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Author Topic: Actors You Wish Had Made It Bigger  (Read 2985 times)
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« on: February 19, 2010, 07:12:00 PM »

Reading through the Terminator: Suckation thread, I saw (Blackjack?) mention that he always thought Michael Biehn was going to be a huge star. I remember thinking that even as a kid when I first saw Terminator.

He's had some great roles over time, but he never got to superstar status.  So he's on my list

Another one is Oded Fehr. He was simply brilliant in Sleeper Cell and has leading man/oscar caliber actor written all over him.

Al Leong. Who? You'd know if you see him.  Though I'm not sure of his acting chops. Common bit player is probably what he's good at, but  I'd have like to see him hit that sort of David Morse level of popularity/fame/film frequency.

Which leads me to... David Morse.  He's awesome and doing quite well for himself. Not sure why he hasn't caught on as a superstar cause the guy is intense and very versatile. He's had a lot of choice roles, and I'm glad of that.

The last one that comes to mind is Joseph Gordon Levitt with the caveat that I think he's on his way. He's one of the finest actors I've ever seen.
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 07:18:01 PM »

Catherine McCormack (Braveheart).  But apparently she's kept herself out of films for more theater work.

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Despite being in demand, she does few films, stating that "I read very few scripts I'm passionate about... Maybe one in every twenty or thirty."
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 07:29:59 PM »

Bruce Campbell - Raimi was basically forced to only use him in a cameo in Darkman when he should have starred. I guess being a niche actor is kind of what he's about but he could have gotten more exposure.

Bill Pullman - You should see Zero Effect if you haven't. He's been in a lot of stuff, but he kind of stalled in the 90s.

William Fichtner - The guy has great range. I guess he's been on Prison Break for a while, which I didn't know, but I think he should do more films. Loved him in Go (where he plays a very bad man) and Contact (where he plays a blind guy) and he was really good on Invasion.

Chris Cooper - another guy who's been around a lot but I don't think a lot of people know who he is. See Lone Star.
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 07:33:51 PM »

Great idea for a topic.  

Oded Fehr is a good one. He was the best thing about the first two Mummy movies and Sleeper Cell was amazing.  Speaking of which, the lead, Michael Ealy, should also be working more.  

The Michael Biehn thing is interesting because I felt the same way as a kid.  I've often wondered if Biehn had some kind of major personal issues that made him unappealing to casting agents because I can't believe he didn't get at least a couple of major lead roles after Terminator and Aliens.  

I would also say Alexis Denisof (Wes from Buffy and Angel) who was amazing in what is probably my second favorite character in TV history (right behind Omar from The Wire).  Though, oddly enough, I think I prefer him with a faux British accent than when he uses his "normal" voice.  

I'm also happy to see another Whedon-alum, Nathan Fillion, seems to have finally found some stability on a show even if it's one that I don't watch.  I also thought he would be perfect for a lot of leading roles so it was frustrating that he never really caught on in anything post-Firefly.    

And after watching all of Farscape recently, I wish Ben Browder would get more work (though I haven't seen much of SG-1 which I know he was on for a season or two).  

Also, pretty much everyone that was in The Wire.  I was so happy to see Michael B. Jordan (Wallace) as a regular on Friday Night Lights last season and it was especially great when Larry Gilliard Jr (D'Angelo) guest starred in an episode.  If I was a Hollywood casting agent I would bump pretty much anyone with The Wire on their resume to the top of the audition queue.  
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2010, 07:39:07 PM »

Interesting bit atout Browder:  During the downtime between Farscape and Stargate, he played Lee Majors in Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Charlie's Angels'
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2010, 07:50:17 PM »

Me.
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 07:52:29 PM »

Edward Norton.  I know he's not exactly a nobody, but with better roles in the 2000s I think he could have turned into something much much bigger.
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2010, 08:07:13 PM »

Danica McKellar
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2010, 08:21:48 PM »

Ed Harris. He makes any movie better just by being in it.
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2010, 08:25:13 PM »

Nathan Fillion.  He could (should) have a career comparable to Harrison Ford.
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2010, 08:36:07 PM »

Gosh, I inspired a thread. My proudest moment. I thank you.  tear  icon_smile

I've read interviews with Biehn, and he just wasn't interested in doing the generic action roles that did come his way after The Terminator ('84) and Aliens ('86). I was sorry his cameo for Terminator 2 got deleted. That doesn't explain some of the junk that he did do including Timebomb (1991), a direct-to-video not so thrilling thriller. If you look over the imdb page on him (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000299/), it's just littered with TV work and mostly forgotten movie roles. Playing Johnny Ringo in the 1993 Tombstone was probably his last shot at stardom (he chews the scenery nicely in it, but Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday is probably better remembered).

