Actors I Respect

These are some of my favorite actors that don't always get a lot of recognition for their work, maybe just because they've never starred in a blockbuster or aren't incredibly handsome or whatever.

Some of them I like just because they aren't as widely known. I didn't put them in any order.

I also included a quick sentence describing the defining quality of each that I respect them for.
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1.
Pete Postlethwaite
Actor, Inception
Classically-trained actor Pete Postlethwaite was born Peter William Postlethwaite in 1946 and was a distinguished character actor on stage, TV and film. Growing up in Warrington, Lancashire amid middle-class surroundings, he went to college and while completing his studies developed an interest in theatre...
“ Here's a guy you can always recognize. What a career he's had. People told him he'd never have his last name ("Poss-ul-thwaite") up in lights. I must agree. But the way I see him is this; he isn't your typical actor. The main reason I don't think he has many acting awards is because it hardly seems like he's working. He is the perfect actor, and plays whatever character he is given perfectly. He leaves nothing to be desired from his acting, misses nothing, overdoes nothing. He makes acting seems so easy. My favorite movies of his are all of his movies; The Town, Alien3, In The Name of The Father, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Romeo + Juliet, are among them.

I respect his embodiment of acting. ” - danhollow
 
2.
Stanley Tucci
Actor Stanley Tucci was born on November 11, 1960, in Peekskill, New York. He is the son of Joan (Tropiano), a writer, and Stanley Tucci, an art teacher. His family is Italian-American, with origins in Calabria. Tucci took an interest in acting while in high school, and went on to attend the State University of New York's Conservatory of Theater Arts in Purchase...
“ Here's an easily recognizable actor. So recognizable, I was convinced that he couldn't have that much range of character. Don't get me wrong, I loved his performance in the first movie I saw him in; but it struck me that he almost didn't appear to be acting, as if he really was just like that. Then once I started to see all the films and unbelievably diverse roles he's done it hit me; my God, this guy is amazing! He vanishes into his roles to the point where it seems like any role could be his greatest role. This is one of the most talented men in Hollywood today.

I respect his mastery of the craft. ” - danhollow
 
3.
Denzel Washington
Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at Fordham University...
“ This guy is one of the greatest actors alive in my book. Every role he brings commitment, attention, seriousness, likability, versatility; there is really nothing he can't do. As far as choosing which of his movies are good, I absolutely have to recommend The Hurricane. Aside from that, I recommend any of his movies, and I mean ANY of his movies. Each of his performances seems so complete, you can watch any of his movies and see him giving his all.

I respect his exceptional consistency. ” - danhollow
 
4.
Peter Dinklage
Peter Hayden Dinklage was born in Morristown, New Jersey, to Diane (Hayden), an elementary school teacher, and John Carl Dinklage, an insurance salesman. He is of German, Irish, and English descent. In 1991, he received a degree in drama from Bennington College and began his career. His exquisite theatre work that expresses brilliantly the unique range of his acting qualities...
“ Here is a guy worth looking up to. There is a stigma against dwarf actors that we all buy into without even considering any alternatives. Dwarf actors have a place in movies; as leprechauns or elves or (naturally) dwarves. They have a "talent" for being funny that is barely different from watching a fat guy fall on his face.

Do any of us understand how insulting that is?

Here is a man who doesn't back down and will never sell out his integrity. He doesn't do the kinds of stupid roles that are thrown his way without thinking, he will wait for a role that may well never come. But after a hell of a lot of fighting, he's earning recognition. Game of Thrones is definitely earning him some mainstream attention, although The Station Agent is the film I believe best showcases the undeniable talent he has. I do worry that Game of Thrones may be a little close to the kinds of stereotypes he wants to avoid at all costs; but he's steadily becoming a very well-known actor with a lot of range and ability.

I respect his integrity. ” - danhollow
 
5.
Hugh Laurie
Actor, House M.D.
Hugh was born in Oxford, England on June 11, 1959, to Patricia (Laidlaw) and William George Ranald Mundell "Ran" Laurie, a doctor, both of Scottish descent. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge. Son of an Olympic gold medalist in the sport, he rowed for the England youth team (1977) and for Cambridge (1980)...
“ I knew Hugh Laurie from Blackadder III and IV before I ever saw House. I even remembered him from the live-action 101 Dalmatians and Stuart Little. He always seemed to be able to bring a real personality into every character he played, even if he got very little to work with. When I finally saw House, I got hooked even more onto him. An all-around good hilarious actor who is always a pleasure to watch.

