5 Typecasts I’m Actually Okay With
Just like I’m starting to despise remakes and sequels more and more, I’ve come to realize how dangerous typecasting can be to Hollywood. A lot of the time, movies don’t just take an actor’s name (and background) into account, they rely on it. This has led to a lot of the same characters being played by a lot of the same actors (seriously, go watch a couple Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell movies back-to-back).
While I love seeing people break the mold (as of late, we’ve seen a huge transformation by Matthew McConaughey), I will admit there are a few guilty pleasures I don’t mind seeing. With the release this weekend’s A Walk Among the Tombstones where we see Liam Neeson playing a very Taken-esque character, I thought I’d count down some of the typecasts I’m okay with.
Here are just the top five:
I feared from the onset I’d find a lot of male typecasts (especially given the criminally-low number of dynamic female roles around). Since I was using Liam Neeson as my guide for the best typecasts, I started thinking of female badasses. It brought me back to a Comic-Con panel I caught specifically about female badasses (and the unfortunate lack thereof) that consisted of Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast & Furious franchise), Katee Sackhoff (Sci-Fi’s Battlestar Galactica), and Danai Gurira (AMC’s The Walking Dead). Ultimately, I like Rodgriguez’s work the most – and it helps that it’s more film-oriented (Fast & Furious, Avatar) than the others – making me genuinely excited to see her name attached to any ass-kicking role.
There are a lot of now-famous film grouches. Other than Tommy Lee Jones (who I ultimately decided on), Clint Eastwood was a definite contender. However, I went back to Jones because of how funny he can be when he is being a hardass. More specifically, I think this seen best in the Men in Black andCaptain America films, although there is plenty to choose from in his illustrious career.
Zooey Deschanel is probably the poster child for the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (coined by critic Nathan Rabin) stereotype. To some, this is wearing thin as she’s made a profitable career on just this character. However, Deschanel still deserves recognition because long before FOX’s New Girl exploited her fame, she was making waves in Almost Famous, Elf, and (500) Days of Summer (with the latter being the most MPDG of them all). Deschanel is still the dream girl plenty of guys look for…and unfortunately can’t find.
There are thousands of reasons to love Morgan Freeman. Even after taking his awesome voiceover into account, his ability to be everyone’s knowledgable sidekick perhaps ranks at the top. “Sidekick” might not be the best word to use; however, I think it best embodies how he helps Batman in The Dark Knight trilogy (I considered Michael Caine in a similar recurring role), Andy in The Shawshank Redemption, and Maggie in Million Dollar Baby. Seriously, he just needs to be all of our best friends.
Liam Neeson, Bruce Willis, Vin Diesel, and Jason Statham all popped into my head (and perhaps I’ll someday do a Top 5 Badasses feature) when I thought of famous badass casttypes. However, none of them really came close to touching Samuel L. Jackson. He caught just about everyone’s eye in Pulp Fiction, but he’s still continuing his badassery with his role as Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In between those two films, there is a plethora of awesome roles that all standup as reason alone to choose him as the best typecast of all time. You could challenge him on this statement, but I’d take him in a fight any day.
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5) Samuel L. Jackson
4) Zooey Deschanel
Manic Pixie Dream Girl