January 14, 2013

5 Unexpected Badasses

Arnie, Sly, Statham, Adkins and Van Damme; when you hear their names you think ACTION, but occasionally an actor who isn’t normally associated with the ass-kicking genre will take a role that turns them into a surprising bad ass. So here are 5 “serious” actors who had a shot at action and were pretty damn good at it.




Liam Neeson: Liam Neeson was always a diverse actor who could fit into any role; it was a huge surprise however in 2008 when he starred in Taken and proved to be one of the greatest badasses in the business. He played Brian Mills, an ex-CIA agent forced out of retirement to rescue his daughter from sex traffickers. He beat up/killed half of Paris and the film went on to be a huge international hit which spawned an even more financially successful sequel, despite not being anywhere near as taut as the original.

Adrian Brody: Normally associated with more art house fare, it was a massive shock when they cast Brody in Predators, the long awaited sequel to the original Predator movies. He was buffed up, had a gravelly bad ass voice and even mud wrestled with a Predator at the end. He also got to play the hero in Peter Jackson’s King Kong, once again proving that baddasses come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Matt Damon: An actor who would normally star in character pieces and Oscar fare surprised the world by becoming the action star of the 2000’s. With the Bourne Identity, Damon brought a more “realistic” approach to the action genre; he punched, kicked, shot and stabbed a ton of adversaries and audiences loved it so much, he came back to do it 2 more times in The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum.

James McAvoy: James gets a shout out because he’s a fellow Glaswegian, who, like Damon would normally star in Oscar fare or even fantasy films like Narnia. Then in 2008 he starred in Wanted with Angelina Jolie, which is a hardcore assassin movie with plenty of violence. He plays a bored office worker who becomes one of the world’s greatest hit men and has a blast while doing it. The film was a huge box office hit and yet I still consider it underrated.

Guy Pearce: One of the most versatile actors in the business, Guy Pearce would normally star in quite low key affairs like Memento or even crime thrillers like L.A. Confidential. Then last year he starred in Lock Out; the movie itself wasn’t amazing but Pearce was a muscle-bound, chain-smoking, ass-kicking tough guy in the vein of classic John McClane. He would also transform into one of the most evil men in history in Lawless with Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf.

So, there you have it, 5 normally “serious” actors who surprised us all by being very good at hurting people.

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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