I respect his ability to stand out. ” - danhollow
 
6.
Jeremy Renner
Jeremy Lee Renner was born in Modesto, California, the son of Valerie (Tague) and Lee Renner, who managed a bowling alley. After a tumultuous yet happy childhood with his four younger siblings, Renner graduated from Beyer High School and attended Modesto Junior College. He explored several areas of study...
“ I only learned about Jeremy Renner when I saw The Town. After some research, I saw that he had an Academy Award nomination for The Hurt Locker (which I hadn't seen yet). It wasn't until I was really looking back on The Town that I realized how much I'd enjoyed him. I think the kind of movie he belongs in best are movies like The Town; movies that are aimed at both the critics and mainstream audiences.
Lately I've been worrying that he may be getting involved in too many big projects all at once. Mission Impossible, The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy; those are three major franchises that he is deeply involved with. He's an exceptional actor, but I think he's at risk for over-saturation.
After seeing a bit more of him and his films, I can say Renner has only grown more impressive in my mind. His characters have a rough-around-the-edges feel to them that makes him feel so much more like a regular guy you'd know than just a Hollywood character. He's not breathtakingly handsome, and he really isn't smooth. But he brings a sense of professionalism to his roles even while he seems to be goofing off and not taking things seriously enough. I love that he manages both so expertly.

I respect his contradictory nature. ” - danhollow
 
7.
Paul Bettany
Paul Bettany was born in Harlesden, London, England, into a theatre family. His father, Thane Bettany, is still an actor, but his mother, Anne Kettle, has retired from acting. His maternal grandmother, Olga Gwynne (her maiden and stage name), was a successful actress, while his maternal grandfather...
“ Been a huge fan of him since I saw him in A Beautiful Mind. Also enjoyed his great charisma in A Knight's Tale as Geoffrey Chaucer. He's a very good actor in any role, and he's always enjoyable to watch, even in scenes that don't necessarily demand it. I really wish they didn't just throw him into movies like Legion or Priest 3D. He's an exceptional actor, but I think he works best when he's in a supporting role. It really seems to bring the best out of him.

I respect his charisma. ” - danhollow
 
8.
Simon Pegg
English actor, writer and comedian Simon Pegg was born Simon John Beckingham in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, to Gillian Rosemary (Smith), a civil servant, and John Henry Beckingham, a jazz musician. His parents divorced when Pegg was seven. He later took his stepfather's surname, "Pegg". He was educated...
“ Star (and one of the writers) of my favorite movie of all time; Hot Fuzz. His performance in that alone covers so much; he fits perfectly as a by-the-book cop, a ridiculous overachiever, a solitary hero, an idealist, and a bad-ass action hero. There really is no role he can't do. He is a master at all forms of comedy; over-the-top, physical, straight-faced, satirical, witty, silly, etc. Frankly, he's convincing in any role he gets.
Also, special note should be made of how good he is at doing accents. He has an American accent that caught me completely off-guard in Band of Brothers. Because it didn't sound like an accent, it sounded like a regular voice (to me, an American). His scottish accent in Star Trek is also remarkably accurate yet funny.

I respect his versatility. ” - danhollow
 
9.
David Morse
David Morse, a 6' 4" tall blue-eyed blond who performed on stage for 10 years before breaking into film, became established as a respected supporting, character actor and second lead. He was born the first of four children of Charles, a sales manager, and Jacquelyn Morse, a schoolteacher, on October 11...
“ Always reminded me of Simon Pegg, but about 11 inches taller and with the kind of physique you usually see in Slasher movies. Don't let that comparison color your opinion towards his acting ability though. The first time I really noticed him was in Disturbia, his performance as the neighbor was subtle, quiet, and creepy as I've ever seen. It was the way he looked at you, it was like he wasn't looking at you, he was looking through you; like he'd know the instant you tried to lie to him. It's hard to describe how he displays emotion, his face hardly moves and he doesn't use his physicality as much as you'd expect; yet you can always understand him when you see him.

I respect his calm. ” - danhollow
 
10.
Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 15, 1973. His parents, Sheila Gail (Scott) and Ronald Gene Harris, were lawyers and ran a restaurant. He grew up in Ruidoso, New Mexico, a small town 120 miles south of Albuquerque, where he first took up acting in the fourth grade. While tagging along with his older brother of 3 years...
“ Always in small roles, always entertaining, and always just...there. Neil Patrick Harris is hard to really describe; he's just really funny, no matter what he's doing. He exudes confidence in most every role he's in, no matter how small the role is or how un-heard-of the movie is. Like Paul Bettany, it's just his charisma, he can make anything more entertaining. The way he acts (whether for a movie, show, or an interview) just shows how comfortable he is on screen or in front of other people. I think it's that confidence that really gets me.

I respect his confidence. ” - danhollow
 
11.
Jason Segel
Multi-talented Jason Jordan Segel was born in Los Angeles, California, where he was raised by his parents, Jillian (Jordan), a homemaker, and Alvin Segel, a lawyer. His mother is of English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry, and his father is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. He was educated at St. Matthew's Parish School in Pacific Palisades...
“ No, I'm not just going through a list of HIMYM actors. I liked him the most from I Love You, Man as every man's ideal bro, Sidney Fife. Everything he does just feels so cool, and he really seems like the kind of guy you'd like to know or hang out with. Movie watchers generations from now could watch him and say "yes, Sidney Fife may not have been the original "bro", but he was one of the greatest of his time". His writing is also pretty funny, particularly when he does little musical bits. I do feel that sometimes he sticks to one character a little too much (always the nice guy), but I've seen him when he wants to look intimidating, and he can pull it off with style. Plus, you gotta admit it takes balls to go balls out in your first starring role.

