12 Movie Roles That Became The Actors' Personal Favorites

In general, audiences like often remember their favorite A-list actors in their most well-known parts, such as Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta, Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, and Matthew McConaughey in True Detective.
Surprisingly, even though many performers have played legendary roles, they aren't always the biggest lovers of the parts that made them famous and wealthy. Why? We have no idea; we suppose performing artists are strange. Each performer, though, has their personal preferences, and you might be surprised by a lot of them.
Some performers definitely value it when they are pushed or when they have a lot of creative flexibility, judging by their favorite roles. And when they get to play a role that reminds them of a character they looked up to as a child, well, that kind of role is automatically considered to be a favorite.
Here are some of these legendary actors' favorite movie parts, from the well-known to the obscure, from the acclaimed to the nearly forgotten!

#1 Frank Langella - Skeletor, 'Masters of the Universe'

Source: The Cannon Group, Inc.

Frank Langella's performance in the 2008 film Frost/Nixon earned him his lone Academy Award nomination. The gifted actor is regarded as one of history's greatest stage actors and has two Tony Awards to prove it.
His filmography lists more than 100 acting roles for Langella. Both monsters like Count Dracula and hopeless romantics like Cyrano de Bergerac were roles he had performed.
He-Man emerged as a common superhero in the 1980s, appearing in a number of animated programs, comic books, and action figure lines. He-Man received his very own live-action film, The Masters of the Universe, in 1987. He-Man was played by Dolph Lundgren in the movie. But who would portray Lord Skeletor, his nemesis?
Mr. Langella, one of the most improbable actors, decided to engage He-Man in combat over Castle Grayskull. Because the Overlord of Evil was a favorite of Langella's son, the actor decided to play evil. The film ended up being a complete failure at the box office and a target for criticism. Langella, though, adored the role of the half-human enemy.
Langella declared, "That's one of my favorite bits." "When he was four years old, my son dressed like He-Man and ran about carrying a sword. I couldn't refuse Skeletor when they offered it to me. I was eager to portray him."
The seasoned actor was seen by several critics as the only positive aspect of the film.

#2 Arnold Schwarzenegger - John Kimble, 'Kindergarten Cop'

Source: Universal Pictures

Arnold Schwarzenegger has always pushed himself, whether it be as a seven-time Mr. Olympia, one of the biggest movie stars in the world, or the governor of California. The Hollywood action actor became famous for his physique and knack for securing the ideal leading roles.
The Terminator villain and Danny DeVito appeared together in the financially successful comedy Twins in 1988. Arnold enjoyed showcasing his sense of humor, so he decided to star in Kindergarten Cop in 1990. The movie was also a big hit at the box office.
Unexpectedly, the comedy genre not only matched the bodybuilder with a strong Austrian accent, but Arnold himself came to love the Ivan Reitman film.
On The Late Late Show with James Corden in 2015, Schwarzenegger said, "I suppose Kindergarten Cop [is my favorite]." "I believe that one of the comedies would be my favorite because I attempted to go into comedy for a very long time but was unsuccessful. The action flicks brought in a lot of money for the companies. Why would we go and modify the mold, they questioned? We're getting rich off of you. You continue to receive action scripts. I was in ecstasy after I finally met Ivan Reitman, after we worked on Twins, and after Kindergarten Cop. The director was fantastic, as was working with Danny DeVito. It was extremely wonderful.

#3 Tom Hanks - Mr. Amos White, 'That Thing You Do!'

Source: 20th Century Fox

Tom Hanks' mega-hit comedies like Big and Splash made viewers in the 1980s laugh out loud. He eventually shifted to serious dramatic parts over all difficulties. For his roles as an AIDS patient in Philadelphia and a guy with developmental disabilities in Forrest Gump, Hanks won back-to-back Oscars for Best Actor. For the films Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away, and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, he was also nominated for an Oscar. He also lends his voice to Woody from the wildly popular Toy Story films.
What character would Hanks most like to return as though? He didn't mention one of his highly praised roles or one of his most well-liked ones in a 2019 interview. Hanks instead discussed his supporting part in the 1996 film That Thing You Do! He made his directorial debut in what would end up being a box office dud while also writing the screenplay.Hanks said, "If I could go back and play another character again and again and again, the one that I had the most fun with was Mr. White - Mr. Amos White, who is the manager of The Wonders and worked for Play-Tone Records.

