Movie actors who don't belong there

… or to put it another way, actors you saw originally in small roles on telly, and whose faces are still inextricably linked to that early appearance. So you can’t take them seriously when they show up as a hobbit.

That’s my first one, actually. The Scottish hobbit, Billy Boyd, is better known to me as the bloke on the bench next to Jack in an early episode of Still Game. The episode was the only one I had on tape for ages, and I watched it repeatedly. So now I can’t take him seriously.

The all-time champion, however, is Guy Pearce. While he’s definitely gorgeous and a fine actor, that doesn’t mean he’ll ever be anyone but “Mike from Neighbours”. Because he used to be in Neighbours as Mike.

Similarly, Rikki Fulton (extremely popular Scottish old-school comic, died recently) showed up in Gorky Park playing some guy, and every cinema audience in Glasgow dissolved into laughter.

Years ago, I saw the WW2 film “Memphis Belle” in a theater. Ed O’Neal, who played slob Al Bundy on “Married With Children” had a small role that was SUPPOSED to be serious and dramatic. But the whole theater cracked up when they saw him. It’s simply impossible to see Ed O’Neal as anything but the idiotic Al Bundy.

While watching Star Trek III I kept expecting the Klingon Commander Kruge to ask somebody what a yellow light means.

Ted Danson is a decent enough actor and I loved Saving Private Ryan, but he stayed with Cheers for so long that I could only see Sam Malone in fatigues.

I was of the same opinion, until I saw a few episodes of the new Dragnet. Ed O’Neil plays Joe Friday so well that I can completely forget that he used to be Al Bundy.

On the other hand…

Ted Danson will always be Sam Malone.
The entire cast of Seinfeld will always be stuck as thier Seinfeld character.
Ditto the entire cast of Friends.
And let’s not forget Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean (although I can come close to forgetting when I watch Black Adder).

Whoops, I see you guys beat me to Ted Danson. Glad it’s not just me, though. :smiley:

Speaking of war movies (and only slightly OT), I had a reverse experience with Band of Brothers.

Whenever Ron Livingstone (actor from the movie Office Space) was in the scene - I couldn’t take him seriously. I kept thinking…

“Ummmm…Yeah…Lieutenant…We’re going to need cover sheets on those TPS reports…”

OR “General, what would you say you … do … here?”

It was seriously disconcerting - exact same jolt back to reality (or non-reality) I got from Ted Danson in Saving Private Ryan.

  • Peter Wiggen

Anyone who thinks Rowan Atkinson will always be Mr. Bean is missing out on the full enjoyment of Blackadder, and that’s sad. Mr. Bean is funny enough, but it isn’t the best-of-breed Britcom that Blackadder is. Blackadder, at its best, can nearly take on Monty Python, whereas Mr. Bean is merely in competition with The Three Stooges and Buster Keaton.

(Don’t talk to me of the POS that passed as the Mr. Bean movie. I shall become annoyed and punch you in the face.)

PeterWiggen: Exactly. Ron Livingstone, for me, will always be the guy from Office Space. He’s simply not in enough other things, and the very few times I dragged myself through an episode of “Band of Cliches” I always saw him as being the spaced-out corporate drone.

I didn’t notice Ted Danson. Don’t bother trying to tell me who he played: I honestly never saw those installments in the soap opera. Had I noticed, I would have had the same response.

Not exactly what you’re asking for but can anyone watch Eddie Izzard (Shadow of the Vampire, Some movie with Joey from Friends) without thinking of him in a blue kimono (at least that’s what I think it is) and ‘tarted up a bit’?

Helen Hunt will always be the girl from Mad About You.

Go see Spartan, the movie with Val Kilmer. Ed plays a tough sumbitch senior Secret Service agent.

Billy Connolly’s another one. I mean, I’m glad he’s got work and all, I just don’t understand how I’m supposed to hear him deliver dramatic lines without waiting for a punchline about brilliant jobbies. In fact Billy Connolly without frantic swearing always sounds like he’s been edited for offensive content.

Captain Picard. I mean, Prof. Xavier. Dammit, Stewart. Him.

Yeah, and not just the main characters. What about Phoebe’s brother?

He’s Phoebe’s brother. I don’t care how tragic his death in Private Ryan was, or what he could do with lightning in the X-Files, or anything else of the frankly stunning list of roles he’s had. If someone asks me who was in the movie he gets listed as “Phoebe’s brother”.

Also Marky Mark. I am really very, very happy that he’s proving to be a pretty good actor, because his fame could have been an appalling situation, but still, who was in the movie? Marky Mark, I’m afraid.

Some people - myself, for instance - have a hard time realising it’s Izzard when he’s not being ‘Eddie Izzard’.

Both Shadow of the Vampire and Mystery Men I was shocked when I looked up the casts and saw Izzard’s name.

Sam Malone? Sam Malone? Hell, I can’t see Danson without thinking "That’s Tom Conway from “Somerset.”

No matter how many searing performances Sir Lawrence “Olivier” Fishburne gives, he will always be Cowboy Curtis from Pee wee’s Playhouse to me.

Hell, I think the guy he played on ‘Creepshow’!

No, I think of Cheers. That was my favorite sitcom of all time. Watched every episode many times.

For me, he’s always that freak from X-Files. I keep waiting for him to electrocute someone no matter where I see him.

ME TOO!!! When I watched The Matrix movies, it was always gnawing at the back of my head. No matter what he does, or how serious he is in a role, there’s a little voice in my head saying “Well Howdy, Peewee!”

And “Marky Mark” Wahlberg’s younger brother Donnie Wahlberg was one of the New Kids on the Block (the original manufactured teen pop quintet) and later went on to act and appeared in … “Band of Brothers”! Full Circle!