From the set, to the big screen, to the red carpet, actors have busy lives and all to bring you moving performances. The right performer can make or break a piece of media. Whether it’s the perfect casting of Tom Holland as Peter Parker or one of the many Chrises, casting is key.
But not every brilliant actor gets the same love. Many incredible actors manage to fly under the radar, but that doesn’t mean they should. What follows are just 6 of the many underrated actors you should keep an eye on.
1. Chris Pang
Speaking of Chrises, there is another hot Australian Chris. You may have seen Chris Pang in his most recent project, “Crazy Rich Asians,” starring alongside Henry Golding and Constance Wu. Both on screen and behind the camera, Pang helped make the romantic comedy a success.
With his other works such as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny” and his role in “Marco Polo,” this young actor proved that he can bring history to life and has all the makings of a martial arts and action hero master. His charming personality on screen and off makes him one of the many underrated actors to watch. See him in the upcoming “Charlie’s Angels” and “Empty by Design.”
2. Shamiek Moore
You probably know his voice from the revolutionary animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” but now you know his name. Shamiek Moore brought to the big screen Mile Morales, in an epic performance that moved audiences all over the world. His moving and, at times, heartbreaking performance as Miles made the film more than any other Spider-Man performance. He should stand out in that star-studded cast, as this wasn’t his first leading role.
In 2015, Moore starred in “Dope,” and his performance as the main character Malcolm is dynamic and realistic. But movies aren’t the only medium he’s conquered. In Netflix’s “The Get Down,” he blended his dramatic acting with music to realistically show the Bronx in the late ‘70s. Moore isn’t stopping with Spider-Man though. Watch him in the upcoming heist movie “Cut Throat City.”
3. Indya Moore
You can never have enough Moore. Indya Moore is not your average actor in the list of underrated actors — they are also a writer, model, director and social activist. Most known for their role as Angel in FX’s “Pose,” Moore offers a passionate and true performance as a trans woman who captures the heart of one of her johns and performs in the epic balls of the late ‘80s LGBTQ+ community.
This angel playing Angel, however, was not their first role. They also starred in “Saturday Church,” a moving story about a religious boy struggling with his gender identity. Without their effective and gripping performance, the film wouldn’t have won as many awards as it did. Be sure to see what they can do in Season 2 of “Pose” and in “Queen and Slim.”
4. LaKeith Stanfield
LaKeith Stanfield is a name you should know and love. From his line of “Get out!” in “Get Out,” to the death of his character in “Selma,” Stanfield proves he’s a flexible actor ready to take your screens by storm. With several different projects in post-production, that storm is about to hit. Watch out for this “Atlanta” star in the likes of “Knives Out,” “The Photograph” and “Uncut Gems.”
These three titles alone show off the range Stanfield brings to the screen. From the murder mystery, to the comedic drama, to romance, this young actor rivals the big names before him. With his portrayal as Patrick Hayes in “Snowden” and Snoop Dogg in “Straight Outta Compton,” he proved his abilities to deliver compelling, accurate performances.
His performance in “Sorry to Bother You” proves his abilities to get to the quirk of a character quickly. Unfortunately, Stanfield is yet another in the underrated actors category, despite obvious versatility.
5. Daniel Sharman
From the stage, to the TV screen, to Netflix, Daniel Sharman is another underrated actor you should watch. He got his start working for the Shakespeare Theatre Company in 2007. With his first big role as Ares from “Immortals,” he made the leap from theatre to movies. He went on to play the misunderstood Isaac Lahey in “Teen Wolf” and the wily Kol Mikaelson in “The Originals.”
As Isaac, Sharman showed he could play the villain and the victim with his compelling performance of an abused kid who is given the power of a werewolf that he can’t quite control. Throughout that character’s arc, Sharman shows the sweet softer side of the character, while his role as Kol showed a witch out for revenge and a boy just wanting his family’s love.
Sharman’s talent for nuance allows for much more complex roles. The god of war has not been his only time on the big screen. As the self-absorbed and unable to lie Lír, Sharman offered a comedic and realistic performance in the movie “Albion: The Enchanted Stallion.” The young actor now portrays one of the most iconic Italian familial lines.
As the head of the Medici family in Season 2 of Netflix’s “Medici,” Sharman commands audiences and Florence with his compelling, chilling and calculating performance as a young man fighting for his city that gets pushed to his moral limits by none other than Sean Bean. Filling the shoes of Season 1 star Richard Madden, Sharman’s portrayal of Lorenzo de Medici makes this piece of history come to life like a Renaissance painting.
From his time running from zombies in “Fear the Walking Dead” to his upcoming project “Cursed,” Daniel Sharman is another underrated actor who deserves more love for his dynamic performances.
6. Dave Franco
Dave Franco has been acting for 13 years, but always in the shadow of his older brother, James. However, he is the better Franco brother. Dave Franco may not be as famous as James, but his work and manner are superior. Not one for the limelight, the younger Franco has specifically chosen more minor roles like Levy from “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Pete from Zac Efron’s “Neighbors,” Sully from “Charlie St. Cloud,” as well as parts in “21 Jump Street” and “Warm Bodies.”
With these roles, he provides realistic and needed support for the main characters. Offering humorous lines, a shoulder to cry on or a villain to catch, the younger Franco keeps the audience engaged, whether they’re laughing, crying or grinding their teeth.
He proved he can pull a show together with his performance as Cole Anderson from “Scrubs.” His character arrived in the ninth season and critics commended him for his lifesaving performance on the flatlining show. That, however, doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of a starring role. As one of the magicians in “Now You See Me” and “Now You See Me 2,” he amazed audiences with his card throwing and acting.
While in other actions movies, he proved how many cool stunts he’s willing to do, such as in “Nerve” with Emma Roberts. He lent his voice to the likes of “Young Justice,” “The Lego Movie” and “Marvel Avengers Academy” video game, among other animated features. Working alongside the likes of Aubrey Plaza and Nick Offerman in “The Little Hours,” he held his own in this comedic period piece.
Comedy and action are not the only genres he can perform, which he proved with his role as Seth in “Six Balloons” as he played a drug addict going through withdrawal. You might have seen him playing alongside James Franco in “The Disaster Artist” and if not for his realistic performance balancing his brother’s, the movie would not have won the Golden Globe.
Along with impressive and underrated acting abilities, Dave Franco is happily married to actress Alison Brie and has never been involved in a scandal of any nature. His brother, on the other hand, cannot say the same. Despite the older Franco’s longer resume, Dave Franco’s humble nature, unique laugh and love of cats put him on a higher plane.
The younger Franco brother has appeared in many roles displaying depth and range through the dramatic, animated and comedic roles he’s rocked. The roles he’s taken, along with his ability to handle himself in the Hollywood world, makes him the better Franco brother. He doesn’t deserve to be an underrated actor anymore. If you don’t believe me, check out his upcoming films “Zeroville” and “6 Underground.”
Many actors’ thrilling performances do not get the love and attention they deserve. These are just a few to keep an eye on as you never know who could be the next big name in Hollywood.