#4 Samuel L. Jackson - Mitch Henessey, 'The Long Kiss Goodnight'

Source: New Line Cinema

Nearly 200 acting roles appear in Samuel L. Jackson's illustrious career. Jackson has excelled in almost every film genre, whether it be as Captain Cool in the Tarantino Universe, Mr. Glass in Unbreakable, or Nick Fury in the MCU. Jimmy Fallon was asked to list his top five movie roles by the host of The Tonight Show in a 2019 interview. He asked at first, "Just five?"
In the 1996 neo-noir The Long Kiss Goodnight, the Pulp Fiction actor placed his washed-up, ex-detective character Mitch Henessey at the top of his list. "Man, I adore that movie. Geena Davis and I were having such a great time", Jackson said. Jackson was also asked to select his top 20 favorite roles for The Undefeated. Jackson ranked The Long Kiss Goodnight first once more. He clarified:
"I love that movie so much. A movie way ahead of its time. Geena Davis is - an awesome Charly Baltimore character. The studio didn’t know how to market that film because they didn’t know that women like seeing themselves as bad*sses. I kept saying, "You need to advertise this thing during the day when women are watching soaps." Whatever. They were like, "I don’t know what you’re talking about." But it’s gone on to be like this really great cult classic because Geena is so good.
And Mitch's character in the original iteration got killed. When they did a test screening, the audience, like, lost its mind. Like, no, you cannot kill Mitch Henessey. So we went back and we redid those [shots] with Larry King. We did that like three days before the movie opened. And they stuck it in the movie. But I just loved Mitch because he’s got such a big heart. He’s a fun-loving, kind of profane guy that wants to be this thing that he’s not. But he’s not afraid to step into the space for somebody that he cares about."

#5 Morgan Freeman - Fast Black, 'Street Smart'

Source: Cannon Group

For his first significant cinematic role, Morgan Freeman may thank Christopher Reeve. After Superman III, the hunky actor was prepared to put his cape away and leave the Man of Steel behind for good. Reeve, however, planned to create the crime drama Street Smart. Only after the studio gave Street Smart the go-ahead did he agree to star in Superman IV.Enter Morgan Freeman, a relatively unknown actor who was cast in the role of pimp Fast Black/Leo Smalls. Although Street Smart was a financial failure, it provided Freeman the chance to finally demonstrate his acting prowess.
Director Jerry Schatzberg explains, "The issue with Chris was that he didn't understand how good Morgan was, and when he saw Morgan, he wanted me to rewrite the film to minimize Morgan's portion, and I wouldn't do it. "Morgan was sensational, and Morgan would probably be sensational no matter what you do."
The prolific Academy Award-winning actor declared his breakthrough performance as his preferred one in 2014. The Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby star was questioned by HitFix about his favorite performance. He promptly identified it as his flamboyant, Armani-clad pimp character from Street Smart. In 1987's criminal thriller, Freeman received his first Oscar nomination for his performance.

#6 Viggo Mortensen - Ben Cash, 'Captain Fantastic'

Source: Bleecker Street

Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a formidable opponent. Some stars, like Viggo Mortensen, choose to work on lower-budget prestige films like Green Book and A Dangerous Method. Captain Fantastic rose to moderate box office prominence and independent cinema industry acclaim in 2016. Mortensen plays patriarch Ben Cash in the dramedy. The anarchist survivalist single father of six lives alone in the Washington mountains with his kids.
Mortensen said that his Academy Award-nominated performance as Captain Fantastic was at the top of his illustrious filmography when he was asked where it stood.
"Selecting a favorite child is analogous. I adore every single character I play "Mortensen stated. "It's my responsibility to get to know the individual and, in a manner, fall in love with them. However, I believe that Captain Fantastic is superior to the majority of the stuff I've accomplished over the past 35 years."

#7 Robin Williams - Dr. Malcolm Sayer, 'Awakenings'

Source: Columbia Pictures

The most popular comedy superstar/dramatic performer in film history may very well be Robin Williams. For Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, and The Fisher King, Williams received three Oscar nominations. He won his lone Academy Award for Good Will Hunting in 1997. He also provided viewers with hearty laughs in comedic films like Mrs. Doubtfire and The Birdcage.
When Williams hosted a Reddit AMA in 2013, his audience was thrilled. He was once asked what his favorite movie role was. Unexpectedly, the actor chose one of his most tragic films. His character in the 1990 drama Awakenings was Dr. Malcolm Sayer. Sayer is based on Oliver Sacks, a doctor who uses the medicine L-Dopa to temporarily "awaken" patients who had been catatonic for years.In Awakenings, Williams said, "I think playing Oliver Sacks was a gift because I got to meet him and got to understand the human brain from the inside out.Oliver speaks about human behavior subjectively, and for me, that sparked a fascination with the subject.

#8 Robert Duvall - Joseph Stalin, 'Stalin'

Source: MGM Television

Robert Duvall rose to fame as one of the greatest actors to emerge from the gritty New Hollywood film era of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Duvall was able to associate himself with the great auteurs of the day, like Francis Ford Coppola, with whom he collaborated on two Godfather films and Apocalypse Now, along with other acting legends like Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson.
Duvall's illustrious acting career has spanned many years. Tender Mercies, which he won his lone Academy Award for in 1982, had six more nominations.
In a 2015 interview, Duvall said that his portrayal of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in the HBO film Stalin from 1992 was one of his personal favorites.
Joseph Stalin was a tremendously challenging role to play, yet it was one of Duvall's favorites. "I needed to feel vulnerable in some way,"
In a 2021 interview, he again alluded to Stalin. The best review he had ever received, according to Duvall, was that Nikita Mikhalkov's father resembled Stalin's personal poet. And after watching the film, he claimed that I had "reached the essence of Stalin."

