Five new-to-me actors I’d love to see more of – based on 2012 viewings

One of the joys of watching movies is discovering new talents. The movies they appear in aren’t always great, but the actors’ screen charisma and/or performances are memorable and you see their potential. This is kind of a variation of favorite performances list, such as what Keith is doing with his Top 5 of various lead and supporting performances (like this one). But for this post, I’d like to focus on those I either wasn’t aware of prior to 2012, or that I haven’t seen them act until last year. Some of these actors have been working steadily and relatively well-known to some, but they were ‘obscure’ to me until recently. Thus I’m excluding actors like Richard Armitage, Michael Peña, Anthony Mackie and Jim Sturgess who all impressed me last year, but I have been familiar with them for some time.

In any case, based on my 2012 viewings (not exclusive to 2012 movies) , here are five new-to-me actors I’d like to see working more in Hollywood.


[In alphabetical order]

Jason Clarke

JasonClarkeThe first time I saw this 43-year-old Australian actor was in Public Enemies as ‘Red’ Hamilton, John Dillinger’s partner in crime. I wasn’t impressed with the film but I sort of remembered Clarke’s role. He apparently was in the lead role of the now-defunct police procedural show The Chicago Code on FOX. I haven’t seen Lawless yet, but he played one of the three Bondurant brothers with Shia La Beouf and Tom Hardy. But he surely made his mark in Zero Dark Thirty. It’s not a big role but he’s certainly memorable. It could’ve easily been a simple thug or bully type of roles, but there’s a certain sensitivity in Clarke’s performance that somehow made him a sympathetic character. His flawless American accent certainly proves his versatility, so I hope to see more of him getting more prominent roles. I’m excited to see him in the upcoming William Monaghan’s directorial debut Mojave.

Mark Duplass

MarkDuplassI finally caught Safety Not Guaranteed and loved it. It was a surprisingly heartfelt comedy filled with quirky but likable characters. One of those characters is Kenneth, a man who placed an classified ad for a time-travel partner. I can’t help but being drawn to Ken despite (or because of) his eccentricities, just like Aubrey Plaza’s character did. He’s currently working on a couple of TV shows, I should check out The League, a semi-scripted comedy about a fantasy football league that my pal Ted told me about.

Apparently Duplass (who often collaborates with his brother Jay) is sort of a triple-threat, he has been writing, directing and producing a few indie projects and shorts, so now that he’s acting, I guess he’s more of a quadruple-threat. He also has a small part in Zero Dark Thirty which unsurprisingly offers a bit of comic relief. I could see him doing serious roles, too. He has a naturally affable presence but there’s a certain unpredictable quality about him that makes me think he could effectively play an antagonist.

Chris O’Dowd

ChrisODowdAs you probably already know, I adore The Sapphires. It’s my favorite movie at last year’s TCFF and I had a bit of a crush on him. Not a full-blown crush, just a smidgen, but I think he’s just so lovable and sweet in that role… a sensitive rebel with a big heart. I have yet to see Bridesmaids and no way in heck am I watching HBO’s Girls just to see him, so I hope this tall Irish actor gets busier in Hollywood.

I’m excited to see his two upcoming comedy dramas, one is called Hippie Hippie Shake with Cillian Murphy and a bunch of British actors, and the other called Calvary with Brendan Gleeson, directed by John Michael McDonagh (brother of In Bruges‘ Martin McDonaugh).

Tomer Sisley

TomerSisleyThis is perhaps the most obscure of the bunch as I don’t think his movie The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch was released here in the US. I quite enjoyed the movie, it was a pretty enjoyable action thriller and this German-born actor is fun to watch. He’s actually of Russian and Yemenite origin, but has been living in France since he was 9 so he speaks four languages: French, English, German and Hebrew, wow! He’s certainly easy on the eyes and has the athleticism to could pull off all the action stunts. Then I found out he was a stand-up comic as well. He’s probably quite well-known in France and he’s got a few French movies in the works, hopefully some Hollywood casting agent would notice him soon enough.

Benjamin Walker

BenWalkerYes, I was one of those few people who was entertained by Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter. Walker is no Daniel Day Lewis but I thought he’s quite charismatic and has the talents and screen presence as a leading man. It’s not the first time he played a US president as he was cast in the Broadway musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Like Sisley, he’s also got a funny bone as he did his first performing experience at the Juilliard School in New York as a stand-up comedian. I could totally see him do comedy, he shows some of that in Vampire Hunter, I think he’d be awesome. I’m surprised he hasn’t been cast yet as Liam Neeson’s son in one of his action flicks, I mean this 6’3″ actor looks so much like him!

Anyway, I’m looking forward to his next film with one of my current crushes, Henry Cavill in The Great Wall.

