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Dynamic Actors & Actresses

Updated on August 16, 2017

Actors & Actresses who just 'Have it'

There are a lot of actors and actresses that get type-casted constantly. Some just aren't very dynamic and can only fit into a certain type of role. Others though, seem to be able to mold themselves into whatever character they are given, truly bringing a script to life. They are able to shift their personas into a wide range of characters and leave us wondering how exactly they do it. Some actors & actresses just 'have it'.

It's important to note, however, that entertainment varies from person to person. In my opinion, the following actors and actresses are just the most dynamic.

Heath Ledger

There truly wasn't a role that Ledger wasn't able to play. His skills as an actor were phenomenal and all his movies proved it. It's so very sad and hard to believe that he was only 28 at the time of his death, given all the characters he had portrayed and all the fans he won over. In my opinion, he's one of the most dynamic actors that's ever lived. His most notable roles include:

  • Patrick Verona, 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
  • Gabriel Martin, The Patriot (2000)
  • William Thatcher, A Knight's Tale (2001)
  • Ennis Del Mar, Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  • The Joker, The Dark Knight (2008)

Michael Fassbender

He has a lot of talent and one hell of a smile. This guy can transform into any character he chooses to play and he does it seemingly effortlessly. He's been in a ton of movies, (some, even I forget about), and he shows no signs of slowing down. Some of his best roles are:

  • Magento, X-Men Films
  • David/ Walter, Prometheus & Alien: Covenant (2017)
  • Lt. Archie Hicox, Inglorious Bastards (2009)
  • Stelios, 300 (2006)
  • Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs (2008)

Leonardo DiCaprio

It's insane that it took him SO LONG to finally win an Oscar! This guys has literally delivered stunning performances in so many movies. His characters usually stand out and most of the time, if DiCaprio is in a film, he's the lead. But, he has no problem really bringing a supporting character to life. Some of his best characters include:

  • Jack Dawson, Titanic (1997)
  • Danny Archer, Blood Diamond (2006)
  • Teddy Daniels, Shutter Island (2010)
  • Calvin Candie, Django: Unchained (2012)
  • Jay Gatsby, The Great Gatsby (2013)
  • Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall street (2013)
  • Hugh Glass, The Revenant (2015) * The movie he won the Oscar for - FINALLY!

Charlize Theron

She's one of the most beautiful women in the world and she's one of the best actresses too. She is memorable in nearly every role she plays and even though she's gorgeous, she doesn't mind playing the really gritty roles either. Some of her best are:

  • Mary Ann Lomax, The Devil's Advocate (1997)
  • Aileen Wournos, Monster (2003)
  • Merideth Vickers, Prometheus (2012)
  • Libby Day, Dark Places, (2015)

Will Smith

He just makes every movie more enjoyable. Without him and Margot Robbie, (doing everything they possibly could), 'Suicide Squad' would've fallen almost flat. Smith can play a hilarious character then jump right back on set and portray a character that brings fans to tears. Some of my favorite characters he's played are:

  • Mike Lowry, Bad Boys (1995)
  • James West, Wild Wild West (1999)
  • Robert NeVille, I am Legend (2007)
  • Ben, 7 Pounds (2008)
  • Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Brad Pitt

He has the ability to just 'be' the character without really even trying, (or so it seems). He's been in so many movies, it's hard to keep up. There's not a lot to see about him, just that he's an amazing actor. Here are some of my favorite Pitt characters:

  • Early Grace, Kalifornia (1993) *Truly worth the watch if you've never seen it.
  • Louis, Interview with a Vampire (1994)
  • David Mills, Seven (1995)
  • Lt. Aldo Raine, Inglorious Bastards (2009)

Cate Blanchett

She is a great actress who always submerges herself into a roll bringing it to life. I love her in almost every movie she's ever done as she makes the characters believable and interesting. She's a timeless actress. Some of her best characters are:

  • Annie Wilson, The Gift (2000) *Another great film if you haven't seen it
  • Galadriel, The Lord of the Rings Films
  • Daisy, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
  • Sheba Hart, Notes on a Scandal (2006)

Kathy Bates

One of my all-time favorites - I'll mention her again later on. She can play anyone amazingly. It's difficult not to love Kathy Bates - even when she's a villain. Some of her best roles, (not including AHS, which I'll mention if you scroll further down), are:

  • Anny Wilkes, Misery (1990)
  • Molly Brown, Titanic (1997)
  • Lenore, Tammy (2014)

Jennifer Aniston

There's just something about Aniston that is empowering. Whatever the character, she plays it very well. It's hard to believe she started out on 'Friends' as Rachael, given how far she's come and all the roles she's conquered. Here are some favorites:

  • Lucinda Harris, Derailed (2005)
  • Beth, He's just not that Into you, (2009)
  • Dr. Julia Harris, Horrible Bosses, (2011)
  • Rose Miller, We're the Millers (2013)

Colin Farrell

He's one of those actors that you expect to see playing a similar role again and again but surprisingly, he doesn't. He's tackled a variety of roles and, in my opinion, does them justice. Some of my favorites are:

  • Jerry, Fright Night (2011)
  • Detective Ray Velcoro, True Detective, 8 episodes (2015)
  • John Smith, A New World (2005)

Rooney Mara

She's not afraid to dive head-first into a role, even if it means completely altering her appearance. In some of her films, she changes so drastically for the role, it's really hard to recognize her. Some of her most memorable characters are:

  • Nancy Holbrook, A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
  • Erica Albright, The Social Network (2010)
  • Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

I know, there are WAY more actresses and actors who totally nail a wide range of characters. Those are just the first that came to mind. Scroll down for more and comment if you can think of anyone who competes with the ones I've already mentioned :) I'm sure I forgot quite a few.