I respect his balls. ” - danhollow
 
12.
John Cusack
John Cusack is, like most of his characters, an unconventional hero. Wary of fame and repelled by formulaic Hollywood fare, he has built a successful career playing underdogs and odd men out--all the while avoiding the media spotlight. John was born in Evanston, Illinois, to an Irish-American family...
“ You generally don't see him in a lot, and I'll admit I haven't seen a lot of his movies either, but those I have seen convinced me of his talent. 1408 is one of my favorite horror movies of all time, and his performance is part of what makes it all the more exciting, scary, and interesting. 95% of the movie is just him, alone. He displays a wide range of emotions with great clarity, and we really feel like he's a real person in a very surreal world.
These days his choice of film roles seems to have declined a bit, but he's still a fantastic actor in my book.

I respect his desire to made every film a good one. ” - danhollow
 
13.
Tom Hiddleston
Thomas William Hiddleston was born in Westminster, London, to English-born Diana Patricia (Servaes) and Scottish-born James Norman Hiddleston. His mother is a former stage manager, and his father, a scientist, was the managing director of a pharmaceutical company. He started off at the preparatory school...
“ I admit the only movie I knew him from is Thor, but that was where he really grabbed me. His character was so different from the typical "evil gods" of these kinds of movies. He wasn't really blatantly evil, he was misguided and confused. And yes, mischievous (but really in a sort of attention-seeking way). He was discovering himself during the movie, and I really felt for him. I normally don't watch play recordings or small-time independent movies, but I really want to see him acting again, and I'm willing to watch anything to see some more of him. I was that impressed.
In the Avengers, it was good to see him having some fun. He really went nuts as Loki this time around, but again there was still a sense that Loki is not all bad, just misguided. It's subtle, but it's my favorite aspect of the character.
Lately, he's also been growing on me for the wide range of roles he plays, from quiet and kind to broad and dripping with devilish glee. At the same time, he's one of the nicest guys you could ever meet (and he does a killer Alan Rickman impression). I feel it's important to include that.

I respect his subtlety. ” - danhollow
 
14.
Hugo Weaving
Actor, The Matrix
Hugo Wallace Weaving was born on April 4, 1960 in Nigeria, to English parents Anne (Lennard), a tour guide and teacher, and Wallace Weaving, a seismologist. Hugo has an older brother, Simon, and a younger sister, Anna, who both also live and work in Australia. During his early childhood, the Weaving family spent most of their time traveling between Nigeria...
“ Loved him in the Matrix movies, and while I don't really know LOTR that well, I'd say he did a very good job from what I do know of the books. But V for Vendetta was where he really stood out to me. Most actors turn down any role that requires them to hide their face the entire movie, but he stepped up to it. His performance was so grabbing, it didn't feel like he even needed to remove the mask, it was like he was just showing himself with a different face. He seemed to display more emotion, more charisma, and more struggling with that mask than most actors do with their whole body. Now THAT is talent.

I respect his sacrifice for the good of the film, and his acting chops. ” - danhollow
 
15.
Edward Norton
Actor, Fight Club
American actor, filmmaker and activist Edward Harrison Norton was born on August 18, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts, and was raised in Columbia, Maryland. His mother, Lydia Robinson "Robin" (Rouse), was a foundation executive and teacher of English, and a daughter of famed real estate developer James Rouse...
“ 4 main movies I know him from; The Italian Job, American History X (which I haven't even seen in its entirety), The Illusionist, and Red Dragon. The Illusionist was my favorite, and I didn't even recognize him in it. It wasn't that he was wearing a lot of make-up or anything, he just seemed to have dived so deep into the role that I couldn't separate the character from the actor. He was a combination of every quality I've ever admired in a magician. Ed's a fine actor, but sadly his time in the spotlight seems to have waned. Regardless, he's always fantastic to watch.

I respect his mystery. ” - danhollow
 
16.
Doug Jones
The youngest of four brothers, Doug Jones was born on May 24, 1960 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and grew up in the city's Northeastside. After attending Bishop Chatard High School, he headed off to Ball State University, where he graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor's degree in Telecommunications, with a minor in Theatre...
“ Most of you won't recognize his name, none will recognize his face, because the truth is, we never really see his actual face. Allow me to explain; Doug Jones' specialty is playing roles that require extensive make-up, usually several hours for each character. The Silver Surfer, Abe Sapien, the Faun, the Pale Man, that freaky Ice Cream man from Legion, the leader of The Gentlemen from the silent episode of Buffy, etc. Those are the roles he does; and they require a lot of dedication and a lot of work. I have to give the man credit for the amount of time he's spent sitting in a chair while make-up people cover his body with whatever character he's going to be today. For a man who never seems to be wearing his own skin, he still brings consistent mastery to every role he plays.

