10 Actors Who Won Everyone Over With ONE Performance

These single performances changed everybody's mind.

Blade Runner 2049 Dave Bautista
Warner Bros.

We all have our acting faves who we'll watch in anything, and also those performers we're just not sure about.

Perhaps the uninspired slew of projects they've starred in has invited low expectations of their work, or their decidedly un-serious cinematic output simply suggested they couldn't cut it in the dramatic arena.

But it's always nice to be pleasantly surprised by an actor who ventures outside of their comfort zone and in turn manages to change everybody's minds about the extent of their acting chops.

And these 10 actors all pulled it off with a single performance which helped redefine their public perception, assuring everyone that when they want to give a performance of real dramatic depth and nuance, they're absolutely capable of it.

There's probably a lesson in here about encouraging actors to branch out rather than sneering at their attempts to play against type, because when actors do work this good, it's tough not to consider what other performers could do if they also dared to stray from their comfortable niche.

No matter how little faith you might have in an actor, with the right script and filmmaker, nobody is above completely surprising us all...

10. Ryan Reynolds - Buried

Blade Runner 2049 Dave Bautista

Ryan Reynolds made a name for himself throughout the 2000s as that handsome, quippy motormouth typically cast as the charming douchebag in any number of mainstream studio comedies.

Few were taking him seriously as a dramatic actor, but with 2010's Buried, that all changed.

Reynolds starred in the low-budget survival thriller as Paul Conroy, an American truck driver working in Iraq who wakes up buried alive in a wooden coffin, and spends the movie's entire 95-minute runtime desperately trying to find a way out.

Reynolds basically is the movie - he's in almost every single shot and there would be absolutely nowhere for him to hide were his performance not up to par. 

But Reynolds cast his popular movie star persona aside and gave a decidedly vanity-free performance as a terrified everyman doing all he can to escape his fraught situation.

Honestly, it's a brilliant enough performance to make you wish Reynolds would throw himself into strange, un-Hollywood genre films like this more often. 

Superb though he is as Deadpool, it'd be great to see him hop off the blockbuster conveyor-belt every now and then.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.