Honorable Mention:

Oscar Isaac

OscarIsaacThough he only had a tiny role in Bourne Legacy, I quite like this Guatemala-born actor and I wish he had a bigger part. Heck, he’d even make a good leading man if the producers don’t mind a non-white actor in that role. I realized later on that he played Prince John in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. He’s not only talented, but like Mark Strong, he’s also got one of those faces which enables him to play roles of various ethnic groups. Looks like he’s getting a lot of roles already, yay! He’s got at least four movies out later this year, including the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis with Carey Mulligan and Mojave with Jason Clarke. Looking forward to both of those!

Thoughts on any of these actors? Are you a fan of their work?

76 thoughts on “Five new-to-me actors I’d love to see more of – based on 2012 viewings

        1. Yeah I’ve been following O’Dowd since I first caught The IT Crowd back in 2006. Richard Ayoade, who recently directed Submarine, is also on the show. I was previously a big fan of the creator Graham Linehan (Father Ted, Black Books). It’s one of my favorite comedies ever.I’ve worked in IT before so the subtle injokes were right up my alley. They tried to remake it in the US with Joel McHale of Community and Talk Soup fame. The pilot never aired because it was really bad. Definitely Netflix it Ruth..

          1. My friend Novia just mentioned Richard Ayoade, I need to get on The IT Crowd!! Glad to hear it’s on Netflix. Eh, I’m not fond of McHale, I find him rather annoying in Community.

            1. Oh yes!! Do watch The IT Crowd Ruth…or you’ll miss one of the funniest sitcom ever made 😉
              I have sen it twice in order and chosen episodes when I was feeling bored and in need for a good laugh.

              …and it’s only 24 episodes in total, not much. Oh…they will make a special this year 🙂 Graham (the writer or is it the director, I forgot) has been planning to make another series but all three of them, Chris, Richard and Katherine are very busy lately so he at least want to make a special. I hope he can realize it this year.

              Ps. If you do watch it, Check out The Goth Richond Avenal played by my Noel Fielding 😉

              1. Hi Nov, well now that I’ve seen a few episodes of The It Crowd, I can see why you love that show! It’s hilarious, I love everyone on that show, including the boss, don’t know his name but he’s a riot! Yes, I definitely thought of you when it came to The Goth Richmond Avenal, I didn’t know it was him as I forgot you mentioned it, but then I was like ‘Oooh that’s Noel!’ I still like Chris more though, he and Richard made for a hilarious ‘odd couple’ down in the basement, ahah.

                1. I like Richard more. When I watch the IT Crowd, I didn’t know Noel yet but his character was instantly become my favorite (I wrote it in my review) but I become Noel fans after finding Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

                  Too bad Richard and Chris only bonded in the series…they never been together again after that (unlike Richard with Noel as they have been friend since late 90s)

  1. I first saw Duplass in Humpday though I think I was only lukewarm towards the film so I don’t much remember it and his role, but he definitely came into my radar this year showing up in Zero Dark Thirty and starring in Safety Not Guaranteed. If you haven’t yet, you should also check out Your Sister’s Sister also starring Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt.

    And for Oscar Isaac, he needs to get an honest to god leading starring role. I first saw him in Agora and though playing the “bad guy” I was captivated by him. He was also quite good in a small role in Drive.

    1. I want to see Your Sister’s Sister, but Humpday, not so much. I heard about Isaac in Agora, though the film’s subject matter doesn’t interest me. Yeah, he’s super talented, I’d probably like Bourne Legacy more if he had been the lead, ahah.

    1. Hi Liz! Well, for one I don’t have cable, and secondly, I’m not fond of Dunham’s style just from seeing Nobody Walks. I wasn’t a fan of Sex in The City either and this strikes me as similar to that somewhat. Based on some clips I’ve seen of it, I know it’s not my cup of tea and I don’t think I could relate to any of these girls and their life ‘struggles.’

      1. Ahah yep that’s EXACTLY why it’s not my cup of tea. Plus they all seem to be so good looking and rich, living the high life in NYC and yet they’re complaining they’ve got issues?? Sorry but I don’t how how that could be an entertaining show. At least FRIENDS was frivolous and goofy.

  2. PrairieGirl

    May I add one of my own? My favorite new-to-me actor is Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin) in Once Upon a Time. Just rewatched The Full Monty and loved it!

    1. Oh yes of course and Carlyle is a wonderful actor! I’ve already been familiar with him for some time but yes, he should get more leading roles in movies!

  3. Ted S.

    Out of all these actors, Mark Duplass stands the most to me. Like I said you should check out The League, it’s hilarious. Like you mentioned he made a few small budget films with his brother, their first one was called Baghead. It’s a horror/comedy, It has good premise but the execution just wasn’t right, also they should’ve hired a good cinematographer because the movie looked awful, even by small budget standard.

