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Actors who convincingly played contrary to what they had been typecast as

Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity

Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity

by Anonymousreply 90October 18, 2021 5:51 AM

Michael Cera was VERY convincing as that arsehole in that movie about gambling with Jessica Chastain.

by Anonymousreply 1October 17, 2021 12:41 AM

Uh hello?

Nobody thought America’s Sweetheart could play a cold hearted bitch.

by Anonymousreply 2October 17, 2021 12:42 AM
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by Anonymousreply 3October 17, 2021 12:45 AM

Jane Wyman as the unhappy stern mother in "The Yearling." She had mostly played ditsy girlfriend types beforehand.

Henry Fonda as a villain in "Once Upon a Time in the West"

Bryan Cranston in "Breaking Bad"

by Anonymousreply 4October 17, 2021 12:46 AM
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by Anonymousreply 5October 17, 2021 12:47 AM

Nice guys and girls who surprised people by playing villains:

Tony Curtis as "The Boston Strangler"

Elizabeth Montgomery in "The Legend of Lizzie Borden"

Ted Danson in "Something about Amelia"

by Anonymousreply 6October 17, 2021 12:49 AM

Andy Griffith, A Face in the Crowd

by Anonymousreply 7October 17, 2021 12:49 AM

Carol Burnett in Friendly Fire.

Ned Beatty in Network.

Robin Williams in The Bird Cage.

by Anonymousreply 8October 17, 2021 12:49 AM

Call me crazy, but Cybill Shepard played a very convincing sex-negative cold fish in the first few seasons of "Moonlighting." I actually believed her mid-80s resurrection of Doris Day, trying to protect her "flower" at all costs. We all now know she was nothing like that character, but I thought she pulled it off. Until, of course, Maddie and Dave hooked up on one of the season finales and the whole thing went to hell.

by Anonymousreply 9October 17, 2021 12:50 AM

M as someone who cared very much about how she dressed in The Devil Wears Prada.

by Anonymousreply 10October 17, 2021 12:53 AM

Nicole Kidman in Virginia Woolf in 'The Hours."

People always mock the false nose she wore for the film, but I always think she got the Oscar because she convincingly played a genius in that film--it was the first time she had ever played someone exceptionally smart. I was really surprised she had that in her.

by Anonymousreply 11October 17, 2021 12:53 AM

John Ritter in SLING BLADE.

by Anonymousreply 12October 17, 2021 12:54 AM

Dick Powell - light-hearted musicals in the '30s to hard detective stories in the '40s.

by Anonymousreply 13October 17, 2021 12:57 AM

Doris Day in The Man Who Knew Too Much.

by Anonymousreply 14October 17, 2021 12:59 AM

Glenn Close, who I had previously thought of as Robin Williams' mom, shocked me as the sex-crazed bunny boiler in "Fatal Attraction."

by Anonymousreply 15October 17, 2021 1:00 AM



Henry Fonda on several occasions had mentioned that this was his favorite role.

by Anonymousreply 16October 17, 2021 1:04 AM

R3 Charlize in "Monster" is one of the best performances on film. I fucking LOVE that movie. Despite its dark nature, it's like comfort food for me.

I'll add Bruce Willis as Dr. Ernest Menville in "Death Becomes Her".

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by Anonymousreply 17October 17, 2021 1:05 AM

r14 doesn't understand the concept of this thread.

by Anonymousreply 18October 17, 2021 1:40 AM

[quote] M as someone who cared very much about how she dressed in The Devil Wears Prada.

I think Meryl Streep is clueless about style and fashion and is stubborn. Instead of hiring people, she digs in her heels and looks like a frump.

by Anonymousreply 19October 17, 2021 1:45 AM

[quote]Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity

Also in "The Caine Mutiny" and "The Apartment."

by Anonymousreply 20October 17, 2021 1:47 AM

Gregory Peck in the original Cape Fear, as unscrupulous lawyer who shafted the wrong client. (Peck also starred in the DeNiro / Nolte version as well.)

by Anonymousreply 21October 17, 2021 1:51 AM

Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou

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by Anonymousreply 22October 17, 2021 1:54 AM

^ Brings to mind Jack Palance in City Slickers, though he was still kind of a bad guy figure in the comedy.

by Anonymousreply 23October 17, 2021 1:57 AM

I saw Robert Reed (Mike Brady, dad on Brady Bunch) play a couple of villains. IIRC, he played a creepy, molester teacher. He was surprisingly convincing in the villain roles.

by Anonymousreply 24October 17, 2021 2:05 AM

Jerry Lewis, King of Comedy (jaded, unfriendly, etc.). Supposedly, he was closer to this in real life (than the clown). IIRC, Joan Rivers said that he threatened to have her legs cut off or something like that. Scary!

