5 Most Versatile Actors

One of the most vital signs of good acting is making an audience forget that it’s a particular actor that’s playing the role. While some actors tend to play themselves in most of their parts, there are others that get completely lost in a role no matter the genre. Many of these actors have at least been nominated for major awards because of their work, and there are a handful of actors that really stand out above the rest as being the most versatile. Here are the five that have the most chameleon-like qualities.

5. Daniel Day-Lewis

British actor Daniel Day-Lewis may be retired from acting on a full-time basis, but perhaps he could be coerced into a return. After all, Oldman has been nominated for several Academy Awards during his illustrious career, winning for the films “My Left Foot”, “There Will Be Blood”, and “Lincoln”.

Doing method acting for years can take a toll, though. “You go to these great lengths to imagine another world and time and imagine a man,” Day-Lewis said. “And having spent your imagination on that, it seems more fun to live there all the time than jumping in and out.”

4. Tilda Swinton

Somehow, an actress with the versatility of Tilda Swinton has only been nominated for/won a single Oscar for her role in “Michael Clayton”. Her career has been filled with plenty of other memorable roles, including “Constantine”, “The Chronicles of Narnia”, and “Dr. Strange” to name a few.

Instead of acting, Swinton trained to be a poet. It’s something that she’s lamented about many times during her career. “I was supposed to go (to college) for one thing and dropped the ball immediately,” she said. “There is a real dark shame attached to it…As a child, my ambition was always about having a house by the sea.”

3. Meryl Streep

From dramas to comedies and protagonists to antagonists, Meryl Streep has seen it all and perfected it all. Streep has been nominated for well over a dozen Academy Awards, winning for roles including “Kramer vs. Kramer”, “Sophie’s Choice”, and “The Iron Lady”. Some of Streep’s other memorable roles include “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Mamma Mia!”

Despite all of the recognition, Streep remains humble about her abilities. “My achievement, if you can call it that, is that I’ve basically pretended to be extraordinary people my entire life,” she said. “And now, I’m being mistaken for one.”

2. Gary Oldman

You could watch an entire movie with Gary Oldman in the lead role and not know about it until the credits start rolling. Oldman has taken on almost every type of role imaginable from playing Commissioner Jim Gordon in the “Dark Knight” series to playing Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour”.

Despite his impressive career, that role in “Darkest Hour” is the only time that Oldman has won an Oscar for Best Actor. Oldman has said that he can feel retirement “on the horizon,” but says that there’s still a little something left on the table. “It’s not that so much (I’m not happy with my career) as there’s a perfectionism with me.”

1. Christian Bale

Nobody is willing to change their physical appearance for a movie role quite like Christian Bale. Bale has been known to knock it out of the park in every genre (though he has held off on romantic comedies). Bale has shown his cerebral side in movies like “American Psycho” and “The Machinist” while even dipping into the superhero world with the “Dark Knight” series and “Thor: Love and Thunder”. 

Though he throws his all into every one of his roles, Bale says he always has to be pulled back and would retire if he wasn’t so in demand. “I could just go forever not working,” Bale said. Bale is a bit of an outsider, not often going on the red carpet. “I don’t have anything to do with it,” Bale said. “I’m (in Hollywood) because my wife is from here.”

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