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View Full Version : Well known/respected leading actors despite lack of box office hits


maestrowork
06-10-2009, 08:40 AM
I was watching Defiance with Daniel Craig and I realized Liev Schreiber must be one actor without a major hit under his own name (he did star in Wolverine this year).

Another one is Gary Sinise. Granted, he's more like a character actor and the only movie I can think of him as the star is Mission to Mars, which flopped. But I also think he qualifies as the "leading man" type.

Greg Kinnear also comes to mind.

Anyone else in this category?

Smileycat
06-10-2009, 01:35 PM
Hi, Maestrowork. Liev Schreiber probably does not strike 'the powers that be' as leading man material. He's not bad looking, but is not Hollywood handsome. He usually plays a supporting role, so taking a chance on him in a leading man role is risky. I'm thinking he added a lot to the Ben Affleck hit "The Sum of All Fears" and the Denzel Washington film "The Manchurian Candidate" and the Neve Campbell movies "Scream 2" and "Scream 3." Don't forget, he did have a starring role in the 2006 remake of "The Omen." Okay, so not a smash hit, but I think he is just a 'slow riser.' He'll get there one day. Actually, he is already successful by Hollywood standards.

As far as Gary Sinise goes, his role in "Forrest Gump" fully established his acting ability and lead to other roles and more interest in him. He'd already proved he has acting chops in the TV mini-series "The Stand" as well as other projects. He's a cutie, but is not Hollywood handsome either.

I have hope for these actors who are not at the Denzel or Brad Pitt level, and should be (if that's what they want):

Russell Wong (charismatic and, phew, he's hot!)
Chris Pine (his amazing acting job as James T. Kirk in "Star Trek" bowled me over)
David Morse (terrific older actor with a cute face)
James Marsden (handsome and talented) He's on the cusp of full blown stardom, in my opinion.

ChaosTitan
06-10-2009, 06:42 PM
David Morse definitely tops my list. He is an amazing character actor, and while he's had the lead in a handful of films, any box office hits (such as The Green Mile) have seen him in supporting roles. Which are where he shines.

Also agree with Liev Schrieber.

ChunkyC
06-10-2009, 09:54 PM
The 'topic' is a bit tough to peg down: well known/respected leading actors despite lack of box office hits.

William H. Macy fits that characterization because the movies where he was the leading actor are not huge hits: Mystery Men or A Slight Case of Murder, for example. But as a supporting actor, he's been in a lot of big movies: Seabiscuit, Thank You for Smoking, Pleasantville, Fargo, etc.

So Macy is a well known, respected actor whose leading roles have not been hits, but whose supporting work is superb and often in bonafide hits.

robeiae
06-10-2009, 11:16 PM
Another one is Gary Sinise. Granted, he's more like a character actor and the only movie I can think of him as the star is Mission to Mars, which flopped. But I also think he qualifies as the "leading man" type.
But that movie and Impostor--also largely a flop--was where Hollywood tried to make him a "leading man." And he didn't make the grade.

How about John Cusack? He's in few BIG blockbusters, but he seems to be well-regarded across the board and he's most often in the lead role.

Cybernaught
06-10-2009, 11:21 PM
Michael Parks. He's seriously among the best actors I've ever seen. His performance in Kill Bill 2 is talent at its highest peak.

Oh, and Fisher Stevens. While he's not "leading man" material, he's a brilliant actor and one of my favorites.

Diana Hignutt
06-11-2009, 12:20 AM
Bill Nighy (Pirates 2 & 3, Valkyri, Shaun of the Dead) A great character actor, who never gets leading roles.

David Morse is great too.

maestrowork
06-11-2009, 04:12 AM
Bill Pullman. Granted, he did star in a few hits such as ID4, While You Were Sleeping, Spaceball... but I think his prime as a leading man is over. Still, people know his name.

Eddie Murphy... when was his last hit? (except the hit he did last night... ba-da-boom)

ChunkyC
06-11-2009, 05:11 AM
*snortgiggle*

Yeah, Eddie has more bombs than a fully loaded B52. BADABING!

Smileycat
06-12-2009, 12:11 AM
David Morse definitely tops my list. He is an amazing character actor, and while he's had the lead in a handful of films, any box office hits (such as The Green Mile) have seen him in supporting roles. Which are where he shines.

Also agree with Liev Schrieber.


Hi, CT. Do you have any names to add? Of those I added, Russell Wong is maybe not the best actor, but he has matinee idol looks and appeal. Is there a downside for Asian descent actors? Jackie Chan and Jet Li and Bruce and Brandon Lee say "no." But maybe there is in lead, non-martial art roles?

The other 2 are both good actors and also have good looks. I will just wait for timing and the right roles for them to catch on.

David Morse? Been a fan of his for years.