This weekend Zach Galifianakis stars with Robert Downey Jr. in Due Date, from the director of The Hangover and its upcoming sequel. Critics are already saying the road comedy follows the same territory as most every buddy road picture in existence, but that RDJ and Zach hit it off really well onscreen.
But, save for a few standout quasi-dramatic roles, this is Galifianakis' tenth film as the weirdo, hairy dude with studio-approved ticks and features. He's getting very close to Will Ferrell Land and doesn't seem to be showing any signs of easing off. Remember in 2008 when every Ferrell comedy had four-word titles and all centered on a bumbling asshole with a sweet job?
As with anything else, if the well keeps producing, you keep drilling. Even if it's the same film over and over again. After Due Date, Galifianakis will have the second Hangover in the can, plus a role in Puss In Boots' own Shrek spin-off as the voice of Humpty Dumpty. Will Zach's Humpty have endearing social ticks, keep ants in garbage bags and sport a mild case of Asberger's? Only time will tell.
He's not the only actor who's made their mark flogging a dead horse. The best actors use it to jump off into other strata. Look at Jim Carrey, who stretched his legs with The Truman Show and The Majestic, after things like Dumb & Dumber and two Ace Ventura pictures. Even by his standards, Liar Liar had a touch of drama in it.
Here are the the top 10 actors in desperate need of a stretch.
10. Jason Statham We're waiting for Statham to play a chubby, mentally-challenged garbageman with a heart of gold. You can only shoot so many guns, and that's hard for us to admit.
9. Hugh Grant He's 50 years old this year, and still stutters on camera. Who's still buying this shit? He should be winning Oscars for playing junkies by now.
8. Seth Rogen Hopefully with his new Green Hornet, Rogen can mature as a Hollywood leading man. Also, we hope that this Green Hornet isn't magically a huge stoner with Pulp Fiction memorized.
7. Jesse Eisenberg We saw glimmers of a young Dustin Hoffman in his recent role in The Social Network, and we hope he starts taking more dramatic roles. The world can't handle two scrawny kids with Jewfros crying about girls. He's copping Michael Cera's hustle.
6. Jonah Hill We want Jonah Hill to succeed. We want him to be the best comedic actor he can be. But even Get Him To The Greek was trying in parts, due in no small part to another typecast actor, Russell Brand, chewing the scenery around him.
5. Danny McBride How can everyone you play have a mullet, moustache, a shitty attitude, or a Southern accent? Didn't Larry The Cable Guy tap that out? Even Eastbound & Down is getting trying.
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4. Cameron Diaz Why do people call her the "funny hot girl" still? The last movie she was attractive in was The Mask and that was 17 years ago.
3. Zach Galifianakis Like we said, he can obviously play drama when he's not making douchebags laugh because he's chubby and "kooky." It's just a matter of leaving that stuff on Funny Or Die and putting the good timeless stuff on the big screen.
2. Katherine Heigl Heigl is Generation Y's Jennifer Aniston. Every film finds her in a romantic predicament, working in print media or television, and longing to be married to some asshole who doesn't love her back. In every role she's a snotty bitch, and in real life would rightfully be alone or at least attached to a line of equally vapid people. We miss the girl from My Father The Hero.
1. Michael Cera He's been on auto-pilot since Arrested Development. The only thing that's changed has been the length of his pants and his hair, and the degree of how much he looks like Beck. Grow a beard, get a tattoo, start dressing like a pirate, go to the gym ... something. Jesus Christ. Eisenberg is copping your hustle, bro.