good job directing and shared writing duties as well. (he also provided the motion capture work for the creature)

Last edited by blondebear; 06-10-2019 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:14 PM
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Do Ben Affleck and Matt Damon count for Good Will Hunting. It was their college project finally come to completion.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:19 PM
LC Strawhouse is offline
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Jerry Lewis?
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:50 PM
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Clint Eastwood
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:57 PM
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I thought Bradley Cooper's direction on "A Star is Born" was done exceedingly well. He's a very charismatic actor that can almost portray anything but who knew he could direct?
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:47 PM
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Bryan Cranston in BREAKING BAD. Exactly no one was excited at the prospect of a gritty crime drama starring the dad from Malcolm in the Middle. And now, there's no going back.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:31 PM
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BB wasn't Bryan Cranston's project, the show was created by Vince Gilligan.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:40 AM
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Ricky Gervais co-wrote (w/Stephen Merchant) and starred in the original version of "The Office". Then they both wrote and starred in "Extras" a couple of years later. :-)

Last edited by JpnDude; 06-11-2019 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:17 AM
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Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. Clearly a labour of love and it shows.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:57 AM
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Ben Affleck's Argo
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