Out of the countless actors working in Hollywood to bring stories to life for our entertainment, it’s fair to say that there’s a great many that deserve more recognition than they get.
Whether it’s impressive work ethic, detailed insights, or the simple ability to act, there’s far too much that gets lost in translation before the finished products reach our screens.
So, in honour of those actors that are all too often overlooked, here are 8 of Hollywood’s most underrated stars.
8. Adam Sandler
Despite his reputation as a lazily comedic actor guilty of making countless vanity projects simply to cast his closest friends, Adam Sandler is among the most overlooked actors working today.
Yes, he did make Jack and Jill, but he has also delivered multiple performances that belie his criminally under-utilized acting talent.
While he primarily sticks with comedy, Sandler has taken roles in more serious movies such as Punch Drunk Love, Reign Over Me and Uncut Gems, demonstrating a surprising range.
He might have more than a few stinkers in his back catalogue, but when all’s said and done, Sandler is capable of much more than he gets credit for.
7. Hugh Jackman
“What do you mean, underrated?! Hugh Jackman’s cast in everything!”
Yes, Hollywood have long sinced learned to bank on the Australian’s many talents, but how often do you hear him genuinely praised for his performances?
He’s more than proved his staggering range; from his long-standing role as a superhero in the X-Men franchise, his singing ability in musicals like The Greatest Showman and Les Misérables, and his outstanding dramatic ability in thrillers like Prisoners, Jackman is as versatile as he is overlooked.
6. Jake Gyllenhaal
He might receive regular praise for his efforts, but Gyllenhaal’s talent is something that far too many people simply don’t realise. While it’s easy to think of him as the disturbed, baby-faced Donnie Darko, Gyllenhaal has gone on to star in movies of all genres, and he consistently delivers in practically every role.
His roles in movies like Prisoners, Nightcrawler, and Brokeback Mountain are all truly incredible, and his commitment to his craft is evidenced in his willingness to embrace each and every part he lands.
Still, Gyllenhaal has won remarkably few awards for his efforts, and this is something that seems more than a little unfair to the actor.
5. Christina Applegate
Mostly known for her appearances in sitcoms and comedies, it would seem that Applegate’s talents lie mostly in making us laugh, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
While she’s certainly capable of being funny on screen, Applegate possesses an impressive gift for injecting emotion into her work, something that’s distinctly lacking in many of her notable roles.
Her recent starring role on dark comedy TV series Dead to Me has given Applegate a chance to really shine, as she portrays a recently widowed woman attempting to come to terms with her grief.
It’s not easy to put into words just how incredible Applegate’s performance in the series is, but hopefully it’s enough for Hollywood to re-evaluate her imagined limits in terms of genre.
4. Daniel Radcliffe
Yes, he was once Harry Potter.
And no, that shouldn’t define his career.
Radcliffe rose to fame as the face of the massively successful franchise, but it’s his work since that’s earned him a spot on this list. He’s an incredibly charming, intriguing individual worthy of far more attention than being “the Harry Potter guy”.
He’s taken roles in some of the strangest movies going, and he always seems to have fun doing so. To name but a handful of his notable performances post-Potter; there’s Horns, Jungle, and Swiss Army Man, and in each Radcliffe has proved himself to more than capable of bringing vastly different characters to life.
3. Toni Collette
Despite regular awards and nominations for her work across film, television and stage, Toni Collette is all too often left out of any discussions about the greatest actors working today.
Perhaps one of the reasons is that Collette blends so remarkably into each and every role she takes that even having seen a number of her movies, you might struggle to make the connection between her performances.
In spite of the fact that she’s seemingly overlooked because of her remarkable talent, the simple truth is that Collette deserves an awful lot more praise that she receives. In particular, her performance in supernatural horror Hereditary was nothing short of masterful, being able to bring so much unbridled rage to her role that she’s almost more disturbing than anything else in the movie.
2. Robert Pattinson
Let’s get it out in the open: The Twilight Saga was not good, and neither was Pattinson’s performance in it.
That said, the actor is easily one of the most talented individuals in Hollywood today, and, much like Harry Potter co-star Daniel Radcliffe, he’s taken out of the discussion simply for his famous role in the franchise.
Pattinson is slowly clawing back the respect of the general public, though. With outstanding turns in movies like The Lighthouse, Good Time, and High Life, Pattinson has proven that he’s capable of more than being a sullen, sparkling blood-sucker.
Hopefully, once audiences have seen him as the Dark Knight in Matt Reeves’ upcoming Batman movie, they’ll start to let go of their misconceptions about his talent.
1. Nicolas Cage
With a reputation for pure insanity on screen, Cage is easily the most misunderstood actor in Hollywood today.
Having won an Academy Award for his role in Leaving Las Vegas, you’d think that people would accept the man’s talent. But his bizarre energy and willingness to appear in practically every movie that he crosses paths with (looking at you, Left Behind) sours people on the acclaimed actor, and that’s a shame.
Cage’s over-the-top acting stems from his love for old cinema, specifically silent movies in which actors were forced to be more physically expressive. The actor channels this energy, injecting something into his roles that often seems out of place and unintentionally hilarious, but there’s always a method to his perceived madness.
In fact, when you listen to Cage break down his roles and the ideas behind his performances, you realise the sheer level of intelligence the man has, and after that, it’s practically impossible not to respect him as an artist.