Poppy is the author of "A Bard's Lament" and the Black Diamond series. She lives in Enoshima with her husband and young son.
Actors often struggle in the movie industry. They sometimes get typecast (just look at David Schwimmer, who didn't find successful beyond Friends and Madagascar) or they become one-hit wonders who never act again after their first movie (like Peter Ostrum in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in 1971).
Sometimes, actors take a leap of faith and decide to take on a role that could boost their career, or leave everyone scratching their heads. Here are four examples of comedy actors who took on a serious role, and did a fantastic job.
1. Adam Sandler in Click (2006)
Adam Sandler was born in 1966 and as well as an actor, he's a screenwriter, musician and producer. You might know him from comedies such as Happy Gilmore (1996), 50 First Dates (2004), and Just Go With It (2011).
Click tells the story of a family man who wants to build a great life for his wife and his children by working hard and earning a promotion. What he doesn't realize is that by putting his job first, he's missing out on important family life. That is until a worker from Bed, Bath and Beyond gives him an exclusive universal remote control, which has the power to pause and fast-forward through time...
Click could be classed as a comedy, but Sandler delivers some serious acting. The first half of Click is typical Sandler fun, but when things get darker, he does a great job in some exciting, and even tear-jerking, moments.
Click is a fun family film (though with occasional bad language and sex references). It's got an original storyline and a powerful message. Check out serious Sandler in this movie which I personally love.
2. Will Ferrell in Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
Will Ferrell, born in 1967, is a comedian and is a hit or miss for a lot of people. I really liked him in comedies Stepbrothers (2008) and Blades of Glory (2007). You might also know him from Anchorman (2004) and Elf (2003). Ferrell is often quite silly and slapstick, but in Stranger Than Fiction, he was completely different.
In this movie, Ferrell plays an IRS auditor with OCD named Harold Crick who, one day, hears the voice of a woman inside his own head describing every movement he makes. Driven crazy by her constant presence, he decides to find out who this woman is. At the same time, on the other side of the city, an author (played by Emma Thompson) is trying to finish her new book about an IRS auditor with OCD called Harold Crick...
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Will Ferrell left everything silly, funny and slapstick behind when he took on this role and emerged as a slightly awkward but lovable character in a movie that's hard to forget. Add Stranger Than Fiction to your watch list.
3. Jim Carrey in Yes Man (2008)
You might know of Jim Carrey, born 1962 in Newmarket, Canada, from classic comedies such as Mask (1994), Bruce Almighty (2003), and Liar Liar (1997). He's got some signature lines and moves that make him one of the most well-known comedians of our generation.
However, in Yes Man he abandoned his slapstick humor and took on a relatively serious role. In this story, Carrey plays a guy who stopped seeing his friends and going out after his wife left him, and just sits at home watching movies. Though not quite depressed, he isn't living life. After bumping into an old college friend and attending a "YES!" seminar, he starts saying "yes" to absolutely anything, whether it's bungee jumping or giving a homeless man a free ride in his car. Soon he starts to realize that his life is changing...
I love Yes Man; it's one of those movies that makes you want to get up and live life. Carrey was adorable in this—a middle-aged guy you feel sorry for when he's down and feel happy for when he's up. I definitely recommend it whether you like Jim Carrey or not.
4. Jonah Hill in True Story (2015)
Jonah Hill and James Franco have appeared in a lot of movies together, such as in This is the End (2013) and Knocked Up (2007). Though we've seen Franco act serious in movies such as the 2002–2007 Spider-Man trilogy and 127 Hours, we've usually just seen Jonah act daft in hilarious classic comedies.
However, Hill and Franco got together to star in a real tale of a convicted criminal (Franco) and a disgraced journalist (Hill). Jonah Hill did a spectacular job and it was refreshing and fascinating to see him play a serious role.
These four movies show that actors can be versatile and step up to play a role they don't normally play. Grab a blanket and some snacks and check out these great films!
© 2017 Poppy