Top 10 Underrated Male Actors

Script written by Niki Neptune. Their stars don’t seem to shine quite bright enough. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 underrated male actors. For this list, we’re looking at those male actors who we also refer to as “oh yeah, that guy.” These are the actors we easily recognize from their time onscreen, but who don’t seem to get enough love in terms of recognition and award nominations or wins. Their acting chops are definitely up to par, but we want to see them step out from the shadows and directly into the limelight. Special thanks to our users DonovanTPS, Steven Castillo, Andrew A. Dennison, thepapakid, Eric601, Cristian Alejandro Trujillo Meneses, Mukul, carlrug¸ Nichelle Phoenix Perez, Chance Ellison, Mspaula46, Juan Lopez and Lee Carter for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Niki Neptune.

Top 10 Underrated Male Actors


Their stars don’t seem to shine quite bright enough. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 underrated male actors.

For this list, we’re looking at those male actors who we also refer to as “oh yeah, that guy.” These are the actors we easily recognize from their time onscreen, but who don’t seem to get enough love in terms of recognition and award nominations or wins. Their acting chops are definitely up to par, but we want to see them step out from the shadows and directly into the limelight.

#10: Karl Urban

Not to be confused with Nicole Kidman’s country singing husband, Keith Urban, this New Zealand transplant has been in the industry for over two decades. You might remember him from his roles on “Xena,” but that’s before his Hollywood debut aboard the “Ghost Ship.” Since then, he’s added many heavy-hitting blockbusters to his resume, including an iconic role in the “Star Trek” reboots. And he’s even brought his predilection for sci-fi to the small-screen with a starring role in the futuristic primetime hit “Almost Human.”

#9: Ron Perlman

We may be most familiar with him when he’s completely covered in red makeup and donning sawed-off horns, but this cool cat’s been in the game since before some of us were born. Beneath that distinct brow lie the eyes of a man who’s seen over 30 years of acting work. His tender tough-guy persona makes him perfect for playing a monster to a biker with a heart of gold, and everything in between.

#8: Colin Farrell

This Irish actor is known for his fiery temper – both onscreen and off. Perhaps it’s because he’s been in his fair share of bombs that Farrell has remained just below the A-list for much of his career; or perhaps it’s because he shines more in dark indie comedies than he does in huge blockbusters. Either way, whether he’s playing an Irish hitman or a struggling writer that keeps questionable company, he excels at not taking himself too seriously. Most of the time.

#7: Nathan Fillion

He’s a small screen star with major big screen potential. If we’ve learned anything from his time on TV, it’s that he’s going places. And if he’s not, he should. While he’s landed a few leading roles on the silver screen, they aren’t nearly enough to complement this dude’s prospective mega-star status, as evidenced by his cult-fave work on “Firefly.” In the meantime, at least we get to enjoy watching him run around solving crimes on network TV.

#6: James McAvoy

Thankfully for this Scottish star, having an affair with a dictator’s wife or curving a bullet away from Angelina Jolie’s face are both way safer to do on the big screen than in real life. They’ll also put you on Hollywood’s radar, if only mildly. Even after his successful role on the UK series “Shameless,” his appearance in “The Chronicles of Narnia” truly brought him to the attention of the masses and allowed him to land a part as the future leader of a rag-tag bunch of mutant superheroes.

#5: Paul Bettany

After stealing the show as the delightfully witty and charming Geoffrey Chaucer in “A Knight’s Tale,” he earned praise for his work as the ship doctor in “Master and Commander.” Soon enough, his skill made him a good choice to portray the devoutly Catholic albino out to kill Tom Hanks, as well as a gifted man’s hallucination. Plus, his wonderful English accent makes him the go to when it comes to voicing artificial intelligence systems for billionaire playboys with suits made of iron.

#4: Giovanni Ribisi

He’s been in so many films over the years that your eyes may’ve grown accustomed to seeing him. Ever the bridesmaid, never the bride, he’s enjoyed steady work for almost twenty years, appearing in a number of big name films after breaking through to the big time on “Friends.” While he did get to star as a fraudulent stockbroker back in 2000, most of his roles have been supporting. But that doesn’t mean we don’t see him shining.

#3: Eric Bana

This suave gentleman from down-under seems to be skilled at landing roles opposite some really attractive people. That’s a talent in itself, but it probably helps when you’re also good-looking. And talented. And although Bana’s starred in a couple of big-budget action flicks, he’s got some serious comedic chops that we’ve only seen glimpses of.

#2: Peter Sarsgaard

He made abducting a child while in mid-air look easy. And he made full-frontal nudity and making out with Liam Neeson look even easier. It’s not that no one’s paying attention to this seemingly mild-mannered powerhouse – it’s that they’re not paying enough attention. With some incredibly nuanced and commanding performances under his belt, we can totally see him making his way up to the Oscar podium at some point.

Before we give our top pick his due credit, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Jean Reno
- William Fichtner
- Jeremy Irvine
- Andy Serkis

#1: Sam Rockwell


You’ve undoubtedly seen him in many independent films, where he’s gained most of his footing. He’s always been there, lurking on the periphery of stardom since the late-‘80s-early-‘90s. He holds his own against our generation’s greatest actors, whether he’s a minor character on a popular sci-fi series, a game show host-turned CIA assassin or an eccentric, multi-headed alien. He let us know that we need to be seeing more of him by playing an astronaut stranded on the moon. And given his exceptional performance, we couldn’t agree more.

Do you agree with our list? Which actors do you think don’t get the proper recognition? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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