Four Underrated Actors



Sam Rockwell

American actor Sam Rockwell is one of the few actors who’s genuinely naturally funny, but what’s more, Rockwell can take his humour and apply it to serious films. Despite playing the utterly terrifying Wild Bill in the 1999 critically acclaimed Green Mile, Rockwell’s success did not fly into the stratosphere until much later in his career. A supporting role in the wholly underwhelming Iron Man 2 did him no favours, but performances in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Moon rectified the Iron Man 2 hiccup.

Rockwell is truly captivating in Moon, a film that solely features him and a Kevin Spacey voiced-computer, with many critics praising his intensity. In fact, he was so good that NASA showed the film in lectures. His performance in Seven Psychopaths is also brilliant, portraying a zany, mentally unstable man who just wants to teach his dog. Rockwell steals the show. The actor is billed to play the starring role in the upcoming Poltergeist reboot, and if that film goes well, Rockwell will become a huge household name.


John Hurt

English actor John Hurt’s film career has spanned five decades. In this time he has received two Academy Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations and four BAFTA awards. Despite the fact that Hurt has made appearances in such blockbusters as Harry Potter (Mr Ollivander), Alien (Kane), Hellboy and Indiana Jones, not to mention playing the Doctor in Doctor Who, these franchise moneymakers do not showcase Hurt’s acting chops. Performances in Midnight Express and the Elephant Man, on the other hand, do serve to highlight his extraordinary talent. A lesser known film, Champions, sees Hurt play jockey Bob Champion, who battles back from testicular cancer to utterly upset the Grand National betting by winning the race. So, here is an actor who has played a wizard, had an alien burst through his chest, played the Doctor of all doctors, won the Grand National and has one of the most beautiful voices in Hollywood, yet many people still do not know who he is.


Joan Allen

This American actress has three Academy Award nominations and has won a Tony for her Broadway debut, Burn This. Allen is an actress of serious pedigree. Her harrowing performance as Elizabeth Proctor in the movie adaptation of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is something to behold. If you want to know how good she is, she managed to outshine Daniel Day-Lewis, her husband in the film, who is considered to be the greatest actor of his generation. Allen is one of the fortuitous few who has made a successful foray into action movies; her performance as Pamela Landy in the Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum were fantastic.


Madeleine Stowe

Recently Stowe returned to the small screen in the popular TV series Revenge. You would not be forgiven for thinking Stowe is merely a television actress, but the actress has in fact appeared in some successful films, including starring as the love interest of Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans, a film that has an impressive 97% fresh rating with Rotten Tomatoes. She also appeared in the critically revered 12 Monkeys and We Were Soldiers. 

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