Ten Actors Who’ve Got More Than Just A Pretty Face

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One thing we can’t deny is that a lot of Hollywood actors are good-looking. Their pretty faces grace the cover of magazines displayed on the news-stands we pass by. Or in the commercials that come up on our television. Some even get featured in music videos.

However, while it pays to look good in Hollywood, an outstanding performance given by an actor is the true gem when it comes to watching a movie. I believe an actor can make or break a movie’s plot. A great actor has the ability to let the character he’s portraying overshadow his appearance or celebrity status. Just as they say true beauty is what’s on the inside, I say the true beauty of actors is watching them transform into their character on screen. Beautiful acting is all about disappearing into your character, making that character real and alive.

A good performance isn’t the only thing that flourishes one’s acting career. An actor’s capacity to be versatile is also an appealing attribute because it prevents type casting. If an actor can play multiple roles, then that actor has the tendency to stand out in every character he portrays.

Taking this into consideration, let’s look at ten actors who’ve proved to us that acting is more than having just a pretty face.

Check out the next page to find out who’s on the list.

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10. Jessica Chastain

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Jessica Chastain is an actress who has surprised me with how much she’s accomplished in what seems to be a short period of time. Five years ago, I didn’t even know who she was. Yes, Chastain appeared on the television screen prior to the big screen, but her movie career just started recently and it seems to have skyrocketed.

Chastain’s shown that she’s not afraid to be adventurous in her roles, so she definitely doesn’t have a problem with typecasting. Her roles have differed greatly, from playing a young adult in a coming of age movie Jolene, to a special agent in The Debt, to the sweet and naïve Celia in The Help, and many, many more.

I believe she has the ability to embody the role of a character and make that character come alive on screen. She never fails to impress and each performance is more interesting and impressive than the last. Chastain’s achievements are a sign that hard work is the definite key to success.

Check out the next page to find out who’s next on the list.

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9. Leonardo DiCaprio

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Leonardo DiCaprio has to be one of those actors whose name can be substituted as a synonym for great acting. In fact, he might be a bad example for this list because when I watch his movies, I never forget that I’m watching Leonardo DiCaprio. But this is not because of his handsome face or the charming nature he exudes on the big screen. It is simply because DiCaprio’s personas are marked with an expressive, acting signature that seems to exclusively belong to him. It’s an extremely raw talent that gets captured on screen.

DiCaprio’s flexibility as an actor is a testament to his astonishing performances. With every role he plays, he adds a certain level of depth to the character he portrays. In a movie, it is more than what his character says or how he behaves, but also his body language – the way his body expresses his emotions. From his depictions of anger as Frank Wheeler in Revolutionary Road to his expression of despair in the dream sequences of Shutter Island, DiCaprio has displayed quite a wide range of captivating performances.

In addition, he certainly isn’t afraid to explore villainous roles either. Assuming the role of a charming and abject plantation owner, Calvin Candie, in Django Unchained, DiCaprio pushes the limits of his acting further. An effort that I thought would definitely garner him an Oscar nod but unfortunately did not. Hopefully, his role in the upcoming movie, The Great Gatsby, might add an Academy Award to his list of accolades.

Leonardo DiCaprio is great at what he does, and it also doesn’t hurt that he looks good while doing it either. Can you tell he’s one of my favorites?

Check out the next page to find out who’s next on the list.

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8. Emily Blunt

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The first movie in which I saw Emily Blunt perform was The Devil Wears Prada. While the movie featured well known actresses, like Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, Blunt’s acting leveled with that of her co-stars. Playing Streep’s senior fashion assistant, Blunt gave one of the most memorable performances in the movie. I think that was her breakthrough moment, and I must say that her spotlight didn’t dim after that either.

She went on to star in other movies, most notably The Young Victoria, a movie that garnered her a few nominations, including a Golden Globe. Her transition from a fast-talking, fashion-loving assistant to a regal, soft-spoken queen was simply flawless.

