The Comedic Actor Turned Serious
Much like the beautiful woman who learns to hate the fact that people find her beautiful, so does every comic actor eventually grow to hate the sound of laughter. "If the audience REALLY loved me," they think while making cocaine snow angels on their floor, "then they wouldn't CARE if I made them laugh or not!"
Thus, they take on their obligatory serious role. Some make the transition easier than others. Robin Williams, for example, seamlessly morphed from obnoxious "funny" guy to creepy weirdo while remarkably never breaking character. Could it be that Robin Williams has been creepy and off putting his entire career? (Yes.)
Bill Murray briefly flirted with dramatic acting in 1984's The Razor's Edge, a film that damn near nobody saw because they were busy seeing Ghostbusters for the 15th time. After that brief dabbling in drama, Murray took on an endless array of comedic roles, some of them were classics in Groundhog Day, What About Bob), some of them were Space Jam. But he finally hit dramatic gold with 2003's Lost In Translation.
His role as jaded actor Bob Harris earned him a Best Actor nomination. The film itself was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Murray would subsequently chuck his new found serious actor cred right out the goddamn window by taking on the lead voice role in Garfield. But hey, how many times has Will Ferrell been nominated for an Oscar?
Other Famous Examples Include:
Will Smith in 6 Degrees of Seperation
Tom Hanks in Philadelphia (His previous credits included sitcoms, Big and Splash)
Eddie Murphy in Dream Girls
Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love
Jamie Foxx in Any Given Sunday (The role that put him on the map, thus allowing him to exploit rule #6)
The Exception That Proves the Rule :
We're not sure why it is, but "Being Jim Carrey" seems to be the only exception to this rule. As laughable as the thought may be today, we can say with complete sincerity that Jim Carrey should be an Academy Award Best Actor winner. After 1998's The Truman Show cleaned up at the Golden Globes, including a Best Actor win for Carrey, it was all but certain that he would at least get a Best Actor nod at the Academy Awards later that year. Inexplicably, he did not.
Instead, the award went to the clearly insane Roberto Benigni who proceeded to give the most obnoxious acceptance speech in Hollywood history. Carrey didn't give up on his serious actor dream though. He played the brilliant comedian Andy Kaufman in the biopic Man on the Moon, doing his damnedest to not be funny the entire time. In 2001, he played the lead role in The Majestic, a film that would have garnered a mountain of awards if the Academy recognized outstanding achievement in the field of making audiences want to punch a film projector until it explodes.