I respect his self-sacrifice. ” - danhollow
 
17.
Ron Perlman
Actor, Hellboy
Ron Perlman is a classically-trained actor who has appeared in countless stage plays, feature films and television productions. Ronald N. Perlman was born April 13, 1950 in Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York. His mother, Dorothy (Rosen), is retired from the City Clerk's Office. His father, Bertram "Bert" Perlman...
“ An actor who is easily and immediately recognizable by his deep voice. Every movie he is in is made better for including him. Guillermo Del Toro was fully in the right when he petitioned for 7 years to get Perlman cast as Hellboy, you can hear the fire burning in his voice. No one else could have come close. He can be serious, witty, also very moving and even touching if the need presents itself. A personal favorite of mine.

I respect his persona. ” - danhollow
 
18.
Richard Harris
A genuine star of cinema on screen and a fiery hell raiser off screen, Richard St John Harris was born on October 1, 1930 in Limerick, Ireland, to a farming family. He was the son of Mildred Josephine (Harty) and Ivan John Harris, and was an excellent rugby player, with a strong passion for literature...
“ I'm a little ashamed to say all I know him from are the first two Harry Potter movies; but that is what I basing his acting ability on. He was perfect, just perfect as Dumbledore. I respect his replacement as well, but Richard Harris WAS Dumbledore. The feeling of ancient wisdom and omnipotence he seemed to embody is something I won't soon forget, and he had the kind of twinkle in his eyes that I can't even begin to describe but knew was essential to Dumbledore. That, for me, is enough to have him on this list.

I respect his wisdom. ” - danhollow
 
19.
Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Roy Rush was born on July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, to Merle (Bischof), a department store sales assistant, and Roy Baden Rush, an accountant for the Royal Australian Air Force. His mother was of German descent and his father had English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. He was raised in Brisbane, Queensland, after his parents split up...
“ I doubt I can even begin to justify myself for this, but my favorite movies of his are the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and The King's Speech. Yes, accuse me of jumping on the bandwagon; I know people have been praising his acting for decades. I'm sorry, but that is how he really came to my attention. Barbossa could have been a one-dimensional character who dreamed of one day being worthy enough to be mentioned in sequels; but he wasn't. He was the most interesting character after Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow, and watching the two of them go at it was immensely entertaining. You wanted to see him again, you wanted to see more of him, we all liked seeing him, he did a great job. For my opinions on his performance in the King's Speech; see bandwagon note.

I respect his outside-the-box characters. ” - danhollow
 
20.
Kevin Bacon
Actor, Apollo 13
Kevin Norwood Bacon was born on July 8, 1958 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Ruth Hilda (Holmes), an elementary school teacher, and Edmund Norwood Bacon, a prominent architect who was on the cover of Time Magazine in November 1964. Kevin's early training as an actor came from The Manning Street. His debut as the strict Chip Diller in Animal House almost seems like an inside joke...
“ The only movie I really knew him from was Tremors. Besides that I only saw bits and pieces of him. Still, I loved every second of him. He didn't (still doesn't) not wait around to see how other people act out their characters or act out a scene; he always puts exactly his version of a character into play, from the first scene he's in. He waits on no one to tell him how to act. Every aspect of every character he plays that I enjoyed is traced straight back to his personal twist on the character.

I respect his initiative. ” - danhollow
 
21.
Jeff Bridges
Jeffrey Leon Bridges was born on December 4, 1949 in Los Angeles, California, the son of well-known film and TV star Lloyd Bridges and his long-time wife Dorothy Dean Bridges (née Simpson). He grew up amid the happening Hollywood scene with big brother Beau Bridges. Both boys popped up, without billing...
“ I don't know why we don't hear more about him; he's done most every kind of movie an actor can do, and he's done them all well. He's got a couple Academy Award nominations, a win for Best Actor, a blockbuster (Iron Man), a few Coen Brothers movies (The Big Lebowski, among others), an animated movie (Surf's Up), dramas, music movies, comedies, genre-benders, westerns, special effects movies (Tron/Tron Legacy), lead roles, supporting roles; what more do we want from him?

I respect his quality and quantity of roles. ” - danhollow
 
22.
Michael Biehn
Michael Connell Biehn was born on July 31, 1956 in Anniston, Alabama, to Marcia (Connell) and Don Biehn, a lawyer. He grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and at age 14 moved with his family to Lake Havasu, Arizona, where he won a drama scholarship to the University of Arizona. He left prematurely two years later to pursue an acting career in Hollywood...
“ Such an underappreciated actor, yet such a good actor. He was Kyle Reese in the original Terminator (although no one seems to remember him), soldier from the future and *spoiler* John's father. He's also Corporal Dwight Hicks from James Cameron's Aliens. He fought the hardest, was probably the most bad-ass of the whole crew of marines, but he didn't run his mouth like some of the others. In both films, he was loyal, dependable, and a true "human" hero. He didn't have super strength or any crap like that; but he was a survivor and he would do everything in his power as a regular person to protect everyone else.

