Most actors are known in Hollywood as very dynamic and varied individuals who are capable of playing a variety of roles in a believable fashion. However, there exist a boatload of actors who typically only play one type of role. These actors are what we call “typecast,” which essentially means they are cast in only one type of similar role.
Now, this isn’t because of their own doing, it’s just that the casting directors realize that is what they are best at, so those are the roles they should play. Without further ado, here are 10 actors who are forever typecast!
10. Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy burst onto the comedic scene with her hilarious role as Megan Price in the smash hit Bridesmaids. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance, which was a testament to how good it was. As a result of this hit, McCarthy has since been cast in a number of different comedy films where she essentially plays the same role. In most of her films since Bridesmaids, McCarthy gets by making jokes about her body or by using questionable language and being gross, without any real substance or meaning behind a lot of her words or roles. This is unfortunate for Gilmore Girls fans, as her character “Sookie” was one of the best on the show, without the need for this cheap humor.
9. Hugh Grant
Just by looking at Hugh Grant, you can normally hazard a guess at the type of roles he is almost exclusively cast in. The roles that he is normally cast in follow a very simple model: the charming but befuddled Brit. He often plays a professional who is fumbling through life without a clue, but is charming and always gets the girl nonetheless. He is a staple in numerous different romantic comedies and dramas. Of course, there are always exceptions such as his role in About a Boy, but most of his films definitely fit the bill that we described earlier in this entry.
8. Jason Biggs
Jason Biggs is without a doubt best known for his role as Jim Levenstein in the American Pie series of films. While these movies made him a star and a face almost every young adult will recognize, it also cemented the fact he could likely never play a serious role in a believable fashion ever again. This is simply because of the stupid, immature and unbelievable things he did in the American Pie movies such as horrible stripteases and having sex with numerous inanimate objects. He is also always cast as the loveable Jewish outcast in a lot of his films, despite not even being Jewish in real life.
7. Jon Heder
Jon Heder was typecast right from the get-go in his career. His film debut came in Napoleon Dynamite in 2004, and he has never been able to live down that performance. He was perfect for that type of awkward dry comedic role, which is why he continued to get cast as that character. It has made him famous and he is likely thankful for the role, but that role also likely disqualified him from numerous other roles he could have gotten, simply because he wouldn’t be seen as believable in a serious or dramatic role. No matter how hard he tries, Jon Heder simply cannot shake the public’s image of him as Napoleon Dynamite, and likely never will.
6. Rob Schneider
Rob Schneider, who began his career as a stand-up and sketch comedian, is forever typecast in the role of the laughingstock and funny guy in nearly every single film he has even appeared in. Whether you love him or hate him, you have to respect this man’s courage when he appears on the screen. He is always willing to appear in the most horrendous movies and roles, simply because he knows people will laugh at him; that’s dedication. There is no way you could put this guy into any film that isn’t a comedy and have it be taken seriously.
5. Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman is an extremely talented actor and has the voice of an angel, no doubt, but he seems to almost always play the same role in every single film. There is no doubt that he is beloved by many, but it seems as if the guy always plays the wise old man, who the protagonist relies on for advice and to lean on. His most famous role that followed this model was his role as Red in The Shawshank Redemption, and he has repeated similar roles in Million Dollar Baby, Bruce Almighty and Se7en. This typecasting isn’t necessarily bad, as he is amazing at playing the wise old man, but we feel his great acting chops could be used more dynamically.
4. Danny Trejo
This man could have a legitimate claim at the argument that he is the most typecast man in show business. Danny Trejo has made a career out of playing the tough guys, the villains, and the gangsters. These roles aren’t that far from the truth as Trejo was involved fairly heavily in the world of crime before becoming an actor. His wrinkles, gritty look and deep voice make him a casting director’s dream when they are looking for the bad guy. Instead of going against this typecasting and trying to appear in other roles, Trejo has embraced it and thus has been working consistently for years and has been in over 200 movies and TV shows.
3. Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler has largely been the same guy in numerous different movies spanning nearly his entire career. Sandler, who was one of the biggest comedic actors in Hollywood in the early 2000s, almost always portrays a socially inept man, almost like a “man-child.” Making noises, immature jokes or overall just acting like a child stuck in a man’s body, Sandler without a doubt deserves a high spot on this list of typecast actors and actresses. He has been in some of the worst movies of the recent few years, which shows he is content with being typecast and being paid handsomely for it.
2. Jennifer Aniston
Even at 46 years old, Jennifer Aniston is among the sexiest actresses in Hollywood, but she never seems to be able to reveal her true acting chops. Aniston is best known for her role as Rachel in Friends, but that role also doomed her to be typecast forever. She is typecast as the hopeless romantic friend. She seems to appear in nearly every romantic comedy out there and seems to normally only appear in “safe” roles, where she can continue to be the actress she has always been, without taking any risks. She is far too beautiful and naturally talented to continue appearing in such bad movies, but she just seems unlikely to take on challenging roles for some odd reason.
1. Michael Cera
Coming in at number one should surprise nobody who opened this list. Michael Cera is far and away the most typecast actor currently in Hollywood today, and has been for years. Cera is almost exclusively cast as the awkward and socially inept teen. His performance in Superbad was absolutely fantastic as an awkward high school senior trying to go out with a bang. Unfortunately for him, this role has spurned him to only play these same, awkward roles in movies. Juno, Youth and Revolt, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and a few others are all examples of Cera playing the same character all the time.