10 of the Most Underrated Actresses in Hollywood

Top 10 Underrated Actresses
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The world of Hollywood cinema is a fickle one. Talented, hard-working actors can be sidelined or shelved for years on end while newcomers receive top billing and critical acclaim. Oscar winners often have to wait years for their next chance at glory while newcomers smash hit after hit without so much as a blink in their direction.

There are many reasons for this state of affairs, but what many people may not know is that it’s actually not uncommon at all to find talented actors who are never even given the opportunity to shine under the spotlight like others regularly enjoy. That said, it’s time to shed some light on these underrated performers who deserve better than they’re getting in the limelight – they’re worth your attention too!

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Who are these actors that beaks the barriers that keep certain people from shining? These are the ten best underrated actresses of all time. They may not have received mainstream success, but as anyone who’s ever seen their work know, these women were more than worthy of it! Catch up and learn about some of the biggest stars to disappear from public perception – and discover why they’re worth your time.

Eliza Dushku

Who is she?

Eliza Dushku was born in New York City in 1976 to an Albanian family. Her parents were refugees who fled their native country because of the Communist regime there and settled in the United States where they raised their children. She became interested in acting at an early age, but discovered that she wasn’t very good at it.

In her teenage years, her father suggested that she try out for a bit part on an episode of “The X-Files”. She had some reservations about doing so, but ultimately decided that she would give it a shot. She was encouraged to try out for the part of a rebellious teenager.

Dushku was successful in auditioning for her role and was cast as the young daughter of Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis). Her breakthrough role is generally considered to be the part of Faith on Joss Whedon’s cult-classic TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. The character is a slayer, but one who had been briefly trapped in a hell dimension for a number of years.

Her talent, versatility and beauty attracted attention right off the bat. She stayed with “Buffy” for all of three seasons before moving on to other projects in TV and film. She easily made the transition from starring role to supporting role as she was quickly able to find work with some top-tier talent in movies such as Eloise and continued to work on a variety of TV shows such as the 2009 Dollhouse.

What is she doing now?

Dushku returned to television in 2017 in the CBS series show Bull (2017). The series was short lived after the shows star, Michael Weatherly, was confronted for making improper remarks.

Christina Ricci

Who is she?

Christina Ricci was born on February 12, 1980, in Santa Monica, California, the youngest of four children of realtor Sarah (Murdoch) and lawyer and therapist Ralph Ricci. She has Italian, Irish, and Scots-Irish ancestry, descended from her paternal grandpa who was Italian.

In the early part of her career, Ricci was in the movie Mermaids at the age of 9. She didn’t really secure herself a spot in the public’s eye until she landed a role in the movie that would make her famous to this day – “The Addams Family”.

She was cast as Wednesday Addams, the daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams. The movie was both a critical and commercial success. Ricci was nominated for a number of awards, including a Golden Globe in the category of Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

Her roles in Sleepy Hollow (1999) and Monster (2000) earned her critical acclaim (2003). This isn’t the only film she’s appeared in: she has also appeared in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) and Prozac Nation (2001). (2013). In addition to major pictures she has appeared in several indie films, where she has a gained cult following.

What is she doing now?

Ricci most recently appeared in the 2021 film The Matrix Resurrections as Gwyn de Vere and is currently working on an upcoming film Monstrous and can be seen on the hit series YellowJackets.

Angela Bassett

She has captivated audiences throughout the world in theaters, on the stage, and on television screens with her charisma and talent. In 1958, Betty Jane (Gilbert), a social worker, and Daniel Benjamin Bassett, a preacher’s son, gave birth to Angela Evelyn Bassett in New York City. D’nette and Bassett were raised by their mother in St. Petersburg, Florida. Betty, a single mother, instilled in her children the significance of education. Bassett was able to attend Yale University after receiving a merit scholarship. B.A., Yale University, 1980; in African-American studies. After graduating from Yale University’s School of Drama in 1983, she received a Master of Fine Arts degree. Courtney B. Vance, a Drama School alumnus who married Bassett in 1986, they met at Yale.

Bassett made her television debut in small roles on The Cosby Show (1984) and Spenser: For Hire (1985), but it wasn’t until a flurry of roles in 1990 that she became well-known. It was Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It, in which she played Tina Turner for the first time, that gave her the breakthrough role (1993). Bassett was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her performance.

Hilary Swank

Who is she?

Suzy Sachs, a producer who discovered Hilary Swank as a toddler and began training her in acting, discovered her. She made her stage debut as “Mowgli” in “The Jungle Book” when she was just nine years old. She started appearing in local and school productions on a regular basis. Her primary education was completed in Bellingham at the age of 16, where she lived with her family.

While she had a minor appearance in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), it was her breakout role in The Next Karate Kid (1994) that made her a household name. Since then, she has been in high demand and has been in numerous films on a regular basis. ‘

Boys Don’t Cry, in which she starred as “Brandon Teena,” earned her the Best Actress Oscar (1999). There were numerous other accolades for actress Hilary Swank, such as the “Best Actress in a Drama” Golden Globe Award and “Best Actress” honors from the New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Broadcast film critics associations. Additionally, she was honored by The National Board of Review with its “Breakthrough Performance” award for her outstanding work.

