50 Most Specific Examples Of Movie Typecasting

William Shatner

The Typecasting: William Shatner has made a career out of playing varying versions of William Shatner, depending on the level of comedy required by the movie.

Examples: The Twilight Zone , The Outer Limits, Tekwar, Seaquest DSV, Star Trek I-VII, The First Men in the Moon, Miss Congeniality

Strangest Specific Detail:
That enunciation has and always will be, utterly bizarre. Thing is, even if he tied to remedy it now, it'd be too late. It's become what people want to see from him!

Drew Barrymore

The Typecasting: The obviously beautiful misfit who inexplicably finds herself shunned by men, only to find love in the arms of a chronically over-achieving schlub.

Examples: The Wedding Singer, Never Been Kissed, 50 First Dates

Strangest Specific Detail: The men she gratefully ends up with are always punching drastically above their weight! That's what happens when you're the "girl next door" we suppose.

Ed Norton

The Typecasting: Mild-mannered, average joe with a profoundly violent side to his personality.

Examples: Primal Fear, American History X, Fight Club, The Incredible Hulk

Strangest Specific Detail: You wouldn't like any of these four when they're angry. Norton gives good rage.


The Typecasting: A badass hitman, who occasionally moonlights as a freedom fighter. A freedom fighter who's a crack shot, mind.

Smoking Aces, Wanted, American Gangster, Terminator Salvation

Strangest Specific Detail: A lot of rappers get cast as henchmen or street thugs. The deadly-accuracy thing seems specific to Common.

John Cusack

The Typecasting: Lovesick, rain-addicted, emotionally intense guy. Played with increasingly less "danger" as his career has progressed.

Better Off Dead, Say Anything, Grosse Pointe Blank, Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity

Strangest Specific Detail: The rain! It seems that Cusack won't sign on to a project unless he's guaranteed at least one scene in which he's wet through.

Liam Neeson

The Typecasting: Sword-waving mentor figure charged with teaching a young apprentice the ways of the warrior.

Examples: Star Wars: Episode One, Kingdom Of Heaven, Batman Begins

Strangest Specific Detail: Neeson's characters generally use swordplay as a prism through which the world can be understood. They're all a bit tapped, you see.

Cameron Diaz

The Typecasting: A female lead "uglied-up" in some way, in order to balance her with her leading man. Semen in the hair, sudden turn for the psychotic, transformed into an ogre… whatever works.

My Best Friend's Wedding, There's Something About Mary, Very Bad Things, Being John Malkovich, Shrek

Strangest Specific Detail:
Bizarrely, Diaz has very rarely been cast as a straightforward bombshell. There always has to be some kind of personality disorder.

Reginald VelJohnson

The Typecasting: Straight-laced, family-man copper with a heart of gold.

Examples: Ghostbusters, Plain Clothes, Die Hard, Perfect Strangers, Turner & Hooch, Family Matters, Die Hard 2, Chuck

Strangest Specific Detail:
This one wouldn't be that strange, but for the fact that VelJohnson has no police background whatsoever (it's not like he's Dennis farina, or anything), and doesn't even look particularly tough. It just seems so arbitrary that he was shoehorned into this specific role!

Seth Rogen

The Typecasting: Sweet-natured but essentially hopeless pothead with a nice line in dick jokes.

Examples: The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad, The Pineapple Express, Zack & Miri Make A Porno, 50/50

Strangest Specific Detail:
They're all fairly proficient with the ladies. Which seems a touch unlikely, doesn't it?

R. Lee Ermey

The Typecasting: A terrifying, ball-breaking military man. Drop and give me twenty, you maggots.

Examples: The Boys In Company C, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, Space: Above And Beyond, The Frighteners

Strangest Specific Detail: It gets even more specific than plain old "military man", with Ermey usually playing Drill Instructors, the role he played in his real-life military career.

George Wales

George was once GamesRadar's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it. But now he's working at Stylist Magazine.