I can't stand Adam Sandler films most of the time. They're a little juvenile for me to be honest, not that he hasn't made some comedies I enjoyed (The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates come to mind).

But Sandler can also turn in an excellent dramatic performance from time to time. Check out Punch-Drunk Love some time. He and Emily Watson have some startling chemistry. More recently, Uncut Gems demonstrated how Sandler can thrive in a film of an even darker nature.

He won significant acclaim for both and is a perfect example of an actor best known for comedies who showed that they also happen to be an excellent dramatic actor.

There are others, of course. We heard more about them after Redditor 40oz2_freedom asked the online community,

"Who is a good comedic actor that ended up being a great dramatic actor?"

John Goodman

"John Goodman. His performance in 10 Cloverfield Lane was nothing short of perfection. The look of pure evil in his eyes when he killed that guy was horror at it's finest."


John Goodman is on fire in this film. An unnerving film and probably the sleeper hit of 2016.

Bob Odenkirk

"Bob Odenkirk. He seems kinda surprised about it, watching his interviews. But damn he does both well in the same role."


He is magnificent. The universe of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul is magical for his talents.

Olivia Colman

"Olivia Colman. Loved her in Hot Fuzz but was pleasantly surprised by her in The Favourite."


A wonderful and versatile actor. If you really want to see her in one of the most harrowing dramas of the last decade, check her out in Tyrannosaur.

Kurt Russell

"Kurt Russell was a Disney comedy actor for about 10 years until he did a TV movie about a mass shooter then hooked up with John Carpenter."


He has quite the legacy behind him. It's easy to forget how big of a name he's been for four decades now.

Hugh Laurie

"Hugh Laurie. Went from A bit of Fry and Laurie to Blackadder and then out of nowhere, House MD and then again with Night Manager."


Hugh Laurie is a wonderful actor. How he doesn't have at least a few Emmy Awards is beyond me.

"Woody Harrelson. Great on Cheers and now has had several Oscar nominations."


The People v. Larry Flynt is true art. What a role! His others, including The Messenger and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri truly show what he can do.

Tom Hanks

"Tom Hanks, if you remember him from his early career in the early 1980s, he was a talented comedy actor... but no way would I have imagined him doing dramas, let alone starring in them, let alone a string of hits."


Tom Hanks in The Money Pit and Big and Tom Hanks in Philadelphia and Cast Away might as well be two different people!

Jon Hamm

"I gotta go for Jon Hamm on that one. I don't think he has even one line of comic relief in the entirety of Mad Men, but then he's over the top hilarious in stuff like Kimmy Schmidt."


Jon Hamm is a riot. Comparing his work in Bridesmaids to his work in Mad Men shows how dynamic he is a performer.

Robin Williams

"Robin Williams. His performance in One Hour Photo is creepy as hell. Dude was absolutely a phenomenal actor no matter the genre. Insomnia has another great performance of his as well."


Probably the best example. His work in The Fisher King is a masterclass of dramatic acting, to say nothing of One Hour Photo and Good Will Hunting, among others.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

"Joseph Gordon-Levitt has come a long way from his “3rd Rock from the Sun” days."


He really has! The same guy who did 3rd Rock from the Sun went on to star in some hard-hitting dramatic films like Manic and Mysterious Skin.

If you haven't seen any of these, you might as well get on them. Trust–you're in for a treat and it's great to see actors show just how far they can take their talents!

Have some suggestions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!

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