If you've ever watched a movie and thought to yourself that an actor had a much better range, given their performance, you're not alone. Plenty of people have sat down to watch something only to discover an actor they've known for years was clearly hiding their talent. This often occurs when someone who performs almost entirely in comedy suddenly shows up in a drama *cough* Adam Sandler *cough* and only proves that they could act well all along.
When this kind of thing happens, the internet responds, and questions are often asked and answered. The place this happens is, of course, Reddit! On the AskReddit subreddit, people ask the question everyone wants to know, "What film made you notice an actor was better/had more range than you originally thought?" Redditors have responded, and some of their explanations make a lot of sense.
This list highlights the best examples of actors who proved they knew what they were doing when they showed their range in something spectacular. Find your favorites down below, and don't forget to vote!
When Tom Hanks Asked About His Son In 'Forrest Gump,' He Blew Everyone AwayPhoto: Paramount Pictures
From Redditor ivylass:
There's a scene in Forrest Gump where Forrest is trying to ask Jenny if Forrest Jr is slow. The emotions on Tom Hank's face...fear, shame, pride...he just blew me away.
From Redditor Leafy81:
Tom Hanks is exceptional. He seems to nail every role and somehow make you feel what his character is feeling. The man made me cry about a bloodstained volleyball drifting away for God's sake!
From Redditor igoodguy:
I knew Tom Hanks from Forest Gump, and how good an actor he was. After watching Saving Private Ryan, I can't think of an actor better than him.Surprisingly good performance?
Robin Williams' Performance As A Villain In 'One Hour Photo' Was SpectacularPhoto: Fox Searchlight Pictures
From Redditor soarfingers:
Robin Williams in One Hour Photo.
From Redditor Resolute002:
"All I did was take some pictures" or whatever he said along those lines at the end chilled me to the bone.
From Redditor Myriachan:
It was really creepy, but the movie never did say whether he was a pedophile or just was weirdly obsessive about (“innocent”) pictures of children.Surprisingly good performance?
- Photo: Buena Vista Pictures
From Redditor DahnkeBallz:
Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in Tombstone, very different than in Top Secret and Real Genius.
From Redditor MattsAwesomeStuff:
Doc, dying of tuberculosis and still getting into gunfights with cowboy gangs...
"Why you doing this Doc?"
"Wyatt Earp is my friend."
"Hell, I got lots of friends."
From Redditor AmigoDelDiabla:
He's had some incredible roles. Might be an unpopular opinion, but I think he nailed Jim Morrison in The Doors. Perhaps that wasn't unpopular at all. Maybe I confused the criticisms about historical accuracy that usually follow an Oliver Stone film with Kilmer's performance.Surprisingly good performance?
Cristoph Waltz Played An Insanely Good Nazi In 'Inglorious Basterds'Photo: The Weinstein Company
From Redditor YoMomIsANiceLady:
Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds. I knew Waltz was a good actor but his character Hans Landa is a masterpiece of its own in already a masterpiece of a movie. The man got an Oscar for that role and it was damn well deserved.
From Redditor LGMHorus:
The opening scene is, for me, one of the greatest scenes in movie history. Waltz is magnetic, terrifying, and oh so polite.
From Redditor MetalMedley:
At the turning point of the interrogation, the way his face hardens so drastically while barely moving at all just blows me away.Surprisingly good performance?