And, of course Biehn's role in the cutscenes for Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun (1999):
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0165985/  icon_razz

Apparently he's even rumored for the movie version of.... Kane & Lynch  saywhat
----------------
I love Ed Harris, though I think he really made a conscious decision to stay away from blockbuster type movies. He famously almost came to blows with James Cameron during the grueling shoot for The Abyss. Harris's too smart to want to become part of the Hollywood "star machine." When he does dip his toes into that type of film (The Rock, for example), he really elevates the material, imho. I think he's one of the few actors who can inject genuine emotion into a Michael Bay Kablooie Production. icon_cool

I agree about Nathan, but TV work has really been his bread and butter. I doubt Castle is a hit with the Firefly set, but I'm happy for him that he's finally on a show that looks to have "legs" (I think it got renewed for a full season next year). That could poison any hopes of a movie career, but then again maybe it'll increase his visibility.  icon_smile
-----------------------
I guess the thing to keep in mind is some actors don't want to make it big. They might hit it big once, and then decide they want to stick with smaller movies and character parts the rest of their lives. Then again, I read about an elderly English actor who died recently who always lamented that he wanted to play "a Cary Grant type," but he got pidgeonholed playing bad guys and eccentric elderly British guys, and he probably would've given his left arm for a "star part."
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 08:43:35 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2010, 08:38:38 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on February 19, 2010, 08:36:07 PM

Gosh, I inspired a thread. My proudest moment. I thank you.  tear  icon_smile

I've read interviews with Biehn, and he just wasn't interested in doing the generic action roles that did come his way after The Terminator ('84) and Aliens ('86). I was sorry his cameo for Terminator 2 got deleted. That doesn't explain some of the junk that he did do including Timebomb (1991), a direct-to-video not so thrilling thriller. If you look over the imdb page on him (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000299/), it's just littered with TV work and mostly forgotten movie roles. Playing Johnny Ringo in the 1993 Tombstone was probably his last shot at stardom (he chews the scenery nicely in it, but Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday is probably better remembered).

And, of course Biehn's role in the cutscenes for Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun (1999):
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0165985/  icon_razz

Apparently he's even rumored for the movie version of.... Kane & Lynch  saywhat
----------------

I believe he was also on the shortlist to play on Sheridan on Babylon 5. 
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2010, 09:00:22 PM »

I always thought Armin Mueller Stahl had the makings of a popular actor that never made it big, mostly playing bit parts.
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2010, 09:11:10 PM »

Thora Birch.  She's probably my favourite actress and deserves to be a lot bigger than she is.  It doesn't hurt to be in a film with her though; Mena Suvari was pretty big for a while after American Beauty and look at what happened to Scarlett Johansson after Ghost World.

I think Thora is amazing in every film she's been in, including the stinkers, but her performance in Ghost World in particular just floored me.  She's one of those actresses who can convey a huge amount of emotion with the most subtle of expressions, and watching her performances I get a lot of those "only I would've noticed that" moments - you know what I mean, when you think the actor has portrayed something so superbly and with such subtlety that nobody else in the world could possibly have spotted it (even though plenty would have in reality).

Last week I saw Dark Corners - yet another superb performance, or rather dual performance, from her - which is a much better film than it was given credit for.  Genuinely creepy.  And tonight I'll be watching Deadline which could well be another stinker but I've no doubt I'll enjoy her performance anyway.

That was more than I intended to write.  Have I managed to keep hidden the fact that I worship her? icon_biggrin
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2010, 09:28:18 PM »

I know Taye Diggs has Grey's Anatomy and all, but I really expected him to bust loose in the movie scene. Everything I've seen him in, he just seems to steal the scene.
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« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2010, 11:40:14 PM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on February 19, 2010, 08:25:13 PM

Nathan Fillion.  He could (should) have a career comparable to Harrison Ford.

+1 for Nathan.  How this guy isn't a massive star is beyond me.
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« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2010, 12:51:31 AM »

Quote from: Gratch on February 19, 2010, 11:40:14 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on February 19, 2010, 08:25:13 PM

Nathan Fillion.  He could (should) have a career comparable to Harrison Ford.

+1 for Nathan.  How this guy isn't a massive star is beyond me.

+2.  I love me some Nate!
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« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2010, 01:31:30 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on February 21, 2010, 12:51:31 AM

Quote from: Gratch on February 19, 2010, 11:40:14 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on February 19, 2010, 08:25:13 PM

Nathan Fillion.  He could (should) have a career comparable to Harrison Ford.

+1 for Nathan.  How this guy isn't a massive star is beyond me.

+2.  I love me some Nate!

