14 Actors Who Brilliantly Reinvented Themselves Across Their Career

For every actor, takes years and years of work and unshakable passion to make a name in Hollywood. Despite many fail to hit the big leagues, many actors persistently face major obstacles that Hollywood puts in their way.
For many, being typecast or being chained to the same after film may begin to take its toll and result in the decision to cast aside their roots and branch out into entirely new roles. While some changed from comedy to a more serious genre, others stopped doing dramatic films and opted for thrillers. For example, Johnny Depp started his big-screen career as a bad boy starring in offbeat quirky Tim Burton movies but he failed. The actor decided to sign with Disney to make a blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean”. As a result, it opened up a whole new fantastical world for the actor.
In addition to him, many actors suddenly changed their type and it reinvented their careers. Keep scrolling down to see them.

#1 Liam Neeson

Source: © Schindler`s List / Universal Pictures© Taken / Europa Corp.

Liam Neeson had many successful roles in dramatic roles. He was best known as Oskar Schindler who saved the Jews during World War II in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, in which he was nominated for an Oscar. After years, he started starring in action films with roles of brutal men. The movies include “Taken”, “Non-Stop”, and “The Commuter”.

#2 Melissa McCarthy

Source: © Identity Thief / Aggregate Films© Can You Ever Forgive Me? / Fox Searchlight Pictures

Melissa McCarthy was originally a successful stand-up comedian. She was famous for the charmingly plump Molly from the show “Mike & Molly” and also played well in “Bridesmaids” and “Identity Thief”. It was a surprise that the actress appeared in the serious drama “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”. For her great performance, she was nominated for an Oscar.

#3 Emma Stone

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Emma Stone’s roles in dramatic films are so familiar to us. However, many might not know that she used to be a comedic actress. She took part in many successful comedy movies such as “Superbad”, “The House Bunny”, “Easy A”. After that, she tried out a dramatic role in “The Help”. The movie was a springboard for her to start her path toward more serious dramatic roles. Her role in “Birdman” earned her an Oscar and 2 years later she actually won the Best Actress award in “La La Land”.

#4 Matthew McConaughey

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Matthew McConaughey was always associated with beautiful smiles in romantic comedies. But his appearance in “The Lincoln Lawyer” proved him a talented actor. After this role, the actor was offered more interesting and difficult parts, including Ron Woodroof in “Dallas Buyers Club” and Rustin Cohle in “True Detective”.

#5 Jennifer Aniston

Source: © Just Go with It / Happy Madison Productions© Cake / Cinelou Films

Jennifer Aniston rose to international fame for her role as Rachel Green on the television sitcom Friends (1994–2004), for which she earned Primetime Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild awards. Producers and directors always saw her as the perfect actress for romantic comedies. But in 2005, she changed her career direction. Her most unexpected and strongest role was in the psychological drama, Cake. This movie was completely different than any other movie Aniston had done.

#6 Shia LaBeouf

Source: © Transformers / DreamWorks SKG© Lawless / Benaroya Pictures

Shia LaBeouf made his first steps in Hollywood very quickly when starring in some sci-fi movies like “Constantine”, “Transformers”, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”. Because the actor wanted to showcase his talent, he started looking for new projects. He acted in the crime drama “Lawless” and succeeded with it.

#7 Kate Hudson

Source: © Bride Wars / Firm Films© Marshall / Chestnut Ridge Productions

Kate Hudson started her career as a comedian. She starred in many comedies like “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”, “Bride Wars”, “Raising Helen” and so on. Later, she began looking for a new image. She acted in the musical “Nine” alongside Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, and Sophia Loren. The actress also did a great job in her dramatic roles in “A Little Bit of Heaven”, “Wish I Was Here”, and the thriller, “Good People”.

#8 Jonah Hill

Source: © The Wolf of Wall Street / EMJAG Productions© Don't Worry, He Won`t Get Far on Foot / Anonymous Content

Jonah Hill associated his image with a funny, fat guy in comedies such as “21 Jump Street” and was even nominated for a Teen Choice Award as “Best Comedy Actor” in “Superbad”. Later, he took part in more serious projects and succeed in the dramatic movie “He Won’t Get Far on Foot”. Now, he is trying to be a great director.

#9 Sandra Bullock

Source: © Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous / Castle Rock Entertainment© Bird Box / Bluegrass Films

Sandra Bullock launched her career in romantic comedy movies. Her first works in “Religion”, “Love Potion No. 9”, and “The Thing Called Love” were not very successful. The boost in her career started with Speed which also starred Keanu Reeves but her role in “The Blind Side” was prominent the most. For her perfect performance, she received an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

#10 Steve Carell

Source: © Bruce Almighty / Universal Pictures© Foxcatcher / Annapurna Pictures

Many viewers remember him as a comedian in “Crazy, Stupid, Love”, “Date Night”, and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”. Everything changed in 2014 after he played John du Pont, the owner of a wrestling team in “Foxcatcher”. His work received many praises from critics and movie buffs. It also earned him an Oscar.

#11 Ben Stiller

Source: © Zoolander / Paramount Pictures© Greenberg / Twins Financing

Like Steve Carell, Ben Stiller started his career as a comedic actor. At the end of the ’90s, after starring in There’s Something About Mary with Cameron Diaz, Stiller was invited to take on bigger roles in more expansive comedies. Suddenly, he decided to do some independent movies, and his performance in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” was a true breakthrough for him.

#12 Robert Pattinson

Source: © Twilight / Twilight Productions© Good Time / Elara Pictures

The image of Robert Pattinson as vampire Edward in “Twilight” become iconic. Despite the famous role, it made him uncomfortable. He wanted to showcase his acting talent so he decided to take on different roles. He starred in “Water for Elephants” and “Cosmopolis” along with the thriller “Mission: Blacklist”.

#13 Michelle Williams

Source: © Shutter Island / Phoenix Pictures© I Feel Pretty / Voltage Pictures

As a serious actress, Michelle Williams won an Oscar 4 times: twice for Best Actress in “Blue Valentine” and “My Week with Marylin” and twice for Best Supporting Actress in “Manchester by the Sea” and “Brokeback Mountain”. After years, she changed up her usual image by playing characters in the action film “Venom” and the comedy “I Feel Pretty”.

#14 Tom Cruise

Source: © Rain Man / MGM© Edge of Tomorrow / 3 Arts Entertainment

Tom Cruise did a great job in dramas and psychological thrillers such as “Born on the Fourth of July”, “Rain Man”, “Vanilla Sky”, “Eyes Wide Shut” and so on. But in 2004, the actor appeared as a killer in the film “Collateral”. Since then, we’ve seen him in different kinds of action films, sci-fi movies, and crime dramas.
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