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by Anonymousreply 25October 17, 2021 2:07 AM

Farrah Fawcett in most of her later career dramatic roles, in which she played anything but a bubbly blonde bimbo.

by Anonymousreply 26October 17, 2021 2:29 AM

R25 Patricia Routledge (Hyacinth Bucket) worked with him too and said he was awful.

by Anonymousreply 27October 17, 2021 2:34 AM

R14 here. Blow it out your ear, R18. Doris Day had always been typecast as a sunny, lighthearted heroine in musicals. She was later typecast as America's Virgin. But in The Man Who Knew Too Much she took on a serious role as the frantic mother of a kidnapped child and acquitted herself very well. Her character had a definite dark side that Hollywood had never shown us before.

Sounds contrary to her typecasting to me!

by Anonymousreply 28October 17, 2021 2:35 AM

R28, I agree, Doris showed some real acting chops in TMWKTM, but she played more against type in Love Me Or Leave Me.

by Anonymousreply 29October 17, 2021 2:40 AM

Lots of good ideas here, but I have to find Andy Griffith in "A Face in the Crowd" as the very best answer to the OP's question.

Griffith played a shockingly, stunningly different character to those we are most familiar with.

by Anonymousreply 30October 17, 2021 2:44 AM

Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich

by Anonymousreply 31October 17, 2021 2:46 AM

Farrah Fawcett in "The Burning Bed"

Sandy Duncan in "Roots"

Julie Andrews in "The Americanization of Emily"

by Anonymousreply 32October 17, 2021 2:46 AM

Fred MacMurray playing a jovial dad of three rascally boys on TV was more the departure role than his bad guy parts.

It's only that most people saw him as the dad on MTS FIRST, then saw him in old movies where he plays morally corrupt and creepy guys .

by Anonymousreply 33October 17, 2021 2:48 AM

Lucille Ball in "Stone Pillow"

by Anonymousreply 34October 17, 2021 2:52 AM

Peter Sellers in “Being There” (should have beaten Hoffman at the Oscars)

Dustin Hoffman in “Tootsie”

by Anonymousreply 35October 17, 2021 2:55 AM

[quote] Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich

IMO, still a "sassy" Julia-injected character.

by Anonymousreply 36October 17, 2021 2:56 AM

Shirley Jones went from starring in R&H musicals to playing a prostitute in "Elmer Gantry" and won an Oscar.

by Anonymousreply 37October 17, 2021 2:56 AM

I became aware of Fred McMurray as a serious actor after I asked for old movie recommendations here earlier this year. I had only known him from My Three Sons. He was great in both Double Indemnity and The Apartment. I never realized he was such a good actor.

by Anonymousreply 38October 17, 2021 3:00 AM

My top three not yet mentioned:

Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Serious dramatic chops. She's wasted on middling sitcoms and her husband's gross-out comedy movies.

Matt "Fag" Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley. He hasn't been as good before or since.

Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love and Uncut Gems. Same as McCarthy, one of the finest dramatic actors working, the problem is he wants to make nothing but HORSESHIT.

Honorable mentions include: Ann-Margret in Carnal Knowledge, Colin Farrell in The Lobster, Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine, Tony Curtis in Sweet Smell of Success, Jamie Foxx in Collateral, Tyrone Power in Nightmare Alley, and Reese Witherspoon in Freeway.

Agree with the above choices of Henry Fonda (Once Upon a Time in the West) and MTM (Ordinary People).

by Anonymousreply 39October 17, 2021 3:02 AM

Helen Lawson's portrayal of a serial killing school teacher in "Fear at Night" was chilling.

by Anonymousreply 40October 17, 2021 3:06 AM

Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra also played against type in "From Here to Eternity". Reed, like Jones won an Oscar for playing a prostitute---it's a sure winner kind of part but it doesn't really seem to help careers.

by Anonymousreply 41October 17, 2021 3:11 AM

[quote] Fred MacMurray playing a jovial dad of three rascally boys on TV was more the departure role than his bad guy parts. It's only that most people saw him as the dad on MTS FIRST, then saw him in old movies where he plays morally corrupt and creepy guys .

No, you're wrong. He was typecast as the nice guy before "Double Indemnity."

Check wikipedia:

[quote] [bold]Usually cast in light comedies as a decent, thoughtful character (The Trail of the Lonesome Pine 1936) and in melodramas (Above Suspicion 1943) and musicals (Where Do We Go from Here? 1945), [/bold] MacMurray became one of the film industry's highest-paid actors of the period. In 1943, his annual salary had reached $420,000, making him the highest-paid actor in Hollywood and the fourth-highest-paid person in the nation. [bold]Despite being typecast as a "nice guy",[/bold] MacMurray often said his best roles were when he was cast against type, such as under the direction of Billy Wilder and Edward Dmytryk. Perhaps his best known "bad guy" performance was that of Walter Neff, an insurance salesman who plots with a greedy wife to kill her husband in the film noir classic Double Indemnity

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by Anonymousreply 42October 17, 2021 3:32 AM

Pia Zadora in "Butterfly" (1981)

She was transcendent, just sexually irresistible, I tell ya!

by Anonymousreply 43October 17, 2021 3:59 AM

[quote]Helen Lawson's portrayal of a serial killing school teacher in "Fear at Night" was chilling.