Don't we all? I watch Castle and love it and it is all because of his charisma and his co-star's charisma. I'm usually not big on shows that are solely star vehicles, but this is one...and it is awesome.
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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2010, 01:54:22 AM »

Two great character actors with voices I'd happily listen to reading the phone book:

Erick Avari


Steven Berkoff

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« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2010, 02:24:01 PM »

as Deacon Frost in Blade and Stuart Suthcliffe in Backbeat i have always wanted Stephen Dorff to do better,his uwe boll films doesn't help him though


EDIT:
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« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2010, 02:57:44 PM »

zinckiwi wins the thread for including pictures so we actually know who these people are Tongue.
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« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2010, 04:51:20 PM »

David Morse is the ultimate 'oh, that guy' there is right now.  you wouldn't know him by name until you saw his picture.  he has a great amount of roles as supporting characters. 
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« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2010, 10:19:44 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on February 21, 2010, 02:57:44 PM

zinckiwi wins the thread for including pictures so we actually know who these people are Tongue.

Quote from: Isgrimnur on February 19, 2010, 07:18:01 PM

Catherine McCormack (Braveheart).  But apparently she's kept herself out of films for more theater work.

Quote
Despite being in demand, she does few films, stating that "I read very few scripts I'm passionate about... Maybe one in every twenty or thirty."



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« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2010, 11:07:43 PM »

Danny Masterson. He's being typecast as an extra.

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« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2010, 05:54:28 PM »

Phoebe Cates


Retired apparently..she hasn't been in anything since 2001,and then before that it was 1994...i guess married to Kevin Kline is a full time job icon_cry


the delicious Karen Allen


from the top off my head i can only think of the two Indy films,Scrooged and Animal House..she may of been in the wanderers as well,but not sure......whatever anyway,we don't see enough of her!!



EDIT;damn...Starman as well,she looked dishy in that also!!
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« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2010, 05:56:37 PM »

Yeah, IIRC Phoebe Cates chose the quiet life on purpose.
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« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2010, 06:42:12 PM »

Damien Lewis.

He was phenomenal in both Band of Brothers and Life.
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« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2010, 06:52:52 PM »

Quote from: madpeon on February 23, 2010, 06:42:12 PM

Damian Lewis.

He was phenomenal in both Band of Brothers and Life.

Yeah, he's awesome.  He's got a movie with Zooey Deschanel coming up:  Your Highness

Quote
A fantasy movie about an arrogant, lazy prince and his more heroic brother who must complete a quest in order to save their father's kingdom.

Another to add to my list: Neal McDonough



I apparently stopped watching Desperate Housewives before he moved over there.  I remember him most from the lead on Medical Investigation and the captain from Flags of Our Fathers
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« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2010, 07:50:36 PM »

When looking for extremely talented actors, Hollywood should just put Whedon on speed dial.  Fillion is a perfect example.  However, Enver Gjokaj (Victor from Dollhouse) is my pick for an actor who should shoot to the top.  That man's impressions of Topher, along with the numerous other characters he portrayed, was astounding.  

As for actors who should have been (or should be) bigger?

I would say Oded (as mentioned earlier), Alan Cumming, Paul Reubens (in spite of the theater incident) and...well, i'm sure i'll think of more later.

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« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2010, 07:56:06 PM »

Another one - Robert Burke



I first encountered him in a couple of Hal Hartley films that I love. Since then he's bounced around a lot, including playing the lead in Steven King's Thinner and replacing Peter Weller in the awful Robocop 3. He must have gotten an in with the whole Tom Fontana/Dick Wolf crew as he's done a lot of work as FBI/IA/cops on Law & Order/Homicide/Oz. It appears he's currently on Gossip Girl. He started losing his hair, which probably hasn't helped him.
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« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2010, 08:18:23 PM »

Hotlinking from IMDB doesn't work really well.  I always re-host their stuff on Imageshack.
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« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2010, 08:45:25 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on February 23, 2010, 08:18:23 PM

Hotlinking from IMDB doesn't work really well.  I always re-host their stuff on Imageshack.

Oh, is that picture not showing up for you guys?
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« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2010, 08:47:53 PM »

Not for me.  My pic of Neal was from there and my first attempt failed as well.
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« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2010, 09:23:01 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 19, 2010, 07:33:51 PM


The Michael Biehn thing is interesting because I felt the same way as a kid.  I've often wondered if Biehn had some kind of major personal issues that made him unappealing to casting agents because I can't believe he didn't get at least a couple of major lead roles after Terminator and Aliens.  

       Apparentley,  Michael Biehn had a severe alcohol problem that negatively affected his career.   In an interview Biehn spoke about how he went from drinking after work to drinking while working to simply drinking all the time.   I'd read something a long time ago regarding his role in Terminator 2.    James Cameron had been having major problems with Biehn missing shoots to the point that he cut his scenes entirely.