Her role in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby (2004), which tells the narrative of an aspiring boxer’s journey to achieve her ambition of becoming a professional boxer, earned Hilary a Golden Globe nomination in 2004. Second Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Screen Actors Guild Award, Broadcast Film Critics Award, and Golden Globe Award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama for this performance.

Since Million Dollar Baby, Swank had a supporting role in The Black Dahlia (2006), starred in Freedom Writers (2007), the true story of Long Beach schoolteacher Erin Gruwell, The Reaping (2007) for Warner Brothers, and reunited with her Freedom Writers writer/director, Richard LaGravenese, in starring in P.S. I Love You (2007).

Robin Tunney

The Chicago Academy of the Arts is where Robin Tunney learned acting, and she spent her summers appearing in such productions as “Agnes of God” and “Bus Stop.” When she was eighteen, she relocated to Los Angeles and quickly found work on shows including Life Goes On, Class of ’96, Law & Order, HBO’s Dream On, and the ABC miniseries JFK: Reckless Youth, in which she played “Kit Kennedy”.

The Craft (1996) was Tunney’s feature film debut as a leading lady, but she had starred in numerous supporting roles in films like Empire Records (1995). Because she had shaved her head for the filming of Empire Records one year prior, she had to wear a wig while filming The Craft.
Known for her raspy voice, Tunney was last seen as Agatha Kaine in the 2020 film Horse Girl.

Julia Stiles

On March 28, 1981, in New York City, Julia (O’Hara) Stiles was born, the oldest of three children born to Greenwich Village artist Judith Newcomb Stiles and elementary school teacher John O’Hara. Julia is of Irish, English, and German descent.

She was considered for the role of Claudia in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) but lost out to Kirsten Dunst in the end. She was a bright, smart student. At the age of 15, she made her film debut in I Love You, I Love You Not (1996), starring Claire Danes, at New York’s Professional Children’s School.

In 1997, Julia played Harrison Ford’s adopted daughter in The Devil’s Own. Her breakthrough part, however, came on television in Oprah Winfrey’s hard-hitting mini-movie Before Women Had Wings (1997), which dealt with child abuse.

Ten Things I Hate About You (1999), which was based on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” earned her a Chicago Film Critics Award for her role as Kat; an updated version of Hamlet, which paired her Ophelia with Ethan Hawke; and an updated version of Othello, which earned her a Chicago Film Critics Award for her role as Othello (2001).

The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) were three of Julia’s most popular films of the decade, which she co-starred in with Matt Damon (2007). It took her a while to get back into the Bourne films after her stint in ensemble dramas like Mona Lisa Smile (2003) with Julia Roberts and offbeat attention in Carolina (2003) as the title part alongside Shirley MacLaine and Randy Quaid. Between Us (2012) and It’s a Disaster (a comic farce) are two of her more recent independent films (2012).

Her role as Lumen Pierce in the fifth season of Dexter (2006) garnered her an Emmy and a Golden Globe nod in 2010, and she went on to star in several more television shows. She went on to play leading roles in two more television shows in 2012: the social drama Blue and the dramatic thriller Riviera (2017).

Helena Bonham Carter

As the youngest of three children born to psychiatrist Elena and merchant banker Raymond Bonham Carter in Golders Green, London, England, Helena Bonham Carter was raised in England.

As a result of her performance in A Pattern of Roses (1983), she was cast in Merchant Ivory films A Room with a View (James Ivory) and Lady Jane (1986), in which she played the uncrowned Queen of England. The Merchant-Ivory banner (directed by Ivory, produced by Merchant, and written by Jhabvala) gave her roles in three further productions, including Maurice (1987), Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991), and Howards End (1993). (1992).

Often dubbed the “corset queen” or the “English rose,” due to her early work, Bonham Carter proceeded to dazzle viewers in a wide range of characters, from the typical corset-clad character in The Wings of the Dove (1997) and Shakespearian damsels to her dark, neurotic anti-heroines in Fight Club (1999). A Best Actress Academy Award nomination, a Golden Globe Best Actress nod, a BAFTA Best Actress nomination, and SAG Awards Best Actress nomination were all the accolades she received for her work in The Wings of the Dove (1997). In addition, she was critically acclaimed for her role in the movie Fight Club (1999). Novocaine (2001), Planet of the Apes (2001), Big Fish (2003), Thaddeus O’Sullivan (2002, with Paul Bettany), The Heart of Me (2002, with Paul Bettany) are some of the other important roles she has had in the film industry.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Tim Burton’s film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical, received a Golden Globe nomination for Bonham Carter for the sixth time. Burton and co-star Johnny Depp were nominated as well.

Among her other 2000s roles include the voices of Lady Campanula Tottington in Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Corpse Bride, as well as co-starring with Aaron Eckhart in Conversations with Other Women (2005), a film about a group of women who talk about their lives.

