Some actors find their Hollywood niche and just embrace it. And we can’t blame them. Why take a risk or break out into other genres, when they’ve already found their specialty. If they started out as a romantic comedy star, they’ll continue to be drawn to those roles. Hollywood has probably typecast them anyway. And that’s ok. It’s safer, they already have a winning formula, and it seems like a fool-proof plan.
Some might secretly want to break out of their pigeonhole. But why rock the boat when you can recycle the same character again and again. The fans love it, and they can continue starring in Hollywood blockbusters. Some of our favorite actors may not even realize that they’re playing the same role in every movie. So luckily we’re here to remind you of the greatest typecasts Hollywood has produced.
Jennifer Aniston – Resident Rom-Com Lead
Jennifer Aniston shot to fame as the nation’s favorite sweetheart in Friends. We all followed her romances, dramas, and hairstyles through the years, and it seems natural that fans wanted more. So naturally, she transitioned into a cookie-cutter romantic comedy Hollywood star. Some of her most lovable hits include The Break-Up, Rumor Has It and Along Came Polly.
Jennifer might not even notice that she actually plays the same romantic lead in every single movie. She’s usually either fighting for love, attracting a new love or breaking up. It probably didn’t help that her personal life echoed her movie persona. She did reveal a hint of personality as the overpowering dentist in Horrible bosses. But we’re still interested to know who she ends up with on the big screen and in real life. So we’ll stay tuned.
Christopher Walken – Resident Lunatic
With his intimidating presence, icy cold stare, and low-key neurotic rage, Christopher Walken has earnt a small fortune as Hollywood’s resident psychopath. He has graced over 100 movies as a bad guy, sporting the same mentally imbalanced character. He also manages to strike the perfect balance between a creepy uncle and a hilarious sadist. So you never really know what he’s thinking.
Christopher has landed gigs in movies like The Deer Hunter, True Romance, and Batman Returns as the same villain. Whether he’s a straight-up bad guy or a resident lunatic, you probably wouldn’t want to be left alone with him. He did briefly offer a glimpse of personality dancing in Fat Boy Slim’s music video. Still, he’s definitely mastered the art of a creepy antagonist, so we’re sure this isn’t the last we’ll see of that character.
Samuel L.Jackson – Resident Tough Guy
While some might try to run from their typecast, Samuel L. Jackson simply embraces it. He’s now become one of the highest-grossing actors in Hollywood history for playing everyone’s favorite no-nonsense, tough guy. He oozes coolness and has played the rough around the edges persona in over 100 blockbusters, from Pulp Fiction and The Avengers to Iron Man 2 and the Star Wars prequels.
Samuel has earned this same reputation on every movie set as well. He’s universally respected, his performance is always spot-on and he delivers every line perfectly the first time. He’s also the only actor Quentin Tarantino allows to rewrite his own lines. This is probably why Samuel is one of the most quotable movie stars of all time. He even helped made Snakes on a Plane a cult classic, and for that, we salute him.
Johnny Depp – Resident Eccentric Hero
Johnny Depp first started out as a Hollywood romantic heartthrob in Cry-Baby, and he did reveal his acting range in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Still, everything changed when he took a stranger and more eccentric role in Edward Scissorhands. Over time, he gradually evolved into the flamboyant, odd-ball pirate that we all know and love; Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Carribean. Once he became Jack, he now takes Jack wherever he goes.
Nowadays, Johnny does seem to be cast time and time again as the quirky and colorful weirdo. After becoming director, Tim Burton’s obvious protege, Johnny began showing off his quirky, gothesque side. Now Johnny injects his own bizarre and unique touch to every role. But you can spot Jack in every movie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Alice in Wonderland, to Sweeney Todd. While he recently broke out of his comfort zone in Black Mass, we secretly want to see him play Jack Sparrow forever.
Morgan Freeman – Resident God Figure
Morgan Freeman has established himself as Hollywood’s resident God figure, especially after literally playing God in Bruce Almighty. He also has a God-like voice, so in every movie, he steps up to the part of a wise old sage, a story narrator or a legendary hero to lean on. He also doesn’t seem to age, ever. He played the older best friend in the Shawshank Redemption about 25 years ago and still looks the same today.
Morgan seems to be the character that directors jump on to provide a go-to voice of reason or help the leading protagonist get through their journey. Some of his most standout roles include Million Dollar Baby and Seven. Admittedly, he does inject something different into each character, and he is an impeccable actor. He also always has the best advice and delivers it with a knowing smile. So to us, he’ll always be Hollywood’s wisest hero.
