10 Actors Who Became Unlikely Action Movie Stars

John Krasinski, Bob Odenkirk, Matt Damon - Who else became unlikely action heroes?

Nobody Movie
AMC/Universal Pictures

Action movies might not be everybody's cup of tea, but it's impossible to find someone who doesn't enjoy one from time to time. The genre is an awesome exploration of pulse-pounding cinema, as it indulges in violence, high energy and creative filmmaking.

A lot goes into making an action flick work though, and one of the most important is the leading character.

Viewers are certainly used to the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Keanu Reeves by this point, as the action hero archetype is obvious. Typically, it's a badass hero with bulging muscles who takes no nonsense and bursts through waves of scenarios, looking cool throughout.

Thanks to this, general audiences are very familiar with what they expect their action movie leads to look like. However, sometimes that image doesn't always match up, and they are presented with something just as awesome but entirely different.

There have been plenty of unconventional action heroes, but what is often most exciting is when an actor you never thought would work in the genre has a go and blows everyone's minds.

These following entries are some of the best examples of actors breaking their typecast and becoming action stars.

10. John Krasinski - 13 Hours

Nobody Movie
Paramount Pictures

Jim from The Office? In an action movie? There's no way that will work. Right?

Well, the days of seeing John Krasinski as the geeky but adorable Jim Halpert are long gone, as he's reinvented his career, and a lot of that was due to his drastic switch from light-hearted comedy everyman to badass action hero.

Before 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi released, it seemed that Krasinski would be forever mulling around the industry in bit parts, slowly trying to chip away at his reputation as the funny guy from The Office. But, minor roles in projects like Monsters University just weren't going to cut it, and he made a dramatic leap into the action genre.

John fully showed off a new ripped physique in this movie about soldiers fighting in Libya and displayed that he could be far more intimidating than ever imagined.

This badass side to the actor rocked his career and allowed for him to get serious in the incredible A Quiet Place, and even in the iconic role of Jack Ryan.

It seems his days as a prankster paper salesman might someday be a distant memory.


Michael is my name, overanalysing comedy is my game! I’m a Bristol-boy who moved out to Surrey to get his BA and then moved on to get an MA from the Guildford School of Acting. I am your bog-standard freaky geeky lad.