Hollywood is full of great actors, bankable stars, legends and household names. Then there are those operating in the shadows, not getting the recognition they deserve for years of great work.
Let’s take a look at some of the most underrated actors working in Hollywood right now. The following actors aren’t in the spotlight too much and probably wouldn’t be among most people’s favourite actors.
The Irish-born Cillian Murphy is a phenomenal actor and quite simply does not get enough credit. He has starred in a number of films over the years, in a wide range of challenging and complex roles. Murphy is a multifaceted actor as he has successfully played both villainous and heroic characters. It seems he is keen to avoid typecasting. He is mostly known for starring as the main protagonist in Danny Boyle’s zombie-thriller, 28 Days Later (2002), and for portraying the villainous Scarecrow in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
Also, most recently he has played the lead role in BBC gangster drama, Peaky Blinders. Murphy is not afraid to undertake subversive roles that involve violence and controversy. His other high-profile roles include Inception (2010) and Red Eye (2005), where he was a joy to watch, but he has not received the attention he deserves. He seems to be a very private figure, as he actively avoids the celebrity scene. Cillian Murphy gets better every time I see him on-screen and I hope one day gets some real exposure and recognition.
Since his debut role as the titular protagonist in Billy Elliot (2000), where he first displayed his talent, Jamie Bell’s career has seen slow progress. At the moment, he occupies the fringes of Hollywood. He was great in King Kong (2006) and Jumper (2008), and brilliant in the British horror-thriller Retreat (2008).
Why is he underrated? I believe Jamie Bell is underrated because he is clearly overlooked when it comes to leading roles. He is often cast in supporting roles, but he is a good actor with great screen presence. If we are to excuse the very forgettable and poorly received, Fantastic Four (2015), Jamie Bell has been in many good films, producing great performances.
Paul Giamatti is another actor who appears in far too many supporting roles. He has had an enormous career, featuring in a number of films such as Cinderella Man (2005), The Illusionist (2006), and Straight Outta Compton (2015). He is an extremely engaging actor and is incredibly entertaining to watch.
Although he has been around for a long time, he’s still one of those actors with a name most people would not recognise but will be familiar with him on appearance. He’s not a bankable Hollywood star, but with all those supporting roles, he definitely should have won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor by now.
Probably best known as Green Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Dane DeHaan been putting in quality performances since 2012’s found-footage movie, Chronicle. He has been good in everything and he’s clearly a diverse actor. I think he should have received more praise for his portrayal of Green Goblin because he was genuinely terrifying as the villain.
He also excellently portrayed James Dean in Life (2015). It’s coming up to ten years since DeHaan made his feature film debut in Amigo, so although he hasn’t been around too long, he has already shown how versatile an actor he is. His name should be on people’s lips more often.
Paul Dano has been nominated for his fair share of major awards but hasn’t actually won many. I find this astonishing since he was incredible as John Tibeats in 12 Years A Slave (2013), but was very much overshadowed by Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Despite this, Paul Dano is still one of the most interesting and engaging actors working today. He has a very compelling and vibrant aura about him on-screen, even when he’s playing nasty characters. He is clearly an actor with great range too, as he has a variety of roles under his belt, including his challenging part in Prisoners (2013).
Dano has been brilliant in everything I have seen him in, but his talents seem to go unnoticed. Many people will not have even heard of him. A great performer, let’s hope future films bring him a touch more credit.
What do you think of the list? Are there any actors that you think are underrated?