16 Actors Who Smashed Their Roles so Hard No One Else Would Have Lived up To It

There are many roles in Cinema and TV that specific actors were born to play. An internet survey recently asked, “What actor crushed a role so hard that nobody else can live up to it?” Here are the top 19 responses:

Christian Bale in American Psycho

Photo Credit: Denis Makarenko.

“That Huey Lewis and the News scene is iconic.”

“Christian Bale in anything. The guy’s physique is so malleable. From The Machinist to Batman.”

Leslie Nielsen as Frank Drebin

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“30 plus years later and my brother and I, who live cities apart, kids, busy lives, etc., still respond to any “Goodyear?” text immediately with “The worst.””

“Always think about how much other great content he could have been a part of in comedies. He started off doing serious acting and didn’t dive into comedy until he was older.”

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn

Photo Credit: DFree.

“Best book-to-movie translation for a character I’ve ever seen.”

“He definitely got the look down pat. When I first saw the trailers, I remember thinking, “That guy looks like a Ranger,” as in the D&D archetype. Then a moment later, I realized that’s exactly what Aragorn was called in the book.”

John C. McGinley as Dr Cox

Photo Credit: Eugene Powers.

“It’s absolutely criminal that he never got an Emmy for that role. I still maintain that Dr. Cox is one of the most complex characters ever appearing on television. He’s a self-righteous, depressed, borderline alcoholic who nonetheless feels an incredible sense of duty to his patients and medicine.”

“McGinley really sells the emotional part of his character incredibly well; seeing this man break down breaks my heart.”

Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall

Photo Credit: Everett Collection.

“Honestly, I can’t see how any Harry Potter cast could ever be replaced; all roles were frighteningly well-filled.”

“Actually, Dame Maggie Smith crushes every single role she plays. McGonagall was a piece of cake for such an actress. I’m glad she played in this blockbuster, so the youth know her better.”

Jessica Walter in Arrested Development

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins.

“Her mean mom character dynamic is gold.”

“Her character in Arrested Development is so much like my horrible grandmother it almost makes me nostalgic.”

Val Kilmer in Tombstone

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“Every once in a while, there’s a role that seems like the actor was born to play. There’s not another role that compares in his career.

“The chemistry with Michael Biehn’s Ringo was unbelievable.”

Christopher Lee As Basically Anything

Photo Credit: Rene Teichmann.

“It’s a shame they used comics and books to flesh out Dooku. I would have loved to have seen Christopher Lee bring more life to such a complex character that basically got named.”

“I liked his lightsaber. He had the hilt made to look like a fencing sword since he’s a fencer and even gives the Jedi a fencing greeting.”

Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched

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“I know she did have a man lobotomized who was obviously mentally sane, but having heard as much about Nurse Ratched as I had before seeing the movie, I expected significantly worse.”

“She is an incredible actress, and I can’t see anyone else in that role. She is amazing, and I didn’t know she was from that movie until a few years ago.”

Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins.

“There is no Nick Offerman; only Ron Swanson and Duke Silver.”

“I watched him on a late-night show, and the host asked him something about being manly or advice on it. He explained he was a drama geek and sounded as if he didn’t consider himself “manly” in real life. No one else could play Ron in my eyes. Eagleton Ron could act like Pawnee Ron instead of like a hippy, and it would be pretty decent.”

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

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“They wanted Mel Gibson (he is in the concept art for the movie), they got turned down by Russel Crowe, tried to cast Dougray Scott, and it fell through, and finally settled for Hugh Jackman. Worked out well for them.

“Hugh Jackman really sold me as Wolverine in Logan. What an amazing movie and a great send-off for the character. Truly one of the very best superhero movies I’ve ever seen.”

Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka

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“So few actors out there could be so funny with such an air of dignity about them. The boat scene in Willy Wonka could not be pulled off by anyone else.”

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man

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“He’s so good for this role that seeing him play anything else is weird. Typecasting at its finest.”

Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge

Photo Credit: Fred Duval.

“Umbridge sucked in the books, but in the movies, she turned Umbridge into a character that you just don’t like into one that you hate with a burning passion.”

“If an actress manages to make her character the most hated in a franchise (more so than the main villain), you know she did a great job.”

Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice

Photo Credit: Jaguar PS.

“I think that Alex Brightman was amazing as Beetlejuice in the musical, but he played it differently to the way Keaton did – and, as always with stage and film, there is that difference. Different media calls for a change in performance.”

“He was also the best Batman. Val Kilmer was a better Bruce Wayne, but Michael Keaton was the best Batman of that early series.”

Christopher Lloyd as Doc in Back to the Future

Photo Credit: Christopher Lloyd.

“It’s the role he was born to play.”

“On that note, Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, Crispin Glover as George McFly, and Thomas F. Wilson as Biff all crushed their roles.”

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