Jason Bateman – Resident Bewildered Guy
Jason Bateman became a household name, playing Michael Bluth on Arrested Development. During the show, he did spend most of the time looking bewildered, especially, after his family left him in a series of strange, awkward or uncomfortable situations. Now in every movie, Jason does always seem to stumble into equally strange situations, which leave him looking permanently bewildered.
In the movie Game Night, Michael is invited to a murder mystery dinner party but somehow ends up stumbling into a real murder mystery. In Identity Thief, he is left bewildered after his information is accidentally stolen. In The Switch, he is left dazed and confused after a switch up with his sperm donation. He’s also pretty likable, and funny as well as being bewildered, so we can’t wait to see what else he stumbles on in life.
Alan Dale – Resident Rich Guy
Some fans might remember Alan Dale from his laid back acting days as Jim Robinson in Neighbors. However, as soon as he landed in Hollywood, he seems to have struck gold. In most of his roles, he now plays a wealthy and influential guy in power. In Ugly Betty he assumed the role of a publishing magnate, and in the O.C he played a real estate tycoon. He also graced the set of Lost as a wealthy industrialist.
Alan really has mastered the art of being a rich guy and has nailed the ability to command presence. He also enters every show so dramatically, that we’re left at the edge of our seats, wondering what plot twist he will bring. He recently switched it up a little to play the butler in the Dynasty revival, but he still brings his own rich and pretentious flair to the role. We now can’t imagine him poor, no matter how much he tries.
Michael Cera – Resident Awkward Teen
Michael Cera jumped into the spotlight as the awkward teen, George Michael Bluth in the US sitcom Arrested Development. Since then, even though he’s no longer a teenager, he somehow still carved a career for himself as a geeky but loveable adolescent. He tends to play the awkward, shy, boy next door type that most girls might friend zone.
And Michael pulls it off like a pro. He got his first big movie break as the awkward teen in the comedy Superbad. After winning over the audience, he then took his hilarious social awkwardness to Juno, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and Youth in Revolt. Even though Michael is getting older, and hipper now, it will take a lot to convince us that he ever graduated high school.
Kiera Knightley – Resident Wealthy Heroine
No matter what role Kiera Knightley takes, she always seems to glide onto our screens wearing an elaborate costume from way back when. It got us wondering if she even owns modern clothes. She’s also mastered the art of time-travel, as she must have played the resident wealthy heroine in almost every period drama ever created. Keira seems to be the casting directors go-to choice for an educated rich lady.
Kiera does inject her own unique style, charm, and grace to every part, but she also still wears a corset for every movie, including Pride and Prejudice, The Duchess and Atonement. Although her costume in Pirates of the Carribean wasn’t so glamorous, she still wore a corset. Keira also realizes she became a period typecast, but continues as she can “escape into another world through period drama.” So we’ll just follow her there.
Alec Baldwin – Resident Snarling Boss
Alec Baldwin first made a name for himself in movies like The Hunt For Red October and The Departed, before gradually evolving into Hollywood’s resident wise-cracking jerk. Some of his memorable movie credits include It’s Complicated, Malice, The Shadow, The Edge, and The Aviator. In recent years, he’s become better known as Jack, the resident snarling boss in 30 Rock.
Throughout his acting career, Alec has completely nailed the ability to strike fear into the eyes of his co-stars whenever he walks into the room. In 30 Rock, he’s also pretty hilarious. He also delivers all his snarling insults with comic effect, so you can’t help but love him. Although he has appeared in other films after 30 Rock ended, like Boss Baby he still brings his snarling wise-cracking character to every role.
Katherine Heigl – Resident Girlfriend
Katherine Heigl made a name for herself as a romantic comedy leading lady from the get-go. After starting her career in hit movies like Love Comes Softly and 100 Girls, she had her breakout role in the hilarious rom-com, Knocked Up. Since then we’ve all watched in awe as she went through almost every dramatic romantic comedy life cycle.
She played a forever bridesmaid in 27 Dresses, before having her own big wedding in The Big Wedding. She was then hopelessly single in the romantic comedy The Ugly Truth, before dealing with her ex’s past relationship in Unforgettable. She also appeared in Valentine’s Day, which is literally a movie about relationships. We’re starting to see a pigeon-hole here, but if it ain’t broke then we say don’t fix it.
Zoe Deschanel – Resident Quirky Girl
Zoe Deschanel won us all over with her adorable quirkiness in movies like 500 Days of Summer, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Elf. More recently, Deschanel has stolen all our hearts through her role as Jess in the television series, New Girl. While she does add her own unique charms to each role, she does have a habit of playing the resident quirky love interest in every movie.
