Given his background in sketch comedy and his comedic approach to Better Call Saul, few people expected Bob Odenkirk to become an action star. However, that is a big part of the fun of his new movie Nobody where Odenkirk plays a reserved and seemingly passive suburban dad who is actually a highly trained badass.
It’s so much fun seeing a funnyman like Odenkirk kicking butt in a movie like this and makes one wonder what other comedic actors are ready to cross over into the action genre. Though these actors might seem like odd choices to be in shootouts and fistfights, they could be the next surprise action stars.
10 Damon Wayans Jr.
While coming from a famously funny family, Damon Wayans Jr. has proven himself to be the funniest Wayans of them all with his roles in shows like Happy Endings and New Girl. He has yet to find that big breakout role he deserves, but it feels like he is always on the cusp of becoming huge.
Wayans seems to mostly pop up in sitcoms, but he feels like the perfect young comedic actor to headline an action-comedy. He could even become the next big Marvel hero if given the chance as he has that superhero look along with the goofy sense of humor the franchise seems to love.
9 Jack Black
Jack Black has appeared in action movies before, like the new Jumanji movies, but he is never given the opportunity to be the hero of the story. He is always the bumbling comedic character who needs to be saved.
However, the many comedic roles throughout Black’s career have shown what a gifted physical performer he is. It would be a lot of fun to see Black get the opportunity to release some of those moves in an action role and kicking bad guys’ butts.
Jack Black’s Jumanji co-star Awkwafina was also not given a lot of big action moments in that movie. Her upcoming role in Marvel’s Shang-Chi might change that but it seems like she is playing a comedic sidekick once again.
However, Awkwafina has a charming and unique personality that could be really effective in an action movie. She can play the boisterous and funny characters as well as the more reserved and serious character, like in The Farewell. A secret agent role could be perfect for her.
7 Aubrey Plaza
Aubrey Plaza is another great comedic actor who has a unique style as well as a wide range of talents. Lately, she has been showing off her more dramatic skills and likely has a long career ahead of her. But it feels like she could really shine in the action genre.
Plaza’s deadpan delivery could translate to playing a cold and calculating assassin, like a John Wick character. She will reportedly be teaming up with Jason Statham for a spy thriller so this career path doesn’t feel too far off.
6 Randall Park
After popping up in a small comedic supporting role in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Randall Park returned to the MCU as Jimmy Woo in WandaVision. This time around, he got to play a more competent hero role. While he didn’t have any big action scenes, he proved such a role was in his future.
Park plays the nice guy role so well and he would really excel at a part similar to Odenkirk’s in Nobody. The mild-mannered family man who is hiding a deadly set of skills sounds perfect for Park.
5 Jason Bateman
Jason Bateman has gained a lot of praise for his role in the drama series Ozark, but it is also so much fun when he returns to the world of comedy. His dry-wit and rapid-fire comedic skills are hilarious even if the rest of the project doesn’t match his talents.
But Ozark does prove that Bateman can handle those intense roles just as effectively. It’s not hard to see him playing the wise-cracking and vulgar detective in some kind of action movie that can combine his dramatic and comedic skills.
4 Leslie Jones
After becoming a breakout star on Saturday Night Live, Leslie Jones established herself as a huge comedic talent. Though she has mostly appeared in supporting roles in comedies since then, it’s time she headlines her own movie.
Jones has a dominating and powerful presence in comedy which could translate well to an action movie. She could play one of those force-of-nature action heroes who is out for revenge against the people who wronged her.
3 Bill Burr
Bill Burr is mostly known as a comedian, but he has been making a name for himself in movies and television recently. Whether he is on the stand-up stage or in the world of Star Wars, Burr brings a no-nonsense personality and a tough-guy demeanor.
That very distinct and entertaining persona would be perfect in some sort of buddy-cop action movie. Burr feels like the type of character one might see in a classic ’80s action movie and if he was paired with another comedic actor from this list, it could be a winning duo.
2 Annie Murphy
Annie Murphy rose from obscurity to become an Emmy-winner thanks to her hilarious role as Alexis Rose on Schitt’s Creek. That performance established Murphy as an incredible comedic talent but it feels like that is just the beginning of her talent.
With some intriguing upcoming roles, it seems like Murphy is ready to show new aspects of herself. She could follow Emily Blunt’s footsteps of gradually building a roster of badass roles until becoming one of the best action stars in Hollywood.
1 Adam Sandler
For decades, Adam Sandler has been one of the biggest comedy stars in movies and has managed to remain popular playing very similar roles. In recent years, he has started to take on different and more serious roles, like in Uncut Gems. With his career evolving, perhaps an unexpected action role is in order.
Sandler has often played short-tempered guys who like to punch people. By taking away the comedic element of those roles, it’s easy to see Sandler bringing that kind of energy to an action movie.
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