We all have a favorite actor/actress that when mentioned at a party, everyone looks at you like you're an idiot. No one knows who that is! Get a life and watch the same movies as everyone else.
Well, a lot of times, unknown actors and actresses are in those famous movies, but nobody bothers to know them because they're not Morgan Freeman or Angelina Jolie. So, I'm going to give you ten of them, and, next time you're at a party, you can just take a quick peek at the host's movie collection, pick one out, and rub it in their face every time your guy/girl comes on screen.
10. Noomi Rapace - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
While Rapace isn't exactly unknown, she's definitely underrated. She started off on Swedish TV, but kicked butt in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. For those party-people who only watched the English version (which Rapace severely outdid Rooney Mara in), they at least know the film. But if you want to pick something more popular that people have actually seen her in, try Prometheus.
9. Steve Zahn - That Thing You Do!
All right, so Zahn has about 66 credits to his name, yet, when I mention him, people look at me like I'm blind, deaf and dumb. Even though I guarantee you've seen him in several film roles, many people still don't recognize the name. So, here:
Suburbia, You've Got Mail, Stuart Little (voice), Saving Silverman, Dr. Doolittle 2 (voice), Joy Ride, Sahara, Rescue Dawn and Dallas Buyer's Club. To name a few.
And, because I like him, here's a better picture.
8. Djimon Hounsou - Stargate
Now, I'd forgive someone for not knowing who Hounsou is based on his name (while I remember names and voices better than faces - most people don't). But anyone you run into is bound to know his face. Hounsou has extremely distinguishing features and seems to be put in the macho/handsome roles quite a bit. His claims to fame include Gladiator, Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy (for our MoviePilot regulars).
7. Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural
Jeffrey Dean Morgan isn't as well known by his name as he is by "Sam and Dean Winchester's dad". But before he was hunting demons and Belsnickle, he was fighting alongside Dr. Manhattan in The Watchmen and going toe to toe with Chuck Norris in Walker, Texas Ranger. If you ask me, anyone who dares defy The Norris is as badass as they come.
6. Melissa George - Triangle
Melissa is notorious for making it into movies you've seen without knowing who the hell she is. She'll change her hair color and wear bright red lipstick to get away from you like she did in Sugar & Spice. Or, she'll go back to her Australian roots like in Grey's Anatomy. She may even scare the crap out of you with The Amityville Horror remake. Whatever the role, she's very versatile and overall very believable as any character.
5. James Remar - Dexter
Before James Remar played dear old daddy serial killer in Dexter, one of his first roles was that of Ajax in The Warriors. With 149 credits to his name such as Django Unchained and Pineapple Express, I'd say he's way underrated.
4. Damian Lewis - Life
You probably recognize Damian Lewis from that terrible Stephen King adaptation Dreamcatcher. But, trust me, he's done many other great things. Homeland, Life and Band of Brothers are among his best work. Aside from that, he could make a career out of being Steve McQueen's English double.
3. Tahmoh Penikett - Battlestar Galactica
Tahmoh is a name you'd remember after hearing or seeing it once, but I had a hard time placing him when I saw him in Castle last year. But he's really known for his roles in Man of Steele and Battlestar Galactica. I would go into depth about his portrayal of Ezekiel in Supernatural, but he's kind of bad in that. I mean, aside from the point of every male character being overly macho and soft-spoken (I still love the show).
2. Callum Keith Rennie - Battlestar Galactica
We have another Galactica veteran on the list. There are just so many actors in that show that are underrated. I'll leave Mark Sheppard for another list, however.
Back to the actor at hand. English-born but Canadian-raised Rennie is most known for his TV show roles in Californication, Galactica and Harper's Island, but he has his movie creds, too. The Butterfly Effect, Memento and Existenz are just a few. Check out his others on IMDb.
1. Jim Cummings - Practically Everything
Best known for his recent work as the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Cummings has been a part of your childhood and you probably had no idea. I'm sure you're wondering why I picked a voice actor as the top of my list, but I don't care. Cummings is the most under-appreciated because he's lent voice to over 400 roles. Yes. 400. He was Cat in CatDog, Ray in The Princess and the Frog, Pete (the big fat dog) in anything Disney and how can we forget his character in Splatterhouse?
I'm kidding. Here's what he really looks like. But you'll probably rarely see him unless he's portraying himself.
Who's your favorite underrated actor/actress? I want to make another list, anyway.