If you thought she was good in that...

You should've seen her Summer's Eve commercial

"My pussy has never smelled fresher..."

by Anonymousreply 44October 17, 2021 4:01 AM

[quote] If you thought she was good in that... You should've seen her Summer's Eve commercial "My pussy has never smelled fresher..."

Did that ever air? I know her Christmas Special only aired once and then was hidden much like the Star Wars Holiday Special.

by Anonymousreply 45October 17, 2021 4:05 AM

Glenn Close is a great example. She was very seriously typecast as a "good" woman. Everything she did virtually, Barnum, Garp, Big Chill, The Natural, her TV movies. It made her character all the more shocking in Fatal Attraction since it was so out of left field. (and then she sort of got typecast again as evil or crazy women Norma Desmond, Dangerous Liasions, Cruella... so I guess you can't win.

by Anonymousreply 46October 17, 2021 4:11 AM

In "the Man Who Knew Too Much", Doris sings "Que Sera Sera", expresses worry and screams---it's not a great part. Except for the singing (and Day disliked the song), just about any semi-well known actress her age could have played that role.

by Anonymousreply 47October 17, 2021 4:37 AM


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by Anonymousreply 48October 17, 2021 4:44 AM

Before Psycho Anthony Perkins played boy next door types.

Jason Bateman playing the villain in The Gift.

by Anonymousreply 49October 17, 2021 5:08 AM

Wow, Fred MacMurray was handsome at R42.

by Anonymousreply 50October 17, 2021 5:16 AM

Fred MacMurray looked like Zachary Quinto.

by Anonymousreply 51October 17, 2021 5:19 AM

Leslie Nielsen did such the ultimate turnaround in Airplane that most people my age and younger never knew he was known for strictly dramatic parts before that (as was pretty much the entire cast).

by Anonymousreply 52October 17, 2021 5:41 AM

Liza Minelli in Cabaret.

People always say she just played herself. Not true. Prior to Cabaret she played gawky misfits. Cabaret changed her whole image and her stage performances too.

by Anonymousreply 53October 17, 2021 5:44 AM

Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment. She never played crabby before. (then she almost always did after Terms.)

by Anonymousreply 54October 17, 2021 5:45 AM

Jane Fonda had played mostly comic roles before THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY?--that was the film that really established her as the best young actress in Hollywood. And that was cemented the next year with KLUTE.

by Anonymousreply 55October 17, 2021 5:51 AM

Elizabeth Taylor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

by Anonymousreply 56October 17, 2021 5:57 AM

R47, And yet, it was used as the theme for her CBS sitcom.

by Anonymousreply 57October 17, 2021 6:10 AM


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by Anonymousreply 58October 17, 2021 6:11 AM

[quote] Jane Fonda had played mostly comic roles before THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY?--that was the film that really established her as the best young actress in Hollywood. And that was cemented the next year with KLUTE.

Jane also played a psychiatrist in "Agnes of God" and a mousy secretary in 9 to 5.

by Anonymousreply 59October 17, 2021 6:16 AM

Those were long after "They Don't Shoot Horses, Don't They?" , r59. That was the first big time she really played against type.

by Anonymousreply 60October 17, 2021 6:20 AM

Hello! Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain AND The Dark Knight!

by Anonymousreply 61October 17, 2021 6:25 AM

Weirdly, Johnny Depp. Though he never has been able to go back to the sexy love interest again. I think he could do some kind of alcoholic wash up role and people would eat it up.

by Anonymousreply 62October 17, 2021 6:27 AM

Albert Finney in Murder on the Orient Express. A decade before this he started in Tom Jones, & the two roles couldn’t be more dissimilar. He was only 38 when he stared as Poirot!

by Anonymousreply 63October 17, 2021 6:31 AM

[quote] Hello! Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain AND The Dark Knight!

I did not like Heath Ledger in his role as “Joker”.

by Anonymousreply 64October 17, 2021 6:33 AM

Jackie Gleason in The Hustler.

by Anonymousreply 65October 17, 2021 6:33 AM

Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems

by Anonymousreply 66October 17, 2021 6:36 AM

[quote] I think he could do some kind of alcoholic wash up role and people would eat it up.