I respect his human heroism. ” - danhollow
 
23.
Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey Fowler, better known by his stage name Kevin Spacey, is an American actor of screen and stage, film director, producer, screenwriter and singer. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s before obtaining supporting roles in film and television. He gained critical acclaim in...
“ Another actor you don't see in just anything, he has...different standards. I loved his short but very affecting performance in Seven (which I'm not going to tell you about because that's half the fun). My next favorite role of his is a recent one; Horrible Bosses. My god is his character fun (and evil). He is the most psychotic boss on the face of the Earth. Both by realistic standards (for when he's just being normal) and by outrageous comedy standards (outside work).

I respect his privacy. And how much he can do with so little. ” - danhollow
 
24.
John C. Reilly
Character actor, dramatic leading man, or hilarious comic foil? With an astonishing range of roles already under his belt, John C. Reilly has played an eclectic host of rich characters to great effect over the years, from seedy ne'er-do-wells, to lovable, good-natured schlepps. The fifth of six children...
“ Admittedly, John C. Reilly has seen a lot of success in a lot of mainstream roles. But truth be told, my favorite movies of his are the lesser-known films he does; drama, historical, or comedy. He is one of the most versatile actors working today, genuinely funny, and also quite an impressive musician (see Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story for more info on that). I wish they didn't just give him the stupid secondary role in a lot of films. I look forward to seeing him in every movie that comes out.

I respect his character. ” - danhollow
 
25.
Jean Reno
Jean Reno was born Juan Moreno y Herrera-Jiménez in Casablanca, Morocco, to Spanish parents (from Andalucía) who moved to North Africa to seek work. His father was a linotypist. Reno settled in France at 17. He began studying drama and has credits in French television and theater as well as films. His first two marriages both ended in divorce...
“ Saw him before, but never really took him seriously. As it turns out, he wasn't the problem, it was the movies he was in. I saw him in Leon: The Professional and instantly took a liking to him. See the unedited version, anything less would be boring. Natalie Portman in her first movie (she was about 13). It's a Luc Besson (Taken) action movie, and probably his best. He is a good actor, and an entertaining one, too. His problem is mostly that his talent gets wasted in most of the movies he's in.

I respect his perseverance. ” - danhollow
 
26.
Ralph Fiennes
Actor Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes was born on December 22, 1962 in Suffolk, England, to Jennifer Anne Mary Alleyne (Lash), a novelist, and Mark Fiennes, a photographer. He is the eldest of six children. Four of his siblings are also in the arts: Martha Fiennes, a director; Magnus Fiennes...
“ A truly incredible actor whose characters can cover a wide range. Still, I must admit that the most affecting to me are his portrayals of pure evil. Lord Voldemort, Amon Goeth, Francis Dolarhyde; these performances will haunt you. He makes them feel so real, so cruel, and so absolutely terrifying that we feel helpless in the face of them. I hear in real life he's a perfectly nice guy who enjoys Shakespeare. That's swell, but his characters still give me goosebumps.

I respect his darkness of character. ” - danhollow
 
27.
James McAvoy
McAvoy was born on 21 April 1979 in Glasgow, Scotland, to Elizabeth (née Johnstone), a nurse, and James McAvoy senior, a bus driver. He was raised on a housing estate in Drumchapel, Glasgow by his maternal grandparents (James, a butcher, and Mary), after his parents divorced when James was 7. He went to St Thomas Aquinas Secondary in Jordanhill...
“ This guy is still young and rising fast. I didn't even recognize him in the Chronicles of Narnia as Mr. Tumnus, my favorite character. We saw so little of him, but we saw a lot inside of him. I thoroughly enjoyed his over-the-top transformation from truly pathetic day-slaver to unstoppable killing machine in Wanted. He was one of the better aspects of X-Men: First Class.

I respect his potential. ” - danhollow
 
28.
Ewan McGregor
Ewan Gordon McGregor was born on March 31, 1971 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland, to Carol Diane (Lawson) and James Charles McGregor, both teachers. His uncle is actor Denis Lawson. He was raised in Crieff. At age 16, he left Morrison Academy to join the Perth Repertory Theatre. His parents encouraged him to leave school and pursue his acting goals rather than be unhappy...
“ I'm a big fan of his work, particularly as Obi-Wan in the Star Wars prequels and his leading role in Big Fish. For his wide range of roles, I don't think he has a weak one among them. The strange thing is that we all know him (by name), but a lot of us still don't consider him to be one of your "typical" actors. He isn't popping massive epics or seducing women with his charms (usually). But he's really good at what he does. He seems born to play every role he does. I'm really surprised he doesn't have any Best Actor noms.

I respect his ease of character. ” - danhollow
 
29.
Russell Crowe
Actor, Gladiator
Russell Ira Crowe was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to Jocelyn Yvonne (Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe, both of whom catered movie sets. His maternal grandfather, Stanley Wemyss, was a cinematographer. Crowe's recent ancestry includes Welsh (where his paternal grandfather was born, in Wrexham), English...
“ Admittedly not the most popular actor right now, but he has always blown me away with the roles I have seen. Particularly in A Beautiful Mind; we really feel his solitude, his loneliness, his confusion, obsession, pain, suffering, and humiliation. And we really come to cherish his character and pray that things work out for him. My next favorite role was his piece in The Man With the Iron Fists; he seemed to be the one having the most fun.
I could give a damn what he's like off the set.