Zoey usually plays the role of a dreamer who is a little whimsical and adorably impractical. She also seems to catches the attention of a less quirky love interest and wins him over with her charms. Since Hollywood is full of generic actresses, it’s actually refreshing to watch Zoey bounce onto our screens. We also never know when she will play the ukulele or impress us with her quirky dancing. So we’re happy that she’s our go-to quirky girl.
Will Smith – Resident Wise-Cracking Agent
Will Smith has come a long way since his comedy king days as the Fresh Prince of Belair. He’s still just as funny and oozes charisma in every movie, but over time he’s morphed into Hollywood’s resident wise-cracking law enforcement agent. Over his career, he’s even saved the world a few times in the Men in Black Series and Independence Day.
He has also played a police officer, saving us from the bad guys in Bad Boys, I, Robot and in Bright. While Will does seem to have a thing for uniform, we’re glad that he also manages to inject his wise-cracking humor into every role. He also did recently swap his blue uniform for blue body paint as the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin movie. Still, we’re sure he’ll be back soon, especially as he once joked how he has enough “policing abilities to arrest someone.”
Elijah Wood – Resident Hobbit
Elijah Wood started out as an adorable blue-eyed child star in movies like Flipper and The Good Son. He then started to cross over to science-fiction genre in Spy Kids and Back to the Future II. Elijah then established his persona as an adventurous hobbit, after playing Frodo in the fantasy adventure Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
For most fans, Elijah will always be the Frodo from LOTR forever. He did attempt to escape his typecast to play a creepy character in Eternal Sunshine, and a vengeful character in Sin City. However, most people still see him as the ring-bearer. So many fans were happy that he later reprised his role of Frodo in The Hobbit.
Michelle Rodriguez – Resident Fighter Chick
Michelle Rodriguez first stepped into the spotlight as Ana Lucia Cortez in the TV series Lost. It was there that she earned a reputation for being a tough chick in the middle of the jungle. From there she transitioned into a total bad girl in action movies like Resident Evil and the Fast and the Furious franchise.
Michelle has established herself as Hollywood leading female Latina action hero. Throughout the Fast and Furious box office franchise, she’s proved herself time and time again and she can usually take down some bad guys. In fact, she also played the same tough cookie character in other action movies like S.W.A.T and Avatar. Nowadays. it seems like she’s not even acting anymore, and she just that tough.
Vince Vaughn – Resident Smooth Talker
Vince Vaughn has carved his own niche brand of comedy. He’s also starred with his favorite comedy pals in countless box office hits as the same character. From Swingers and Starsky & Hutch to Dodgeball, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Wedding Crashers, and The Break-Up, Vince seems untouchable.
While he is hilarious in every movie, Vince always knows how to talk his way out of every situation. Whether he’s a wedding crasher or a dodgeball coach, he is also a bit of a wise-cracking funny guy in every movie. Vince did take on a few serious roles in films like The Cell, but somehow we can’t imagine him serious. So we’re glad he sticks to comedy, especially as he’s already found the winning formula.
Tom Cruise – Resident Hotshot
Tom really let his over-confidence shine when he cruised into the Hollywood scene in Top Gun. He then won us over with his magnetic smile in Cocktail. Since then he has made a name for himself as the self-assured hero, in box office hits like Risky Business, All The Right Moves, Days Of Thunder, Jerry Maguire, and Vanilla Sky.
Tom continued his confident action-hero persona in the Mission Impossible franchise. While he has sometimes departed from his role, playing the unconfident cop in Minority Report, Tom tends to stick to what he’s good at. The good news is he’s set to reprise his role of Maverick in the next Top Gun movie, so we’re glad he found his niche.
Seth Rogan – Resident Loveable Oaf
Seth Rogan is widely seen in Hollywood as one of the kings of comedy. He made a name for himself after gigs like Superbad and Knocked Up and continued to churn out hit after hit, from Pineapple Express to Neighbors. In each blockbuster hit, Seth manages to win everyone over with his loveable oaf character and hilarious yet inappropriate sense of humor.
If you scroll through his catalog of hits, Seth usually always plays a relatable funny guy with a slobby lifestyle. In most movies, he’s also known for his pretty hilarious on-screen bromances. He did briefly escape his typecast recently by appearing in a more emotional drama Like Father. Still, we’re sure Seth will continue to dominate the comedy scene for years to come.
Angelina Jolie – Resident Edgy Action Star
When Angelina Jolie first broke into Hollywood, she was determined to prove she was so much more than just one of the most beautiful ladies on the planet. So she became the tough girl. While she is now Hollywood’s resident tough cookie, she also never lost her pout or her sexpot image.
After playing the smart, athletic and voluptuous video-game character Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, she forever became a tough action hero. Angelina then brought her tough-girl pout to Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Gone In Sixty Seconds, Wanted, Salt, and The Tourist. In most movies, she’s usually a secret agent or an assassin, which is pretty ironic. In real life, she spends most of her time as a UN ambassador and humanitarian, caring for her six children.
John Wayne – Resident Cowboy
Ever since John Wayne rode into Hollywood in his cowboy hat and boots in Stagecoach, he became Hollywood’s resident lone ranger. He might have started out as a cowboy in movies, but he later became a symbol of the American patriot. He also became a go-to cowboy hero with a cult following. He’s now starred in so many Westerns, that we just assume he was born in the 1800s and cowboy hat.
In fact, John Wayne might go down in history as one of the most typecasted cowboys of all time, alongside Clint Eastwood. You can catch him wearing the same hat in Rio Bravo, True Grit. Chisum and The Cowboys. We’re also sure he and Clint Eastwood had an unwritten agreement that they would star in alternate cowboy movies forever, just for variety.
Will Ferrel – Resident Man Child
Will Ferrel is another comedy kingpin that seems to pop up in every movie as the same over the top buffoon-like character. You can catch his clueless yet endearing character in most comedy blockbusters. Some of his notable masterpieces include Elf, Anchorman, Blades Of Glory, Semi-Pro, Step Brothers. Austin Powers, Zoolander, Wedding Crashers, and The Other Guys.
In most of his roles, Will seems to have a man-child complex. He always seems to be avoiding adulthood by living in his parents’ basement. He’s also known for his comedy one-liners and most of his characters become Internet memes. Will has continued to entertain us with his deluded yet hilarious character for years now, and somehow you can’t help but laugh every time. We now can’t imagine Will as anything else.
Hugh Grant – Resident Romantic Gent
Hugh Grant first won us over with his British upper-class charms in Four Weddings and a Funeral. With his adorable blue eyes, floppy hair, British humor, and stuttering monologues about emotions, we were all hooked. Since he became Hollywood’s resident English upper-class gent. He’s also the romantic lead in most romantic comedy movies.
From Notting Hill and Mickey Blue Eyes to Love Actually, Hugh charmed his love interest with the same clumsy yet adorable upper-class persona. We have no doubt that Hugh was the first person everyone thought would pop up in The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain. Hugh has since tried to strip his sweet-boy image by playing the selfish alpha-male in Bridget Jones, but to us, he’ll always be our go-to gentleman.
“The Rock” – Resident Gentle Giant
From his tough-guy exterior, supersized muscles and unusually tight tank-tops, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson looks like a real-life action hero. But just when you’d expect him to beat up every character in his path, he lights up the set with his expressive smile and endearing charms. It’s then you know that if you stay on the right side of the Rock, you’re in safe hands.
The Rock has made a lucrative fortune playing the resident sweet but tough-guy action hero. He even said he’s drawn to roles where the character “has a heart” and usually has to overcome something in an action-hero way. While he’s best known for the Fast and The Furious franchise, you can also spot him rocking his muscles in Rampage, Hercules, Baywatch, and Skyscraper.
Jim Carrey – Resident Face-Contouring Goofball
Jim Carrey invented his own brand of comedy and when he shot to the limelight in the ’90s. Some of his early works include hits like The Mask, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Cable Guy, and Dumb and Dumber. Although each role was different, he still managed to inject his face-contouring expressions, energetic acting, and goofy humor into every scene.
Over time Jim continued to perfect his goofball persona and deliver his hilarious one-liners in hits like Liar, Liar and Yes Man. He did attempt to break out of his box and reinvent himself as a serious actor in movies like The Truman Show. However, his rubbery-face and goofy antics as a comedy star will probably follow him forever.
Sofia Vergara – Resident Fiery Latina
Sofia Vergara really became a household name in the US sitcom Modern Family as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett. During her time on the show, she was best known to everyone as the fiery, loud and proud Latina. When Sofia transitioned to the big screen, she brought her Latin roots to movies like Hot Pursuit, Four Bothers, Wild Card, and Stano.
In each of these roles, there is one thing in common, and we can’t blame her as this is her specialty. In every movie, Sofia plays an exotic bombshell who is nothing but proud of her roots, and rightfully so. She even knows she has a typecast, and she gets pretty feisty about it in interviews. She once said, ” I don’t think there’s anything bad in being a Latin woman. That we are loud, passionate, voluptuous? I prefer to be called that than boring.” All the power to you Sofia.