Johnny Depp IS Johnny Depp in The Johnny Depp Story

Executive Producer Johnny Depp

Based on a Treatment (well several in- and outpatient treatments) by Johnny Depp

by Anonymousreply 67October 17, 2021 6:36 AM

R65, what was the stereotype of Jackie Gleason? His Honeymooners character? I love him as Sheriff Buford T. Justice. Not kidding. He's hilarious.

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by Anonymousreply 68October 17, 2021 6:39 AM

"A Face In The Crowd" was made in 1957 and was Andy Griffith's first movie. He didn't become known as a funny country bumpkin sheriff in "The Andy Griffith Show" on TV until 1960. If you first saw him as a nice guy on TV, you'd be shocked to see him as the bad guy in that movie -- but it was actually the TV role that went against the type set by the movie.

by Anonymousreply 69October 17, 2021 6:55 AM

R69, Andy played a country bumpkin in "No Time for Sergeants", on Broadway and in the movie.

by Anonymousreply 70October 17, 2021 7:00 AM

Yes, R70 -- but the movie wasn't released until 1958, a year after "A Face In The Crowd".

by Anonymousreply 71October 17, 2021 7:06 AM

Robert Walker had played boy-next-door types in numerous MGM romantic comedies and dramas, then played against type as the murdering psychopath in "Strangers on a Train." And then he died.

by Anonymousreply 72October 17, 2021 7:40 AM

R45 It was up on Youtube briefly, then disappeared. The Catholics got upset when she sang "Ave Maria" holding a cigarette and a glass of Scotch with very loud ice cubes.

by Anonymousreply 73October 17, 2021 8:17 AM

Sally Field as a dim, sweet, sexually promiscuous gym receptionist in Stay Hungry (1976). She even had a nude scene. This was three years before Norma Rae.

by Anonymousreply 74October 17, 2021 8:52 AM

Always cast as the sweet girl-next-door, Sandra Bullock had a break-out performance as a wealthy, selfish entitled bitch in Crash. So either she was a decent actress after all, or she finally got to play who she really is.

by Anonymousreply 75October 17, 2021 8:54 AM

75 posts and no one brought up Betty White and Rue McLanahan in TGG? Betty's previous role was a sex-obsessed maneater while Rue was more innocent and maybe a bit "limited". At first they didn't want to play a similar character again but agreed to play the opposite type.

by Anonymousreply 76October 17, 2021 10:19 AM

I'm from Balkans and I would feel like a total asshole lying that people are liberal and progressive here, cause they are not. So, I believe the person who is trying to sell this shit about Black people being super liberal is just a moron.

by Anonymousreply 77October 17, 2021 10:23 AM

Sorry, wrong thread on R77

by Anonymousreply 78October 17, 2021 10:24 AM

Nicholas Cage as an insecure, low self esteem guy in Adaptation. Jim Carrey in The eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.

by Anonymousreply 79October 17, 2021 10:26 AM

Dan Ackroyd in "Driving Miss Daisy."

by Anonymousreply 80October 17, 2021 10:27 AM

R71, Yes, but the Broadway play opened in 1955 and Andy was Tony nominated, so his country bumpkin persona was at least known to the theatre world.

by Anonymousreply 81October 17, 2021 11:21 AM

Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder.

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by Anonymousreply 82October 17, 2021 12:18 PM

Tony Perkins never seemed right in his "boy next door" parts.

by Anonymousreply 83October 17, 2021 12:59 PM

Traci Lords in 'Excision,' playing a cold-hearted mom to a couple of teen daughters. Not a big part, but nothing sexy about it. AnnaLynne McCord was the star and she might qualify, too. I had never heard of her before this, but if Charlize Theron can win an Oscar for 'Monster,' then McCord surely deserved at least a nomination for this role. Turns out she was just playing herself (maybe).

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by Anonymousreply 84October 17, 2021 2:46 PM

Pamela Sue Martin in “The Lady In Red”. This and her Playboy spread probably opened the door for Dynasty. Before this she was the quintessential girl next door based on her Poseidon/Nancy Drew roles.

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by Anonymousreply 85October 17, 2021 4:05 PM

[quote]Liza Minelli in Cabaret.

Your gay card is suspended pending further review. Please watch "Liza With a 'Z'" in the meantime.

by Anonymousreply 86October 17, 2021 4:49 PM

Macaulay Culkin, who played the cute kid in the "Home Alone" movies going full psychopath in "The Good Son."

by Anonymousreply 87October 17, 2021 5:37 PM

Doris Day pretending to care about her virginity in all those dumb 40s musicals and 60s sex comedies.

by Anonymousreply 88October 17, 2021 5:45 PM

r56, how embarrassing for you. If ever a role had an actress playing herself, it was Elizabeth Taylor in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" from the word 'go'.

by Anonymousreply 89October 18, 2021 5:43 AM

How embarrassing for you that you don't understand what typecast means.

by Anonymousreply 90October 18, 2021 5:51 AM
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