Sunday, July 31, 2011

Almost Famous: Five Quasi Unknowns I Unabashedly Love

It may not seem like much but being the known 'unknown' can be one of the greatest factors for longevity in Hollywood. It's the actors and actresses who've broken through on one or two occasions but they never make it to full star status. So they weave in and out of cinema for years on end, taking up a TV role here, a supporting movie role there, but they're not the type to gain Oscar talk, be featured on the cover of the latest hip magazine, or be the feature guest on a late night talk show. No, they're the second guest on the later than late late night talk show.  Though more often than not they're the ones you really want to watch - mostly because they're the ones who have all the fun. So here are five of my personal favorites.

Adrian Lester

Sample Filmography:
Hu$tle (2004 - 2011)
Doomsday (2008)
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
Primary Colors (1996)

Andrew Royo

Sample Filmography:
Super (2010)
The Wire (2002 - 2008)
Shaft (2000)

Judy Greer
aka "Queen of the 'Best Friend' Rom Com Role"

Sample Filmography:
Love and Other Drugs (2010)
13 Going on 30 (2004)
The Hebrew Hammer (2003) - hells yeah, I went there!
Three Kings (1999)
Jawbreaker (1999)

Andy Serkis

Sample Filmography:
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010)
The Prestige (2006)
King Kong (2005)
13 Going on 30 (2004) - yes again, don't judge me.
Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001 - 2003)
The Escapist (2002) - way under seen film

Stanley Tucci
aka "The Supporting King"

Sample Filmography:
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Easy A (2010)
Julie and Julia (2009)
The Lovely Bones (2009)
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
The Terminal (2004) - take that hate on out of here!
Road to Perdition (2002)
Deconstructing Harry (1997)

No worries Stanley, that little blip on the radar we would call a Pauly Shore film you did will remain a secret.

14 better thoughts:

Nikhat said...

Stanley Tucci is God! When is he not brilliant?

Kaiderman said...

GREAT list, Uni!
I don't think Tucci belongs. I think he has broken through though he is a "supporting".
Greer is the best pick. My wife and I love her.
Been watching The Wire so am still getting to know Oyo/Oro??? I can't see the post... haha
And I don't know if I love Lester but I LOVED Primary Colors... so, I'll buy that one too!

Alex said...

Nice list! I dig these guys/gal too! I might put Tucci on a different level though, mainly because he has also worked as a filmmaker and he's had some fairly high-profile roles compared to the others here.

One of my favorites is Rhys Ifans, but I have a feeling he'll be much more known after the new SPIDER-MAN movie. Rockmond Dunbar and Dave Foley might fit in here too.

Castor said...

Ahah I love that the first two are completely unknown and the list finishes with Andy Serkis and Stanley Stucci who are really not unknown at all anymore.

Univarn said...

@Nikhat One day you'll make the mistake of watching Jury Duty because it's 4 A.M. and then you'll cry "why Tucci why!!!!!"

@Kaiderman If you get the opportunity, check out the show Hu$tle (you'd probably have to get it through Netflix) then you'd understand.

@Alex Rhys Ifan is a great one. I'd probably put him in the same category as Jason Flemyng for actors I'd love to see more of.

@Castor Pssh, unknown is a relative term!

@Kai, Alex, and Castor Tucci is a bit of an anomaly - in that same area as J.K. Simmons. They're actors everybody loves, bloggers go crazy for, and yet you ask a passerby about them they can name all the films they love them in, but hell if they can say their name. Serkis, while loved, is known far more for his voice work than his physical presence - which is a shame as he is one hell of a talented actor.

CS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CS said...

I have to agree with Kai and Castor, Stanley Tucci should not be on this list. I would substitute him for another The Wire alum Michael K. Williams. He has been getting a lot of bit parts in indie films but has not broken through yet.

Red said...

I can't believe anybody hasn't mentioned this yet, but Tucci probably doesn't belong on this list. :)

I love Serkis' work. The man does so much without getting his face on the screen. But when he does (Prestige; Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll), he tears up the screen. He's directing the 2nd unit on The Hobbit, so maybe there is a future behind the camera for him as well.

Holly French said...

13 Going on 30 is one of my most guilty pleasures. Obviously it's formulaic and silly but Jennifer Garner is hilarious and Mark Ruffalo totes lovable so what the hell! :)

Fitz said...

Bubbles! Seriously, why can't this guy get more work?

simoncolumb said...

A friend of mine said that Andy Serkis spoke to them in a bar recently. I swear, I reckon I wouldn't recognise him: Gollum, Kong, Captain Haddock - I'd recognize THEM in the street...

Paolo said...

Judy Greer is a goddess, and I'm disappointed that no one else liked Peep World as much as I tolerated it. Because she's awesome in it.

Dylan said...

you know I'm down for this post! I miss my FF-UNs!

Though, I've got to pile on here as well...none of the last three are unknowns. Your average Joe might not be able to name them, but they'd certainly recognize them. Hasn't Tucci been nommed for an Oscar yet (if not, he should have been by now)?

filmgeek said...

Love Stanley Tucci and Judy Greer. And I thought Andrew Toyo was great in Fringe

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