    I remember Jason Clarke in Public Enemies but I think he might get stuck in the character actor role for the rest of his career. Jason Isaac is good, totally forgot he’s in Scott’s Robin Hood. He was good in Drive too.

    I’ve never seen any of Benjamin Walker’s work but yes he looks like a younger version of Liam Neeson. Hey he might appear in the new Star Wars films as the grandson or maybe a younger version of Quai Gon Jin, LOL.

    1. Yeah, I have to look for more of Duplass’ work. As for Ben Walker, his resemblance to Liam Neeson is uncanny! Plus he’s also very tall, 6’3″ and gorgeous! 😀

  4. Very very cool post Ruth. We’ve both agreed on Clarke. I love the Oscar Isaac mention. He’s really good even though some of his movie choices haven’t turned out well (Hello Sucker Punch)! Great read Ruth!!!

  5. Yes! I’m so glad you included Benjamin Walker. He’s up there on my “I need to see more of him” list. Some trivia: he’s married to Mamie Gummer, who is Meryl Streep’s daughter. He’s also currently starring as Brick in a Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, with Scarlett Johansson and Ciaran Hinds (I would looooove to see that, ScarJo notwithstanding). AND, his resemblance to Liam Neeson has not gone unnoticed: he actually appears in Kinsey (2004) as the younger Alfred Kinsey (played by Neeson). It’s a good movie; interesting subject matter, plus I went to IU, where Kinsey did his research.

    Can you tell I’m interested in the guy? Not really into seeing AL:VH, but I will if I have to.

    1. Yep, I knew about Mamie Gummer. I had to look her up just because it’s such an odd name. I googled him right after ‘Vampire Hunter’ and found out he’s married to her, wow, I wonder if Meryl gives him acting tips? 😀

      WOW, so he’s playing Newman’s role then in ‘Cat’? That’ll be saucy! Not sure about Scar-Jo either. Ah yes, I forgot about Kinsey, so he did play a young Neeson. ALVH is bloody good fun (literally, there’s sooo much blood in that film splattering all over the place). But Ben, Anthony Mackie and Dominic Cooper are all very easy on the eyes 😉

  6. Benjamin Walker did play a younger version of Liam Neeson’s character in Kingsey. I loved Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I thought it was a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing Walker and Duplass in more things.

    1. I should give Kingsey a watch. Now they should share some screen time together as father and son 😀 Glad you like ALVH too, I think the critics were expecting something totally different for some reason.

  7. Chris O’Dowd is awesome! Glad you won’t be seeing Girls, he is great in about 5 minutes he has in first season but yeah it’s not worth going through this trash.

    You should check out IT Crowd it’s seriously hilarious.

  8. Really like your list. A good range of actors. I’d say Duplass was the one I’ve heard of the most before 2012, but mostly as a director/writer and not so much as an actor. Clarke is really rising as someone to keep an eye on. Not really a fan of Walker though.

  9. Glad to see Tomer Sisley on here. I saw him in Sleepless Night (a great indie French action thriller) last year. The film actually made my honorable mentions on my top 10 list, so I’d recommend it since you want to see more of him. 🙂

    I remember seeing Oscar Isaac in The Nativity Story. Loved his work in Drive. He also had a great supporting role as a teacher in Won’t Back Down last year, if you’re interested.

    1. Finally! Someone who’s familiar with Sisley!! He’s pretty good isn’t he? I want to see that Sleepless Night, I hope that’s on Netflix.

      Oh I haven’t seen The Nativity Story, I believe he played Joseph? Not interested in Drive but might check out Won’t Back Down.

  10. Even though it was cancelled, I can’t recommend The Chicago Code more. Much more than what it looked like and Jason Clarke is AWESOME in it. Seriously amazing. He was one of my favourite things about Lawless (which I really didn’t think much of) and really looking forward to seeing him in Zero Dark Thirty. Dude is a fantastic actor who needs to do more stuff!

    1. I’ve never even watched that show, but I had an inkling when I saw the trailer that the lead actor is NOT American. Sure enough Clarke is an Aussie 🙂 I’ll see if that show is on Netflix Instant, not surprised he’s the best thing on that show. I didn’t like Public Enemies either but I noticed Clarke. I do hope he gets to do more prominent roles, though like Ted said, I think he might be considered more of a character actor like Mark Strong, which is fine I guess, I just want to see him more 🙂

      1. Ruth even though I was a big fan of showrunner Shawn Ryan (The Shield) his shows like Terriers and Chicago Code just didn’t stick with me. Now that said… Jason Clarke and Jennifer “Flashdance” Beals were standouts on Chicago Code. Definitely want to see more of Jason. It reminded me of watching Jeremy Renner coming up on the show The Unusuals with Amber Tamblyn. Unfortunately they were both better than the show that they were on and look where Jeremy is now… so there’s hope that Jason can become more than just a character actor.