Blunt shows that acting isn’t all about having a pretty face and she’s quickly become one of my favourite female performers to watch.

Check out the next page to find out who’s on the list.

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7. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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We all remember that really cute high school kid in 10 Things I Hate About You, right? Since then, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has evolved into a very sexy Hollywood actor. Some people are born with tremendous acting skills, and Gordon-Levitt seems to have a range of them in abundance. If he’s not charming you in 500 Days of Summer, then he’s making you empathetic in 50/50 or pulling you into a labyrinth of dreams in Inception.

However, Gordon-Levitt’s good looks aren’t all there is to the actor. And he’s mostly proved that in Looper, where he dons that distracting prosthetic make up to look like a younger Bruce Willis. His acting steers viewers away from his appearance so that we can focus on his actual performance, and what a performance it is.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a perfect example of an actor who proves that it’s not all about his looks when it comes to being on the big screen.

Check out the next page to find out who’s next on the list.

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6. Natalie Portman

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Natalie Portman’s got beauty and brains, as her degree from Harvard suggests. Although, when we watch her on screen, we tend not to care about either…well, maybe we care a little about her looks.

When Portman starred in her very first movie, Léon: The Professional, we saw great potential. Then she took that potential and transformed it into something beautiful in Closer. In the dark thriller, Black Swan, she was absolutely fascinating to watch, the range of emotions she evoked in the viewer attested to that. However, we must also not forget her striking performance as Evey Hammond in V for Vendetta. After all, Anne Hathaway isn’t the only actress who’s cried while her head was shaved.

Portman is always electric to watch on screen with whatever character she plays. She can easily alter her emotions, with crying from one moment to laughing in another. It’s like her face is a canvas for her character’s emotions. While she’s quite beautiful, her beauty extends to her acting.

Portman is an actress who can steal your breath away, simply with her facial expressions.

Check out the next page to find out who’s next on the list.

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5. Andrew Garfield

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Andrew Garfield seems like a guy with whom I can discuss comic books. And when I think of both topics, I think of The Amazing Spider-Man. The American-British actor is in one word: dreamy. But before I stare into space and continue thinking about his dreamy looks, let’s focus on his other talents, like acting, because he’s good at it. Garfield’s so good in fact that he’s earned BAFTA and Saturn awards, and Golden Globe nominations. It truly doesn’t get better than that. Then again, maybe it does.

Sometimes, when you think of an actor, you immediately think of one movie in which he or she was phenomenal. In Garfield’s case, I remember three: Never Let Me Go, The Social Network and The Amazing Spider-Man. All very different roles, if I might add. In Never Let Me Go, there’s a particular scene where his character, Tommy, breaks down and screams out his frustration. It was one of the most chilling and sublime performances I’d ever seen and I’m certain that Hollywood has yet to see more of Garfield’s acting capabilities.

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4. Emma Stone

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What can I say about Emma Stone? This naturally blonde beauty pretty much stole my heart when she landed her first leading role in Easy A, in which she played a high school student who gets a bad reputation. While her character acquired a bad rep, Stone shined with her performance and received much deserved recognition.

In The Help, she once again managed to deliver. Her script selections have ranged from romantic comedies to dramas to superhero movies to crime films. She’s dipping her toes in everything and no matter what she chooses to do, we can always expect an excellent performance, proving that Emma Stone is much more than just another blonde beauty.

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3. Ryan Gosling

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Ryan Gosling might not have been named the sexiest man alive, but we know that he is one of the sexiest actors ever. If you weren’t convinced in The Notebook, then I’m sure Crazy, Stupid Love changed your mind. The actor’s certainly got charisma. However, the key to wooing a movie fanatic like me, as I’ve been saying, is how believable you are with your acting skills. And people, Gosling is pretty believable.

I was sold with his performance in Lars and the Real Girl, where he played a quirky, introverted character that falls in love with a human-looking doll. Gosling added a vulnerability to the role that translated to the screen and tugged on my heart strings.

