Some actors like to chew the scenery. Hamming it up is mostly a fun alternative to grimly spewing out dull lines, but even Shakespeare's plays can work well with an actor who's prepared to commit to the most overdramatic interpretation possible (take Richard III). Still, there's a difference between overacting on occasion and playing all your roles as if you're in a Warner Bros. cartoon, and all of these actors crossed that line a long time ago.
When you see these actors onscreen, you aren't seeing the character they're playing but waiting impatiently for the bizarre line reading or grandiose monologue which you know is coming. It's sometimes a welcome distraction and sometimes it takes you right out of the film. Some of these actors have made a whole career out of their stylised performances, and others are wasting their talent by refusing to take any role seriously. Prepare yourselves for a countdown of twelve of the most over the top actors in the business today.
12. Malcolm McDowell
Malcolm McDowell's somewhat unhinged performance in Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation of A Clockwork Orange is perfect, but also marks the origin of McDowell's reputation as a "boisterous" actor, to quote his Wikipedia page (which is slightly bemused in tone). If you've somehow not seen him in a film, McDowell is likely to be a) very English, b) evil or c) quite possibly insane, and usually all three at once. He's spent a lot of time perfecting this approach to acting in film and TV, in roles ranging from 'a British person' in South Park to Dr. Loomis in the Halloween reboot to Metallo in Superman: The Animated Series, in which he sneeringly utters the line, "Sorry, Steel, I've still got some business in the 'hood." He's not so much an actor who has become cartoonish as one who always was, but now the public is waking up to it, as if from a drug-addled dream. In the clip below, McDowell plays Caligula in the 1979 historical drama which was panned for its gratuitous sex and shambolic structure. Still, it features McDowell baaing like a sheep. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJvVEt6F_Xw