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10 Actors Who Play Almost the Same Role in Every Project


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While some actors and actresses are character actors, who can take on a vastly different character for every project they work on, others are known to portray a vast range in their performances. However, there are also actors and actresses who have found a niche in their performances and have created an entire career based on playing different variations of the same character or characterization in many projects. That does not make them less talented. In fact, finding a way to constantly bring the same charisma or re-invent the same type of character repeatedly without the audience getting bored is a massive skill.

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But, other times, if the character they are playing does not have a lot of personality, and they are entirely reliant on the genre of the movie to carry the film rather than giving new layers to the character, then it does not always work. Adam Sandler, for most of his career, has worked with the same co-stars in a similarly toned project, portraying a lovable but kooky guy. Meanwhile, who is Tom Cruise without an action move to back him up?

10 Adam Sandler

Although some of Adam Sandler‘s more recent projects, such as Uncut Gems, portray Adam Sandler’s ability to act outside a traditionally goofy comedy, that is still the character and genre that he spent most of his career living in.

Adam Sandler’s Gags Are Classic but Repetitive

The thing that any viewer could expect from most of Adam Sandler’s characters is that he will be a kind man, maybe a little over the top, and is usually a bit of a goofball. While the character is usually nice and entertaining enough, Billy Madison, Grown Ups, 50 First Dates, Just Go With It, and The Wedding Singer, among others, all portray very similar protagonist characters portrayed by Adam Sandler.

Many of his films have become cult classics, and he tends to get away with it no matter what the quality of the overall film is. Still, they are repetitive in nature, and for a while, he never extended his abilities in comedy. Given that Adam Sandler also writes and produces plenty of his own movies, it is easy to see that he believes he has found the types of stories and characters that he loves to play.

9 Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston‘s long career has given her the chance to act in various projects, from Friends to The Morning Show. She has shown her hand in comedy and drama, allowing the audience to see that her range went beyond Rachel Green. But, she fell into certain character traps too.

Jennifer Aniston’s Characters Tend to be In Distress

There is something to be said about that movies do not necessarily star happy characters. However, plenty of Jennifer Aniston’s characters tend to face romantic conflict, such as in Just Go With It, where she unexpectedly falls for her longtime best friend, or her ex, whose job it is to bring her to jail in The Bounty Hunter. She even has to undergo emotional conflict while starring in Bruce Almighty. It is worth noting that Jennifer Aniston is very talented and is always amusing or interesting to watch. She brings out laughs and emotional arcs almost effortlessly. Still, she tends to stay in similar genre-based characters, such as romantic comedies like The Break Up or even more raunchier comedies such as Horrible Bosses.

8 Bruce Willis

Action star Bruce Willis earned that title due to his work in mostly action films. While Bruce Willis did have a lucrative career in more than action movies, such as his brilliant performance in The Sixth Sense, he is also mostly known for his role in Die Hard.

Bruce Willis Drove an Entire Genre

Bruce Willis brings heart and soul to action movies. He keeps the character relatable and immersive while giving room for the story to breathe. The characters tend to be caught up in something they do not want to be a part of, but must carry on the journey anyway. In addition to Die Hard, Bruce Willis also showed his action-packed skills in movies such as Red, Looper, Armageddon, and The Fifth Element. His movies made millions of dollars. However, it is the Die Hard series that truly solidified Bruce Willis as an action star, as he captured the performance of John McClane throughout the five films.

RELATED: 10 Movie Franchises with too Many Films

7 Tom Cruise

Although Tom Cruise started out on a drastically different path as he made a name for himself with Risky Business, things took a massive turn as his career continued. As he grew older, Tom Cruise’s career took on a far more serious and action-packed approach.

Tom Cruise Achieves the Impossible but Lacks Charisma

With the success of Top Gun and Mission Impossible, Tom Cruise’s career morphed into a far more action-centered filmography. In addition to the Mission Impossible franchise and Top Gun movies, Tom Cruise has also starred in Jack Reacher, Knight and Day, among many more. Tom Cruise’s characters tend to portray a James Bond-like personality. He is a serious action guy.

However, he does not tend to have a bright sense of humor or added charisma that adds extra layers to the character. Still, the Mission Impossible franchise is one of the most successful action film series, and Top Gun: Maverick proved the audience will still rally behind him. Other action movies of his include Oblivion and Edge of Tomorrow. Performing stunts is a huge part of his career, and if it still thrills him and the audience, then viewers are still in for many years of watching the impossible.

6 Noah Centineo

Initially getting his start on Disney Channel in a handful of Austin and Ally episodes before starring in How to Build a Better Boy, Noah Centineo eventually replaced Jake T. Austin as Jesus Adams Foster in the third season of The Fosters. However, Noah Centineo’s career hit a pop culture high with the arrival of Netflix’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Noah Centineo Mastered the Internet’s Boyfriend but Hasn’t Played Much Else

Noah Centineo became loved for Peter Kavinsky’s kind and puppy-like charisma. He not only stole Lara Jean’s heart, but the audience as a whole fell for the character he brought to life. However, it soon became a bit repetitive. Noah’s portrayal of Jesus exhibited similar qualities, as did his performances of Jamey in Sierra Burgess Is A Loser and Brooks in The Perfect Date. Even Noah’s more adult performances, such as Owen in The Recruit and Langston during his cameo in Charlie’s Angels, have not broken the streak.