Tarantino Movie Collection

Quentin Tarantino: Ultimate Collection (Blu-ray) [Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds, Death Proof, Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2, Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs]
Quentin Tarantino: Ultimate Collection (Blu-ray) [Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds, Death Proof, Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2, Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs]

A MUST-HAVE for all fans of Quentin Tarantino. All his movies are here in Blue-Ray, all in one place. This is a great deal for all these movies!


Brad Pitt Character Moments

Other Dynamic Actresses & Actors

There are so many out there that have such great talent, it's hard not to initially forget a few until you really start to think about it. I thought back to some of my favorite characters of all time and some names starting becoming common. If they are portraying more than 3 very different characters well, they are certainly dynamic. I'll name the actor/actress and 3 movies where they played very different characters:

Denzel Washington

He's been in so many of my favorite movies and hold quite a few highly memorable lines & monologues. He also has played characters that are very different from one another, although a lot of times, he's generally cast as a bad-ass guy - usually a cop or a hero archetype of some sort. But, he has played bad guys too. Some great characters portrayed by Denzel:

  • John Creasy, Man on Fire (2004)
  • Alonzo, Training Day (2001)
  • Bobby, 2 Guns (2013)

Samuel L. Jackson

He's tired of those m'fing snakes on that m'fing plane! - I love that line & almost every movie he's even been in. He's played a ton of different characters - three were completely different are:

  • John Arnold, Jurassic Park (2003)
  • Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • Mr. Glass, Unbreakable (2000)

James Franco

He can go from one extreme to another - playing a highly comedic role, to a very serious one. I can't believe he initially didn't pop into my mind. Here are 3 of his roles that demonstrate how dynamic he is:

  • Harry Osborn, Spider-Man 1 & 2 (2002, 2004)
  • Saul Silver, Pineapple Express (2008)
  • Aron Rolston, 127 Hours (2010)

Hilary Swank

I don't run to the movies every time I hear she's a character in one, but there's not denying that she's a dynamic actress. She's played:

  • Brandon Teena, Boys don't Cry (1999)
  • Maggie Fitzgerald, Million Dollar Baby (2004)
  • Madaline Linscott, The Black Dahlia, (2009)

I'm still forgetting so many! I'll come back and add them when I think of them.

The Amazing Kathy Bates


I don't understand a one of you. What's the matter with ya? It's your men out there! There's plenty o' room for more!

— Molly Brown - Titanic, played by Kathy Bates

American Horror Story: A Cast of Changing Characters

Even though most people can agree that American Horror Story isn't very consistent when it comes to their plots from season to season - their cast stays on point. Given whatever role they are chosen to play each season, (sometimes more than one per season), they all do a tremendous job, (even though sometimes their roles don't necessarily make a lot of sense).

These actresses and actors go from season to season completely changing themselves into vastly differently characters who've been tossed into ever-changing plots. They do one of hell of job, especially given some of the odd material they work with.

The Main Cast who Stay & the Characters they've Played:

Evan Peters

  • Tate Langdon (Murder House)
  • Kit Walker (Asylum)
  • Kyle Spencer (Coven)
  • Jimmy Darling (Freakshow)
  • James March (Hotel)
  • Rory Monahan (Roanoke)

Sarah Paulson

  • Billie Dean Howard (Murder House)
  • Lana Winters (Asylum)
  • Cordelia Foxx (Coven)
  • Bette & Dott Tattler (Freakshow)
  • Sally & Billie Dean Howard (Hotel)
  • Audrey Tindell & Lana Winters (Roanoke)

Lilly Rabe

  • Nora Motgomery (Murder House)
  • Sister Mary Eunice (Asylum)
  • Misty Day (Coven)
  • Sister Mary Eunice (Freakshow)
  • Aileen Wournos (Hotel)
  • Shelby Miller (Roanoke)

Kathy Bates

  • Marie Delphine LaLaurie (Coven)
  • Ethel Darling (Freakshow)
  • Iris (Hotel)
  • Agnes Mary Winstead (Roanoke)

Denis O'Hare

  • Dennis Harvey (Murder House)
  • Spalding (Coven)
  • Stanley (Freakshow)
  • Liz Taylor (Hotel)
  • Willaim Van Henderson (Roanoke)

Jessica Lange

  • Constance Langdon (Murder House)
  • Sister Jude Martin (Asylum)
  • Fiona Goode (Coven)
  • Elsa Mars (Freakshow)
  • Please come back to AHS!

Taissa Farmiga

  • Violet (Murdrer House)
  • Zoe Benson (Coven)
  • Sophie Green (Roanoke)

Angela Balssett

  • Marie Laveau (Coven)
  • Desiree Dupree (Freakshow)
  • Romona (Hotel)
  • Monet (Roanoke)

Frances Conroy

  • Moira O' Hara (Murder House)
  • Shachath (Asylum)
  • Myrtle Snow (Coven)
  • Gloria Mott (Freakshow)
  • Mama Polk (Roanoke)

AHS Pop Vinyls: Freakshow

American Horror Story Season 4 Elsa Mars and Ma Petite, Twisty, Tattler Twins, Pepper POP! Vinyl Figures Set of 4
American Horror Story Season 4 Elsa Mars and Ma Petite, Twisty, Tattler Twins, Pepper POP! Vinyl Figures Set of 4

4 Pop vinyls from the "Freakshow" season of American Horror Story. They're a great addition to any collection.


AHS: Cult, Season 7 Teaser Trailer

Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio | Source


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    • hunter1riley profile image

      Hunter Riley 

      13 months ago from Nashville

      A great list. Denzel and Amy Adams would be at the top of my list. There aren't many actors I will go see a movie simply because they are starring in it, but these are two that I will. And yea, Leo is great too.


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