23 Actors That Portrayed a Character So Well That Nobody Else Will Be Able to Live Up To It

Some performances are so good it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role. Someone recently asked, “Which actor crushed a role so hard that nobody else will be able to live up to it?” Here are the 23 top answers.

Raul Julia as Gomez Addams

Raul Julia – Gomez Addams (The Addams Family) Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

“I loved his portrayal of Gomez Addams so much that one year I went all out as Gomez Addams for Halloween.”

“Before I started reading replies, my FIRST thought was, ‘I wonder if anyone mentions Raul Julia as Gomez?’ I’m really happy to see it as number one. He KILLED that role.”

John C. McGinley as Dr Cox

John C. McGinley - Dr Cox. (Scrubs) ABC Studios
Photo Credit: ABC Studios.

“It’s absolutely criminal that he never got an Emmy for that role.”

“I’ve teared up twice watching Scrubs: Ben’s funeral and the My Lunch ending. McGinley really sells the emotional part of his character incredibly well. Seeing this man break down breaks my heart.”

Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall

Maggie Smith - Professor McGonagall (Harry Potter Movies) Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“Maggie Smith as anything.”

“Yes! She absolutely killed this role. By far the best part of the show.”

Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“I hate Bellatrix so much that ever since Helena Bonham Carter was cast, I can’t like her in literally anything else. She killed that role!”

Christian Bale in American Psycho

American Psycho (2000) - Lionsgate Films
Photo Credit: Lionsgate Films.

“Kept scrolling hoping to see this. That Huey Lewis and the News scene is iconic.”

“I think the accent he does is incredible too.”

Jessica Walter in Arrested Development

Lucille Bluth (Arrested Development) Netflix
Photo Credit: Netflix.

“Her mean mom character dynamic is gold.”

“Her character in Arrested Development is so much like my horrible grandmother it almost makes me nostalgic.”

Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White

Madeline Kahn – Mrs. White (Clue) Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

“Madeline Kahn in everything she’s ever been in.”

“I JUST saw that movie for the first time last week, and I can’t believe I haven’t at all until then.”

Andre the giant in The Princess Bride

André René Roussimoff - Andre The Giant (The Princess Bride) 20th Century Studios
Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios.

“I would like to follow up with everyone that was cast in The Princess Bride. There is no way to remake that movie. It is magical.”

“You’re right. To remake that movie would be inconceivable.”

Leslie Nielsen as Frank Drebin

Leslie Nielsen the naked gun Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

“The absolute deadpan delivery is what the dramatic experience brings to his comedy.”

“I’ve always found myself more amused by dramatic/theatrical actors playing in film comedies than comedians. Their timing and awareness are usually hard to match. Nielsen was in a different league.”

Val Kilmer in Tombstone

Val Kilmer – Tombstone Hollywood Pictures
Photo Credit: Hollywood Pictures.

“Every once in a while, there’s a role that it seems like the actor was born to play. There’s really not another role that compares in his career.”

“I love how he flips the guns in opposite directions. That had to take a good bit of practice.”

Christopher Lee playing any character

Christopher Lee As Saruman The Lord of the Rings_ The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) New Line Productions
Photo Credit: New Line Productions.

“Really, Christopher Lee as Christopher Lee. His whole life is epic, from fighting in WWII to fronting a death metal band.”

“He’s very good at some things, but not everything. He doesn’t even crack the top five Sherlock Holmes depictors. Brett, Cumberbatch, Rathbone, Mckellen, RDJ.”

Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation

Nick Offerman As Ron Swanson Parks and Recreation (2009-2015) NBC Pictures
Photo Credit: NBC Pictures.

“He’s one of those actors that I struggle to see out of character.”

“Didn’t the writers actually change the character of Ron to suit Nick specifically? I feel like I’d read/ heard somewhere that the part was FOR him.”

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

Hugh Jackman Wolverine 20th Century Studios. Marvel Studios
Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios/Marvel Studios

“Insane that I had to scroll so far down for this. It was the first name that came to mind.”

“Same for me. It’s the first name that came to mind, and I’m actually angry that It’s so low.”

Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka

Gene Wilder - Willy Wonka (Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory) Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

“You may already know this, but Gene Wilder requested his entrance be like that. His reasoning was that then through the entire film, the audience wouldn’t know if he was lying or not. The man was an absolute genius actor.”

“I think he was prepared to turn down the part if he wasn’t allowed to do it.”

Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice

Michael Keaton – Beetlejuice (Beetlejuice) Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“And he’s only in it for a total of like 15 minutes. It just adds to how great the performance is.”

“You just convinced me to finally watch Beetlejuice.”

Christopher Lloyd as Doc in Back to the Future

Christopher Lloyd - Doc (Back to the Future) Universal Studios
Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

“It’s the role he was born to play.”

“If it’s a crazy, eccentric character, then it’s the perfect role for Christopher Lloyd.”

Danny Trejo as Machete

Danny Trejo, Machete, 20th Century Studios
Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios.

“I’m pretty sure Machete was just a film crew following around Danny Trejo on a Tuesday.”

“All of Danny Trejo’s characters are the exact same person, and its perfect.”

Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley

Aliens 20th Century Studios
Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios.

“The best part of Alien and Aliens. The hero is a woman, and no one cares. Anyone, man or woman, would follow Ripley to the ends of the earth.”

“Oh yeah. She killed that one! At the time, she was the first female lead to cross the seven-figure ceiling. (Rumor has it that this is the reason why Michael Biehn was written out.)”

Ian McKellen as Gandalf

Ian McKellan – Gandalf (The Lord Of The Rings) New Line Cinema
Photo Credit: New Line Cinema.

“Every single part is cast and played so well.”

“Can you believe that Gandalf was almost played by Sean Connery? I find that more surprising than Nicky Cage as Aragorn…”

Tom Hanks as Woody in Toy Story

Tom Hanks - Woody (Toy Story) Walt Disney Pictures
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

“Other characters, I feel, could be replaced quite easily. Tim Allen is obviously brilliant as Buzz, but it’s a pretty standard Captain Kirk-inspired space captain performance. But I just can’t imagine Tom Hanks’ manic, neurotic Woody being played by anyone else.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Terminator

Terminator StudioCanal
Photo Credit: Tri-Star Pictures.

“Weird to think that role almost went to OJ Simpson.”

“If the clothes, boots, and motorcycle don’t fit, you must acquit.”

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano

Photo Credit: HBO.

“The best answer. Nobody else has ever come so close to being their character as much as he did, in my opinion. The sheer physicality of him is remarkable – he didn’t have to say anything or even move to completely become Tony. I believe in Tony Soprano more than I do in James Gandolfini.”

Ronald Lee Ermey as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“YES! Wow, I completely forgot about this, but he absolutely killed it as Gunny.”

“Surprised I had to scroll this far to see this. The man crushed it so hard generations of actual drill sergeants have been trying to live up to it and falling.”

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Smile Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

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The Godfather (1972) Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

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Walter in the Big Lebowski Working Title Films
Photo Credit: Working Title Films.

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Back to the Future - Universal Pictures
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

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Source: Reddit

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