Noah Centineo brings plenty of heart to the characters, and the way he stares at his love interests so earnestly certainly gave him credibility from fans in romantic roles. However, he has not expanded beyond those types of characters, and they are each played in a fairly repetitive way.

5 Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson, to his credit, offers an exciting and charismatic performance every time he gets to blend action with comedy. While he has certainly taken on roles that are more serious when based in action, such as Raymond Gaines in San Andreas and Hobbs in the Fast and Furious franchise, there is a sub-genre of action where he truly shines.

Dwayne Johnson Shines Brightly in Action Comedies

Giving Dwayne Johnson the opportunity to have fun usually results in some pretty amusing movies. His physical size makes it easy to place him as an action protagonist, but his sense of humor offers another side to the character, where the protagonist does not need to be a one-note serious action star. Instead, Johnson’s ability to ease his way into developing an action-based character and giving them a sense of humor and humanity allows him to feel unique, even if he plays similar characters a lot of the time. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, and Rampage all feature Johnson wearing nearly the exact same outfit in similar settings.

4 Vin Diesel

As the central figure of the Fast and Furious franchise, Vin Diesel‘s reputation for action-packed films is understood. While every movie he has been a part of has not been specifically targeted at adults, such as The Pacifer, which blends an action story with a child-appropriate storyline, the films he is most known for come with similar character types.

Vin Diesel Is a Serious Action Star

It is all about family for his Fast and the Furious counterpart, but for Vin Diesel, it is all about fighting the antagonist. Outside the Fast and Furious movies, Vin Diesel has taken his fighting approach to other movies such as the XXX series, Babylon A.D., and Riddick. But, Vin Diesel has also taken on a voice acting approach, starring as Groot in the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy and other Marvel Cinematic Universe films, which offer some diversity to his filmography. Granted, even if the characters and films are a bit repetitive, The Fast and Furious franchise has made millions of dollars, so Vin Diesel’s approach to his character must still be attractive to many.

RELATED: Deadpool 3 Director Reveals that ‘Wolverine is Wolverine’ When It Comes to the Two Mutants Facing Off in the MCU

3 Ryan Reynolds

Although Ryan Reynolds had been acting for years and was a household name, he may never have been more popular in his entire career than after the release of Deadpool. His performance as Wade Wilson showcased his quick wit, comedic timing, and sarcasm to an unlimited extent.

Ryan Reynolds Leans Into Quick Wit and Sarcasm

While Deadpool may have shed a light on some of the most comical elements of an actor, if you look through his filmography, it becomes clear that this has always been his style of comedy, even if it only became far more appreciated since he threw on the superhero suit. Ryan Reynolds also starred as Andrew Paxton in The Proposalalongside Sandra Bullock in a romantic comedy that highlighted his quick-witted humor that matched her comical performance.

Free Guy builds on Ryan Reynolds’ growing reputation with his well-known style of comedy and speech patterns. Even Red Notice and The Adam Project lean into how Ryan Reynolds has advertised himself as a performer. His performances as these characters always give substantial humanity and emotion while offering a light-hearted and earnest personality.

2 Michael Cera

After getting his start in the show Arrested Development and his breakout film roles in Superbad and Juno, Michael Cera quickly became a household name. However, one of the movies he is also most known for is Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

Michael Cera Is Perfectly Awkward

Michael Cera created a niche for himself of kind and emotionally stunted and awkward characters. Scott Pilgrim was uncomfortable in nearly every situation he was placed in. His desire to prove himself to his girlfriend and constantly faced with his own insecurities allowed him to deliver a perfectly awkward and occasionally slightly too relatable sense of discomfort. Juno also captured his coming-of-age portrayal of an uncomfortable boyfriend. Even Barbie, although his role as Allan is fairly small in comparison to the rest of the movie, allows him to create a comically awkward man who has his own hero moment. In the moments where he is the lead, Michael Cera’s awkwardness allows him to craft a relatable protagonist. When he is a supporting character, he brings enough to add to the story without distracting from the overall plot.

1 Rebel Wilson

Rebel Wilson‘s breakout roles came from Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect. Both films are comedies that rely heavily on female friendship and relationships. However, Rebel Wilson’s form of comedy works best when she is a supporting character or shares the role of protagonist.

Rebel Wilson’s Raunchy Comedy Is Best as a Supporting Role

More often than not, Rebel Wilson’s characters are over-the-top, raunchy, without a filter and usually making unnecessary comments, going further than necessary to the point where the jokes are no longer funny. In the Pitch Perfect trilogy, Rebel Wilson’s character of Fat Amy is far better utilized due to her nature as a supporting character, and her jokes are not as constant given Beca is the main character. The same could be said for Bridesmaids or even The Hustle, where Anne Hathaway is a solid match that pushes back on her sense of humor. But, movies such as Senior Year or Isn’t It Romantic do not help with Rebel Wilson in the leading role. Without strong characters to push back, Rebel Wilson is entirely left to her own devices, and the character tends to go overboard.

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