Talanted, but wasted actors

I think the King of actors who haven’t been used to their best potential is Jon Voight.

Damn, has he done anything worthwhile in 20 years?
Sorry, but Runaway Train was a piece of crap, too.

Sorry you didn’t like “Runaway Train”. I thought it reached many levels and only scrathced the surface of the characters involved.

But hey, that’s why it’s called “art” (in this case, film). It’s subjective. To each their own.

Halie Berry is an underused actor (actrress), and I often find Jeremy Priven’s work to be great in anything he plays…a shame he’s mostly cast as the second fiddle.

The “Cupid” TV series was one of the few times I actually stopped what I was doing to watch something (in about 15 years, or more). Just call me a sucker for those hi-concept flicks. I’m glad Priven is out doing film roles, but again, he is underused.

Gah, I hope I spelled the above names right. I’m terrible at recalling names, unless it’s been hammered into me.

Jet Black

Halie Berry is a hit and run jackass. She ran into that woman and just LEFT! She doesn’t deserve good part, despite her acting ability. That woman could have been seriously hurt! X-Men did well, but the movie was a JOKE! I hope Barry gets cheep roles like that her whole life… may make her some $, but won’t win an academy award!


John Candy and Phil Hartman never found their definitive role. Lot’s of memorable bit parts, plenty of on-screen potential, but never the master-work that would have demonstrated what they were truely capable of.

Let’s not forget William H. Macy. I was sure after his appearance in Fargo that he would get some better roles…Instead he gets crap like Mystery Men, and Gap commercials.

Macy had quite a few good roles since “Fargo”: “Boogie Nights,” “Wag the Dog,” “Magnolia,” among others, as well as a fine guest shot in “Sports Night.”

Top of my list is Cindy Williams. She was fine in “American Graffiti,” and showed signs an serious talent in “The Conversation” (“He’d kill us if he had the chance.”). Alas, then came “Laverne and Shirley,” and mediocrity.

Mark-Lynn Baker seemed a talent to watch after “My Favorite Year,” but he got stuck in “Perfect Strangers” (which also managed to waste the talent of Bronson Pinchot) and went nowhere from there.

Damn straight. He was brilliant in the two of those I saw (Boogie Nights and Magnolia).

Double damn straight. RealityChuck, on the basis of that post alone, I would like to kill off some brewskies with you sometime. I’ve got The Conversation on DVD, so whenever you’re in town, let me know. :slight_smile:

Damn, I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been in the room when someone else mentioned The Conversation before I could!

He was one of the best parts of a fairly silly movie (Willow). He earned widespread praise in “The Doors” and seemed on the verge of really breaking through to the top tier. Since then, he really hasn’t had another huge role: He was pretty good in a supporting part in “Tombstone”, I didn’t see his Batman but I don’t remember hearing great things. Dr. Moreau was widely panned. He was good in Ghost and the Darkness, but rather two dimensional, I thought. “The Saint” was apparently a lemon. Anyone else been expecting better from Mr. Kilmer?

I wouldn’t have said Macy was wasted.

Some names that spring to mind: Eric Bogosian (Talk Radio), Adam Goldberg (Saving Private Ryan bit-part) and Jim Broadbent (British actor).

Anyone remember Mickey Rourke ?
"Angel Heart"still ranks as one of my alltime favorite movies and “A Prayer for the Dying” was pretty good too, not to mention “Barfly”.

But the “Talented, but wasted actor”-award™ definetly goes to Mr.Rourke.I mean, have you seen the guy in Vincent Gallo´s “Buffalo 66” ?
That´s what too much hanging out in seedy amateur boxing clubs does to your face…

I agree with you Lagomorph. I always kind of liked Val Kilmer. I even thought he gave a nice understated performance in that one where he played a blind person who temporarily got sight. Apparently he is the youngest person to ever graduate from Julliard. So lots of promise there.

RE: Val Kilmer…

Sure, he’s a great actor. I think his performance in Willow tops everything else. However, by all accounts, he’s supposedly difficult to work with… which means that his lack of true superstardom is his own fault.

