"Quirk" Actors.

What actor do you nominate as the best “Quirk” actor? That is, an actor that’s best in strange, but not utterly unbelievable side roles?

I nominate Philip Seymour Hoffman.


The hilariously PC butler/general servant in The Big Lebowski.
The sly partygoer in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
The insecure racketeer in Punch-Drunk Love.

All of these characters were pitch-perfect, and really added to each film.

How could anyone compete with Christopher Walken?

Steve Buscemi

Crispin Glover. You may yield now.

John DeLancie
Bruce Campbell

Jack Nicholson. And he’s damn good at it.

Johnny Depp

I’m gonna have to second Steve Buscemi.

I’m also going with Janeane Garafalo and Jon Stewart. They both bring a delightfully ironic sensibility and irreverent sense of self to their side roles.

Another vote for Steve Buscemi. He goes from the kidnapper in Fargo to the weird record collector in Ghost World; not to mention the voice work as Randall Boggs and acting in Pete And Pete. He’s all over the place.

Another vote for Steve Buscemi (another role: loony serial killer in Con Air), but also consider William H Macy.

Vincent d’Onofrio gets my vote. Though he plays straight-arrow pretty well too (see “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”), he’s best in oddball roles like The Salton Sea, The Cell, or Strange Days.

Steve Buscemi also gets high marks in this category.

I’ll second Walken, Buscemi, and I’ll nominate John Turturro.

Vincent Schiavelli.

I doubt there has EVER been a quirkier actor…

John Lithgow

William H. Macy seems to have carved his own little niche as the painfully earnest, possibly closeted, guy next door.

I just saw his TV movie Door to Door last night, where he took the shtick to kind of a creepy extreme.

Kevin Dillon…Bunny, in Platoon.

Alan Rickman-although he can play the straight man pretty well too.

But look at some of his most well-known roles:

Snape in Harry Potter
The Sheriff of Nottingham

Good call on Alan Rickman - his Metatron in Dogma was absolutely perfect.

Philip Seymour Hoffman climbs a little higher up my A-list with every film of his I see. The guy is amazing; don’t forget his roles as the gay cameraman in Boogie Nights, Lester Bangs in Almost Famous, the fun-loving storm chaser in Twister, the phone-sex creep in Happiness, and the compulsive gambler in Owning Mahowny. That guy can ACT.

Keitel as Wolf in Pulp Fiction