I survived placing Robert De Niro on my list of overrated actors early this week. I heard some complaints about his addition to my list, but I also heard support of my opinion as well. Now it’s time to celebrate the actors who never received their proper respect. Whether they are overshadowed by other cast mates, type-cast or just plain overlooked. These are “The 4” actors or actresses that are underrated in my book.
4. Kevin Bacon
Kevin Bacon is a popular actor. The guy has been in so many movies that a game was created in his honor (Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon). Unfortunately he has never received any major acting awards in his career. Kevin Bacon had a lot of great roles in a lot of great movies. The problem is he’s always overshadowed by other powerful performances. A Few Good Men, Mystic River, and Apollo 13 are perfect examples of this. Bacon’s acting is great, but he gets outshined by the likes of Nicholson, Penn and Hanks. Kevin Bacon is a stoic actor that has never received proper acclaim for his acting skills.
3. Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore has tremendous range as an actress. Yet most of the time, people seemed too concerned with whether she is pretty or not. For the record I think she’s beautiful, but that is besides the point. She shined in Boogie Nights playing Amber Waves. She was nominated for two Oscars in one year (The Hours and Far From Heaven), but has never taken home the gold. Moore has also been viewed as an actress who can’t carry a film on her own like Julia Roberts. But if you have watched Moore’s role as Sarah Palin in Game Change, you would throw that assumption out the window. Also the 52-year-old Moore isn’t afraid to bare all on-screen, if you know what I mean. Bonus points for that.
2. John Goodman
Here’s a guy that gets no love because of his stature. He’s always typecast as the lovable slob, which he plays well, but there is so much more to John Goodman than that. Goodman has been great ever since his break out role in Revenge of the Nerds. Goodman gave a both sweet and tragic performance in Always and Everybody’s All American. He has been a staple in the Cohen Brothers movie including my favorite role of Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski. Also don’t forget his defining role as Dan Conner on Roseanne. It’s a shame Goodman has never been recognized for his consistent positive performances.
1. Bill Paxton
Not Bill Pullman, Bill Paxton. Aliens was the first Rated R movie I saw in the theaters. It’s one of the movies that goes to the desert island with me and Paxton’s performance steals the show. I even named my beagle Hudson after Paxton’s character. Take out the personal reasons and the Texan still deserves to be number one on this list. Paxton was solid in A Simple Plan and Frailty, two very underrated films. He shined in ensembles like Tombstone, Apollo 13 and the highest grossing film of all time Titanic. Plus who could forget his other two scene stealing roles in True Lies and my second favorite Paxton role, Chet in Weird Science.
Critics tend to question Paxton’s acting ability, but the guys pretty diverse if you check out his film biography. Recently Paxton garnered critical praise for his roles on TV in Big Love and Hatfield & McCoys. No disrespect to the other actors on this list, but Bill Paxton is the most underrated. Game over man, game over.