        1. Hi Jack! Well I like Clarke 100 times more than I like Renner, so I have high hopes that since he’s now starred in a high profile Kathryn Bigelow’s film, his career will go as well as Renner 😀

  11. Nice list Ruth. I’d definitely like to see more of Jason Clarke. His role in Lawless was underwritten but he still managed to make an impact. I pretty much guarantee we’ll be seeing a lot more of him.

    1. I really want to see Lawless even more now. I thought it’s unfair that he doesn’t get barely any mention when people talk about Lawless. I’m glad to see he’s got a few projects in the pipeline though Mark.

      1. A lot of people didn’t like Lawless but I did. It had it’s flaws but I was more positive about it than most. I should have a review in the next couple of days. Been working through other stuff at the moment.

  12. From your list of new actors, I’ve seen Mark Duplass and Chris O’Dowd. I discovered Duplass also direct and write reading about Safety Not Guaranteed, and I respect him more. Loved his performance there. O’Dowd, I saw him in Bridesmaids and Friends with Kids, both so natural and pretty good. Saw him too on Girls, he was okay there. Love both actors, wouldn’t mind seeing them again

    1. I think those two are the most well-known as they’ve starred in some hit series/movies. I’m a bit late in discovering them but better late than never, ahah. You watch Girls? Is that playing in Indo? I’d think that’d be heavily censored over there.

  13. I’m sure it’s already been mentioned many times, but I love Chris O’Dowd on The IT Crowd. I’m almost finished watching it on Netflix — and it’s amazing to see him go from season 1 to season 4. He gets better looking each season 🙂

    1. Hi Kris! Oh you like him too? I feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t know the IT Crowd, ahah. Well better late than never I guess. He gets better looking each season” Ahah, that’s funny. I thought he’s pretty cute, not drop-dead-gorgeous but appealing in a non-threatening kind of way.

  14. Aaaaaa Chris O’Dowd!! love him so much!! Well basically I love everyone in The IT Crowd. Crazy show and loveable cast. He also played in The House That Rocked The Boat (Pirate Radio in US). I am looking forward to see him in Hippie Hippie shakes…but the movies seemed to disappear swallowed by earth 😦

    1. Yeah, crazy show and lovable cast indeed. Bummer about Hippie Hippie Shake, I mean that cast… man I’d watch it no matter what the plot, ahah. I’m still hoping that movie that Brendan Gleeson is developing with all the Irish actors would materialize soon!!

  15. Interesting bunch of actors, Ruth. Jason Clarke wasn’t really asked to do much in LAWLESS, but I so agree that his role in ZDT “could’ve easily been a simple thug or bully type of role, but there’s a certain sensitivity in Clarke’s performance that somehow made him a sympathetic character.” Chris O’Dowd was so cute in BRIDESMAIDS, I really liked that movie. Some of it crass, but overall it’s actually very sweet. YOUR SISTER’S SISTER & SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED are definitely on my list 🙂

    1. That’s too bad Clarke wasn’t given much to do, I presume they focus more on Hardy and La Beouf. It’s too bad as Clarke is just as talented – if not more so – than those two, plus he’s good looking too.

      I’m gonna check out more of O’Dowd’s movies, though the two British projects I mentioned appeal to me more in terms of plot/cast.

  16. Cool picks! I have been following the Duplass brothers for a couple years now, and they generally do good work. It’s been great to see Mark branch out into some bigger films this year — though I have to say it was a little odd seeing him in Zero Dark Thirty. 😀

    Glad you highlighted Jason Clarke, he also impressed me in ZDT.

    1. Seems like I’m the last to know about the Duplass brothers, ahah. Yeah, Mark seems to be getting more high profile roles, good for him! Clarke seems to be operating under the radar until ZDT, hope he continues to get bigger roles.

  17. I don’t know why but I kind of have a slight dislike of Mark Duplass for some reason ahah. I think it’s because he was on that crappy TV show The League. Yea, Clarke was pretty damn cool in Zero Dark Thirty and O’Dowd was hilarious in Bridesmaids 😀

  18. Except for the last two actors (who I really don’t recognise) I agree with your other choices. I can’t remember seeing their work before last year.

    1. I figure most people don’t know about Tomer or Ben, but I think both are quite talented. Ben Walker might get more prominent roles in the future though.

  19. O’Dowd is pretty good in Bridesmaids. That’s where I “met” him and I quite like the guy. But of all these, my favorite is Oscar Isaac. That man is super talented and I can’t wait to see more of his roles.

    1. Hi Fernando, I still haven’t seen Bridesmaids yet but I’m sure O’Dowd is wonderful in it. Yeah, come to think of it, I should’ve put Oscar Isaac in my main list and Tomer in Honorable Mention. He’s super talented indeed!

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