When watching films, sometimes there’s a sense of déjà vu, especially when you get used to the same actor play the same character model again and again. It’s undeniably true. Some actors have become so good that hey shine in that particular role. Others have become typecast because they’ve played archetype over, and over, and over again. Here are 6 actors in today’s cinema that are typecast in certain molds.
#1: Liam Neeson | Archetype: The Father Figure
One look at Neeson’s recent film roles and you’ll agree to this. He plays a father figure-cum-Messianic figure to the Pevensie siblings as Aslan in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe; to Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker as Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace; to Burce Wayne as Ra’s Al Ghul in Batman Begins and Talia as revealed in The Dark Knight Rises; ex-CIA agent Brian Mills and kick-ass father who scours the world for his daughter, and later, his family in Taken and Taken 2, respectively; and Admiral Shane in the recent Battleship.
Admittedly, though, the typecast suits him. Especially with the Taken film series. Who wouldn’t want a dad who’d beat up terrorists and take down criminal organizations halfway across the globe just to save your life?
#2: Reggie Lee | Archetype: The Asian Sidekick/Henchman
He played Tai Huang, second fiddle to Chow Yun Fat’s Captain Sao Feng in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Sergeant Wu on Grimm, and Quan Chang in Safe to name a few.
His characters are always in the sidelines, with minimal lines, instead of the forefront. It’d be interesting to see him play a crime lord or gang leader. As to when, only time will tell.
#3: Eddie Murphy and #4: Chris Tucker | Archetype: The Talkative Black Guy
Never mind if he’s in a fat suit (The Nutty Professor films) or the voice behind an animated creature (Mulan and the Shrek series), Eddie Murphy is always the character with the hyperactive mouth. Even as Jack McCall in 2012’s A Thousand Words was jinxed not to speak, it was a bit off-putting. Really, Eddie Murphy’s character NOT talking? That’s a first.
In Chris Tucker’s short body of work, even he can’t be dismissed from this mold. From The Fifth Element all the way to Rush Hour’s 1, 2, and 3, he’s running his mouth, with a high-pitched voice to match his talkativeness to boot.
#5: Samuel L. Jackson | Archetype: Himself
In nearly all his movies, you can tell the moment he opens his mouth that he’s playing himself. It’s like the guy brings the same attitude with him in all his roles. It’s getting pretty stale, Sam. Even as a Jedi in the Star Wars prequels we were waiting for you to go all Jules Winnfield on Yoda Anakin the Emperor* ANYBODY!
#6: Michelle Rodriguez | Archetype: The Macho Girl
Have you seen any of her films? Right off the bat: The Fast & The Furious movie series, S.W.A.T. (where she co-starred with actor #5), and Avatar, she’s always the tough girl/tomboy, or quite simply: a girl doing a man’s job. And she’s totally fine with it .