I respect him. And I could give a damn that you don't. ” - danhollow
 
30.
“ This guy is hilarious. Utterly hilarious. Admittedly, he is not a typical leading man, but he's among the best supporting actors out there. He works excellently off other actors, just as they work excellently off him. And since the goal of actors in a movie is to help make the story and interactions more natural and believable, he is truly an ideal actor to work with. His style revolves mostly around a look of total determination on his face, a kind of manic "there's something going on around here" expression he always carries when in character. His eyebrows alone are funnier than half of what's on TV these days. On top of that, he has a very old-fashioned and traditional style of comedy. He does impersonations of people that most viewers have never even heard of.

I respect his ability to improve every film he is in. And his eyebrows. ” - danhollow
 
31.
Forest Whitaker
Actor, Arrival
Forest Steven Whitaker has packaged a king-size talent into his hulking 6' 2", 220 lb. frame. He won an Academy Award for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland, and has also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. He is the fourth African-American male to win an Academy Award for Best Actor...
“ A fantastic actor who appears in many movies, including many bad ones. But I always enjoy his parts, even if the part (and/or the movie) is god-awful. Some of my favorite movies with him are Panic Room and Phone Booth. I have yet to see The Last King of Scotland.

I respect his ability. ” - danhollow
 
32.
William Fichtner
A small-town guy with a big heart, William Fichtner has been captivating the hearts of Western New Yorkers for decades. Bill was born in 1956 on Long Island, New York, to Patricia A. (Steitz) and William E. Fichtner. He is of German, Irish, and English descent. Fichtner was raised in Cheektowaga, and graduated from Maryvale High School in 1974...
“ Very easy to recognize, and always does a fantastic job. Possibly my favorite character actor. It's strange, but perhaps my favorite role of his was in The Perfect Storm. Particularly his resentful relationship with John C. Reilly's character. All they did was argue and cut each other down. When Reilly's character accidentally gets hooked on the line and yanked overboard, who's the first to jump in and save him? The man who hated him the most. That stuck with me. And so has this man.

I respect his seriousness. ” - danhollow
 
33.
Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx is an American actor, singer and comedian. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, for his work in the biographical film Ray. The same year, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the action film Collateral...
“ Another one of my favorite actors, mostly for just his small parts in movies. He can do a lot with very little, and he can cover a wide range of character types. I need to see Ray. But here is a man equally exceptional in comedies and dramas and historical films and everything else he does. And since I haven't said it straight out, the man is funny as you'll ever see. I will admit I was a little underwhelmed by him in Django Unchained. However, I blame that more on the writing than on him (yes, I blame Quentin Tarantino and his Oscar-winning script).

I respect his less-is-more acting. ” - danhollow
 
34.
Cillian Murphy
Actor, Inception
Striking Irish actor Cillian Murphy was born in Douglas, the oldest child of Brendan Murphy, who works for the Irish Department of Education, and a mother who is a teacher of French. He has three younger siblings. Murphy was educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cork. He went on to study law at University College Cork...
“ I'm hard-pressed to describe what it is about Cillian Murphy that continues to appeal to me in all his films. I suppose one thing I would have to mention is how seriously he takes all his roles in all his films. Batman Begins, Inception, In Time, 28 Days Later; his characters always provide a strong stable surface from which to observe the rest of the film. He may not be the most expressive, but he can cover a wide variety of characterizations equally well.

I respect his reliability. ” - danhollow
 
35.
Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey, Canadian-born and a U.S. citizen since 2004, is an actor and producer famous for his rubbery body movements and flexible facial expressions. The two-time Golden Globe-winner rose to fame as a cast member of the Fox sketch comedy In Living Color but leading roles in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber and The Mask established him as a bankable comedy actor...
“ In my opinion, the funniest actor alive today. The guy has a seemingly infinite supply of manic energy that, when utilized, provides some of the funniest performances ever seen on film. At the same time, he is also a widely unappreciated serious actor. Have you ever seen him giving anything but 100% of his attention to a role? The guy puts an enormous amount of effort into making each performances fresh and lively; why can't the Academy see that?
One of his best roles to date is Colonel Stars & Stripes in Kick-Ass 2. It's one of the few roles that doesn't require him to be the center of attention. It doesn't require him to get laughs, either. It's a straight role, and he dominates it. Some people would feel obligated to show off as a hero. Not the Colonel. Charity, community service, good samaritan work, this guy is dedicated to genuinely helping his community. But when the time comes that he has to get rough to make a point; he kicks @$$. It's one of the best superhero portrayals of the modern age.

