On our last go-round on this subject, I dealt with those unfortunate few male actors whose default setting was the most often seen in their films. If you happen to be a female in Hollywood, things don’t look much better, and in many cases they probably look worse, because in the movie business, you’re a hooker, a bitch, or a woman who needs a man to solve all her problems, and there’s not much room for in between. So much so that even good actresses, ones who have proven themselves to have range and abilities beyond their usual fare, find themselves going back to the same old thing, time and again, whether it be romantic comedy (more than half the actresses on this list) or drama/action (the other half). So in a tribute to these brave women who have talent but choose not to use it for the sake of routine and easy satisfaction, Screen Junkies presents….
13 Terminally Typecast Actresses
(Note: The list is measured by the strength of the typecast, not by acting ability, so if an actress hasn’t been around as long she’ll likely be lower on the list.)
13. Michelle Rodriguez…as Herself
Above: Fast & Furious Avatar, S.W.A.T., Girl Fight
Michelle Rodriguez excels in exactly two things: looking like a badass and looking a little bit like a lesbian. Whether she’s a dangerous driver, a dangerous pilot, a dangerous cop, or a dangerous female boxer, she really only has one setting, and that’s one that you don’t want to mess with. Seriously, stay away from that button.
12. Anne Hathaway…as Herself
Above: The Princess Diaries, Ella Enchanted, The Devil Wears Prada, Bride Wars
Her first big movie was The Princess Diaries, and since then she’s basically only played a variation on the same character, over an over and over again: an insecure drop dead gorgeous chick who must realize her true beauty in order to find true love…or something along those lines. Her main deviation from this setting was her role as the “look at my boobies!” chick in Brokeback Mountain, but you don’t hear me complaining. Well, you hear me doing something, but it isn’t complaining. Close that door.
11. Cate Blanchett…as Herself
Above: The Lord of the Rings, Notes on a Scandal, Babel, Elizabeth
Sure, Cate Blanchett is a great actress and has done a big variety of roles, but if you look at her resume she does tend toward a specific kind of good: the dramatic. Pick at random any one of her movies and you can be sure that you’ll find her scowling or looking really intensely at the camera, possibly with an undercurrent of sexy thrown in. Whether she’s a queen or an…elf queen, that Cate Blanchett stone-cold sizzle follows her everywhere.
10. Zooey Deschanel…as Herself
Above: 500 Days of Summer, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Yes Man, Elf
Really, Zooey Deschanel can’t be entirely faulted for her typecast; I mean, with those other-worldly baby blues she was born with what else are you going to play besides a slightly aloof cutie who’s job it usually is to help the hero of the tale find out what he’s missing in his life? Yes, even Jim Carrey counts as a hero, that lucky son of a bitch.
9. Carla Gugino…as Herself
Above: Sin City, Rise Women in Trouble, Watchmen
You may remember her from Spy Kids, or perhaps that Ben Stiller kiddie flick Night at the Museum, but aside from a few family friendly roles Carla Gugino’s main asset throughout her film career has thrived on…well, showing off her main assets. The gorgeous chick who somehow always finds a way to get naked while looking devilishly hot is her forte, and here’s hoping she doesn’t stop anytime soon.
8. Joan Cusack…as Herself
Above: Toy Story 2, Ice Princess, Martian Child, Kitt Kittredge: An American Girl
Aside from appearing alongside her sibling John Cusack in just about every other film she does (try searching Joan Cusack in Google and more than half the pictures will have her and her brother in them), Joan’s signature acting style involves her usually finding a way to stretch her face into that monstrous grin of hers while laughing maniacally and offering some sage/potentially insane advice to a best friend/ex-husband/daughter/brother/etc. of hers.
7. Cameron Diaz…as Herself
Above: There’s Something About Mary, Charlie’s Angels, What Happens in Vegas, The Sweetest Thing
Ever since her first appearance alongside Jim Carrey in The Mask, Cameron Diaz has thrived on that unassuming beauty that effortlessly flows from her miles-wide smile and an innocent unawareness of her hotness that sometimes borders on an annoying tendency to exploit said unawareness to turn her character into a complete bitch. Either way, her persona ain’t going anywhere.
6. Drew Barrymore…as Herself
Above: He’s Just Not That Into You, Never Been Kissed, 50 First Dates, Fever Pitch
Ah, Drew Barrymore. “BabyFace McGorgeous,” as she is known in locked files on my computer, is similar to Cameron Diaz in that her natural beautiful looks astound those around her, but she’s different in that most every single one of her characters has some slightly creepy flaw that roots them in insecurity, allowing for maximum quirkiness to emerge.
5. Meg Ryan…as Herself
Above: You’ve Got Mail, French Kiss, Kate & Leopold, When Harry Met Sally
At this point in her career, Meg Ryan is practically a Romantic Comedy Queen, so much so she was able to star in a romantic comedy without any men in it. (“The Women”) After all, who needs a man when you’ve had cute misunderstandings and joyful tearful lifelong declarations of love with just about every male star there is? Oh yeah, and pretty much every single possible hairstyle chronicling your career and the decades in which you’ve starred?
4. Jodie Foster…as Herself
Above: Flightplan, Inside Man, The Brave One, Contact
She’s been one of the few actresses to successfully navigate a career from child star to superstar adult, and she didn’t do it by being nice; no, she did it by being one of the baddest motherf**kers in town with eyes that could take down a T-Rex and a “don’t f**k with me” attitude. For a woman, she’s got some balls of steel, and perhaps nobody put it better than Christopher Plummer in Inside Man: “You’re a magnificent c*nt.” The thing is, we don’t consider it an insult.
3. Queen Latifah…as Herself
Above: Hairspray, Beauty Shop, Mad Money, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Whether she’s playing a sassy beautician, a sassy mammoth, or a sassy dance whiz, Queen Latifah has a sass switch that she just can’t switch off. She’s also got a kind of motherly air that she brings to any role she plays, so that it seems she could just pop out a batch of cookies from behind her back at any moment while telling you off in her classy black sassy manner about how the cookies contain some damn good “flava.” Or something like that.
2. Helena Bonham Carter…as Herself
Above: Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Big Fish
Three of the above pictures practically look like they could have come from the same character and the same movie, but that just goes to prove how Helena Bonham Carter just can’t get enough batshit craziness crammed into her resume. And for someone who seems so intent on covering up her face with all kinds of makeup and wacky hairdos, she’s gorgeous. You know there’s nothing more sexy than a woman that can turn you on while also haunting your dreams with her evil cackle.
1. Sandra Bullock…as Herself
Above: While You were Sleeping, The Proposal, Speed, Miss Congeniality: Armed & Fabulous
Even though she won the Best Actress Oscar for a serious turn in The Blindside this past year, she also came out with the biggest romantic comedy of all time, The Proposal, proving that she still hasn’t lost that touch and will forever be known as America’s Girl Next Door. I even forgave her for starring in Speed 2: Cruise Control. Her classic brunette look and down-to-Earth appeal are easy to see, and she can just as easily star in a Keanu Reeves action vehicle as teach a young black kid how to make something of hisself. Here’s hoping her big comeback last year wasn’t just a fluke, and that she sticks around for a few more years to come, charming the pants off the nation and us too.
-Thomas Anderson, aka MovieBuzzReviewDude. Check out his movie/media/popculture blog HERE.