Just a little list for you guys this Monday.
1. Jim Carrey
I like Jim Carrey mostly anyway, but I REALLY love his serious work. The Truman Show is one of my top 10 movies of all time, and that's mostly due to his serious work. He manages to create incredibly likable protagonists. Lately he's gone back to doing a lot more comedy, which is sad for me. I hope he re-explores dramatic work soon.
2. Zach Galifianakis
I'm not a mega Zach Galifianakis fan. He's pretty funny in The Hangover, and I occasionally like Between Two Ferns, but most of the time he leaves me uninterested. However, based solely on his performance in It's Kind of a Funny Story, I would LOVE to see him do some more serious work. His loser persona translated in that movie into something very moving and very tragic, and, frankly, I wanted to see more of him and less of the main kid. I feel like if he picked the right projects, I could be very drawn to him as a dramatic actor.
3. Neil Patrick Harris
NPH has not only wonderful comic timing, he also has a way of injecting even his more comedic characters with very compelling dramatic sides. I'm thinking specifically of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and Barney Stinson, who, although they're mostly comedic characters, both have moments when they reveal that there's more to them than meets the eye, and he plays those moments superbly. There's no character on How I Met Your Mother that I *care* about more than Barney, which is odd, because you'd think he'd be the one I'd care about least. But every time he has a semi serious storyline, Neil Patrick Harris does it perfectly. I'd love to see him do some more work that's mostly dramatic.
4. Steve Carell
He has the same dramatic appeal for me as Zach Galifianakis, in that he has a way of portraying someone who is a loser (and *knows* they're a loser) that can either crack me up or make my heart hurt for him. Or, as in the case of The Office, frequently both. And like Neil Patrick Harris, he managed to make me deeply care about a fairly obnoxious character - Michael Scott is a fairly terrible person, but I rooted for him. I cared about his fate. He's only ventured into dramatic work a few times, but I hope he continues to play with this.
5. Will Ferrell
I've seen two slightly-more-dramatic enterprises from Will Ferrell - one was Winter Passing (which was unbelievably dull and terrible for everyone involved, so I can't judge anyone based on that) and the other was Stranger Than Fiction
, which was a comedy/drama, but a very normal character, and I *liked* him in it. Ever since then I've wanted him to do something else dramatic. He has an earnestness in his characters that could translate very well into dramatic work.
What do you guys think? What comic actors do you wish did more dramatic work? (Or, the fun flip side: What dramatic actors do you wish did more comedy? I started that list myself but didn't get very far.)