Related Videos

Top 10 Underrated British Actors


Written by Joe Cooper You probably know their faces, but you might not know their names. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 most underrated British actors. For this list we’ll be taking a look at lower-profile actors from the United Kingdom who have proven to be some of the most talented in the industry, providing world class supporting work and regularly stealing the show from their leads. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript

Top 10 Underrated British Actors


You probably know their faces, but you might not know their names. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 most underrated British actors.

For this list we’ll be taking a look at lower-profile actors from the United Kingdom who have proven to be some of the most talented in the industry, providing world class supporting work and regularly stealing the show from their leads.

#10: Paddy Considine

As one of many British actors who benefitted from early collaborations with director Shane Meadows, Paddy Considine has established himself as one of the most versatile actors around. Capable of radiating real menace with roles in the likes of “Dead Man’s Shoes”, he also brings quality comedic timing in the likes of “Hot Fuzz” and “The Death of Stalin.” And he isn’t just an actor either. Considine also made waves with his directorial debut “Tyrannosaur,” receiving widespread acclaim. While, his second directorial effort, “Journeyman,” also earned several British Independent Film Award nominations.

#9: Emily Mortimer

Emily Mortimer may just be the perfect supporting actor, providing memorable and exceptional work for more than two decades. She’s able to effortlessly slip into a wide range of parts, including British and American characters, and is so natural in her delivery that it rarely seems like she’s even acting at all. With parts spanning from Inspector Clouseau’s secretary to a grown-up Jane Banks in “Mary Poppins Returns”, she’s surely destined for a standout role one day, that’ll make everyone sit up and realize her talent.

#8: Michael Smiley

A Northern Irish actor who seems to pop up everywhere in British film and TV, Michael Smiley boasts a natural warmness that provides his characters with plenty of charm. A regular in director Ben Wheatley’s productions, he’s able to flex his dramatic muscles in films such as “Kill List” and “A Field in England,” and has provided ample supporting work in British shows including “Luther,” “Spaced” and “Black Mirror.” Another serial supporting actor, perhaps it’s about time he took the lead, too!

#7: Olivia Colman

Best known for her comedy roles in shows such as “Peep Show” and “Green Wing,” Olivia Colman has truly proven herself as a dramatic actor in recent years. First showcasing her scope in Paddy Considine’s “Tyrannosaur,” she won critical acclaim and several awards for that role, before more praise was levelled at her for performances in “The Iron Lady” and “Broadchurch”. Her worldwide following has quietly grown over the years, especially since she was tasked with replacing Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s “The Crown.”

#6: David Thewlis

Probably best known as Professor Lupin in the Harry Potter films, David Thewlis has been acting circles around his colleagues for decades. A recipient of the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for “Naked,” he has always seemed drawn towards complicated, oddball characters. And, he always leaves an impression, whether he’s in the lead role or only on screen for a couple of minutes. Some viewers were surprised by his acclaimed yet skin-crawling work in the third series of “Fargo”, for example, which only further cements him as a true chameleon actor.

#5: Carey Mulligan

A relative newbie actor alongside the rest of our list, Carey Mulligan broke onto the scene following her lead role in “An Education” in 2009 - and she has been meticulous with her choice of roles ever since. Having provided first class support for “Drive,” “Shame” and “Inside Lleweyn Davis”, she’s since delivered some stellar lead work in “Suffragette” and “Mudbound.” An understated and naturalistic actor, she always stands out, even opposite Hollywood heavyweights like Leonardo DiCaprio. Directors clearly appreciate her talent; large-scale recognition is sure to follow soon!

#4: Paul Bettany

A solid actor who has predominantly stuck with supporting roles, Paul Bettany is best known for his work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - providing the cool voice of J.A.R.V.I.S. in the “Iron Man” films, before becoming Vision in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. Always a shining beacon in any film he’s in, even the bad ones, he provides an acute wisdom with his clear, crisp accent and measured style. Essentially, any scene with this guy in is likely to catch (and keep) your attention. He’s that good.

#3: Toby Jones

A face that most might recognise, Toby Jones has amassed a huge back-catalogue from small independent projects to multi-billion dollar movie franchises. His most famous work is probably providing the voice of Dobby in the “Harry Potter” films, but he also appears in the “Captain America” movies and the “Hunger Games” series - but always in smaller, supporting roles. He even managed to make it into the Jurassic Park canon. Compare those parts with his role in the British horror film “Berberian Sound Studio“, or the offbeat sitcom “Detectorists”, and his immense versatility is obvious.

#2: Helen McCrory

An acting force to really be reckoned with, Helen McCrory is especially adept at achieving complexity and unpredictability with her characters. As a result, many viewers are both attracted to and repelled by the people she plays. Appearing as Narcissa Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” films and as Anna Karenina in the Channel 4 adaptation of Tolstoy’s novel, she is also known as the matriarch of the Peaky Blinders, Polly Gray - where she steals every scene she’s in, imbuing Polly with a maternal ferocity not often seen on television.

#1: Stephen Graham

A staggering talent, Stephen Graham gets right to the nitty gritty. He inhabits his characters with a volatile ferociousness but keeps his humanity intact in a way that has us hooked from minute one. Known stateside for playing Al Capone in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” for us Brits he’ll always be Combo from “This is England” and the TV sequels that followed. A violent racist who struggles for redemption, it’s a testament to Graham’s talents that his is the stand-out performance within a series that’s full of magnificent work.
Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs