Jump to content

Proved Me Wrong: Actors That Have You Second-Guessing


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.

268 replies to this topic

#1

RealChic1999

RealChic1999

    Fanatic

Posted Oct 30, 2006 @ 12:57 PM

They showed "Species II" the other night on My20, and from watching those movies all I could think about was that ""the naked chick from Species" is getting her own show?!" when "She Spies" came out. I was surprised to see that Natasha Henstridge could act, was snarky and had a great sense of humor. (Too bad that show was canceled!)

Is there any actor who you dismissed as one-note but through future shows and viewings came to appreciate? Or is there someone whose acting you found great on something, but horrible on other shows?

#2

cjl

cjl

    Fanatic

Posted Oct 30, 2006 @ 1:24 PM

Two recent examples:

1. Harry Hamlin in "Veronica Mars": I had Hamlin pegged as an aging pretty boy with one expression and no discernable acting talent whatsoever. But Hamlin's Aaron Echolls was pure acting ham crossed with scary psychopathic evil. One of the best TV villains in recent years.

2. Thomas Gibson in "Criminal Minds": Never thought much of him on "Dharma and Greg," but now that I see what he can do on CM, I'm thinking that playing affable straight man to Jenna Elfman's wacky free-spirit hijinks may not have been the best use of his talent.

Honorable mention: David Boreanaz. Liked him as Angel, but never in a million years thought he would ever get--never mind OWN--another lead role.

Edited by cjl, Oct 30, 2006 @ 1:46 PM.


#3

D.C.

D.C.

    Stalker

Posted Oct 30, 2006 @ 1:37 PM

Matthew Perry. I didn't mind him on Friends, but that's as far as it went. He really surprised me on The West Wing. There were a few Chandleresque moments, but I think the type of humor Chandler had has so permeated the culture that there's no way they could write his character on TWW without a couple of lines in there that would ring some Chandler bells.

#4

thuganomics85

thuganomics85

    Stalker

Posted Oct 30, 2006 @ 2:14 PM

1. Scott Wolf. Annoyed the hell out of me on "Party of Five", and I pretty much written him off. Then he appeared on "Everwood", and I realised that he acutally is pretty talented. He's also doing a good job on "The Nine", right now.

2. Alan De La Garza. She was on the horrid "The Mountain", and I thought she was one of the weakest in the cast. I heard she didn't fare any better being David Caruso's fiance on "CSI: Miami." Now, she's on Law & Order, as ADA Connie Rubirosa. And she's currently one of the best things on that show, IMO. I did not see that coming at all.

Edited by thuganomics85, Oct 30, 2006 @ 2:15 PM.


#5

Winston Smith

Winston Smith

    Couch Potato

Posted Oct 30, 2006 @ 2:24 PM

Jeri Ryan. When I first saw the promotion for the 7 of 9 character I figured it was a really lame attempt to attract horney teen boys, but she ended up being one of the best actors on Voyager. Since then I've found her to be pretty entertaining in Boston Common and Shark, even though the shows themselves I've found pretty mediocre.

Honorable mention: David Boreanaz. Liked him as Angel, but never in a million years thought he would ever get--never mind OWN--another lead role.

Yeah, given his lack of experience prior to Buffy and his somewhat wooden acting at times, I can honestly say I never thought I'd see him work again, but he's pretty much the main reason I watch Bones.

Edited by Winston Smith, Oct 30, 2006 @ 2:27 PM.


#6

roseyrose

roseyrose

    Fanatic

  • Location:maurarose@nc.rr.com

Posted Oct 30, 2006 @ 2:29 PM

Jason Bateman. A c-list actor from the 80's in a hip, over the top comedy like Arrested Development? Was there something I didn't know? Apparently there was, because he completely made me forget the crap he did as a child actor.

Iyari Limon. She was so awful as Kennedy on Buffy, I wanted to stab her. But I've seen her in a few other things and, although she's no Katherine Heburn, I thought she did a credible job.

Elizabeth Rohm. She was bearable on Angel. Not great, but OK. She was on some other show before Angel, the name of which escapes me now, where again, she was OK. But I believe the term Hot Mess was probably coined for her performance as Serena Southerlyn on Law and Order. Most times, it was painful to watch her.

#7

TudorQueen

TudorQueen

    Stalker

  • Gender:Female

Posted Oct 30, 2006 @ 6:56 PM

I hated Thomas Gibson on "Another World," hated him on "Chicago Hope," hated him on the big screen in "Far & Away". Hated his acting, hated his characters, hated the sight of him.

Then I got hooked on "Dharma & Greg" and within a few episodes I liked Thomas Gibson just fine and have never been able to go back to hating him. Go figure...

#8

giovannif7

giovannif7

    Fanatic

Posted Oct 30, 2006 @ 7:06 PM

How funny! I've been on the opposite track as far as Thomas Gibson goes. First thing I saw him in was Tales Of The City, and loved him in that. Then I saw the film Love And Human Remains, and realized it was more than a one-time crush. That crush continued until I saw D&G... and that put an end to it. I guess I just prefer him as the egotistical nihilistic bad boy. But man, he sure looks good in tighty whities (or less)!

#9

redrobin27

redrobin27

    Stalker

Posted Oct 30, 2006 @ 7:14 PM

1. Scott Wolf. Annoyed the hell out of me on "Party of Five", and I pretty much written him off. Then he appeared on "Everwood", and I realised that he acutally is pretty talented. He's also doing a good job on "The Nine", right now.

I'm doing a reversal on Wolf. I never watched PO5, but I thought he did a good job as Jake on Everwood. However, he irritates the crap out of me on The Nine.

I hated Audrey (?) with a passion on 24, and I thought it was largely due to Kim Raver's portrayal. However, I really like her as Katherine on The Nine, even though I was predisposed to liking Wolf and disliking her. Go figure.

#10

loseresque

loseresque

    Stalker

Posted Oct 30, 2006 @ 7:26 PM

Harry Hamlin in "Veronica Mars": I had Hamlin pegged as an aging pretty boy with one expression and no discernable acting talent whatsoever. But Hamlin's Aaron Echolls was pure acting ham crossed with scary psychopathic evil. One of the best TV villains in recent years.



Jason Bateman. A c-list actor from the 80's in a hip, over the top comedy like Arrested Development? Was there something I didn't know? Apparently there was, because he completely made me forget the crap he did as a child actor.


Wow. I hadn't even opened the thread but just from the title, these were the first two that came to mind.

Hamlin had become such an acting joke in the past few years, and his wife Lisa is a bit nutty. So I was apprehensive to have them be the Echolls on VM. But they were just awesome. I look forward to them when re-watching season 1. Hamlin brought a whole other level to the word creepy. Excellent work.

Going along with the VM theme, Enrico who plays Keith is wonderful. I wouldn't have expected such good work after watching him on Just Shoot Me. It wasn't that he was bad on the show. But it's two separate roles all together and I didn't realize he was so capable.

As for Bateman, who knew he had it in him to anchor such a brilliantly chaotic show? He has perfect comedic timing, both on and off the show. I saw in him so many failed pilots, nothing which was noteworthy. To be quite frank, though, I don't think AD would have worked without him.

#11

mooncreek

mooncreek

    Stalker

Posted Oct 30, 2006 @ 7:42 PM

Prior to AD, I could not stand David Cross. Whether it was Mr. Show or a guest spot (yes, including "chicken pot pie" from Just Shoot Me), I either wanted to smack the smirk off his face or wish I'd changed the channel sooner. I even stayed away from AD mainly because of him. But I recently broke down and watched the first six episodes. Imagine my shock that I can't imagine the show working without him.

#12

doguncle

doguncle

    Fanatic

Posted Oct 30, 2006 @ 10:13 PM

William Shatner: A television legend from Star Trek, but not a particularly facile actor. Then spent years trying to run away from James T. Kirk. Now, a two-rime Emmy winner and the anchor of Boston Legal, IMO. Not to mention being part of some of the funniest commercials in recent history, playing off old acting partner Leonid Nimoy.

#13

RealChic1999

RealChic1999

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 10:01 AM

On the other side of the fence:

Alyssa Milano---went from being a decent child actor in "Who's The Boss?" to a barely mediocre adult one in these recent years. I have the hardest time believing that she used to study acting as a child (and was once "Annie," I believe), to relying only on her "talents" as she got older.

#14

msrayrudd

msrayrudd

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 12:51 PM

Hamlin had become such an acting joke in the past few years, and his wife Lisa is a bit nutty. So I was apprehensive to have them be the Echolls on VM. But they were just awesome. I look forward to them when re-watching season 1. Hamlin brought a whole other level to the word creepy. Excellent work.

Going along with the VM theme, Enrico who plays Keith is wonderful. I wouldn't have expected such good work after watching him on Just Shoot Me. It wasn't that he was bad on the show. But it's two separate roles all together and I didn't realize he was so capable.


Agree with both of these. Hamlin, never disliked him but never cared for him much as an actor. But he was so perfectly creepy I have a hard time seeing him as anything else. He nailed the role.

Enrico I only knew from "Just Shoot Me" and if anybody ever told me I would love him as much as I do now and that he was as great an actor as he is, I would never have believed it.

Jason Bateman, I partially agree with. I always liked him, but my mother on the other hand made a similar comment about how she didn't care for his work much as a child actor in the 80's, but is excellent now.

#15

lokison

lokison

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 1:45 PM

Jason Bateman doesn't surprise me at all, because, even though he was on some craptacular shows as a young'un, he was BORN with perfect comic timing. A comeback was inevitable.

David Morse surprised me on House last night. I remember him fondly as Dr. Boomer, the Job of St. Eligius, so I am always surprised to see him as an intimidating, scary character.

#16

cjl

cjl

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 1:57 PM

Prior to AD, I could not stand David Cross.

Exact opposite reaction. I was a big fan of David Cross before AD, but Tobias ruined him for me. Tobias' complete lack of self-awareness was funny for about one episode, and then it grated on me for the rest of the series. The character never escaped one-dimensionality, and it seemed to me that Cross deliberately avoided any humanizing aspects. Tobias had a weird sort of purity to him, I guess, but I felt Cross laughing at his own creation, and the archness of it all drove me nuts.

#17

TudorQueen

TudorQueen

    Stalker

  • Gender:Female

Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 2:04 PM

I was a huge fan of Christine Lahti's for many years, but her time on "Chicago Hope" as Dr. Kate Austin ruined her for me. I hated the character so much that I began to hate Lahti, and try as I did, I couldn't get beyond it. By the time "Jack and Bobby" - a show with an intriguing concept - came along, I figured it was time to give her another chance, because she really is/was a terrific actress and also had the good taste to love Thomas Schlamme, a really good director. Anyway, I watched the first episode and, not that it was my only problem with the show, but I found that my hatred was still burning.

Sorry, Christine. You're probably better than that.

#18

poster child

poster child

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 4:27 PM

I used to hate Rosanna Arquette. I didn't have a solid reason other than she bugged me, and I especially hated a movie she did in the 80s called "The Big Blue." But then she turned it around for me when I saw her documentary "Searching for Debra Winger," which is about trying to work in Hollywood while commiting the crime of being female and over the age of 25, basically. Rosanna directed and narrated the documentary, and she was so likeable in it that I found myself hoping that she would find a good role somewhere. And now I wish "What About Brian" would succeed (even though the show seems to be trying its hardest to alienate whatever fans it had to begin with) because I want Rosanna to have a good job.

#19

RedBetty

RedBetty

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 4:55 PM

Great topic!

I was never a Friends fan, so Jennifer Anniston was little more than a haircut for me. But her hilarious hosting of SNL (with the Girl Fight Club intro and the English street urchin scene with Rachel Dretch) got my attention, and her work in Office Space confirmed that she can be funny & likeable; Rock Star and The Good Girl confirmed my newfound opinion.



Woody Harrelson. I didn't care a bit about his corn-fed Hoosier boy schtick on Cheers, but Natural Born Killers & The People Vs. Larry Flint made me reconsider.

Maura Tierney annoyed me on NewsRadio, but I thought she was really compelling and believeable on ER.

#20

AimingforYoko

AimingforYoko

    Stalker

  • Gender:Male

Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 4:58 PM

Mark-Paul Gosselaar, he was just another teen idol, all smirk and hair on Saved by the Bell, but I was really impressed with his work on NYPD Blue.

#21

D.C.

D.C.

    Stalker

Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 6:03 PM

Which reminds me of Rick(y) Schroeder. He used to make me roll my eyes when he was a child actor, but I thought he really came through in Lonesome Dove and he was the only thing that made NYPD Blue watchable for me.

#22

doguncle

doguncle

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 6:04 PM

AimingForYoko, I agree with you re: MPG and will raise you his predecessor, Rick Shroeder. It's too bad he felt compelled to leave for the sake of his family.

#23

AquaGirl

AquaGirl

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 6:22 PM

The biggest one for me is probably Christopher Eccleston...not that I EVER thought he was a bad actor, just a reallyreally creepy motherfucker. Until "Doctor Who," EVERY role I saw him in, he played a bad guy or a creepy guy, to the point that when I saw his name in the opening credits of a movie, I was like, "Ok, he'll be the villain then." So, when I tuned into the DW for the first time, I half expected him to try to murder/kidnap/rape Rose when she first encountered him. Luckily, that was not the case. It's a family show, after all. Heh. And instead, his Doctor is goofy, sweet and intense, but not icky. It's a lovely perfomance and a complete 180 from a lot of his previous work.

Another one is Bill Paxton. None of his previous action films prepared me for the subtle, kindly (and sexy!) work he did on "Big Love."

Also, Christopher Marquette. I'd only ever seen him as Dr. Lu's son on "Strong Medicine," where he was fine, not especially notable, IMO. Although admittedly, I gave up on that show pretty early on. I had a slight case of whiplash when he turned up as Adam Rove on "Joan of Arcadia." I don't know what I was expecting from his performance, but it definitely WASN'T for him to have me in tears on a regular basis. Adam is such a gentle, weird and vulnerable boy, and CM just owned that role. I hope he gets another one as good sometime soon. I also loved Mary Steenburgen on "JoA" and I have LOATHED her in almost every role previous. That show was just magic. At least the first season was.

And total word to everyone who mentioned Harry Hamlin, Jason Bateman, David Boreanaz (NO REALLY! Who knew?!) and Mark-Paul Gosselar.

#24

TudorQueen

TudorQueen

    Stalker

  • Gender:Female

Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 9:34 PM

Do reality celebrities count? Non-actors? Because if so, I've got two words for you:

Jerry Springer.

Yeah, okay, he was a notably liberal mayor of Cinncinnati, and he is a devoted husband and father who has given away millions of dollars to charity. But all I really knew about him was that he was the host/referee of that horrible, trashy talk show.

And then... "Dancing With The Stars". He wasn't a good dancer. But he had good humor, a great attitude and showed appreciation and - when she was injured, concern - for his professional partner, and respect for the other competitors. The 'storyline' of his attempts to learn the waltz for his daughter's wedding was one of the few such 'plots' that emerged organically and seemed genuine to me. The fact that he did, in fact, master the waltz was just the icing on the cake. By the time he was voted off last week he'd won my heart, and evidently many, many more.

Jerry's arc on "DWtS" reminded me of a quote from the Bob Fosse film "All That Jazz," when Roy Scheider tells one of his chorus ladies, "I can't make you a great dancer and I can't even promise you I'll make you a good dancer, but if you stay, I'll make you a better dancer" [and he does!]. To me, that was part of Jerry's triumph. He stayed and he left a better dancer.

#25

doguncle

doguncle

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 9:36 PM

One of TV's biggest legends (pun not intended), Raymond Burr, went from a movie villian (Hitchcock's Rear Window) to one of television's upholders of the law (Perry Mason and Ironside). A couple of others in that category were Richard Widmark (Madigan) and Telly Savalas (Kojak).

#26

bluroses

bluroses

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 11:11 PM

Also, Christopher Marquette. I'd only ever seen him as Dr. Lu's son on "Strong Medicine," where he was fine, not especially notable, IMO. Although admittedly, I gave up on that show pretty early on. I had a slight case of whiplash when he turned up as Adam Rove on "Joan of Arcadia." I don't know what I was expecting from his performance, but it definitely WASN'T for him to have me in tears on a regular basis. Adam is such a gentle, weird and vulnerable boy, and CM just owned that role. I hope he gets another one as good sometime soon.

So much word. I actually didn't pay much attention to him at first, on JoA, because I kept thinking of him as the cute little kid on SM. Then I saw the episode dealing with Mark's mother's suicide and I was hooked.

#27

espie

espie

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 2, 2006 @ 7:38 AM

Jerry Springer.

ITA, TudorQueen. I haven't seen all of DWtS, but what I have seen of Jerry Springer's appearances impressed (and surprised) me greatly. I never would have imagined that he possessed humor and charm.

My father, a big fan of House, thought I was putting him on when I showed him an episode of Blackadder and told him the dorky Prince Regent was, in fact, the same actor who plays House. Even after seeing Hugh Laurie's name in the credits I think he had trouble believing it.

#28

RedBetty

RedBetty

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Nov 2, 2006 @ 1:35 PM

I've struggled with the Hugh Laurie thing myself...He's amazing.

Since you mentioned actors that made break from previous types of roles (Raymond Burr et. al.), I think it is only fair that we include Leslie Nielson. He took his former persona and turned it on its ear in the 1980's. Smart way to revive a career - however I'm sure there are many of you young 'uns out there who don't even remember him as a serious actor.

#29

VersesBatman

VersesBatman

    Stalker

Posted Nov 2, 2006 @ 2:26 PM

Tom Welling has me going back and forth. One moment I think he's a good actor, but there are times where I cringe hearing his lines. I heard him say in a preview on the radio, "Please don't leave me." and i thought it sounded like he read it off a card.

Edited by VersesBatman, Nov 2, 2006 @ 2:37 PM.


#30

Not It

Not It

    Video Archivist

Posted Nov 2, 2006 @ 2:38 PM

I'm going to nominate the cast of Wings.

Tim Daly--the older brother. I loved him in Eyes, a show that wasn't on for long enough, and I think he's doing good work on The Nine. And how is it possible that he gets better looking with age?

Steven Weber--the younger brother. While Wings was filming, he was the lead in the movie Jeffrey, which I remember as being good. He went on to star in sitcoms that never went past the pilot. And now, he's Jack Rudolph on Studio 60, the perfect studio head.

Thomas Haden Church--Lowell, the dimwitted mechanic. Recently nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Sideways. I was stunned by the transformation.

Tony Shalhoub--Foreign Guy as a taxi driver. Now best known as the obsessive-compulsive Monk, a role that has won him three Emmys.

Crystal Bernard--I got nothing.

Now, all of them did good work on Wings, but I think they've gotten better with age.