5 Actors Who Got Typecast in Bizarrely Specific Ways
Some actors win awards, like Oscars and Emmys. Others have to put on their forced smiles and tell reporters that they're just happy being nominated. But a much smaller group of actors are fortunate enough (or unfortunate, in some cases) to be the owners of achievements unique to them, achievements that are almost impossible for anyone else to duplicate. They've happened purely out of coincidence, but sometimes it's like someone is contorting the fibers of the universe to make sure these very specific real-life memes keep popping up on an actor's IMDb page.
Toby Jones Plays Characters Based on Real People That a Bigger Actor Later Plays in a Bigger Movie
You may not know him by name, but you've seen Toby Jones in tons of films, from small indie flicks to melodramatic Oscar bait to massive summer blockbusters. He was the voice of Dobby in the Harry Potter movies. He was Dr. Zola in the Captain America movies. He plays Rumplefuck Clowndickous (or whatever) in the Hunger Games movies. There are lots of over-the-top fictional characters on his resume, but he's also played plenty of short, stout, real-life white guys, like Karl Rove in W.:
Alfred Hitchcock in the HBO movie The Girl:
And Truman Capote in Infamous:
It's just too bad that he's had two of his performances overshadowed by other actors who played the same real-life people as he played, and in bigger movies. Jones as Alfred Hitchcock in that HBO movie you've probably never heard of?
Anthony Hopkins played Hitchcock in Hitchcock, a movie that hit theaters two months after The Girl aired.
And how about Jones and Truman Capote?
Philip Seymour Hoffman won an Oscar for his performance as Truman Capote in Capote five months before Infamous premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Poor Toby Jones. Dude can't catch a break.
Laurence Fishburne Has Played Two Characters Who Were Originally White -- and Both Characters Are Named White
Laurence Fishburne is a black person. No, seriously. He is. Look at him:
In most contexts, the color of his skin wouldn't matter in the least. Yet, for some cosmically silly reason, the universe set in motion a series of events that has led to him twice playing characters who were originally written as a white person, and both of those characters are named White.
The most recent example was in the Zack Snyder reboot of the Superman franchise, Man of Steel. The editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet, Perry White, has been traditionally portrayed in film, TV, and in the comics as a middle-aged white guy. Snyder cast Fishburne in the role because he's cool, and if anyone raises a stink about Perry White not being white like he has been for 80 years, they're going to sound like a real dick, so who cares?
Left: Respected actor Laurence Fishburne. Right: A walking ulcer.
That fact is mildly interesting at best. Here's where it gets silly:
The first time this happened was in Mystic River, the movie in which director Clint Eastwood realized that the key to getting an Oscar nomination is to make bleak movies everyone wishes they had never seen.
Also, make them blue
Fishburne was cast as a Boston police detective who is white in the Dennis Lehane book from which the movie was adapted. That character's name is Whitey Powers. You know. As in white power.
The character isn't a hardcore racist or a neo-Nazi or a member of the Klan in the book. I guess Lehane just thought that was a funny name for a white guy, and an even funnier name for a white guy that would later be brought to life on screen by a black guy.
Richard Belzer Has Played Detective Munch on More Shows Than Any Other Actor Has Ever Played a Character
For those of you who have not yet read Cracked's take on the TV detective John Munch, I'll sum it up: comedian Richard Belzer plays a Baltimore police detective named John Munch on Homicide: Life on the Street. Belzer later reprised the role in The X-Files and The Wire, leading some (read: us) to believe the character's appearance in other shows means the gritty realism of The Wire and the spooky, unexplained mysteries of The X-Files are all happening in the same world.
He brings together TV universes with the sticky adhesive of his sex.
Munch gets around, but much more so than the article I linked above hints at. Munch has also been on Arrested Development, 30 Rock, three different Law & Orders, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Sesame Street (as a Muppet), Mad About You (as a slightly different but basically the same version of the character), and a short-lived police drama called The Beat. Most recently, Munch was mentioned by name on the BBC drama Luther starring Idris Elba (who was also in The Wire), firmly establishing Munch within another show's universe.
Must be a lot of rapes on Sesame Street.
TV writers have taken a mostly unremarkable character and put him on TV for over 20 years, spanning 22 seasons of 10 different shows spread across five networks. Add one to all those numbers if you want to count the name drop on Luther as an appearance. Belzer has played the same character on more shows than any other actor ever. Detective Munch is a flesh-and-blood version of the Wilhelm scream. People toss him into their scripts as a wink and a nod to viewers in the know. He's a Hollywood meme, and Belzer has tagged along for the ride for 20 years. It's not difficult to imagine the character's name being tossed into scripts long after Belzer has died. It'd be like a game of Hot Potato, with countless screenwriters keeping the character alive with casual mentions in scripts to see how long they can keep the joke going.
& Only Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen Have Had Their Asses Kicked by Terminators, Aliens, and Predators
Terminators, Predators, and Xenomorphs have all been grouped together as the three movie villains/creatures most film fans would love to see duke it out. Alien vs. Predator is a good example. And the four-issue Dark Horse comics miniseries Aliens Versus Predator Versus the Terminator is an even better example.
Geek boners were the undisputed winner of the bout.
They are the holy trinity of 1970s and 1980s sci-fi-action villains. Together they've been in 14 different movies, soon to be 15, and have left dozens of people either dead or mostly dead through them all. But only two actors have had the distinct honor of getting beaten up onscreen by all three: Lance Henriksen and Bill Paxton. Let's go through their fantastical ass-kickings chronologically:
In 1984's The Terminator, Paxton plays a blue-haired street punk who gets his faced grabbed by a walking machine and is tossed around like an idiot during the Terminator's search for clothes. Later, Henriksen is gunned down by the Terminator during a shootout in a police station immediately following the "I'll be back" scene.
In 1986, Paxton is dragged beneath a grate and presumably eviscerated by the Xenomorphs in Aliens. In the same movie, Henriksen plays an android named Bishop who does indeed get eviscerated by the Alien queen.
The first two deaths/brutal pummelings are in movies directed by James Cameron, presumably because he derives a sick pleasure out of watching his friends get ripped apart by monsters as he breathes heavily and takes forever to yell cut. For their Predator ass-kickings, that took a little longer. Paxton is the first to die at the hands of a Predator in Predator 2 in 1990.
And finally, Henriksen dies at the hands of a Predator 14 years later in Alien vs. Predator.
If anybody decides to make another Alien movie, maybe Prometheus 2, they should cast Arnold Schwarzenegger in it so he can be the only actor to have killed a Xenomorph, a Predator, and a Terminator. Just imagine their severed and shellacked heads over his fireplace. You know he'd do it.
And be sure to check out 5 Pop Culture Classics That Almost Had Truly Terrible Titles and 4 Lead Singers That Sound Shockingly Bad Without the Band.
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