10 Iconic Movie Characters Only ONE Actor Could Play

There are some roles actors were born to play.

The Mask Jim Carrey
New Line Cinema

In an era where franchising is the grease that makes the gears of Hollywood churn, roles are rarely occupied by just one actor.

Whether it's reboots constantly changing the face of your favourite superheroes seemingly every other year or performers being swapped out of prestige pieces due to boring old scheduling conflicts, there are few roles that are so sacred studios and fans alike couldn't picture anyone else giving their take on them.

However, that only makes those rare instances where a character is so perfectly cast, and the synergy between an actor and their role appears so effortless, even better. The overused phrase used by critics to champion an actor of 'it was the role they were born to play!' might be meaningless now, but in these cases, yeah, that old saying absolutely holds water.

In fact, all of the following characters are unimaginable without the actors who occupy them, and while Hollywood may have tried to recast them with new faces here and there, in every case the magic of that original pairing has failed to be recreated.

10. Mr. Rogers - Tom Hanks

The Mask Jim Carrey
Sony

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood hasn't released in every territory at the time of writing, but it's already receiving a whole bunch of awards buzz, and Tom Hanks' portrayal of lovable television icon Fred Rogers is right at the centre of it all.

Mr. Rogers, in a lot of ways, is intrinsically tied to the childhoods of a certain generation raised in America, and was one of the few genuine good guys in an industry that has seen so many actors, filmmakers and producers turn out to be disappointing tragedies of people.

Consequently, there was only really one actor worthy of playing such a goodhearted fellow. Like the real life Rogers, Tom Hanks has that same endearing warmth - a centralised sense of goodness - that makes him such a likeable performer. Likewise, he's similarly tied to the childhood of a certain generation, having starred in family staples like Toy Story, Forest Gump and Big, meaning there's already a firm bond established between him and the audience.

Rogers is a figure easily mocked because of how earnest and sincere he was, and to a lot of people sincerity is scary, but Tom Hanks is not one of those people, and is perhaps the only big actor with the compassion needed to do Fred's story justice.

Contributor

Writer. Mumbler. Only person on the internet who liked Spider-Man 3