12 Movie Characters Saved by the Actor That Played Them

We often say characters are only as good as the actor who portrays them. Indeed, movies and television are a collaborative process. The right actor will embody more than just a character. They will also elevate the material with their unique talents and on-screen presence. In an online forum, fans discuss the characters that would be unlikable if not for their performers.

1. Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire (Mrs. Doubtfire, 1993)

Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The beloved family comedy Mrs. Doubtfire features one of Robin Williams’ most memorable and well-liked performances. As Daniel, he dresses as an older woman so he can spend time with his children. And it makes us laugh and cry. But we would not tolerate Daniel’s extreme behavior if this scenario was real or another actor played the part. But Williams brings humanity, warmth, and empathy to Mrs. Doubtfire, making the audience root for him.

2. Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986)

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Many will call Ferris Bueller narcissistic, selfish, and immature. He often has no regard for anyone but himself. Though he also has good qualities, if anyone other than Matthew Broderick played him, chances are we’d rightly lambast the beloved smart-aleck. But Broderick somehow makes him likable with his natural charisma. One contributor states, “True maturity is realizing he’s irredeemably toxic, and his sister was mostly right. [Ferris is] is softened a lot by the likability of Matthew Broderick.”

3. Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly (The Devil Wears Prada, 2006)

The Devil Wears Prada
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Miranda Priestly could have easily come across as a one-note, villainous caricature with no redeeming qualities. But in Streep’s capable hands, Miranda has excellent depth and vulnerability. She’s not a kind woman. But Streep often strips away Miranda’s mask and reveals her complexities.

4. Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother, 2005 – 2014)

How I Met Your Mother
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

Only Neil Patrick Harris could make such a lecherous character so lovable. Barney is a womanizer who treats girls like players in a game until he genuinely falls in love with Robin. And yet, until that happens, we are not disgusted by his ways, and it’s only because of Harris. One person notes, “Neil Patrick Harris makes an otherwise rather sleazy character charming.”

5. Tom Hiddleston as Loki (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Image Credit: Marvel Studios.

The villain turned anti-hero is a pristine example of a character elevated by their portrayer. Tom Hiddleston took Loki to a supreme level. He oozes charisma and showcases Loki’s vulnerability so well that we empathize with him, even after his despicable behavior. One moviegoer shares, “Loki is a mass-murdering psychopath, but Tom Hiddleston still made people love the guy.”

6. Steve Carrell as Michael Scott (The Office, 2005 – 2013)

The Office
Image Credit: Universal Television.

Look up the term cringe comedy, and you’ll find a picture of Michael Scott. The character can be childish, overdramatic, and insensitive. But over time, the show peels away layers of Michael’s surface, revealing massive insecurity and a strong desire for love and approval. Carrell brings that humanity and warmth to Michael. Sometimes, we hate his behavior, but we still can’t help but love Michael. Someone confirms, “I should hate the guy, but I can’t help feeling touched by him.”

7. Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, 1971)

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

From the outside looking in, Willy Wonka sounds like a sociopath. He invites children into his candy factory and shows no remorse when they succumb to various horrific fates. And yet, we never dislike Wonka or call him the villain. That is the power of Gene Wilder, a comedic genius who could make any character, good or bad, likable.

8. Alan Rickman as Severus Snape (Harry Potter Franchise, 2001 – 2011)

Harry Potter
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Both on the page and on-screen, Severus Snape is a complex character. He is heroic but devoid of traditional hero qualities. Indeed, he’s cruel, cold, and unforgiving. With Alan Rickman in the role, the loving side buried deep inside shines through in various moments. e see this care in his eyes and hear it in his unmistakable voice, helping to make Snape a fascinating character.

9. Bill Murray as Peter Venkman (Ghostbusters, 1984)

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Multiple contributors mention that many of Bill Murray’s characters generally fall under the criteria. But Peter Venkman is genuinely one of the best examples. At the film’s beginning, he’s altering an electric shock experiment with students. He’s sarcastic and sometimes sleazy with his comments. But Murray brings a charm to the role that makes us laugh.

10. John Candy as Del Griffith (Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, 1987)

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Del Griffith represents a type of person we encounter many times in life. He’s annoying, talks incessantly, and is unaware of social cues. But even before knowing Del’s backstory, we find it challenging to hate him because of Candy. The actor’s inherent sweetness comes through, making the sad reveal about his character warrant our warm feelings. One respondent says, “Candy plays the character so well that you root for him even though he is in the wrong most of the time. I would be way more annoyed by this character if it were anyone other than John Candy.”

11. Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly (Back to the Future, 1985)

Back to the Future
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Michael J. Fox’s iconic character famously was almost played by another actor. Eric Stoltz filmed for weeks before producers decided it was not working. Enter Fox, who gives Marty the necessary youthful vitality and energy. Stoltz is a fine actor, but his Marty would be much sadder. Fox makes Marty funny, heartfelt, and a little chaotic.

12. Julia Roberts as Julianne Potter (My Best Friend’s Wedding, 1997)

My Best Friend’s Wedding
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

We’ve called Julia Roberts “America’s Sweetheart,” and understandably so. Her vibrant personality delights audiences to no end. She is the only one who could make Julianne in My Best Friend’s Wedding a likable character. Her manipulative, despicable behavior would be unforgivable in the hands of lesser talent. But Roberts manages to make some root for her, or at the very least, sympathize with her side. Ultimately, we don’t want her to succeed in her schemes, but we don’t condemn her.

Source: Reddit.

10 Hilarious Lightweight Comedies About Rich People

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Get ready to dive into a world of luxury, laughter, and extravagant antics. We’re taking you on a whirlwind tour of ten sidesplitting lightweight comedies that revolve around the lives of the exceptionally wealthy. Having a lot of money can lead to plenty of absurd situations, and where there’s absurdity, there’s hilarity. From Crazy Rich Asians to Ruthless People, these ten films about rich people are perfect for a hilarious light viewing that doesn’t take itself too seriously. 10 Hilarious Lightweight Comedies About Rich People

10 Popular Movies With Perfect Endings Ruined by Lame Sequels

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When a movie becomes fans’ favorite, it’s not unusual to see filmmakers wanting to further explore its captivating storylines through sequels that may sometimes be below par. Lackluster follow-ups have been the death of perfect cinematic delivery in recent times, and a group of cineasts considers these popular movies ruined by successors that should never have been produced.

10 TV Shows People Wish They Could Watch for the First Time Again

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It feels like the first time. It feels like the very first time (I watched The Sopranos). As you endlessly scroll through the streaming verse of mediocre shows you know will leave you disappointed, why not fantasize about those shows that made you feel things you didn’t see a TV show could make you feel?

10 Actors and Actresses People Watch No Matter What They Star In

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Great actors progress through stages. Early in their careers, fans catch a glimpse of the talent and, each time they see the actor in a new role, realize that the talent is no fluke. Once the actor has built a long enough resume, the great ones enter must-see-at-all-costs territory. These actors and actresses have achieved near cult-leader status, and boy, have they earned it.

10 Movies Everyone Should See at Least Once in Their Lifetime

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If you haven’t seen these movies, what are you waiting for? You won’t find any hidden gems on this list; you may have already seen most of them. If there are any on this list that you still need to see, bump them up your watchlist. These are bucket-list movies you can’t possibly justify leaving unwatched.

This article was initially published and syndicated by The Cents of Money.

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