The Filmaholic

Robin Williams – One Hour Photo

Robin Williams has shown on several occasions that he was an actor with talents beyond comedy. One of those occasions was 2002's One Hour Photo in which he plays an obsessive and mentally disturbed man that finally cracks after being dismissed from his job at a photo lab. Williams puts in a low-key but effective and quietly unnerving performance which hits all the right notes, proving that he could take on a leading role without having to rely solely on his comedic talents.

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Adam Sandler – Reign Over Me

Adam Sandler gets a very hard time about his acting ability, and in some cases it is well deserved, but there have been a few times when he's shown he can handle a more serious role. One of those times was in 2007's Reign Over Me in which he plays a bereaved man who has become a hermit after losing his family in the September 11th attacks. There is one particular scene involving his mother in law which shows that, when he tries, he can act convincingly in a more serious role.

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Jim Carrey – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Following his breakthrough success in whacky comedies such as Ace Ventura and The Mask, Jim Carrey went through a phase of trying to show the world that there was more to him than goofy characters that can contort their face. One of those was the polar opposite, the sci-fi romantic, drama Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. While he may be best at comedy, he has proven that he has the ability to star alongside Oscar winners such as Kate Winslet or lead a horror-thriller such as The Number 23.

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Lee Evans – Freeze Frame

Lee Evans is very well known for his whacky comedy and contorted facial expressions, much like Jim Carrey. However, his foray into non-comedic films was much darker with his lead role in 2004's Freeze Frame, a paranoid thriller in which Evans plays a man who films his every move after being accused of a triple-murder. Despite a very good performance which could have seen him go on to take even more serious roles, he decided to only make a few more films before retiring from acting in 2009.

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Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler marks his second entry in the list with 2019's Uncut Gems which is a much more widely known role which many thought should have earned Sandler an Oscar nomination, which is strong praise indeed. He is due to follow this up in 2022 with Spaceman of Bohemia and Hustle. Sandler has proved his abilities given the right material, but time will tell if he'll gain the wider recognition.

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Richard Pryor – Blue Collar

Richard Pryor forged a hugely successful stand-up comedy career, and a comedy film career, but in 1978's gritty drama Blue Collar he puts in a fantastic performance as a blue collar worker that, along with two co-workers, hatch a plan to rob a safe at their work union's headquarters. Although his wit still shines through this was a much more serious role that showed his talents extended beyond pure comedy.

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Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street

Jonah Hill made his name in hilarious comedies, in particular 2007's Superbad, but he has also proven on several occasions that he can hold his own with very good actors with oscar-nominated performances alongside Brad Pitt in MoneyBall and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street. In the latter he plays Donnie Azoff, the partner in crime to DiCaprio's brilliant Jordan Belfort who, together, become rich through various stock-market scams; but it's not long before they get the attention of the authorities.

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Bill Murray – Lost In Translation

Everybody knows Bill Murray is famous for his comedy roles, and with so many iconic ones it would be easy to think that's the only string to his bow. However, he has had a variety of serious roles including The Razor's Edge, Hamlet, and Hyde Park on Hudson. His most notable however is his Oscar-nominated lead role in the Sofia Coppola directed Lost in Translation; in which he plays a faded film star in Japan who meets an intriguing young woman, played by Scarlett Johansson.

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Steve Carrell – FoxCatcher

Steve Carrell is another actor who made his name in comedy, initially with the U.S. remake of The Office and then with The 40 Year Old Virgin, but he is also a very accomplished dramatic actor with credits including The Big Short and Beautiful Boy. Before both of those however, he starred as John du Pont in the biographical Foxcatcher and was so good that he received an Oscar and BAFTA nomination for best actor.

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Robin Williams – Good Will Hunting

Robin Williams once again showed there's more to his ability than just comedy with his role in 1997's Good Will Hunting. He won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as Sean Maguire, psychiatrist to Matt Damon's Will Hunting, which was filled with every emotion that brought laughter and tears to the audience with a fantastic performance that still stands out as one of his greatest and most memorable.

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