Far more common than dramatic actors trying comedy is the comedic actor going for a drama. But there are some dramatic actors who seem like they were made for comedy. Be it that we’re laughing in sheer surprise at seeing a dramatic actor pop up in an unexpected funny role, or maybe they’re just actually plain knocking out of the park with their comedy styling, some typically dramatic actors are experts at being downright hilarious. Check out these 8 serious actors who are also seriously funny:
Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder
Tom goes all in as a crazy movie exec. While we’re more used to seeing Tom turning up the action and telling us who he completes, he might want to take a few more stabs at the comedy game.
Meryl Streep in Death Becomes Her
Meryl does it all: singing, dancing, acting both serious and funny. But while Meryl’s fare would usually be a dramedy, Death Becomes Her lets Meryl go total comedy as a vicious fading movie star intent on keeping her husband and beauty crown away from her best frenemy, Goldie Hawn. We also can’t discount The Devil Wears Prada, though Death Becomes Her really allows Meryl to let loose in a wacky way.
Jon Hamm in 30 Rock/SNL/Bridesmaids
Jon is basically an honorary member of the NBC comedy team and for good reason. At first seeing him pop up on 30 Rock and SNL was just a giggly delightful departure from seeing his usual Don Draper gloom and doom. But he has proven himself as a guy who can consistently kill it comedy-wise.
Gene Hackman in Young Frankenstein
The first time I saw this I didn’t even realize this was Gene Hackman. This two-time Oscar winner made a big impression in his silly role as a blind man who doesn’t realize his house guest is Frankenstein. Though he later made his quirky comedy mark in The Royal Tenenbaums, Young Frakenstein allowed Gene to first work in the genre and it was with the god of comedy himself, Mel Brooks. So it kinda takes the cake.
Kathy Bates in The Office
We already knew Kathy could do drama, dramedy, horror, and more, though she’s not really known for comedy. She’s taken dips into the genre, but her most recent success was on TV. She tackled the genre as tough-talking Sabre exec Jo Bennett on The Office. She blended right into the regular cast, going to head-to-head against Michael Scott and nailing her talking straight-to-camera segments.
Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents
His surprising turn from dramatic heavyweight to comedy franchise king kicked off with Meet the Parents. This has turned into De Niro doing just about anything, which isn’t always fantastic, though nothing can take away from his comedic turn in this hilarious movie.
Leslie Nielsen in Airplane/Naked Gun/ALL THE COMEDIES!
Leslie was such a naturally comedic actor, I had no idea he spent the bulk of his career in serious roles. I’m so glad he discovered his comedy talents, and basically made every movie that made my childhood magical and scandalous.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Along Came Polly
This movie introduced me to the concept of sharting, along with the fact that Phillip Seymour Hoffman could be a ridiculous and hysterical comedic actor.
Who’s your favorite dramatic actor in a serious role? Let ’em rip!