One Trick Wonders: 3 Actors Who Got Stuck Playing the Same Role
They have become hostages to their characters.
Audiences often associate actors with their iconic roles, but some stars find it difficult to step out of the shadow of their familiar image.
We've picked three actors who play the same role year after year.
3. Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck is not only a successful actor, but also a great director and screenwriter. Together with his friend Matt Damon, they wrote 1997's Good Will Hunting, for which they won an Oscar and starred in the title role.
Although Affleck cemented his status as a successful actor, his portrayal of a brooding and cold character became a staple of his career. There were similar roles in 1999's Dogma, 2001's Pearl Harbor, and Bruce Wayne (2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), where the actor played an alienated superhero without changing his expression throughout the film.
Maybe Affleck should just stick to directing and writing, because that's what he's really good at.
2. Keanu Reeves
Reeves kicked things off with 1991's My Own Private Idaho and Point Break, where he played a slightly lovesick and confused protagonist. Since then, the actor has split his career between romantic movies and action flicks.
But lately, the actor has been focusing his craft on movies about murder and explosions. Beginning with 2013's 47 Ronin, Reeves immediately starred in the martial arts film Man of Tai Chi (2013), and a year later he joined one of the biggest franchises of his life, John Wick.
Recently, the fourth installment of the action movie about a hit man was released, but Keanu doesn't even think to stop crushing the heads of his enemies.
The starting point of the actor's career began with 1992's Chaplin, for which Downey Jr. was honored with an Oscar nomination. In 2005, Robert participated in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, where he played a petty thief who got involved in a criminal story.
Even then, though the star received another Oscar nomination for 2008's Tropic Thunder, the actor's signature chops were evident.
For audiences, however, it was 2008's Iron Man — the film that launched the MCU — that put Downey Jr. on the map. For more than 10 years, the actor played the role of Tony Stark, while also becoming a part of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes franchise and starring in 2014's The Judge.
In each of these films, Downey Jr. portrayed a confident man, actively gesturing, being sarcastic, and always cracking jokes. And it wasn't until the recent 2023's Oppenheimer that the actor, who has been stuck in the same role for a long time, changed his performance slightly.