A pity, really. And I liked The Saint.

I agree that Val Kilmer seemed to be headed for something greater than what he’s doing now … but he does work a lot, so he’s not exactly languishing for roles. In the interviews I’ve seen with him, the guy comes across as really quite strange. For all I know, he could be perfectly normal, but the impression I’ve received from his public appearances makes me wonder if his all-around weirdness, as well as the crankiness mentioned by SPOOFE, limits the type of work that comes his way.

For a while now, I’ve been wondering what the heck Brendan Fraser is thinking. He stars in stupid film after stupid film, in spite of some performances that seem promising. Even in these stupid films, I always feel that his acting ability stands out in clear contrast to the other dingbats in the cast. His comic timing is excellent, he’s just got to start making some witty comedies instead of things like Dudley Do-right.

Hey, man, I liked Monkeybone, too.

It’s also possible that some of these actors simply choose to work less–or are picky about roles–and thus limit their own potential (by our standards). I agree that Val Kilmer has a great deal of talent, as well as the ability to turn my bones to mush. Frankly, any man that could start with the script of Real Genius and give an interesting (bones melting . . .) performance is a national resource.

It seems to me that Johnny Depp’s career seems would be another case of someone we thought was going to be a super-star never quite taking off. On the other hand, he works pretty steadily, and has for ten years now.

Lastly, I really think that Leonardo DeCaprio’s talent was snuffed by Titanic, which I never saw. His performance in the movie isn’t really even relevant–what did happen is that it seems a great many people automatically assume that pretty boy in blockbuster movie = no talent, picked-for-his face actor. I tend to assume that these were mostly people that had never heard of him before the film, and they have to be people that never saw What’s eating Gilbert Grape?.

Crusoe, I’m not sure how you come up with Jim Broadbent; only recently he’s given very good performances in high-profile movies like Topsy-Turvy, Moulin Rouge, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Little Voice, all fairly meaty roles. He’s also appearing in the soon-to-be-released Isis and Gangs of New York

Other very good William H. Macy performances since Fargo are Pleasantville, A Civil Action, State and Main and particularly his starring role in Panic.

As for Voight, I think he’s so happy to be working again he’ll take anything (though he was good in The General and it’ll be interesting to see him in Ali as Howard Cosell :eek: )

My vote goes to Robert Forster, who proved his stuff with an Oscar nomination in Jackie Brown and has not appeared in a good movie since (unless you count his 15 seconds in Mulholland Drive). I have heard good things about Diamond Men, though, if it ever opens…

Regarding Val Kilmer. I thought Val compeletly stole the show in “Tombstone”. Val’s Doc Holliday was far more interesting in this piece vs. Dennis Quaid’s portrayal in “Wyatt Earp”.

I also thought Val did a credible job in “Heat” with Deniro and Pacino.

I don’t think his talents have been “wasted”, but I think he’s a (great) actor who is overlooked… Michael Jordan in “Space Jam”. I didn’t like the movie. “Roger Rabbit” was better, and Bob Hoskins was also very good. I just think Jordan handled the difficult situation of having to interact with cartoons great.

Eddie Murphy is JUST AMAZING. I’m telling ya, he convinces me that each character he plays are sperate beings. In “Nutty Professor”, there were times where I just felt bad for the obese character he played… he played the sentimental parts excellently. The actual movie was… ok I guess. The man should be in more dramatic roles. He is absolutely brilliant!

Another one (I may get a lot of heat for this one)… Adam Sandler. Now their was only ONE semi-humorus movie he was in, and it was “Happy Gilmore”. However, when I see him interviewed to promote one of his crapy movies, or just candidly, I say to myself: “This guy actually seems very inelegant, why is he in such crappy roles”. As crazy as this sounds, I would like to see him in more dramatic roles as well. I think he’s capable of pulling off a dramedy or two, (maybe one day a full-fledged drama in a supporting role, or maybe as the main character). I LOVED when Jim Carrey broke into more dramatic roles, (Truman Show is my fav. movie).


(spell check and me being a dyslexic fool are to blaim)