ByGrant Hermanns, writer at Creators.co
I know way too much about movies, my mind is like a walking IMDB, only not perfect. Don't forget to hit up my Twitter: @grantheftautho
Grant Hermanns

When an actor becomes popular for playing a certain type of character, he or she will often be cast for similar roles over and over — whether it's the bumbling police officer, brooding mafia don, stoner with the heart of gold, or menacing villain. Many actors stuck with such typecasting will make a drastic effort to show their range.

In the new action/thriller , martial arts comedy superstar Jackie Chan takes on a much more dramatic role, as a father looking for answers when his daughter is killed in a terrorist bombing. Though the film itself didn't receive the best reviews, Chan and Pierce Brosnan received praise from critics for their against-type performances as the hurting father and the secretive villain.

Let's take a look at some of the best such performances from over the years.

Bill Murray (Lost in Translation)

'Lost in Translation' [Credit: Focus Features]
'Lost in Translation' [Credit: Focus Features]
  • Release: 2003
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95 percent

Bill Murray will forever be known as one of the greatest comedic actors in film history, delivering stellar performances in such classics as Caddyshack, Stripes and Ghostbusters — but with Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, he stepped outside his acting comfort zone for a role that truly showed another side of him. The film follows aging American actor Bob Harris (Murray) as he travels to Tokyo for a whiskey commercial shoot, and while there befriends a young college student ().

Murray truly captures the midlife crisis angst and romantic struggles his character faces as a diminishing career and a straining marriage weigh heavily upon him. While he is able to bring some warmth and humor to the role, there's also great dramatic depth and a yearn for a connection that Murray illustrates so well.

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Kindergarten Cop)

'Kindergarten Cop' [Credit: Universal]
'Kindergarten Cop' [Credit: Universal]
  • Release: 1990
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 51 percent

Though it was technically his second stab at comedy, Kindergarten Cop was the film in which truly shined as a comedic force and proved he could hold his own against the only enemy worse than a T-1000: children. In trying to find a criminal's former wife to get her to testify against him, Detective John Kimble (Schwarzenegger) must go undercover as the teacher of a kindergarten class to find the criminal's child and, in turn, their mother.

Though the film might've worked with a number of comedic performers in the lead role, there was a certain charm to the character that only Schwarzenegger could bring. In pairing this ridiculously strong and large man with a group of kids, it made Arnold have to work to reevaluate his personality and his approach to the job. Let's just not talk about Jingle All the Way.

Jamie Lee Curtis (Trading Places)

'Trading Places' [Credit: Paramount]
'Trading Places' [Credit: Paramount]
  • Release: 1983
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 86 percent

Long before her very meta performance in Fox's short-lived horror series Scream Queens, actress Jamie Lee Curtis was primarily known for such horror gems as and The Fog. Curtis broke this trend in the 1983 modern retelling of Mark Twain's classic novel, Trading Places, in which she plays a prostitute who agrees to help commodities broker Louis (Dan Aykroyd) get his life back.

Curtis shined in a more comedic role, finally not running from a masked killer, and delivered a lively performance that touched deep into the personality of her character.

Tilda Swinton (Trainwreck)

'Trainwreck' [Credit: Universal]
'Trainwreck' [Credit: Universal]
  • Release: 2015
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 86 percent

In the three decades we've seen her on screen, Tilda Swinton has had a reputation for playing intense oddball characters and villains, ranging from The Chronicles of Narnia to the sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer. But thanks to the writing and directorial talents of Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow, Swinton truly broke out and shined in her first outrageously hilarious role in the 2015 rom-com Trainwreck, in which she played Amy's ruthless and politically incorrect boss. Swinton showed that she had the versatility to make audiences laugh with deadpan lines, even if not all of us realized it was her.

Seth Rogen (Steve Jobs)

'Steve Jobs' [Credit: Universal]
'Steve Jobs' [Credit: Universal]
  • Release: 2015
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 86 percent

Pretty much universally known as THE Hollywood stoner, Seth Rogen has made an acclaimed and profitable career with his roles in outrageous comedies including Pineapple Express, Neighbors and Sausage Party. However, Rogen got the opportunity to prove his range in the 2015 biopic Steve Jobs, following the titular Apple co-founder (Michael Fassbender) right before three key product launches. Rogen portrayed Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Though the real-life Wozniak has debunked elements of the film as fictional, Rogen received a lot of positive reviews for his against-type performance. He doesn't crack jokes, instead working hard to stand tall and push against Jobs, whom Wozniak felt needed to give out credit where it's due and confront the personality flaws that drag down his reputation.

Denzel Washington (Training Day)

'Training Day' [Credit: Warner Bros.]
'Training Day' [Credit: Warner Bros.]
  • Release: 2001
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 72 percent

It's hard to imagine Denzel Washington's career without the gritty crime thriller Training Day, but before he took up the starring role in the 2001 hit, critics and audiences had a whole different image of the actor: as the hero who stood up for an AIDS patient in Philadelphia and marched as the titular civil rights activist in Malcolm X. But when Washington took on the gun-wielding antihero role in the film, audiences and critics were treated to a whole new side of the actor and loved it.