Since Bonham Carter and Tim Burton first met on the set of Planet of the Apes in 2001, they have since collaborated on seven films. They lived in adjoining apartments in London, shared a connected hallway, and have two children: Billy Ray Burton, born in 2003, and Nell Burton, who was born in 2007. Ironically, a mutual love of Sweeney Todd was part of the original attraction for the duo. According to a number of Bonham Carter interviews, the audition process for her role as Mrs. Lovett was the most demanding of her career and that she ultimately had to convince Sondheim that she was appropriate for the role.

Lena Headey

As an actress, Lena Headey identifies as Bermudian-British. Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones (2011), The Brothers Grimm (2005), Possession (2002), and The Remains of the Day (2003) are some of her other notable roles (1993). Actress Headey portrays “Queen Gorgo,” a Spartan woman of extraordinary courage, in the Zack Snyder-directed film 300 (2006).

Her cinematic career has brought her around the world. Filming The Jungle Book (1994), Onegin (1999), and Aberdeen (1999) took her to several locations throughout the world (2000). As part of the filming of The Brothers Grimm (2005) with Matt Damon and Heath Ledger in Prague, Czech Republic in 2005, Headey spent four months there creating a forest for the film. Headey shot 300 (2006) in Canada, then The Contractor (2007) in Bulgaria, and The Red Baron (2010) in Germany and the Czech Republic during 2006. (2008).

She also appeared as Gina McVey in The Broken (2008) and as Elizabeth in Tell Tale (2009), both horror films (2009). She also appeared in a successful “Terminator” film franchise spin-off, FOX’s “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” television series (2008).

Peta Wilson

It’s possible that Peta Wilson could have carried her breakout television show, “La Femme Nikita,” just on the strength of her looks. TV in 1997 was like that. As soon as people learned that this murderer in a deadly body could act, the show shot to the top of the cable drama ratings.

Even if a series was created for less money, it might still generate a lot of money if it offered something unique. “La Femme Nikita” proved this once again. Peta Wilson was the “something unique” in this situation. Peta Wilson’s performance as “Nikita” was described by producer Joel Surnow, who later went on to produce “24,” as “like witnessing lightning in a jar.”

As soon as “Nikita” came to an end in 2001, Wilson returned to her native Australia, where she was reunited with Damian Harris, the director-producer son of late acting icon Richard Harris, and began a family of her own.

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“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” a big-budget film starring Sean Connery, was an offer she couldn’t refuse in 2003. In addition to “Superman Returns” (2006), “Gardens of the Night” (2008), and “Beautiful” (2009), these films helped her stay on track.”

Naomi Watts

She was born in Shoreham, England, on September 28, 1968 to Myfanwy “Miv” (Roberts), a costume and set designer, and Peter Watts (Peter Anthony Watts), the Pink Floyd road manager.

The film For Love Alone was her first big break as an actress (1986). In the taxi ride home from the bikini commercial audition, Naomi met her best friend, Nicole Kidman. Naomi and Kidman appeared in John Duigan’s sleeper smash Flirting (1991), which was directed by the director’s son, David. With Russell Crowe and Brenda Fricker, Naomi continued her acting career in the Australian Brides of Christ (1991).

With John Duigan and George Miller, she took a role in the comic book adaptation film “Tank Girl (1995). It was a cult hit, starring Naomi as “Jet Girl,” but the film didn’t do much for Naomi’s career as a whole and didn’t do well at the box office. It wasn’t long before he was cast as a minor role in the somewhat forgotten Children of the Corn: The Gathering (1996).

Her big break came when she was cast in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (2001), a critical and commercial success. Some critics have said that she was missed for an Oscar nomination that year because of her role as an aspiring actress that demonstrated her outstanding acting talent and extensive range.

When The Ring (2002) opened to over $100 million in ticket sales and starred Naomi Watts as an investigative reporter tasked with uncovering the truth behind a series of inexplicable killings triggered by what appeared to be a videotape, the actress finally achieved stardom. Although the film was poorly received by reviewers, it propelled her into the public eye.

Naomi Watts was featured in 21 Grams (2003), and she was cast as “Ann Darrow” in King Kong (2005), which required a five-month shoot in New Zealand. In I Heart Huckabees (2004), Watts played a shallow spokes model for filmmaker David O. Russell, breaking from her customary intense and dramatic parts.

With Edward Norton, she starred in The Painted Veil in 2006. (2006). Naomi and Liev Schreiber welcomed a son, Alexander Pete (Sasha Schreiber), in July of 2007. She has since starred in Michael Haneke’s American remake of Funny Games, David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, and the action thriller The International, which was released in February 2009. Her career choices have received even more critical acclaim since then. Watts confirmed her second pregnancy with Schreiber in mid-2008 and gave birth to Samuel Kai Schreiber on December 13 in New York City.

In conclusion, this list features some of the most talented actresses in Hollywood that simply do not get the attention they deserve. With an exciting script, dedication, determination and hard work, these actresses have been able to make it big time in Hollywood. They have made their mark in the world of entertainment and will continue to be well respected for years to come.

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