I respect his energy, creativity, and dedication. ” - danhollow
 
36.
Leonardo DiCaprio
Actor, Inception
Few actors in the world have had a career quite as diverse as Leonardo DiCaprio's. DiCaprio has gone from relatively humble beginnings, as a supporting cast member of the sitcom Growing Pains and low budget horror movies, such as Critters 3, to a major teenage heartthrob in the 1990s, as the hunky lead actor in movies such as Romeo + Juliet and Titanic...
“ As mainstream as mainstream gets; or is he?
Here's my thing with Leonardo DiCaprio; after Titanic, he became every girl's teenage heart throb. He could have ridden that until he turned 40. He didn't. In fact, he hasn't played a heart throb since then. Even in Catch Me If You Can, he was playing at more than just a pretty face who's good at lying. You will never see him in a RomCom. Or a Com. The man is on a constant quest to challenge himself with every movie he makes. He never coasts and never takes a part for any reason other than he thinks it will challenge him and his abilities. Here is a man who could have been a cute little upstart, but instead wants not only to be seen as a serious actor, but as one of the best actors of his time.
His list of noteworthy movies is basically his list of movies. Any movie he's in is a good movie to watch him in. For that alone, he earns a Special Mention.

I respect his determination. ” - danhollow
 
37.
Benjamin Walker
Benjamin Walker was born Benjamin Walker Davis in Georgia, and was raised in Cartersville, GA, the son of Jeannine (Walker), a music teacher, and Greg Davis, who worked in finance and owned a movie rental store. He has one older brother. Walker was educated at Cartersville High School in Georgia and the Interlochen Arts Academy in Traverse City...
“ A new addition who I believe has a great career ahead of him. Admittedly, my only experience with Mr. Walker is Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter; but that was enough to convince me of his talent. The film requires him to play both a young Abraham Lincoln in his 20's, working a shop, arguing with mansion-born politicals, speaking to his fellow man, and chopping up vampires; as well as the elder Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States. While he did a fairly good job as the young Lincoln, his performance really shined as the elder Lincoln. For a young man, he conveys years of wisdom and experience with ease and remarkable competency. Hearing him give some of Lincoln's most famous speeches, feeling the words behind them, it's all a wonderful experience.

I respect his maturity. ” - danhollow
 
38.
Chris Cooper
Christopher Walton Cooper was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to Mary Ann (Walton), a homemaker, and Charles Sherwood Cooper, a cattleman and internist who served as a doctor in the US Air Force. His parents were from Texas, where Cooper was raised. Educated at the University of Missouri school of drama...
“ A remarkably overlooked actor with a long list of interesting characters to his name. My favorite thing about Cooper is that he shows no fear. He commits 100% to every one of his characters, including many that most actors wouldn't touch with a 10-foot stick. Maybe it's just a quick scene and you don't get much to work with, maybe it's somewhat unflattering to your personality, maybe it's downright embarassing, Chris Cooper never shies away from a tough role. He fearlessly plays the parts no one else will go near.

I respect his fearlessness. ” - danhollow
 
39.
Sam Rockwell
Actor, Moon
Sam Rockwell was born on November 5, 1968, in San Mateo, California, the child of two actors, Pete Rockwell and Penny Hess. The family moved to New York when he was two years old, living first in the Bronx and later in Manhattan. When Sam was five years old, his parents split up, at which point he and his father moved to San Francisco...
“ Always an interesting guy to watch; I have a theory about Sam. I think his goal is to try and play every kind of character at least once. Every role he seems to be doing something different. Sometimes he's intense, other times he's laid back, sometimes he's serious, other times he's downright zany; some roles he goes nuts, others he confidently plays a character that's downright boring (but no less well-acted).

I respect his broad range of characters. ” - danhollow
 
40.
Michael Peña
Peña was born and raised in Chicago, to Nicolasa, a social worker, and Eleuterio Peña, who worked at a button factory. His parents were originally from Mexico, his mother from Charcas in San Luis Potosí and his father from Villa Purificación in Jalisco. After graduating from high school, he went to an open casting call for the Peter Bogdanovich feature To Sir, with Love II...
“ An actor I first noticed in Shooter, where he played a rookie agent who survives an encounter with the titular "Shooter", Mark Wahlberg's character, and is told to just leave it alone. But he doesn't leave it alone, through research and initiative he uncovers the truth on his own (which gets him in trouble). What I loved was how realistic he felt. He didn't just sit down and shut up when told to, he did his job. I loved the sense of the honest real-world man Pena gave his character. I saw him in a couple other movies after that, with the film End of Watch being the one that really cemented him as a truly exceptional actor in my eyes. His characters are realistic and understandable, we may not know someone exactly like him, but we see the chain of thought that people follow. He has the spirit of the everyman at his very core, and he makes us feel it.

