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Best performance by a bad actor?

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I've always thought Eric Roberts was pretty terrible, but he was great in The Dark Knight.

 

Eric Roberts was tremendous in Star 80. Very underrated and underappreciated role and performance.  He's so slimy you almost need to take a shower when the movie's over.

 

And it was brought up earlier, but Hayden Christensen was great in Shattered Glass.  He played the smart, lying little shit role so perfectly, you just couldn't wait to see him get his.

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Eric Roberts guess starred in an episode of King of Queens where they go paintballing and his intense over acting is portrayed brilliantly. 

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Is Hayden Christiansen actually a crap actor, or is just because in the only thing most have seen him in he was directed by George Lucas, a guy famous directing actors badly?

 

Look at Natalie Portman. She's a terrific actress. But if all you saw her in was Star Wars, you'd think she was terrible.  

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I don't know if that's fair, because Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson rose above the shitty directing, and turned in great performances.  Of course, Hayden isn't in their league, but still.  In his defense though, he was given horrible material compared to the rest.

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The funniest thing about the prequels is how much better both Portman and Christiansen appear to be in scenes with McGregor than with each other.  He not only gives a good performance, he elevates the two of them.

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McGregor was really fucking great in Episode III, now that I think about it.

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IMO, McGregor and Neeson were both experienced enough to know to ignore Lucas and stick with their instincts. Portman and Christiansen  were a lot younger and more willing to go along with his terrible advice.

 

I've heard he would regularly tell Christiansen to act as vacant and distant as possible. Throw in terrible dialogue about hating sand, and is it really a surprise how bad he is in those movies?

 

Also: Madonna in Evita. Best theory is she's never really been comfortable with just acting, but the combination of singing and acting managed to get a great performance out of her.

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I thought Keanu Reeves in The Gift was pretty decent. He played an asshole almost way too well.

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This is off topic but is George Lucas that bad of a director? Like if he got Spielberg to direct Star Wars like he did Indiana Jones, would they be that different?

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I've always thought Eric Roberts was pretty terrible, but he was great in The Dark Knight.

 

Eric Roberts was tremendous in Star 80. Very underrated and underappreciated role and performance.  He's so slimy you almost need to take a shower when the movie's over.s.

 

 

Did The Pope of Greenwich Village also stop existing?

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You can add Runaway Train to the list of reasons why Eric Roberts is the wrong answer. 

 

George Lazenby in On Her Majesty's Secret Service FTW.

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This is off topic but is George Lucas that bad of a director? Like if he got Spielberg to direct Star Wars like he did Indiana Jones, would they be that different?

 

Thing is with directors that "when" matters a lot too. See: Francis Ford Coppola.

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Mentioned in the other thread how shockingly great Denise Richards is in Drop Dead Gorgeous, and it got me thinking, what are the career best performances from people who otherwise do terrible work?

 

Also, I don't think Uma Thurman has ever been any good in anything that wasn't directed by Quintin Tarantino.

Baron Munchausen?

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Didn't Hayden Christiansen get good reviews for shattered glass?

 

 

He got really good reviews for Life as a House. It helped he was playing opposite Kevin Kline.

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Marlon Wayans in Requiem for a Dream.

 

He's been a good actor since Above The Rim.

 

He just got stuck carrying his less talented brother Shawn while going into the family business, which started out great with Don't Be A Menace... and the original Scary Movie but has been diminishing returns ever since...

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People are always going to rip on Shatner but if you watch Wrath of Kahn he just plays Kirk as a man struggling with his on mortality so well. The secene where he goes to read the book and his bifocals are shattered, the look on his face is the definition of "Pyrrhic Victory". Hell even the eulogy he gives for Spock is pretty powerful and the death scene itself is one of the few movie moments that made me cry.

 

James 

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Shatner's not a bad actor, he's a lazy actor who's too comfortable playing to type and hitting the highspots by going so over the top that he's not even really acting anymore, he's trying to break the universe to his will through sheer force of presence.  See also THE INTRUDER, where he turns in an awesome performance in a Roger Corman film.

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Arch Hall Jr in The Sadist. Not exactly a brilliant performance but he is genuinely creepy in it. Actually a decent little film if you can track it down.

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Shatner was pretty good in The Twilight Zone too. 

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Not looking to see if it's already been posted, but since we started with Keanu I'll put him up for River's Edge. 

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I think that settles it, Keanu is actually an ok actor who has been unfairly criticized for twenty years. He's perfectly acceptable in Speed.

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He showed tremendous acting skills on Colbert the other day.

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John Agar may win this for his role in Fort Apache.  Of course, it helps that Henry Fonda was carrying nearly everyone and John Wayne was actually interested in giving a good performance.

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I think that settles it, Keanu is actually an ok actor who has been unfairly criticized for twenty years. He's perfectly acceptable in Speed.

 

I been saying this for a long time.

 

Post-Matrix world-weary Keanu in Constantine and Street Kings is pretty great.

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