Ever watch an actor in something and think to yourself, “Wow, they’re talented!”. Unfortunately, not everyone gets their lucky break, so we rounded up 12 actors that have the worst case of wasted career potential based on their acting careers so far.
When we’re talking about wasted potential here, we’re not just referring to actors who didn’t become successful. Some of these folks are doing alright for themselves, that’s for sure! It’s just that they could have done so much more with their talents.
While he’s definitely popular thanks to the show Castle it sure took awhile for Nathan Fillion to even get that big break. Yet many fans (myself included) agree that his acting is phenomenal – he really gives it his all in any role he performs.
I’d really like to see him as a lead in a superhero movie!
For a few years it seemed that Carey Elwes was going somewhere; he starred in several movies that we all consider to be cult classics nowadays and he was also in Liar, Liar alongside Jim Carrey.
That was in the 90s but he seems to be ramping up his career again and recently acted in the new Mission Impossible film. Still, at least in the eyes of his fans, he should have starred in a lot more in between.
After his iconic role in Mad Men a lot of people expected Jon Hamm’s career to explode. It really hasn’t – he’s barely starred in anything since. Then again, after seeing him being silly in Good Omens (especially season 2) one has to wonder if he’s just out there trying to have fun while waiting for the right role.
Seann William Scott
If you don’t recognize this name it’s not surprising; after playing Stifler in American Pie his career mostly stagnated.
Some people suggested that he could have played more series roles after the movie because he clearly had talent, while others argued that he was popular a bit too early for Hollywood to cast a funny lead in a more serious movie (like they did with Chris Pratt).
The Dark Knight was probably the biggest movie that Aaron Eckhart has started in as of yet which is a crying shame because he was amazing as Two Face in the film. Despite this, Eckhart has only been cast in forgettable action films and romantic comedies since 2008.
He starred in the cult classic Children of Men and a bunch of other action movies (like Shoot ‘Em Up) but his career never seemed to turn into “action movie star” like the other big names. It’s too bad, too, since Clive Owen brings something unique to the table when he plays the hero.
Also known as Jesse from Breaking Bad, we really haven’t seen Aaron Paul do anything huge since his TV show success. Yes, he’s had steady work (like a recurring role on Black Mirror) but it’s still surprising he hasn’t starred in something major.
Who? Oh, he was Lex Luther in the show Smallville. Unfortunately for his fans, despite carrying that show with his unappreciated acting talent, he’s only been typecast in similar roles since the series ended.
Alicia Vikander is a Swedish ballet dancer turned actress that actually won an Academy Award back in 2015 for her role in The Danish Girl. You might know her from movies like the Bourne Identity and Tomb Raider but she really hasn’t starred in much considering how talented she is as an actor.
She killed it on Xena: Warrior Princess but when it came to a lasting career most of her roles after were minor TV characters.
Maybe it was just timing; not enough movies with female leads were being made back in the 90s!
She was a household name for a while but after dealing with some personal challenges (like drugs and alcohol) her career never really got the foothold it needed at the height of her popularity. She’s starting to make a comeback now doing smaller films but it still seems like wasted potential for the Mean Girls star.
His recent appearance in The Whale proves that Brendan Fraser is immensely talented. After the huge success of The Mummy we saw him pop up in a few movies (personally I love Bedazzled) but all these films criminally underutilised Fraser’s acting talent. He should have been a much bigger star!
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