I respect his spirit. ” - danhollow
 
41.
Noah Emmerich
Noah Emmerich was born and raised in New York City, to Constance, a concert pianist, and André Emmerich, an art dealer and gallery owner. He attended Yale University, where he sang with the a capella group the Yale Spizzwinks. He attended NYU Film School where he wrote and directed an award winning...
“ Here we find one of the most overlooked actors working today. I'll admit when I first saw him, I thought he was Biff from Back to the Future. But he plays much more mature and serious roles, yet they always retain the utmost human kindness and care. Don't let that fool you though, he can be plenty intimidating when he wants to be. If you want to get a good look at his wide range, watch The Americans. It's only when you don't know what's coming next that you really start to watch what's going on. You start to worry that this very polite man must have some real grit and nerve in him to be an intelligence agent, and the fact that you can't see it in his warm and inviting face is very disconcerting. He looks so natural and neighborly you can't imagine him being the kind of person who would shoot you like a dog.

I respect his neighborly qualities masking deep intensity and resolve. ” - danhollow
 
42.
Mads Mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen is a synonym to the great success the Danish film industry has had since the mid-1990s. He was born in Østerbro, Copenhagen, to Bente Christiansen, a nurse, and Henning Mikkelsen, a banker. Starting out as a low-life pusher/junkie in the 1996 success Pusher, he slowly grew to become one of Denmark's biggest movie actors...
“ If there is one quality this man has in spades, it is intensity and conviction. Here is an actor who dominates every scene and every character he inhabits. We saw it in his poker face in Casino Royale. Just watching him play Texas Hold 'Em unnerved us, his face was utterly inscrutable. Every shot, you knew he was not just winning, but dominating. Masterminding every move and every play. If you were going to beat him, it wasn't going to be by keeping up with him. It would only be by getting him into a corner and getting lucky.
Recently, Mads has also been cast as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the show Hannibal. He takes an interest in haunted detective Will Graham, and through an unorthodox (not to mention utterly twisted) manner, he steers Will towards finding and profiling the United States' sickest murderers. Like Casino Royale before, you believe everything he does and is. When he's playing Poker, he's dominating the table. When he's a psychiatrist, he's in complete control of his patients and knows exactly where to poke and probe. And when he's cooking a bite to eat, he's a master chef.

I respect his domination and mastery of character. ” - danhollow
 
43.
Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul was born Aaron Paul Sturtevant in Emmett, Idaho, to Darla (Haynes) and Robert Sturtevant, a retired Baptist minister. While growing up, Paul took part in church programs, and performed in plays. He attended Centennial High School in Boise, Idaho. It was there, in eighth grade, that Aaron decided he wanted to become an actor...
“ I doubt there's a "Favorite/Best Actors" list on Imdb that doesn't have this guy. Fans and critics went nuts over his portrayal of drug dealer Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad. Two Emmy wins (over some pretty intense competition) and millions of fans, Paul has had a meteoric rise to fame.
Having finally given the series a try (right as it was ending), I have to say the acclaim is well deserved.
If I had to try and describe his acting style, I would call it "dominant subservience". The vast majority of actors tend to shrink into themselves or hide in the background when they are trying to convey vulnerability. Not Aaron Paul. His feelings and insecurities are always out in the open for us to see. It sounds small, but it makes a big impact on his performance.

I respect his acting style. ” - danhollow
 
44.
Keanu Reeves
Actor, The Matrix
Keanu Charles Reeves, whose first name means "cool breeze over the mountains" in Hawaiian, was born September 2, 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon. He is the son of Patricia Taylor, a showgirl and costume designer, and Samuel Nowlin Reeves, a geologist. Keanu's father was born in Hawaii, of British, Portuguese...
“ I can't even begin to make amends for everything I've done to mock, criticize, and disrespect Keanu Reeves. I'm not the only one, which is no excuse. If anything, it makes me even worse; I jumped on the Keanu Reeves-Hate Bandwagon. I did love him in The Matrix. All three movies. Including Revolutions, which was (and still is) terrible. I also have attachment to Bill & Ted's Adventures, which I watched as a kid and was both scared of and entertained by. I even think about The Lake House every now and then.
But enough of my pathetic attempts to make amends, I was unfair to Keanu Reeves and I admit it. I made fun of his often unexpressive acting style and would treat him as more a detriment to a film than an advantage. For these sins, I pray forgiveness.

The fact of the matter is that Keanu Reeves is an individual, not just an actor, but an individual, deserving of the utmost respect. He's prolific. He takes on all kinds of work. He prepares extensively for every role. He's calm, friendly, and supportive to everyone. The guy doesn't have a mean bone in his body. He took an impromptu interview about the "Sad Keanu" meme with unheard-of grace. He values artistic integrity above all else. Not just what projects he chooses, but every aspect of those projects. He was the first (and only) person to go to Joss Whedon (the writer) for character notes on the movie Speed. He voluntarily took pay cuts on several projects so that the filmmakers could use it for other things. A few million dollars to get Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate, a 90% pay cut to get Gene Hackman for The Replacements, and 50 MILLION DOLLARS from his paychecks for The Matrix sequels that he gave to the special effects and makeup people. Above all, despite how much hatred and cruelty we dump out on the guy, he takes it all in stride.

I respect Keanu Reeves. ” - danhollow