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Another Top 10 Underrated Male Actors

Another Top 10 Underrated Male Actors
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
We've said it before and we'll say it again - some actors just don't get the respect they deserve. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we'll be counting down our picks for Another Top 10 Underrated Male Actors.

For this list, we're looking at male actors who, despite being easily recognizable, are consistently overlooked and rarely get time in the spotlight, despite proving their on-screen worth time and time again. If you don't see a name on this list you expected, be sure to check out the original video.

#10: Djimon Hounsou

His “Guardians of the Galaxy” character may have had no clue who Star-Lord was… (who are you?) but audience members likely recognized his face, even if they couldn't put a name to it. This Beninese-American actor has been wowing cinemagoers across the globe since landing his first prominent role in the 1997 Spielberg historical drama, “Amistad,” for which he received a Golden Globe nomination. Since then, he has delivered scene-stealing performances in many films, including “Gladiator” and “Blood Diamond,” the latter of which earned him an Academy Award nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actor. With acting chops like this…(diamond scene) he certainly deserves a spot on the A-list.

#9: Sharlto Copley

It's hard to believe… but this South African actor was a complete unknown before making his big screen debut as the central character in Neill Blomkamp's critically lauded sci-fi flick, “District 9.” Having only appeared in two short films prior to this role, Copley earned himself a fair amount of praise. Since then, he's enjoyed a relatively successful career in the industry, continuing to collaborate with Blomkamp on films like “Elysium” and “Chappie,” as well as landing credits in action-oriented flicks such as “The A-Team,” “Hardcore Henry,” and “Free Fire.” Though he shines in pretty much every movie, Copley could quickly earn himself wider acclaim with just one or two more character-driven roles.

#8: Armie Hammer

Some have said that Hammer doesn't have that leading man “X-factor”… but the argument could be made that he's simply had really bad luck. After playing both Winklevoss twins in David Fincher's “The Social Network,” he went from relatively unknown to up-and-coming Hollywood hunk. A supporting role in the J. Edgar Hoover biopic soon followed, for which he was nominated for a Screen Actor's Guild Award. Unfortunately, his transition to leading man hasn't gone as smoothly – “The Lone Ranger” was a calamity, while “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” failed to make much of an impact. Fortunately, Hammer would come firing back with one of his best performances yet in “Call Me by Your Name.”

#7: Michael K. Williams

While you may be unfamiliar with this American actor by name, you've surely encountered his impressive body of work, which includes roles in films such as “The Road,” “Gone Baby Gone,” “Inherent Vice,” and “12 Years a Slave.” Though his filmography is impressive, he's best known for his turn as Omar Little, arguably one of the most discussed characters in television history, on the influential HBO series, “The Wire.” Michael K. Williams falls into a similar category as Paul Giamatti and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, in the sense that he is an actor's actor, a man who's made a career as a brilliant supporting actor, but has yet to become a conventional leading man.

#6: Andy Serkis

In the film industry, much is subjective, but Andy Serkis is, without argument, the best in the business at what he does. Though his flesh and blood performances are consistently high caliber, his real film legacy will be the fact that he essentially created his own school of acting with his pioneering work in motion capture performance technique. Andy Serkis played Gollum in the “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and Caesar in the rebooted “Planet of the Apes” franchise. There have been numerous campaigns to get him an Oscar nomination, and it's easy to understand why - his mo-cap performances in non-human roles have been nothing short of astounding.

#5: Justin Theroux

Handsome and charming, this American actor and screenwriter really should be appreciated for his acting talent above all else. Though he has yet to earn the widespread credit and attention he so rightfully deserves, those already in the know will tell you - Theroux is a force to be reckoned with. Capable of delivering performances of a comedic or dramatic nature, Theroux is a versatile man, whose talent is perhaps most obvious in “The Leftovers” - an HBO drama that explored life in the town of Mapleton, New York after 2% of the world's population has suddenly and inexplicably disappeared.

#4: Jimmi Simpson

He's one of those faces you've known for decades, but couldn't for the life of you put a name to. In fact, before his role on “Westworld,” you may have known him best as Liam McPoyle, his recurring creepy guest character on the series, “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Despite being perhaps the most obscure actor on our list, known primarily for bit parts, Simpson consistently turns in unforgettable performances, be it as Gavin Orsay on “House of Cards” or as Lyle the Intern on “Late Show with David Letterman.” His role on “Westworld” is, quite frankly, long overdue.

#3: Michael Shannon

Some actors are just SO unbelievably consistent and yet, despite countless roles in indie flicks and blockbusters, never see themselves become household names. Widely respected in the industry, Michael Shannon is the sort of actor that every film enthusiast is happy to hear being cast in a role - because it means the character is going to be done justice. For casual cinemagoers on the other hand, he's a familiar face, but one whose name they rarely read about and, by extension, never manage to remember. He's received numerous nominations for his roles in films such as “Revolutionary Road,” “Nocturnal Animals,” and “99 Homes” - but it's high time that the public started paying more attention too.

#2: John C. Reilly

Though his comedic abilities may have been what earned him mainstream success, embracing them has seemingly cost him credibility as a serious actor. And that's too bad, because this man is seriously talented. In the late '90s and early 2000s, he turned in stellar performances in films including “Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia,” “The Perfect Storm,” “Gangs of New York,” “The Aviator,” and “Chicago,” the latter of which earned him an Academy Award nomination. He was quickly becoming one of the great character actors of his age… and then he starred in “Talladega Nights.” Soon, John C. Reilly became synonymous with comedy first and foremost. Funny though he may be, this actor is so much more.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions
Bruce Greenwood
Randall Park
Lee Pace
Lakeith Stanfield
Steven Yeun

#1: Ben Foster

From humble beginnings as a teenage television actor, Ben Foster has grown into a talented, albeit criminally underrated, mature performer. Though he never made the transition to heartthrob, leading man or A-lister, this versatile thespian has worked diligently in the industry, turning in one convincing, heartfelt performance after another - but rarely in blockbusters. Though he's been flying under the radar for most of his career, his CV speaks for itself. He's received numerous award nominations for his roles in films, such as “3:10 to Yuma,” “The Messenger,” and “Hell or High Water.” Why has he never gotten the attention he so rightfully deserves? Tough to say, but it's high time that changed.