ByNathan Kovar, writer at
Writer. Photographer. Introverted Extrovert. Coffee Nerd. (Instagram @nathan_kovar)
Nathan Kovar

According to recent reports, Amy Schumer is set to follow up her box office smash comedy, Trainwreck, by starring in the upcoming film, Thank You For Your Service.

Directed by American Sniper screenwriter Jason Hall, the film will focus on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and its effect on service men and women returning home from war. Filming for the project is currently underway in Atlanta where Schumer will join pre-existing cast members, Miles Teller (Whiplash), Haley Bennett (The Equalizer), and Oscar nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider).

Schumer is primarily known for her Emmy award-winning show, Inside Amy Schumer, and her stand up comedy. She is the most recent member of a growing group of comedic actors who have broken casting stereotypes and exercised their skills in a dramatic role. In honor of breaking down barriers and saying adios to stereotypes, here is a list of my favorite dramatic turns made by some of Hollywood's funniest people.

Bill Murray: 'Lost in Translation'

Bill Murray & Scarlett Johansson
Bill Murray & Scarlett Johansson

Why It's A Favorite Of Mine: As a middle-aged movie star past his prime, Bill Murray shines in Sofia Coppola's film, Lost in Translation. Known primarily for his comedic roles in such films as Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, Murray proved his incredible acting range in Lost in Translation. His scenes opposite Scarlett Johansson are some of the most beautiful depictions of an unlikely friendship I've ever seen. Murray earned a much deserved Oscar nomination for his role, giving what I believe is the best performance of his extensive career.

Kristen Wiig/Bill Hader: 'The Skeleton Twins'

Why It's A Favorite Of Mine: Arguably more of a dark comedy than straight drama, The Skeleton Twins is still an undeniably serious turn for both Wiig and Hader. As two estranged twins brought back together through dark circumstances, the SNL-alumni bring the sometimes harsh reality of sibling relationships to life. Together they understand that love is something to be shown rather than just said. Their performance is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching, pulling the viewer into a film that owes its success solely to its two captivating stars.

Sarah Silverman: 'I Smile Back'

Sarah Silverman.
Sarah Silverman.

Why It's One Of My Favorites: In I Smile Back, Sarah Silverman embraces the emotional darkness within her character, Laney Brooks; a struggling addict hiding her temptations behind the mask of a loving wife and mother. Throughout the entire film, Silverman peels back Laney's layers, exposing the hurt of a woman torn between the love of her family and satisfying her inner demons. As a whole, I Smile Back is a well-meaning film but ultimately falls short of becoming anything special. However, Sarah Silverman's leading performance is nothing short of an incredible revelation.

Steve Carell: 'Foxcatcher'

Steve Carell.
Steve Carell.

Why It's A Favorite Of Mine: Known primarily for his comedic roles in The 40-Year Old Virgin, Anchorman, and nine glorious seasons of The Office, Steve Carell is one of Hollywood's funniest guys. Recently however, Carell has taken his career down another path, pursuing more dramatic roles. Although his performance in the recent hit, The Big Short, is incredible, it's his disturbing role in Foxcatcher that I love most of all.

As multi-millionaire John du Pont, Carell tells the real-life story of a man mad with power and drunk on his need for approval. From his slow speech and seemingly calm demeanor, to his unnerving unpredictability, Carell develops his character to eerie perfection. Each time du Pont appears on screen, he invokes an unshakeable sense of foreboding and deranged desperation.

Who knew Michael Scott could be such a creep?

Jennifer Aniston: 'Cake'

Jennifer Aniston.
Jennifer Aniston.

Why It's A Favorite Of Mine: Since the mid '90s, Jennifer Aniston has been Hollywood's sweetheart, winning over audiences with her warm comedic performances. Most recognizable for her role as Rachel from the hit show Friends, Aniston has starred in some of Hollywood's most successful comedies, cementing her status as a true staple of the industry. However, the last few years have seen the actress steer away from comedy, focusing on more dramatic roles.

In Cake, Aniston pulls the viewer into the life of Claire Bennet, a middle-age woman fascinated with the suicide of a fellow support group member. Through her search for answers, Claire battles her own personal demons and must confront the pain she had buried, but never healed from. Although Cake could easily have seemed contrived, Aniston's performance anchors the material. She performs patiently, earning your respect rather than demanding it through bombastic cliches. Thanks to Aniston, Claire's heartbreak becomes inescapable. It leaves you feeling emotionally invested in the film long after the final credits roll across the screen.

So there you go! Those are MY favorites, but what about YOURS? Let me know in the comments below!


Which performance listed above is YOUR favorite?


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