      Cameron had developed a reputation for reusing actors he liked again and again in his movies, and Biehn had been in Terminator, Aliens, the Abyss, and T2, but after T2, Biehn was never cast in one of Cameron's films again.
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« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2010, 09:28:29 PM »

There is a bit of trivia out that Biehn was considered for the bad guy role in Avatar, but Cameron didn't want it to be an Aliens family reunion. So he may have made amends, or it's just a rumor.
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« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2010, 09:30:49 PM »

Quote from: Flatlander on February 23, 2010, 09:23:01 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 19, 2010, 07:33:51 PM


The Michael Biehn thing is interesting because I felt the same way as a kid.  I've often wondered if Biehn had some kind of major personal issues that made him unappealing to casting agents because I can't believe he didn't get at least a couple of major lead roles after Terminator and Aliens.  

       Apparentley,  Michael Biehn had a severe alcohol problem that negatively affected his career.   In an interview Biehn spoke about how he went from drinking after work to drinking while working to simply drinking all the time.   I'd read something a long time ago regarding his role in Terminator 2.    James Cameron had been having major problems with Biehn missing shoots to the point that he cut his scenes entirely.

      Cameron had developed a reputation for reusing actors he liked again and again in his movies, and Biehn had been in Terminator, Aliens, the Abyss, and T2, but after T2, Biehn was never cast in one of Cameron's films again.

Surprising if it's T2 because Biehn's role was kind of minimal by necessity.  It was filmed and can be seen in the director's cuts.  I believe he would have had a much larger role if Cameron could have made the expanded Future War prologue but that never made it out of the script stage.  
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« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2010, 09:38:08 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 23, 2010, 09:30:49 PM

Quote from: Flatlander on February 23, 2010, 09:23:01 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 19, 2010, 07:33:51 PM


The Michael Biehn thing is interesting because I felt the same way as a kid.  I've often wondered if Biehn had some kind of major personal issues that made him unappealing to casting agents because I can't believe he didn't get at least a couple of major lead roles after Terminator and Aliens.  

       Apparentley,  Michael Biehn had a severe alcohol problem that negatively affected his career.   In an interview Biehn spoke about how he went from drinking after work to drinking while working to simply drinking all the time.   I'd read something a long time ago regarding his role in Terminator 2.    James Cameron had been having major problems with Biehn missing shoots to the point that he cut his scenes entirely.

      Cameron had developed a reputation for reusing actors he liked again and again in his movies, and Biehn had been in Terminator, Aliens, the Abyss, and T2, but after T2, Biehn was never cast in one of Cameron's films again.

Surprising if it's T2 because Biehn's role was kind of minimal by necessity.  It was filmed and can be seen in the director's cuts.  I believe he would have had a much larger role if Cameron could have made the expanded Future War prologue but that never made it out of the script stage.  
    Biehn apparently had the mental hospital deleted scene in the director's cut and another planned  scene in the foundry at the end of the film where he'd encourage Sarah Connor to keep fighting.  That scene was never filmed.                   It's a shame.     His career was really taking off in the late 80's, and who knows what he could have done without the drinking problem.
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« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2010, 10:38:41 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on February 22, 2010, 05:56:37 PM

Yeah, IIRC Phoebe Cates chose the quiet life on purpose.

She popped up to do the commentary track on the Gremlins blu-ray, but I don't think that counts as abandoning the quiet life. Also, the commentary sucked and she sounded like she didn't really remember much about filming the movie Tongue

Oh, and my current pick goes to Mads Mikkelsen. His only current roles that I know of in american films were Le Chiffre in Casino Royale and Tristan, the only cool character in the pretty boring King Arthur movie that Antoine Fuqua made a few years ago. Dude rules. He's in the upcoming Clash of the Titans movie, but I expect that to be crap. I'm sure he'll do fine with what he has to work with like he did in King Arthur, but man, give the guy a cool role again.

And also in the new Clash of the Titans movie, Polly Walker. She played Atia in the Rome series on HBO, which was pretty much awesome, and she's currently on Caprica on the SyFy. As an addendum, I still despair for the fate of the human race every time I have to type SyFy.
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« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2010, 05:48:10 AM »

Matthew Modine
I really liked him in Full Metal Jacket and Pacific Heights but he suddenly fell off the map



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" I enjoy Jizz in my pants as well. " - Harkonis
Victoria Raverna
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Auspiciousness, prosperity, and good fortune


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« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2010, 06:17:30 AM »

Added pictures.

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on February 19, 2010, 07:12:00 PM



Michael Biehn



Oded Fehr


Al Leong


David Morse


Joseph Gordon Levitt
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 06:22:07 AM by Victoria Raverna » Logged
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