You've seen the Avengers actors in other movies, but who has the most impressive filmography outside of the MCU? It's not an easy choice; after all, success in the Marvel movies has given many of these performers the opportunity to take on smaller, more personal projects on the side. It has additionally afforded a few of them the chance to headline more big-budget blockbusters.
A notable element of the MCU is that some of its stars were already quite well-known before becoming Avengers. Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson, for instance, were household names who took on the job of portraying superheroes. Others, including Tom Holland and Chris Hemsworth, were introduced to mass audiences primarily through the Marvel films. Regardless, the company has put a lot of care into casting performers who can really embody the beloved characters in a meaningful way.
The following Avengers have impressive non-MCU filmographies across the board. Whose is best? Start voting and let us know.
Notable Movies: Coming to America, Do the Right Thing, Goodfellas, Jungle Fever, Jurassic Park, True Romance, Pulp Fiction, Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Jackie Brown, Star Wars Episodes I-III, Deep Blue Sea, Shaft, Unbreakable, The Incredibles, Snakes on a Plane, Django Unchained, Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Hateful Eight
Movie Accolades: One Oscar nomination (Pulp Fiction); three Golden Globe nominations (Pulp Fiction, A Time to Kill, Jackie Brown); Cannes Film Festival Best Supporting Actor (Jungle Fever)
Samuel L. Jackson's career began with a small role in 1973's Together for Days. He has worked nonstop ever since. His work on multiple Spike Lee movies, including Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever, cemented his reputation as a powerful, magnetic performer. Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, meanwhile, made him a household name. He works across a spectrum of genres, typically to great success. Jackson is also the rare actor whose offscreen personality frequently infuses his onscreen characters. In Snakes on a Plane, for example, fans petitioned for him to deliver a line using his trademark profanity - and actually got it added to the movie.141Great filmography?
Notable Movies: Clueless, Romeo + Juliet, The Cider House Rules, Wet Hot American Summer, The Shape of Things, Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Role Models, I Love You Man, Monsters vs Aliens, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, This Is 40, They Came Together
Movie Accolades: Two Critics Choice Award nominations (This Is 40, Ant-Man)
No one would deny that Paul Rudd is one of today's leading comic actors. He's capable of doing smart, subtle humor or stuff that's more broad and goofy. Whether as the lead or as part of an ensemble, Rudd's ability to make audiences laugh is easily his best trait as an actor. But movies such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower demonstrate that he can be effective in a more serious role, too. His "nice guy" persona always shines through.104Great filmography?
Notable Movies: Weird Science, Less Than Zero, Chaplin, Natural Born Killers, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, A Scanner Darkly, Zodiac, Tropic Thunder, Due Date, Sherlock Holmes, Wonder Boys, Bowfinger
Movie Accolades: Two Oscar nominations (Chaplin, Tropic Thunder); one Golden Globe win (Sherlock Holmes); two Golden Globe nominations (Chaplin, Tropic Thunder)
Robert Downey, Jr. is a Hollywood veteran who got his start in teen movies like Weird Science, then successfully graduated to more adult roles. He has shown an ability to thrive in a wide range of genres, having worked in drama, comedy, action, and even horror (Gothika). Both before and after the MCU made him an A-list star, Downey was known as a reliable actor guaranteed to deliver something unpredictable and wonderful in each performance. He has a unique personality that comes across no matter what kind of part he's playing.84Great filmography?
Notable Movies: Jennifer's Body, Moneyball, Zero Dark Thirty, Her, The LEGO Movie, Jurassic World, The Magnificent Seven, Passengers, Onward
Accolades: Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards Favorite Butt-Kicker award (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom); two Broadcast Film Critics Association nominations (Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy)
Chris Pratt first gained fame playing the dim-witted but lovable Andy on the sitcom Parks & Recreation. Although he's made some comedy movies, he has generally used his time on the big screen to show that he's versatile and, just as importantly, smart. There's a fun-loving quality that comes through in many of his roles, which explains Pratt's immense popularity with children. Other films have shown his viability as a romantic lead, an action hero, and a skilled voice actor in animated fare.85Great filmography?