6 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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

5. Tom Hiddleston as Loki (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

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.

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

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