These actors have shaken us to the core with their gravitas on screen, but they've also shaken us with laughter. While they normally play kings, soldiers, gangsters and Shakespearean characters, once in a while they'll play best friends to teddy bears and over-the-top agents with intense arm hair. And they play both ends of the spectrum just as convincingly. Just think about how Steve Buscemi played Nucky on Boardwalk Empire and magician sidekick Anton Marvelton in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone at the same time and nobody batted an eye. In other words, these might be the perfect actors.
Sir Patrick Stewart may be best known for playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, or for his stage roles in Shakespearean classics like MacBeth, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Recently, however, Sir Stewart has emerged as somewhat of a viral video darling, wowing us with his quadruple-take acting lessons and endearing us by sharing his first experience with pizza. In 2005, he made one of the funniest and most memorable cameos on Ricky Gervais's Extras, in which he's obsessed with seeing women naked.
When you think Tom Cruise, you probably first think action star, and then maybe dramatic actor (and then maybe crazy Scientologist), but before 2008's Tropic Thunder, you probably would have never thought overweight, balding, sleazy studio executive. But he played exactly that in the Ben Stiller-directed comedy, and he played it to perfection. His character Les Grossman spouts such lines as "First, take a big step back...and literally f**k your own face!" and "A nutless monkey could do your job," making Ari Gold look like Mister Rogers.
Mark Wahlberg has steadily starred in Oscar-winning dramas like The Fighter and The Departed during his career, but peppered throughout are movies like Ted and Date Night. Wahlberg's gruff Boston attitude gives him weight in more serious roles, but also lends an edge to his comedic roles. His performance in David O. Russell's quirky, surreal, philosophy-heavy comedy I Heart Huckabees is perhaps one of the most underrated comedic performances of all time. Seriously, go watch it if you haven't.
Colin Firth first rose to fame playing Mr. Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and recently he was nominated for an Oscar for A Single Man and won one for The King's Speech. That said, let's all stop kidding ourselves and admit it: our favorite Colin Firth role was in Love Actually. Don't be ashamed. Every single other person secretly feels the same way.
There are few actors in Hollywood who can do stoner movies (Airheads), Tarantino classics (Reservoir Dogs), rom-coms (The Wedding Singer), dark comedies (Fargo), iconic stoner movies (The Big Lebowski), and still terrify us as TV's meanest gangster. Steve Buscemi is a rare gem of an actor. If he played an old Asian grandma, we would probably believe it, and be impressed.
Oscar-winner Matt Damon has made a career out of carefully-chosen film roles, most of which are of the dramatic or action variety. But the actor's inherent charm truly comes out when he dabbles in comedy, even in less-than-successful movies. His turn as bumbling and dense Mark Whitacre in The Informant! is subtle but spot-on. When he pairs up (literally) with Greg Kinnear in Stuck on You, his performance may not have won over critics, but it's a refreshing contrast to the usually serious Damon. And let's unearth a little-known ditty, shall we? Here's Damon as the lead singer of a pop-punk band in the 2004 comedy EuroTrip (you're welcome):
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Over the next few months, we’ll see new series soar, old series sour, and so much Jersey Shore madness, we’ll want to shower. Let’s face it: The Fall TV season is intimidating. With dozens of new and returning shows hitting our small screens, we know we have some big choices to make. So, to help you determine what to watch, we’re digging deep into the most notable series premiering this season. Where did each show leave off? Where is it headed? And who should you watch it with? Today, we're checking out The New Normal, which — in its premiere season — will determine whether or not Ryan Murphy has the magical television touch that can do no wrong.
Series Name: The New Normal
Premiere Date: Tuesday, Sept.11th at 9:30PM
Catchphrase Everyone Will Be Tweeting: "Abnormal IS the new normal!"
You'll Like It If...: You're a ride-or-die Murphy fan. Fans of Archie Bunker. Vanilla wafer cookie enthusiasts.
You'll Hate It If...: You're easily offended by decidedly un-PC humor.
Cast: Justin Bartha as David Murray, Andrew Rannells as Bryan Collins, Ellen Barkin as Nana aka Jane Forrest, Georgia King as Goldie Clemmons, NeNe Leakes as Rocky, and Bebe Wood as Shania Clemmons.
Synopsis: Set in sunny Los Angeles, the show tells the story of well-heeled gay couple David and Bryan (played by Bartha and Rannells, respectively) whose desire for a baby leads them to surrogate Goldie Clemmons (King), desperate for a life where she's finally in control. Laughs (cheap or no) come in the form of the comedic attempts of Goldie's Nana (aka Jane, played by Barkin) and Bryan's assistant Rocky (Leakes). And just for good measure, a lot of whiz-kid, modernity-laced quips (Twitter! Facebook!) from a wise-beyond-her-years nerdy-type daughter named Shania (Wood).
Star Likely To Out-Fame The Show: Andrew Rannells is a gem — he needs to be on America's TV screen more.
Most Cringeworthy Moment: Almost any scene with Barkin, whose lines seem more fitting for an episode of All in the Family than anything on television in the past 30 years. In the pilot alone, she jabs at gay men, lesbians, Asians, African-Americans, and Jews. The rationale for her quips seem to have no reason behind them, merely shock and awe.
And If Jane Was A Real Housewife: Her catchphrase would be, "I look too good to be a great-grandmother!" with a sassy wink and a hairflip.
Biggest Housewives Similarity: Though Roxy might not be a self-proclaimed "rich b**ch" like NeNe is, she sure will play the part, thanks to gifts her boss doesn't know he's buying her.
High Point: Mini-guest appearances are aplenty just in the pilot alone. Murphy favorites Gwyneth Paltrow and Leslie Grossman do quite well in their brief moments on screen. (We love Mary Cherry forever.)
Who to Watch it With: Your little sister who loves Glee, any Ryan Murphy obsessive you know, grandparents that think bigotry and gay people are JUST HILARIOUS.
Who Not to Watch it With: Pretty much anyone else.
Wine and Cheese Pairing: Straight Velveeta and some Riesling in a baby bottle. Bottoms up!
Most GIF-able Moment: We've got six words for you: midget mom in a Barbie car.
TV Math: (Ryan Murphy - American Horror Story) + Glee's Kurt and Blaine in 15 Years - Singing x √Gay = The New Normal
Is it Worth Watching?: There's always that glimmer of hope one has for a Ryan Murphy show. Keeping with this is not like Glee, which you either hate-watch or tune in for the campy, fun moments that remind you of Murphy's talents. Bartha and Rannells are at least good enough to warrant a viewing of episode two. A Season 2, however...
[Photo Credit: NBC]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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