Casting a film is a work of art unto itself. Choosing the right actor for the right role can elevate a movie to an unforeseeable success and choosing the wrong actor for the wrong role can doom an otherwise promising film. There are dozens of examples of this in the industry, but there are also the inexplicable casting choices, where the pairing of actor and role is so bizarre and unfounded that audiences feel compelled to see the movie just to know what the combination will yield.
On some rare occasions, these strange casting decisions create not only lasting performances, but iconic, star-making turns that put relatively unknown or underestimated actors on a whole new level of success. Though far and few between, these instances are memorable for how they subvert the expectations of the audience and, more often than not, the producers and studio as well.
This sometimes comes from inexperienced actors turning in performances above their weight class, has-beens proving they still have what it takes, or niche performers breaking out of the confinements of their limiting genres to demonstrate the full range of their capabilities.