Movies where one actor obviously wandered in from another movie altogether.

Ok, I’m not really clear on how to define this, but sometimes, when watching a movie or a series, I’ll be struck by a marked difference in performance. I’m not talking about where one actor is markedly better then the rest, but where one actor seems to be acting in a completely different movie altogether.

10 Things I Hate About You is a bog standard teen rom-com, albeit the best one out there, but Heath Ledger doesn’t seem to be in that kind of movie at all. His performance could be taken from a different movie altogether.

Are there more movies like that?

All of the other actors in Thomas and the Magic Railroad (and that included Alec Baldwin) seem to understand that they are in a silly just for kids movie (with a really dreadful script that does not rise to the level of your average episode of Thomas the Tank Engine, but Alex Baldwin really gives it his all) but Peter Fonda seemed to think he was in a serious indie that required a realistic portrayal of clinical depression.

I know, Alec Baldwin and Peter Fonda and Thomas the Tank Engine? All I can think is that they knew they would make billions on the DVD around the world and could afford to drive a dump truck of money up to both of their houses.

The Godzilla remake with Matthew Broderick. Jean Russo looked like he wandered in from a much better film and hadn’t quite read the script.

Robert Young in Hitchcock’s Secret Agent. It’s a spy film and Hitchcock always liked a little bit of humor, but Young plays it as though it’s a fluffy romantic comedy.

Jean Reno you mean?

The problem is the dude can actually act :smack:

No, to me it looked like Godzilla wandered in from an unreleased sequel of Jurassic Park.

River’s Edge. Everyone else in the cast was performing in a serious drama. Crispin Glover apparently was performing in a gonzo black comedy.

The last airbender. That Indian guy playing the prince was the only one playing in a drama. He was also acting several levels better.

Famously Slim Pickens in Dr Strangelive played the role as straight as he could instead of comedic. Empire Strikes Back, Harrison Ford seemed to play his role as serious as possible unlike Hamill and Fisher.

Day Of The Dead 1985, every single actor seems to be unsure of what kind of movie they are in.

The guy playing the mad scientist seems to think he is in a goofy B-movie, he hams up his performance to the sky.

The rest either play it entirely tense, too goofy, or too emotional.

It’s not in a bad way, but Stephen Stucker’s flamboyant (indeed, flaming) character in Airplane! is wildly incongruous to the overall deadpan theme.

Ever see Bugsy Malone, that mob movie with an all child cast (came out in '76)? Most of the kids look like they know it’s a G-rated family flick, but 13-year-old Jodie Foster as a cynical showgirl seems to have stepped over from Taxi Driver. Which came out the same year. Very disconcerting.

Recently, Tom Cruise seemed to be making a film about a burned out rock start and the price of fame while everyone else was being sitcom level silly in Rock of Ages.

The classic example is Ladyhawke. Rutgar Haur, Michelle Pfieffer and everyone else are acting in a medieval high fantasy; Matthew Broderick is acting in a Woody Allen movie.

And yet, it’s still not as disconcerting as the soundtrack.

I gotta give Little Nemo’s entry a second bump. I was struck by how out of place Glover’s performance was. I think he was supposed to be high out of his mind, but on top of that he was high out of his mind. The other actors in that must have just cringed and wondered who his agent was.

And had enough intensity to make you believe he could blast fire. Maybe that was actually sort of intended? Nah… water and air are cold but not bland. But yeah, I agree that it was as if Dev Patel’s character (and the guy playing his uncle) were the only breathing people in a washed-out world.

Will you take a TV show example?
The first thing that came to mind was Martin Short’s guest spot as “Uncle Jack” on Arrested Development. He played the role like a sketch comedy bit; far too broad and over-the-top for that show, I thought.

I think the difference was that the kids were amateurs, while Foster was a pro. Her performance was far smoother than any of the others (and, of course, she had far more talent).

Another bump because that’s great call.

D’oh! Yes, Jean Reno.