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Television Actors Who Overact Way Too Hard

Updated January 6, 2021 14.1k votes 2.3k voters 82.5k views19 items

Overacting doesn't always have to be a bad thing; some actors have managed to make a career despite it, or maybe even because of it. From exaggerating expressions, to over-the-top displays of sadness, joy, anger, happiness, and everything in between, we present to you an over the top list of the top TV actors who overact.

Jerry Seinfeld was clearly a comedian with less refined acting chops as his costars, yet he managed to have his own show despite his tendency to constantly overplay scenes. William Shatner is a notoriously cringeworthy actor, known particularly for his roles where he overreacts to, well, nearly everything. Zooey Deschanel, as Jessica Day on New Girl, is either endearing in her overacting or the epitome of annoying, depending on who you ask. Sofia Vergara also has a polarizing effect - obnoxious or endearing in her overreactions on Modern Family, it's your call.

No matter the network, no show is immune to overacting actors. Check out the actors below, and be sure to vote up the television stars who need to seriously take a chill pill.

  • From Star Trek  to T.J. Hooker, William Shatner is infamous for his over-delivery and belaboring of every single emotion. Just STAAAAHHHP.
    • Credits (TV): Star Trek: The Original Series, Boston Legal, Star Trek: The Animated Series, T. J. Hooker, Eek! The Cat
    • Birthplace: Côte Saint-Luc, Canada
    • Nationality: Canada
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  • Kerry Washington on Scandal
    Photo: david_shankbone / flickr / CC-BY 2.0


    Kerry Washington's character, Olivia Pope, arguably leads an intensely dramatic life in the show Scandal. However, overblown and drawn-out dramatic expressions seem to be the consistent modus operandi. We get it, Olivia. Dramatic sh*t is dramatic.
    • Credits (TV): Scandal, Black Panther, 100 Centre Street, Standard Deviants
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
    • Nationality: United States of America
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  • Claire Danes on Homeland
    Photo: David Shankbone / flickr / CC-BY 2.0


    Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison from Homeland has some intense facial expressions... and they're all variations of the same open-mouthed, horror-struck slightly pouty look. 
    • Credits (TV): Homeland, My So-Called Life
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
    • Nationality: United States of America
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  • Lucy Hale on Pretty Little Liars
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain


     


    The entire cast of Pretty Little Liars could probably be on this list, but one of the worst offenders is Lucy Hale as Aria Montgomery. Every single event in her life is played dramatically, to the point of soap opera ridiculousness. Is she running from A or dodging an ex-boyfriend in the mall? The looks are so dramatic that you can't really tell which situation is meant to be more serious.
    • Credits (TV): Pretty Little Liars, Bionic Woman, Privileged, American Juniors, Secrets of a Small Town
    • Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, USA
    • Nationality: United States of America
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