6. Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet
A drug dealer, a drug addict, a kidnapping, sexually-deviant rapist, and the world’s biggest Roy Orbison fan, Frank Booth is a shocking piece of work. On the outside, he looks like a pretty normal guy, but there’s a snarling, growling beast lurking inside of him that’s fueled only by huffing chemicals through an oxygen tank. Only David Lynch could create such a disturbing character. Through constant bouts of sheer rage and strange fetishes involving a pair of scissors, some blue velvet, and pretending to be an infant, Dennis Hopper gives, arguably, his career’s greatest performance.
5. Nick Nolte in Warrior
Perhaps picking Nolte here is just a personal thing, but I’m rather open about my family’s history of alcohol and substance abuse. When Warrior hit the screens in 2011, I was astounded at how realistic the portrayal of alcoholism was. I’ve witnessed the chemistry that goes on in an alcoholic’s head and I can tell what’s a realistic portrayal and what’s not. Nick Nolte’s performance is about as heartbreakingly real as they come.