5. Cillian Murphy| 28 Days Later
Murphy's had a long list of opportunities in a leading role over the last 12 years, but his most box-office-succesful roles have been in Christopher Nolan blockbusters like Inception and Batman Begins. It's funny to see both Tom Wilkinson (listed above) and Cillian Murphy in Batman Begins, especially when they share a scene as the Scarecrow and crime boss Falcone. Christopher Nolan knows a good actor when he sees one.
6. Miles Teller | Whiplash
Whiplash reinvigorated one career and essentially launched another one into the stratosphere. Teller has a unique look, and has delivered a string of critically well received performances. He's choosing his projects very wisely, and it would be surprising to ever see his name on a list like this again.
8. Antonino Pruiti | Nights of Contrition
While some on this list have struggled to get a shot for reasons outside their control, Pruiti has simply missed a few chances to be in the right place at the right time. On the surface, he has everything you could possibly want from an A-list actor. Up until 2016, he'd gotten small television and stage roles. As he quickly builds up his resume, 2017 could be the year that it all comes together for this budding Canadian talent.
7. Tom Wilkinson| Batman Begins
There's nothing inherently wrong with taking a lot of supporting roles, and Wilkinson has built a career out of it. At 68, with two Oscar nominations under his belt, it's hard to really argue that he didn't have a very successful run in Hollywood. Still, it felt that there was a talent that never matched the reputation. His performance in 2002's In the Bedroom was nothing short of masterful, and it left you wondering if the stars had aligned, would Wilkinson be in the same conversation as industry heavyweights like Robert Redford, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro? If he never is, it'll certainly not be for a lack of talent.
We're not always sure why some actors get lost in the shuffle. Hollywood is a game of money and marketing, and despite high level talent, some faces just never quite catch on with audiences and casting directors.
There's a plethora of reasons why casting directors choose one person over another. The list includes, but is not limited to; accent, age, familiarity with another role (typecast), weight, height, ethnicity, popularity, lack of popularity, short legs, scandals, political affiliation, bad representation, poor reputation, past success, past failures, resemblance to another famous star, lack of resemblance to other famous stars, and so on.
10. Riz Ahmed | Nightcrawler
Riz has caught on big time recently since his appearances in films like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and his role of Aaron Kalloor in Jason Bourne.
While his catching on does somewhat defeat the purpose of him being on this list, we started compiling the list for this video in June. So we don't feel so bad.
1. Logan Marshall Green | The Invitation
It isn't entirely clear why he's still not landing the big parts in Hollywood. The Invitation was a big success given it's limited budget, and Marshall-Green's been in this business long enough that what he's capable of shouldn't be a mystery to anyone. In a sense, he not only looks like Tom Hardy, but might also be on a very similar career trajectory.
By taking a bevy of small roles in big films like Snowden and Spiderman: Homecoming, perhaps the plan is to slowly become a face people can identify, all the while taking leading roles in smaller independent films. We might have to put him on this list again next year, but we certainly hope he catches on in a big way before that.
9. Mahershala Ali | Moonlight
With the recent out-of-nowhere attention Barry Jenkins' Moonlight has seen, Ali has been thrust into the spotlight. We're pretty confident he'll be getting steady work for decades after his rise to fame in 2016.
3. Andy Serkis | Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Serkis probably doesn't have the face of a leading Hollywood male, but he remains one of the best pure actors in the game alongside guys like Daniel Day-Lewis, Sean Penn, Tom Hanks, and Christian Bale, who he will direct in the film Jungle Book, set to release in 2018.
Other times, it's simply a matter of a particular actor not getting in front of the right people. A lot of money goes into films, and it's simply less risky to use the same established faces over and over than to take a chance on giving a leading role to a wildcard that doesn't already have a bankable history with audiences and critics.
The following video is a list of 10 actors that we feel are underrated, in that the opportunities they've seen don't match the talent they possess.
4. J.K. Simmons | Whiplash
Also known as the last guy you'd ever want as your music instructor, Simmons has seen his stock rise considerably after his Oscar nod for Whiplash. He stars in Ben Affleck's new movie The Accountant and will also be starring across Ben Affleck's Batman as commissioner Gordon in 2017's Justice League. Turns out Ben Affleck knows a good actor when he sees one as well.
Robert is a writer for Pensare Films Media. He loves cinema in all it's glory. Follow Robert Misovic on Facebook for more Film Reviews and Film Festival-related goodies
Top 10 Criminally Underrated Actors
Robert Misovic | December 21, 2016
2. Peyman Moaadi | A Separation
Peyman Moaadi has successfully done what few Iranian actors ever have by crossing the pond and breaking into Hollywood in a meaningful way. With a shift in the prioritization of diversity in the industry as well as roles in films like Camp X-Ray & Michael Bay's 13 hours, it's pretty clear that Moaadi isn't going to be a secret for very much longer.