Top 10 Actors With the Most Convincing Cries

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Top 10 Actors With the Most Convincing Cries

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
Someone get these actors a tissue! For this list, we'll be looking at those actors with the most realistic cries in the business. Our countdown includes Anne Hathaway, Matt Damon, Aaron Paul, and more!
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Script Written by Mark Sammut

h4>Top 10 Actors With the Most Convincing Cries
Yes, all the tissues, please. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Actors With the Most Convincing Cries.

For this list, we’ll be looking at those actors with the most realistic cries in the business.


#10: Aaron Paul


There is no such thing as a mediocre "Breaking Bad" episode, but you know things are going to be extra special whenever Jesse begins to blabber and tears start to flow. Aaron Paul's cries tend to cut right to the soul, be it the heartbreaking breakdown towards the end of "Breaking Bad" Season 2, Jesse's emotional outburst in the series finale and the beginning of "El Camino," or even the actor's somewhat overwrought speech in 2014's "A Long Way Down." Whatever emotions Aaron Paul is showing, everyone watching is feeling them.


#9: Matthew McConaughey


Outside of Hollywood movies, crying is nearly always ugly, exhausting, and uncontrollable, traits that Matthew McConaughey captures whenever a scene calls for some tears. Whenever McConaughey cries, it's almost certain that the Oscars will be paying attention, with the actor's devastating turn in "Dallas Buyers Club" winning an Academy Award for Best Actor. McConaughey cries with his entire body rather than just his eyes, as his typically guarded characters become overwhelmed with raw emotion that they try but fail to resist. In "Interstellar," McConaughey steals the show with a nearly four-minute crying scene that is nothing short of masterful.


#8: Will Smith


For an actor who rose to prominence as a funnyman, Will Smith has an innate talent for making people cry. Even when not in a hard-hitting drama, Smith still cries like he is starring in an Oscar contender, as more than a few episodes of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" can attest to. Smith has such a big personality that his characters can get lost in the actor's presence, which helps make the crying scenes in "The Pursuit of Happyness" and "Seven Pounds" feel even more authentic. Smith is so convincing, the "Fresh Prince's" iconic father scene was even mistakenly rumored to be ad-lipped for a while.


#7: Matt Damon


During the late '90s, it seemed like Matt Damon could not do a movie without crying, and it was great. After "Good Will Hunting's" "it's not your fault" scene put the actor's crying chops beyond doubt, Damon could have gone the rest of his career without ever shedding another tear; thankfully, that did not happen. While not always the case, Damon's characters tend to have a natural charisma that makes them seem untouchable, so it is especially disarming when those walls break down and the actor reveals a more vulnerable side to them.

#6: Viola Davis


Whether on the small or big screen, Viola Davis brings a raw and powerful energy to each of her roles. Davis' versatility is a sight to behold, and this is reflected by the actress's various distinct crying scenes that showcase a wide range of believable emotions - be it sadness, frustration, or anger. Davis' reserved performance as Mrs. Miller in "Doubt" is completely different from Rose's dramatic release in "Fences" or Annalise Keating's dynamic outbursts, with the one thing they share in common being just how real they feel. Viola Davis should just handle all the crying scenes from now on.


#5: Julianne Moore


The Academy Award winner is an expert crier, a skill that has been used to good effect in films like "The Hours" and "Magnolia." Whether running away from dinosaurs or a headliner in the Los Angeles 1970s adult movie scene, Julianne Moore can be relied upon to deliver a cathartic or engrossing cry, with some featuring a bit more blubbering than others. Moore's most realistic cry probably happens in 2014's "Still Alice," a performance that earned the actress universal acclaim and an Oscar. Even if Moore's sheer quantity of crying scenes has somewhat dulled their impact, that should not take anything away from the actress's performances.


#4: Michelle Williams


Even when acting opposite some truly great performers, including another pretty convincing crier in Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams tends to steal the spotlight. In "Manchester by the Sea," Williams' relatively brief role conjures up one of the most brilliantly acted scenes in modern cinema, as years of guilt and grief break through to the surface in a moment that might just leave everyone watching weeping for real. In "Mammoth," Williams portrays a surgeon who, after losing a child during an operation, breaks down in a scene that just allows the actress to do her thing.


#3: Anne Hathaway


An ugly crier can be both a grossing endorsement or a mocking critique; however, when done right, there are few things in cinema more realistic than a snot-filled, whimpering cry that goes completely against Hollywood's glitzy reputation. Anne Hathaway's "I Dreamed a Dream" performance in “Les Misérables” is everything an ugly cry should be - vulnerable, powerful, and life-changing. The fact Hathaway is simultaneously singing and doing a great job at it just adds to the moment's brilliance. While "I Dreamed a Dream" overshadows all of the actress' other cries, Hathaway's turn in "Modern Love" is also something else.


#2: Tom Hanks


Here is a statement that should shock absolutely nobody: Tom Hanks is not too bad at that whole acting thing. The quintessential everyman, Hanks can be charming, funny, and also intimidating. Even in films that are quite glossy and somewhat detached from reality, the actor brings a relatable quality that helps sell the characters and universe. The titular hero in "Captain Phillips" maintains a composed facade during the majority of the film, that is until Hanks' all-too-real post-crisis examination with a genuine Navy medic. Then there is Wilson's goodbye in "Cast Away," a crying scene revolving around a volleyball that Hanks sells like it is nobody's business.


Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Adèle Exarchopoulos


Andrew Lincoln


Matthew Lillard


Liam Neeson


Marion Cotillard


#1: Meryl Streep


Even though being a convincing crier is hardly a requirement to earn Oscar nominations, going-by Meryl Streep's 20 plus nods, it probably doesn't hurt either. One of the most celebrated actresses of any generation, at her absolute best, Streep can deliver the type of performance that seems to transcend fiction. While varying from film to film, Streep's most convincing cries tend to be slightly understated, often featuring characters who are attempting to hold back the tears rather than letting them flow freely. Streep's expressive acting is more than enough to convincingly capture a character's anguish.
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