15 Actors Who Play the Same Role in Every Movie

Part of an actor’s job is finding connections between himself and his character. Very few Hollywood actors can completely transform themselves; that’s why Meryl Streep wins all those Oscars. But even without Streep’s legendary range, many actors have innately likable personalities, or fit snugly into specific types of characters perfectly. There’s an authenticity to playing a role that’s close to your personality, so we don’t fault them. However, some actors seem to be phone it in, playing the same character in every movie, TV show, and even interview they do. There are a few big name stars who really need to step out of their comfort zones…

Bruce Willis - The Tough, Older Badass
Bruce Willis, Die Hard
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
Movies like The Sixth Sense make us want to say that Bruce doesn't always play the same character, and yet there are just too many movies on his list where he plays this role. He's always got one line that exhibits what a total uncaring badass he is and proves no one should ever cross him.
Movie Examples: The entire Die Hard franchise, Armageddon, Red, Looper
Samuel L. Jackson - The Man Who LOVES To Curse
Samuel L. Jackson, Snakes on a Plane
New Line Cinema via Everett Collection
Samuel L. Jackson tends to play a guy that seems tough as shit, but the most common trait in all of his characters is the fact that the man loves to curse. He probably came out of the wound calling the doctor a motherfucker.
Movie Examples: Snakes on a Plane, Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained
Vin Diesel - The Unemotional Tough Guy
Vin Diesel, Fast & Furious 6
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Vin talks about family a lot in the Fast and the Furious, yet he never seems to show any of his emotions. We're not sure if he's just incapable of emotions or movie producers love to use him as the man too torn up to express his feelings.
Movie Examples: The Fast and the Furious franchise, xXx, The Chronicles of Riddick
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Katherine Heigl - The High-strung Rom Com Girl
Katherine Heigl, 27 Dresses
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
She once was best known for playing Izzie on Grey's Anatomy, but after she left that show in a bit of bad business, she's done a string of rom-coms where she always plays the uptight chick who is put off by all the men around her. She gives them all a hard time, but eventually sees them for the good guys they are and gives them a chance.
Movie Examples: 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth, Life As We Know It, Killers
Zooey Deschanel - The Quirky Girl
Zooey Deschanel, 500 Days of Summer
Fox Searchlight via Everett Collection
Whether it's in film or on her TV show New Girl, Zooey has pretty much trademarked being the quirky girl. She does things like drive a moped or play the ukulele and the audience loves her for it. We're never sure what quirky thing she'll do next, but we can always count on it being something totally random.
Movie Examples: Elf, 500 Days of Summer, Yes Man
Danny Trejo - The Mean Son of a Bitch
Danny Trejo, Machete
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
To say Danny Trejo mainly plays a Mexican badass would be an understatement. If the Machete films are anything to go by, he's one tough motherfucker.
Movie Examples: Machete, Bad Ass, From Dusk Til Dawn
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Jason Statham - The British Badass
Jason Statham, Transporter
Lionsgate via Everett Collection
As if there weren't enough tough guys in Hollywood already, we decided to accept Jason Statham as the tough guy with the accent. He's so tough, we've yet to see a movie where his character dies. We think he may have it written in every film contract that his character can't die and he has to kick everyone's asses.
Movie Examples: The Transporter, Crank, Snatch, The Mechanic
Michael Cera - The Awkward Teenager
Michael Cera, Superbad
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Michael Cera was just born to play awkward. It's something about his whole demeanor that suggests he is an awkward turtle that doesn't mean to be so awkward, he just is. While most of the people on this list seem to just play these overdone characters, we really think he may just be awkward IRL.
Movie Examples: Juno, Superbad, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Zach Galifianakis - The Weirdo
Zach Galifianakis, The Hangover
Warner Bros. via Everett Collection
Since the first Hangover film released, Zach cemented himself as the weirdo oddball. It's kind of hard for him to not play characters like that after playing Alan in three Hangover movies, where his weirdness just seemed to amplify with each film.
Movie Examples: The Hangover, Due Date, The Campaign
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Nicolas Cage - Bland Man Surrounded by Interesting People
Nicolas Cage, Ghost Rider
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
The characters may change, the story lines may differ drastically, but Nicholas Cage is always just a boring man who is surrounded by more interesting people. How is he still acting? Shouldn't the supporting cast just get the lead roles here?
Movie Examples: National Treasure, Knowing, Ghost Rider
Seth Rogen - The Stoner
Seth Rogen, Pineapple Express
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
If someone's going to play a stoner in 20 different movies,  we are okay with it being Seth Rogen. He's got this perfect laugh that we think epitomizes stoner films and really, we don't need to see him try to be serious like he attempted with 50/50.
Movie Examples: Pineapple Express, The Night Before, This Is The End, Superbad
Adam Sandler - The Man Child
Adam Sandler, Grown Ups
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
We feel like we've yet to see a movie where Adam Sandler played a normal, fully functional adult. Every film (especially as of late) is an example of how much of a man child he truly is.
Movie Examples: Big Daddy, Mr. Deeds, Grown Ups, Billy Madison
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Vince Vaughn - The Guy Who Needs to Get His Shit Together
Vince Vaughn, Couples Retreat
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Vince Vaughn perpetually plays the guy that is told he's immature and needs to get his life together. His characters are too busy making outrageous plans or schemes, he always winds up down on his luck, but then somehow he pulls through and impresses his girl and everyone around him.
Movie Examples: The Internship, Couples Retreat, The Break-Up, Wedding Crashers
Liam Neeson - A Dad Not to Fuck With
Liam Neeson, Taken
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
Before he was in Taken, Liam Neeson wasn't just some guy who made threats to strangers on the phone. Since then, he's basically just become the movie dad that has a very special set of skills, who will find you and kill you.
Movie Examples: All three Taken films, Non-Stop, Run All Night
Michelle Rodriguez - The Tough Girl
Michelle Rodriguez, Machete
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
For every tough guy on this list, there's only a small portion of tough girls to go with them and that tends to be Michelle Rodgriuez. She always plays a chick who seems like she's eatS nails for breakfast and punch you in the throat if you looked at her funny.
Movie Examples: The Fast and the Furious franchise, Battle: Los Angeles, Machete Kills