Some Hollywood actors find their signature genre and stick to it, while others spread their proverbial wings with each new project. Not only does genre-hopping give someone the chance to work with different types of directors and castmates, but it also taps into a wider spectrum of characters and tonalities. The actors who do this most effectively can prove themselves true masters of their craft, as they migrate from drama to comedy to horror and back. (These are the 50 best horror movies of all time.)
When determining which actor has performed the most amount of genre-hopping, things can get a little messy. Take someone like Jack Black, for example, who’s almost exclusively a comedic actor. However, a quick look at his résumé will bring up a slew of sub-genres, including horror comedy, action comedy, and so on. Does that make him a genre-hopper in the classic sense of the concept? We think not.
By contrast, consider Charlize Theron. Following a breakout performance in the 1997 horror drama “The Devil’s Advocate,” she’s appeared in romantic comedies, blockbuster action movies, indie dramas, an Oscar-winning biopic, and more. In our opinion, she qualifies for inclusion and so you’ll find her on the following list. (Here’s what famous actors did next after their breakout role.)
To identify the actors who cross the most genres, 24/7 Tempo developed a custom index based on each performer’s filmography, using data from IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon; Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator; The Numbers, an online movie database owned by Nash Information Services; and the National Association of Theater Owners. The list includes bona fide A-listers, character actors, and some less-obvious choices.
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