Bad actors: sometimes you just have to wonder what they’re doing in movies in the first place. How they got there, how they continue to be employed and how Hollywood sees fit to carry on funding their lifestyles when there are undoubtedly far better performers out there that haven’t even made it yet.
But maybe Hollywood keeps the bad actors around for a reason – perhaps it’s the hope that, some day, they’ll manage to surprise audiences with a knockout turn, even if it’s just for that one time. Look at mumbling bruiser Sylvester Stallone, who gives the all-time greats a run for their money in Copland; or Sharon Stone, blowing all her other performances out of the water in Casino.
Stone received an Oscar nomination for her Casino role, the Academy at last electing to endorse the actress after a lifetime of below-par performances, perhaps realizing she’d never get the chance again. There aren’t ever enough Oscar noms to go around, however, and more often than not those bad actors won’t find the Oscar praise that’s always eluded them, despite managing to finally prove themselves.
More recently, a handful of actors that nobody ever thought to expect much from delivered surprisingly stunning work, only to be roundly ignored by the Academy. Here are nine of those usually bad actors, who are fully deserving of Oscars for their recent movies.