In the film, Washington plays corrupt cop Alonzo Harris as he is forced to take new officer Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) on a 24-hour evaluation through the Rampart and South Central divisions of Los Angeles. While some performers might choose to go over the top in their love for corruption, Washington finds the perfect balance and delivers a chillingly dark and electric performance, making us root for him all the same.

Tyler Perry (Gone Girl)

'Gone Girl' [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
'Gone Girl' [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
  • Release: 2014
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 88 percent

No matter how you feel about his endless Madea movies, Tyler Perry is now a household name that won't be going away anytime soon. Thanks to his performance in the 2014 thriller Gone Girl, he also has a future in more dramatic roles.

The film follows a husband () as his life falls apart when his wife (Rosamund Pike) goes missing, and he becomes the primary suspect in the investigation. In the film, Perry portrays hotshot lawyer Tanner Bolt, who specializes in defending men accused of killing their wives. Perfectly blending sarcasm and fierce intelligence, Perry brought the character's charisma and strength from the novel to the screen, and we'd love to see more of his dramatic side.

Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)

'Foxcatcher' [Credit: Sony Pictures Classics]
'Foxcatcher' [Credit: Sony Pictures Classics]
  • Release: 2014
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 88 percent

Whether as Michael Scott in The Office or Brick Tamland in the Anchorman movies, Steve Carell has brought audiences endless joy and nonstop laughs in his comedic career. When it was announced that he would be portraying philanthropist John du Pont in a biopic covering his recruitment of Olympic gold medalists Mark and David Schultz for his wrestling team in the World Championship, it came as an incredible shock — as du Pont is not known for his wrestling team, but for the murder of David.

The tale surrounding Team Foxcatcher is truly a fascinating one, as the events leading up to David's murder are still very debated and discussed. Though there have been some doubts raised about the movie's faithfulness to true events, it did a great job of giving insight into the subjects' mindsets. Carell delivered a chilling performance as the socially awkward and menacingly manipulative du Pont. He was nominated for multiple awards, including an Oscar.

Tom Cruise (Collateral)

'Collateral' [Credit: Paramount]
'Collateral' [Credit: Paramount]
  • Release: 2004
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 86 percent

has been an action-hero mainstay in Hollywood for well over 30 years, delivering classic characters in films including Top Gun, the Mission: Impossible franchise and Minority Report. He truly broke new ground with his role in Michael Mann's neo-noir thriller Collateral, in which he plays a hitman who takes a Los Angeles cab driver (Jamie Foxx) hostage during a night full of contract killings.

Cruise has always succeeded at playing characters who are likable and charming; we root for him to succeed. But Collateral changed everything. In it, Cruise stepped into the role of an immoral hitman with no real conscience with the exact same ease that he brings to his heroes, skillfully changing the perception that audiences had of him.

Robin Williams (One Hour Photo)

'One Hour Photo' [Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures]
'One Hour Photo' [Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures]
  • Release: 2002
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 81 percent

Robin Williams will forever be known as one of America's sweethearts, delivering happiness and warmth to audiences, whether as the outrageous Mrs. Doubtfire, the musical Genie in Aladdin, or the Army radio DJ in Good Morning, Vietnam. However, hidden among his vast comedic filmography, Williams spent the early '00s expanding his talents to prove his worth in the drama and thriller genres. One Hour Photo was a truly signature role.

Williams plays Sy Parrish, a photo technician at a discount store who becomes obsessed with a family that regularly brings in film. He discovers that the husband may be having an affair, and travels down an increasingly disturbed and violent path. Williams delivers the most disturbing performance of his career (and one of the best), perfectly capturing the lonely nature of the character.

Jason Bateman (The Gift)

'The Gift' [Credit: STX Entertainment]
'The Gift' [Credit: STX Entertainment]
  • Release: 2015
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 92 percent

Known as Hollywood's modern "everyman," Jason Bateman has made a successful career out of playing an ordinary, sarcastic guy from Arrested Development to Horrible Bosses. But with his role in the 2015 thriller The Gift, Bateman took on a different kind of persona that critics and audiences had yet to see from him, and did it phenomenally.

After moving back to his hometown of Los Angeles for a new job, Simon (Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) run into Simon's former high school classmate Gordo (Joel Edgerton). After a couple of seemingly harmless dinners, things turn menacing as Gordo dredges up an incident from their past that could derail Simon and Robyn's lives. While Gordo is presented throughout the film as a creepy loner who wishes harm upon Simon, the ending twist reveals that Simon is really deserving of the menace.

Bateman delivers threats, deception and violence that audiences had not seen from him before. He brings the character to life with such force and talent that we saw a new side to the 48-year-old comedic performer.

What are your favorite times when an actor went against type? Are there any we missed from this list? Let us know in the comments below!

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