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Top 10 Typecast Actors

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Tiffany Ezuma Him, again? Didn’t he already play that guy? Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 most typecast actors. For this list, we’ve picked actors who always seem like they’re playing the same person in the different movies they act in. They may have varied the role a little along the way, but many of the characters they portray quintessentially share the same traits. Sometimes, it also feels like the actor is just playing himself. Special thanks to our users JenBecca, Carlos ANdres Torres Arcentales, Ben Kane, WatchDogsFan47, Chance Ellison and Adam C. Taylor for submitting the idea through our Suggest Tool at WatchMojo.comSuggest
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Written by Tiffany Ezuma

Top 10 Typecast Actors


Him, again? Didn’t he already play that guy? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 most typecast actors.

For this list, we’ve picked actors who always seem like they’re playing the same person in the different movies they act in. They may have varied the role a little along the way, but many of the characters they portray quintessentially share the same traits. Sometimes, it also feels like the actor is just playing himself.

#10: Jack Black
Typecast as: Lovable, Heroic Oaf

With his doughy body and short stature, Jack is few people’s ideal of a stereotypical hero, but he’s done a great job at being cast as a dumb but loveable one. He often looks confused and takes awhile to answer his calls-to-action but, once he’s committed, his characters tend to use unorthodox ways of thinking to save the day. His movies can also be hit-or-miss, which usually lands him on lists for being one of Hollywood’s most overpaid actors.

#9: Danny Trejo
Typecast as: Dangerous Tough Guy

Appearing in 200 films, give-or-take, is quite an accomplishment - but imagine playing a similar character in every single one of them and you’ll know what Danny’s life is like. A frequent collaborator of Robert Rodriguez, Trejo often plays the badass ethnic villain. You’ll frequently find him toting a gun, riding a motorcycle and wearing a copious of amount of leather. His common casting as a thug certainly makes you think he’s not someone you want to mess with!

#8: Seann William Scott
Typecast as: Party Boy / Idiot

His popularity may have peaked in the early noughties, but at least we all know whom to call if we need someone to play a no-so-bright party guy in a movie aimed at teenage boys. Seann also has a signature move of raising one eyebrow and leaving his mouth open that’s more or less his “huh?” face. He hasn’t shown much range, and his career has been pretty much sparse in the early 2010s.

#7: Seth Rogen
Typecast as: Endearing Schlub

Every character Seth plays seems to be that schlub of a guy that never left his college days behind him. His brand of humor often involves him being a stoner, and/or all-around slacker who still somehow manages to score a gorgeous wife or girlfriend. His characters are usually emotionally stunted but don’t seem to realize it – that is, until a woman gives him a stern talking to. Even though these characters are pretty much losers, they always seem to have something loveable about them, so by the end of the movie, he’s a schlubby guy with perspective.

#6: Morgan Freeman
Typecast as: Wise Old Man

There’s something about Morgan Freeman’s voice that makes us want him to impart wisdom on us all. Even though he’s been acting since 1964, his career didn’t really kick off until he could play the wise old man, starting particularly in movies like “Driving Miss Daisy.” And ever since his role as God in “Bruce Almighty,” it’s hard not hear his voice and feel the need to do the right thing. He’s further projected that image of being a man of authority and wisdom by lending his voice to environmental documentaries like “March of the Penguins.”

#5: Michael Cera
Typecast as: Awkward Teen

While he had roles before “Arrested Development,” it was that TV show that really introduced Michael Cera to bigger audiences. And ever since his role as George Michael Bluth, the Canadian actor seems to just be playing awkward, hipster-ish teenagers. Since he seems to be so full of quirk and socially inept, this gives his characters a puppy-dog like quality, particularly in “Juno.” It doesn’t help that he’s quite baby-faced, so it’s unlikely audiences will take him seriously if he continues playing these kinds of roles. Cera does seem to be able to poke fun at himself though, and even played against type as a hyper-sexualized version of himself in “This is the End.”

#4: Samuel L. Jackson
Typecast as: Badass

He’s been the classic badass ever since his role in “Pulp Fiction.” If you need someone to curse up a storm in your movie and/or school you on the ways of the world, Samuel L. Jackson is your man. He has a very particular style of acting, which often means that he’s yelling at his co-stars and giving an intense bit of side-eye. His formula seems to work though, as he’s appeared in dozens of movies, from indies to blockbusters, doing that same shtick.

#3: Adam Sandler
Typecast as: Man-Child

He’s the real life Peter Pan! Adam Sandler frequently plays a socially awkward man who just can’t seem to grow up. His characters can be so ridiculous that it’s hard to see them as anything more than exaggerated stereotypes. Even when he does play more of a straight man, like in “Grown Ups,” he’s still a guy that can’t handle the responsibilities of adult life. He’s commonly on the list of Hollywood’s most overpaid actors, though we gotta give him credit for grossing over two billion dollars at the box office.

#2: Hugh Grant
Typecast as: Stammering English Gentleman

With his floppy hair, charming British accent, and baby blues, it’s easy to see why Hugh Grant is so often cast as an overly talkative, stammering love interest. He’s quite good at staring at women with a shy gaze and being overcome with their beauty, which leads him to ramble on and on about nothing. Instead of being annoying though, this is somehow loveable to many audiences. Even when he’s playing a bit of a cad, like in “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Hugh’s still in this familiar type.


Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

- Owen Wilson
Typecast as: Happy-go-lucky

- Vince Vaughn
Typecast as: Fast-talking Wiseass

- William Shatner
Typecast as: Himself

- Zach Galifianakis
Typecast as: The Weirdo

#1: John Wayne
Typecast as: Macho Man

He may be more of a product of his time, but it doesn’t seem like John Wayne really tried very hard to break free of his being pigeonholed as the manly man, usually demonstrated by his playing a soldier, cowboy or man of the law. In all of those professions, John brought that same grizzly, macho persona to each film he appeared in. Though modern audiences might want a little more range from their actors, his typecasting made Wayne an American icon and earned him an Oscar.

Do you agree with our list? Which actor do you think always plays the same parts? For more can’t miss Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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