The 12 Best Performances from Comedians in Dramatic Movies

6. Will Ferrell in Everything Must Go (2010)

Will Ferrell in Everything Must Go (2010)

Will Ferrell is one of the most popular comedic actors. He is known for his roles in Anchorman, Step Brothers, Old School, and Elf.His roles primarily consist of different slapstick and crude humor.

However, in this film he plays an alcoholic selling all of his professions at a yard sale to try to get rid his items that remind him of his past marriage and the things he wants to forget. It was different to see Ferrell in this type of role because of his past comedic roles, which are well loved. He was depressed and gloomy, which could be funny to some people depending on how you see him, but he expresses many different emotions that are interesting to watch and keep us on the edge of our seats in this film.

It is nice to see an actor to try something different, who wants to break out of their iconic roles. Remember this film was made shortly after his giant success with Step Brothers. Yet, it was another great success for him, and it shows that he is better than his one role he usually plays. This film is overlooked a lot, but it is a very good role that Will Ferrell nails..


5. Steve Carell in Foxcatcher (2014)

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher (2014)

Steve Carell is extremely funny. His roles in The Office, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Anchorman will be remembered for decades. This year he took a chance and accepted the role as John Du Pont in Foxcatcher and the result was a great success. He played a wrestling coach who helped the Schultz brothers in the Olympics but things went astray when he gained power over them.

This is easily one of the best roles he has ever had. Carell completely transformed his face, his accent, and his body to fully create such a dense character. It is so unbelievable to watch him in this role. After making us laugh for years on “The Office,” we do not expect him to deliver such a groundbreaking, monumental role for his career. He sounds and looks so different from how he usually does, and it was so exciting to watch. It is hard to figure out how well he became John Du Pont.

It was also terrifying to see how well he became John Du Pont in this film; it was like nothing we have seen before from Steve Carell. He nailed his role, and he completely deserved his Oscar nomination for this role.


4. Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love (2002)

Punch Drunk Love

Adam Sandler is one of the most famous comedic actors of this generation. He is very popular because of his loudmouth and crude humor. He has been on the top of comedic films since the 1990s, including such hits as in Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, and Billy Madison.

It was a big deal for him to accept a dramatic and depressing role in Punch Drunk Love, especially right after his role in Little Nicky, which was a decent success for him and a classic for his fans. His role as Barry Egan in this film illustrates that he can be in almost any type of film and he is skilled at switching genres. This role created much press for him because he had worked in comedy for decades.

It is amazing to see him in such a completely different type of role. We are so used to seeing him yelling, cursing, and fighting. However, in this role he shines. He has gone back to comedic roles since this film, but Punch Drunk Love proves he can play many different types of roles and he is more than the funny guy.


3. John C. Reilly in Terri (2011)


John C. Reilly is one of the funniest comedic actors of this generation. His roles with Will Ferrell are extremely popular, and Americans flock to their films. Many people overlook Reilly as an actor because of these comedic roles.

However, he has been in many different dramatic and independent roles that are critically successful as well, and shows how great of an actor he really is. His roles in Cyrus, Chicago, and Terri prove that he can take risks as an actor. In Terri, Reilly plays a guidance counselor who helps a troubled kid named Terri who does not have any friends and wears robes to school. Reilly delivers on so many levels in this film, whether it is through his constant compassion towards Terri or how really dedicates everything to help Terri through his problems.

He is also very funny, which helps break the tension and seriousness, during the dramatic and depressing parts of the film. It is very depressing film to see Terri and his loneliness, but Reilly assists him, through his compassionate nature as a guidance counselor. He is an amazing actor who should be remembered for more than his comedic roles with Will Ferrell.


2. Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting (1997)

Good Will Hunting (1997)

This actor will definitely be missed. He is by far one of the best actors of all time, and he will be remembered. He is known for his roles in Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin.

After his family comedy classic, Flubber, the next role he chose to take is Sean Maguire, a psychiatrist who helps Will Hunting, a young man trying to find direction in his life. Williams’s role as Maguire really shows that a comedic actor and a stand-up comedian can do anything. He was extremely powerful, and the intensity he brought in this film is almost earth-shattering.

The Oscar that he received for this performance is well deserved. He is still one of the funniest men who ever lived. Nevertheless, this role is stellar. One can feel his intensity and how alive he becomes as he passionately and eagerly tries to help Will. Robin Williams is one of the best actors of all time because he was successful in switching genres and taking effective gambles that helped his career. His legacy will live on and he will be greatly missed.


1. Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine in Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Jim Carrey is a famous comedic actor known for his comedic roles in The Mask and Ace Ventura. With his crazy antics, facial expressions, and his ability to create comedic moments with just his funny noises.

In 2004, he took on the role of Joel Barish, a troubled man who thinks he has found his true love with Clementine, played by Kate Winslet. After a bad breakup, he decides to undergo a surgery that completely erases Clementine from his memory, but during the procedure, he realizes it is a mistake. He tries to fight through the process and keep Clementine a positive part of his life and memories. It is a very morose and gloomy look at life, but he delivers a powerful performance that will leave you guessing and sobbing throughout the film.

It is a very different role for him because he is melancholy, depressed, and wanting more out of life. Carrey shows that he can step out of his comfort zone and really proves that he can play other types of roles. It was almost unsettling to see how different he is in this film. He is so depressed and lost, but it clearly makes him shine in this role. It seems like he is not even the same person who becomes The Mask, or the “pet detective” because of how superbly he crushes this role.

Author Bio: Jason Zoblin is a film student from South Jersey. He enjoys analyzing, making and blogging about films, television and the industry.