#9 Drew Barrymore - Josie Geller, 'Never Been Kissed'

Source: 20th Century Fox

Drew Barrymore, who began her career as an actor as a young child and later found difficulty as a teenager, has spent practically her entire life in the Entertainment industry. She was a supporting actress in E.T. at the age of barely 7, and she nearly stole the show. Following some difficult times, Barrymore exhibited her likability in romantic comedies including The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, and Fever Pitch. The Charlie's Angels film series featured the prolific actress, who also had mainstream appeal.
However, neither one of her fantastic private-eye movies nor one of her beloved rom-coms was chosen as her favorite by the producer, director, or actor. Barrymore acknowledged that her performance as Josie Geller, a.k.a. Josie Grossie, in the 1999 comedy Never Been Kissed, ranked first on her list of all-time favorites during a 2017 interview.
In the somewhat popular movie, Josie plays a copy editor in her twenties who has never had a serious romantic relationship. She reverts to her geeky, insecure behavior the moment she enrolls in high school as an undercover reporter.
Barrymore absolutely identified with her Never Been Kissed persona in spite of her unconventional Hollywood upbringing.
"My name is Josie Grossie. I have such strong feelings about that movie because I... value goodness, empathy, and kindness. When bad things happen in your life, you're expected to become more nurturing, caring, and sympathetic as well as more sensitive and thin-skinned. It's not like you're less strong. To me, that movie perfectly captures the experience of growing up."

#10 Leonardo DiCaprio - Howard Hughes, 'The Aviator'

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the biggest movie stars of his generation. He became famous all around the world because of Titanic, and he won an Oscar for The Revenant.
Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio collaborated on five motion pictures. The actor received an Academy Award nod for his portrayal of the eccentric corporate magnate, Hollywood director, and daredevil aviation pilot Howard Hughes in the 2004 film The Aviator.
The Wolf of Wall Street actor spent years perfecting his portrayal of the eccentric billionaire who lived out his last years as a recluse wholly disabled by severe OCD.
When asked to name his favorite part, DiCaprio immediately mentioned Hughes. DiCaprio stated, "If I had to pick one, it would definitely be The Aviator, playing Howard Hughes." "When you can tell yourself, "You know, someday I'm going to play this role," and then you get to create it, the situation is different. And I got to work on it for more than eight years before having the legendary Martin Scorsese take over the directing duties. Therefore, that is the one I'm most proud of."

#11 Michael Caine - Fred Ballinger, 'Youth'

Source: StudioCanal

Michael Caine is living proof that older people can still keep up with younger people. The British actor first appeared in movies as a womanizing jerk in Alfie. In Get Carter, he evolved into an anti-hero tough guy action star. Then, in The Cider House Rules and the Dark Knight trilogy, Caine's Pennyworth evolved into a fatherly or grandfatherly figure.
In 2015, the two-time Academy Award-winning actor claimed that his best work actually occurred when he was just 82 years old. In the dramedy Youth, which deals with aging, Caine portrayed retired composer Fred Ballinger.
Caine claimed, "Secretly, I regarded it as the best thing I ever did. It was the most difficult, and the criterion for that is that I made it look the easiest."

#12 Kate Winslet - Clementine, 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'

Source: Focus Features

After delivering a standout performance in 1997's tragic love story Titanic, Kate Winslet, then 22 years old, rose to international fame as a movie star. The British actress maintained her stellar performance in indie movies and historical dramas. She won an Academy Award for the film The Reader in 2008.
In the moving science fiction movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Winslet portrayed the free-spirited, hair-color-changing character Clementine in 2004. The Jim Carrey and Charlie Kaufman film is a non-linear, highly stylized examination of how two characters—Clementine and Joel—handle a devastating breakup and accompanying agonizing memories.
Winslet was asked about her favorite movie role during an interview on the Intelligence Squared podcast. She spoke right away in the outgoing, jovial voice of her character from Eternal Sunshine.
She stated, "I think Clementine from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a favorite for me. "But see, the time from Titanic until then, which is about six or seven years, that period of time, making those decisions to do smaller films, take risks, and be in things that sometimes barely even saw the light of day, I think all of that instinctive behavior on my part as an actor in making those smaller choices, I think all of it paid off," the actor said.
Winslet even hoped for the chance to take on Clementine's role in a follow-up film. Winslet stated, "She's one I'd love to play again because it was just so great fun." "And the options for hair colors were virtually limitless. Don't you want to see Clementine when she is 42 years old? I'm curious as to what transpired with her. I adore the notion that she simply indulged in everything that made her happy and let herself get extremely obese while letting go of all body-related concerns. And more outrageous clothing and hair colors! I believe that might have been enjoyable.
Share this article