10 Actors Who Need To Stop Flogging A Dead Horse

Does anyone really need another Beverly Hills Cop movie?

In the age of sequels, prequels, reboots and megafranchises, it's not uncommon for an actor to play the same character multiple times throughout his or her career. This gives an actor time to grow into a role, time for the character to grow as a franchise grows, and time for an audience to fall in love with a character. Naturally, it also risks that character becoming really, really annoying: after five movies of similar shenanigans, most would just wish for a fresh hero with a clean slate. Sometimes actors get so caught up in a particular character that the routine spills over into other roles, and the actor ends up trapped in a perpetual loop, doing the same shtick over and over again. There are two film genres that are inherently guilty of this: comedy and action, with stars of both drawn to sticking to their talents, and very often pulling a gag or firing a weapon in slow motion can make one character reminiscent of another. The way to escape this is to look for challenges, unorthodox and unexpected roles, to make a conscious effort to stop doing the same thing over and over. It's rare, but it does happen: Jean-Claude Van Damme broke his straight-to-DVD action mold with the metacomedy JCVD, while Bill Murray continues to challenge himself with more adult roles. Others haven't been so lucky, so to mourn these stunted talents, we're looking at 10 actors who need to branch out and stop playing the same characters again and again...

Matt is a writer and musician living in Boston. Read his film reviews at http://motionstatereview.wordpress.com.