In addition, his performance in Blue Valentine was raw and gripping, so gripping that I think it might have squeezed my heart a little. The sadness he portrayed with his character, the expressions of love and longing, they were so compelling. Gosling may be pretty to look at, but he’s also a beautiful actor to watch.

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2. Scarlett Johansson

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I believe one cannot talk about pretty faces without at least mentioning Scarlett Johansson. Also, I’m sure she’s been called one of the sexiest women in the world countless times. She’s a woman who radiates beauty and sexiness when she’s on screen, no matter the role she’s playing. She’s had a plethora of performances which have highlighted her acting ability.

In spite of that, I will mention her performance in Girl with a Pearl Earring. Portraying Griet, a maid employed in the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer’s household, everything about Scarlett seems to try and make her blend into the background, from her demure appearance to the meekness of her character.

However, the actress delivers a striking performance that arrests your attention and practically makes her stand out in the movie. Her character may have been shy, but her acting was very bold and riveting to watch under the subtle tones of the film.

Scarlett Johansson’s career has proved that beauty can come in all forms, including acting.

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1. Bradley Cooper

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Bradley Cooper was named the sexiest man alive by People Magazine in 2011. And we certainly can’t disagree with the magazine when he’s dazzled us with his sexy hair and his charming smile, which he has showcased in movies like Valentine’s Day and He’s Just Not That Into You. No one can deny that he is a very handsome actor.

However, Cooper’s shown us that not only can he develop great chemistry with the ladies in romantic comedies (and perhaps guys, too) but he can also entertain us, like he did in The Hangover, which was a huge success at the box office. Cooper’s succeeding roles have established that he’s not afraid to handle serious characters either, if the script required it. Think of movies like Limitless and The A-Team.

While I’ve enjoyed watching his past movies, I must say that it’s his performance as Patrick Solitano in Silver Linings Playbook that really emphasized his range of acting, due to the nature of his bipolar character. Cooper handled the role with an exquisite grace that, in the end, scored him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. And I’m certain that this is just the beginning to the path of his success.

And there you have it. Of course, there are many more actors that can be added to this list who have more than just their pretty faces. These are just a few of them. Let me know which other actors you think who have proved that beauty is only just the surface when it comes to acting.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Thomas/1807181629 Scott Thomas

    I would also add, Charlise Theron, her roles in Monster and Young Adult makes her very versatile

    • Efe Dada

      Yes, she’s an excellent choice. And one of my favorite actresses, too.

  • Hi

    Jennifer Lawrence

    • Efe Dada

      She was great in Silver Linings Playbook! And to think she’s just 22

  • Tt

    Ryan Gosling is a great choice but failing to mention two of his best performances isn’t. His acting in Drive and The Believer are shocking, aggressive and lovable. Simply amazing…..he may be the best actor of his generation.

    • Efe Dada

      I’ve not actually seen The Believer, I should watch that. But I agree about Drive. He was pretty good in it, though I was more blown away by his performance in Blue Valentine, which was why I mentioned it.

      • Tt

        He did The Believer right after Remember the Titans, and is maybe his best work. Haven’t seen it in a while but it has his auction tape in the special features with director commentary on how he won him over for the role, good stuff. Murder by Numbers with Michael Pitt is also underrated. I can’t wait until The Place Beyond the Pines comes out next month on DVD. And his writing/directing debut comes out next year! I love the fact that he remains a factor in the indie film market when Hollywood would love him in The Hobbit or something like it.

        • Efe Dada

          I’ll definitely have to check it out then, thanks. I too am excited about The Place Beyond The Pines.

  • Sujith

    Definitely Monica Belucci

  • http://www.facebook.com/suh.watt.skee Aaron Sawatsky

    TOM HARDY!!!!

  • Joe

    You didn’t mention Gosling’s performance in “Half-nelson” which he got a best actor Oscar nomination for ;)

  • John Taylor

    Just wondering – when did the distinction between actor and actress get lost.