Thespians on occasion like to test themselves and take roles that ‘stretch’ them beyond their usual confines. Sometimes this well be an ‘against-type’ gig, such as a baddie, a real-life character, or a someone with a challenging illness or condition.
Other times, it just goes off the wall and off the rails.
This excludes the usual suspects such as Nic Cage and Johnny Depp, who for the most part, only seem to (over) play eccentrics. You’ll notice that I mentioned both Marlon Brando and Malcolm McDowell in recent articles; I’ll reprise some of their most out-there performances here.
Marlon Brando – in The Missouri Breaks (1976) and The Island of Dr Moreau (1996):
McDowell in The Passage (1979):
Sean Connery in The Avengers (1998):
Jeff Bridges in Seventh Son (2014):
Roy Scheider in The Naked Lunch (1991):
Robert De Niro in The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000):
Jeremy Irons who seems to be on a one-man mission to prove he will never nail an American accent (enjoyable performances all the same):
Watch a master at work. Jon Voight – Anaconda (1997):-’nuff said:
Two from Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy (1990) – Al Pacino (yep he’s gone off the rails since) and Dustin Hoffman, respectively:
Tommy Lee Jones, not just Two-Face from Batman Forever, but in some ways surprising, as he was pretty funny in Under Siege (1992):
Kenneth Branagh, Wild Wild West (1999):
Many would say Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) for Sir Tony Hopkins…but I would submit Red 2 (2013):
Finally, I submit for your consideration Russell Crowe in Virtuosity (1995):
Tip of the iceberg really, so feel free to weigh in.
Female actors to follow…