When Actors surprise

Actors who blew us away for unexpected reasons..
After turns in The Wolf of Wall Street and Suicide Squad, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised by anything Margot Robbie does. Role after role, she owns her characters and becomes the unexpected star of the movie. In I, Tonya though, Robbie cranks it up a notch and delivers a powerhouse performance as the disgraced real-life ice-skating Olympian, Tonya Harding. Entertainment Weekly is equally impressed, calling Margot Robbie a “revelation”. 

Affleck has taken a stab at every genre – comedy (Dazed and Confused), epic (Armageddon), period (Shakespeare in Love), historical drama (Pearl Harbour), gritty realism (Gone Baby Gone, The Town), superhero action (Batman V Superman), true stories (Argo) and now he joins the likes of Russell Crowe’s characterisation in A Beautiful Mind playing a mathematics savant who has more of an affinity with numbers than people in The Accountant.

Who would have thought rebellious Beca in Pitch Perfect and Bella’s plucky bestie in the Twilight saga would go on to star in a taut action thriller? In The Accountant, Kendrick tries to uncover the secrets and mystery behind Ben Affleck’s complex character.


Music legend, Oscar winner (Dallas Buyers Club)... and now, The Joker (Suicide Squad). This method actor never ceases to amaze in his eclectic choice of roles and the lengths to which he will go to bring a character to life.


That small, fragile, fair-haired child actor literally kicked ass in her major break-out role in the R-rated kill-fest Kick-Ass putting her firmly in the territory of chicks you don’t want to mess with. She kills first and doesn’t bother to talk later. Actually she does talk, but it’s all foul-mouthed expletives.


Who would have thought Parks and Recreation’s dim-witted Andy Dwyer could, and would, transform into Star Lord? With his ripped physique, Pratt stunned the world with his looks and performance in Guardians of the Galaxy. Now he’s a major Hollywood action star and one of the hottest men on the planet.

The Queen with a gun – case in point, Helen Mirren in R.E.D.- she’s packing a bad attitude and an even badder machine gun. This is a pensioner you don’t want to mess with. One is not amused.


More at home in bonnet dramas, Beckinsale was the quintessential period drama heroine - delicate, demure and graceful until she slam-dunked the action genre in Underworld, playing the vampire warrior Helene.


Respected thespian and star of such heavyweight dramas as Schindler’s List, Neeson was well into middle age when he suddenly became an action star – thanks to his Taken franchise. Now he’s grabbed the bull by the horns, living and dying by the action-hero message: cross him and you’ll get a gun in your face.

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