Named & Shamed: Hollywood Actors That Always Play The Same Character

Can you say 'typecast'?

Some actors are as versatile as a Swiss Army Knife. Others, however, make a living playing the same kind of character over and over again…


There are some actors who must have been chameleons in a past life. Christian Bale, Stanley Tucci, Tilda Swinton, Daniel Day-Lewis… We could name multiple actors who have played a wide range of versatile and vastly different characters during their careers.

However, there are a few actors who get typecast and play the same role over and over again. And once an actor has been typecast it’s incredibly hard to break free of that mould – not everyone can pull a Jason Bateman (if you’re not sure what this means, Jason Bateman was typecast for years until he starred in Ozark).

Still not sure what a typecast actor is? Here are five actors who play the same or extremely similar characters in every project they’re in.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

These three images are seriously from three different movies – Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Rampage and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Image Credit: (Left & Center) Warner Bros. Pictures (Right) Sony Pictures Releasing

Ever since Dwayne Johnson’s acting career took off after he stepped away from professional wrestling, he’s essentially played the same character in everything he’s ever been in. A tough but likeable guy, bulging with muscles, who has a great sense of humour. That doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy seeing the Rock onscreen though…

Jennifer Coolidge

Coolidge is finally getting credit for playing her typecast so well though; she was just nominated for an Emmy for her performance in The White Lotus. Image Credit: (Left) MGM (Right) Warner Bros. Television

Coolidge, best known for playing Stifler’s mum in American Pie and Paulette in Legally Blonde, always seems to play a sexualised bimbo who’s bloody hilarious. Her roles in The White Lotus, A Cinderella Story and Click as well as the two previously mentioned roles certainly fit that description!

Michael Cera

Ten years ago if a film’s script called for a fidgety, awkward teen, Cera would get a phone call… Image Credit: (Left) Sony Pictures Releasing (Center) Universal Pictures (Right) Fox Searchlight Pictures

What do Superbad, Juno, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Year One and Scott Pilgrim vs the World have in common? Cera plays the same awkward but lovably geeky character in all of them. Sadly for Cera, the archetypal role that made him famous got old, and now his box office draw is nowhere near what it used to be.

Danny Trejo

Trejo always gives a great performance but he does play extremely similar characters over and over again. Image Credit: (Left) 20th Century Fox (Right) Sony Pictures Releasing

Trejo always plays a badass. Seriously, every character that Trejo has played, all of them have the same traits and characteristics. If you sit down and watch Machete, Heat, Desperado or even the children’s movie Spy Kids, you’ll see that Trejo is essentially playing the same character in all of them; although, we must say he does an excellent job at it every time.

Michelle Rodriguez

Rodriguez doesn’t care in the slightest that she’s “pigeonholed” herself in terms of roles. Image Credit: (Left) Universal Pictures (Center) 20th Century Fox (Right) Buena Vista Television

Tough, tomboyish and takes no prisoners. This could easily describe every character Rodriguez has ever played whether it be her role in the Fast and Furious franchise, Lost or Avatar. Rodriguez is well aware she’s a typecast actor though; she told The Playlist, “​​I’m here to entertain people and make a statement about female empowerment and strength and that’s what I’ve done for the last 10 years, and people can call it typecast, but I pigeonholed myself and I put myself in that box for saying no to everything else that came on my plate.”

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