If you’ve already read our previous list covering some of Hollywood’s most underrated actors, the idea that certain performers appear to be significantly undervalued should come as no surprise. The film industry is perhaps the most high-profile industry in the world, resulting in movie stars that are instantly recognizable the world over. There’s no denying that Hollywood values some of its actors hugely, with certain faces seeming to pop up in practically every movie out there.
Many of these hard-working actors do get the recognition they deserve, but the sheer scope of the film industry means that there will always be those that slip through the cracks. Stranger still, some stars reach incredible career heights and popularity without ever having the extent of their talent truly appreciated. This particular phenomenon usually occurs as the result of typecasting in some form or another, with roles played brilliantly against type often being forgotten.
Though the specifics of their underrated natures vary drastically, every actor on this list has something in common. In one way or another, each of them is supremely talented and hard-working, and each of them is also overlooked in at least one major way. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at some more of Hollywood’s most underrated actors.
8. Naomi Watts
Despite having regular career success over several decades, Naomi Watts is all too often forgotten. The British actor has been appearing in film and TV since the 1980s, with her early roles on Australian TV giving way to an increasing number of blockbuster appearances. Watts currently has over 90 screen credits to her name and is still finding consistent success with roles on the big and small screen alike.
As well as a career spanning four decades (and counting), Naomi Watts boasts an impressive number of acclaimed roles. She played a supporting role in the Oscar-winning Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), as well as the lead in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive and Peter Jackson’s King Kong. 2022 saw Watts play a major role in the Netflix thriller series The Watcher, a series which earned her further acclaim. She was also unforgettable in the devastatingly emotional 2012 disaster drama The Impossible, the true story of a family separated by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Part of Naomi Watts’ brilliance is that she’s a true chameleon. Her characters are often memorable, but Watts herself seems far less so – she takes on characters in a way that makes her blend in perfectly. Her acting ability cannot be understated, as she has convincingly tackled almost every genre imaginable, and though her longevity may seem to be a success in itself, her talent is rarely celebrated as much as she deserves.