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    31 Times Actors Stepped Out Of Their Typical Genre, And It Went Really, Really, Well

    Jim Carrey in a drama? Yes, please.

    We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about the times actors pleasantly surprised them by taking on a role different to the ones we were used to seeing them in. Here's what they said!

    1. Will Ferrell in Stranger than Fiction

    Sony Pictures Releasing

    "I never liked his comedies, and then he does this, and it turns out he's good at drama! And I end up loving a Will Ferrell movie!"

    j1z1

    "It’s much more real and existential than any of his comedies, and it’s such a great movie. Plus, when he buys 'flours' for Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character, it gets me every time. So clever."

    lorins2

    2. Robin Williams in August Rush

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    "I still struggle to watch that movie because I hate seeing Robin Williams as a bad guy. But he did such a good job and added so much to that amazing movie."

    marissaa4ce2b3666

    3. And his role in One Hour Photo

    Fox Searchlight Pictures

    "This will forever and always be top of my list."

    meganhueser

    4. Jack Black in King Kong

    Universal Pictures

    "Definitely a surprise at how good his dramatic acting is."

    manonamountain

    5. Bill Hader in IT: Chapter Two

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    "His acting was SO amazing. His mix of comedic and dramatic performances? *chefs kiss*"

    booknerd320

    6. Ryan Reynolds in The Amityville Horror

    MGM Distribution Co.

    "I read one time that he made the kids leave him alone between filming for preparing for the role and that they were scared of him. I love him in everything, especially The Change Up, and it's a huge difference to see him that serious."

    lynzzeerae

    7. Daniel Craig in Logan Lucky

    Fingerprint Releasing / Bleecker Street

    "I'm used to seeing him in serious roles but I loved him as the wild Joe Bang."

    a487fb74c2

    8. Steve Carrell in Little Miss Sunshine

    Fox Searchlight Pictures

    "He never loses his signature charm, but this role as a man barely hanging on after a suicide attempt is so stellar. He has some amazing monologues and emotional moments in this."

    emmajanep3

    9. Jason Statham in Spy

    20th Century Fox

    "I know he basically played a caricature of all of his normal roles, but he was so gloriously hilarious. It's delightful to see him be funny on purpose."

    huffletough

    "He is usually all action and serious but Spy cracked me up and still does."

    keoma

    10. Tilda Swinton in Trainwreck

    Universal Pictures

    "It was refreshing to see her in a comedy playing kind of a trashy character. I thought she was brilliant in it."

    silentword

    11. Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    Fox Searchlight Pictures

    "She plays a cynical, aggressive, alcoholic, struggling writer in 1990s New York. Totally unrecognisable. It's a shame she is more known for being the token comedic sidekick because she is OUTSTANDING in this."

    ailsafoley14

    12. Octavia Spencer in Ma

    Universal Pictures

    "When I saw the trailer I was surprised to learn that Octavia was playing the villain – I was so used to seeing her in roles where she played someone super caring, so this was refreshing."

    hanifahrahman

    13. Jim Carrey in The Truman Show

    Paramount Pictures

    "It was refreshing to see him step out of pure comedy and explore drama/dystopia. Plus, he nailed it because it's one of my favourite movies."

    hiitsnicetomeetyou

    14. And of course, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Focus Features

    "It's easily my favourite movie of all time, and definitely shows that humour isn't his only advantage when it comes to acting. In The Truman Show, he still used a lot of humour, but in Eternal Sunshine he became quite the opposite of himself, playing a boring and quiet guy. It was refreshing to see him so calm and collected, using his dramatics very well."

    skylerisnotinteresting

    "He really showed a not-so-often seen side of his acting."

    jmkdm

    15. Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones

    Paramount Pictures

    "His character is absolutely bone-chilling."

    indy1989

    16. Marilyn Monroe in Niagara

    20th Century Fox

    "She’s known for being the breathy, ditzy, blonde bombshell, but her performance in this movie is a complete 180° turn from her more popular movies like The Seven Year Itch and Some Like it Hot. Niagara was a dark thriller, and such a different role for her and she nailed it beautifully. She really was a terrific actor but unfortunately, most people only saw her as a sex symbol.

    cassien47f66e128

    17. Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls

    DreamWorks Pictures / Paramount Pictures

    "I'm so used to Eddie playing hilarious slapstick roles, so it was unexpected to see him take on something so dark, and do it so well."

    valezabakolli

    18. Robert De Niro in Stardust

    Paramount Pictures

    "He was legendary in it."

    kebmillbrae

    19. Kate McKinnon in Bombshell

    Lionsgate

    "I've only ever seen her play completely comedic roles, so I didn't expect to see her in such a serious film, but she totally pulled it off."

    hanifahrahman

    20. Jennifer Aniston in The Good Girl

    Fox Searchlight Pictures

    "Such a great movie that pulled her in the complete opposite direction from 'Rachel'."

    emilyjoon

    21. Awkwafina in The Farewell

    A24

    "I think everyone was a bit surprised she was cast but she really killed it and proved she could do more than comedies."

    melonette000

    22. Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness

    Sony Pictures Releasing

    "I was used to seeing him in action roles, but he really got into character for this one. His acting made me cry."

    michsnow131

    23. Sarah Silverman in I Smile Back

    Broad Green Pictures

    "I did not expect that at all from her. The film made me cry, she is usually so goofy."

    heathers417727a6c

    24. Mo'Nique in Precious

    Lionsgate

    "I mean, obviously."

    guyincognito

    25. Sacha Baron Cohen in The Trial of the Chicago 7

    Netflix

    "The film is great, and he blew me away – I could not believe he was the same guy that played Borat. He is a seriously underrated actor."

    katelinrene1988

    26. Chris Evans in Knives Out

    Lionsgate

    "It was fun to see him in a murder mystery."

    pplpwrawesome

    27. Donald Glover in The Martian

    20th Century Fox

    "He is one of the funniest people on Community, but then he showed us his serious acting skills."

    savvymarie

    28. Adam Driver in Logan Lucky

    Fingerprint Releasing / Bleecker Street

    "He was HILARIOUS!"

    shellbell1130

    "Any time Adam Driver does comedy it blows my mind how rangey he is."

    lindsayh23

    29. Chris Tucker in Silver Linings Playbook

    The Weinstein Company

    "Can we talk about his performance? Totally shocked. SO many levels removed from Friday or Rush Hour."

    jimmym432b3c32f

    30. Samuel L. Jackson in Unicorn Store

    Netflix

    "We're so used to his badass persona that that role was a total shock, but I loved it."

    duct_tape_heart

    31. Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!

    Universal Pictures

    "It’s such a departure from the gritty, period pieces she’s known for like Sophie’s Choice, Silkwood, and The Iron Lady. Instead, she’s this fun, singing dancing badass and she's clearly having the time of her life playing Donna."

    yaaasgawd

    Tell us your fave the comments, and be sure to follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter if you want to be featured in similar posts!

    Some submissions have be edited for length and/or clarity!

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