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27 TV And Movie Roles That Were Simply Perfectly Cast

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For some mysterious reason, there isn’t an Academy Award honoring casting directors, despite the essential work they do and how enthusiastic audience members are about the results. Just look at the thousands of responses redditor u/MKE_Now got when they asked the folks of AskReddit, “What actor or actress was the most perfectly cast role in film or television?” Here are 27 casting decisions that casting directors probably made right before smiling at themselves in a mirror and thinking, “Hey, I’m great at this.”

Responses may have been edited for length and/or clarity.

1.“Andre the Giant in The Princess Bride. Perfect.”

André the Giant and Robin Wright in
20th Century Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection

2.“Steven Yeun as Invincible/Mark Grayson. His voice is just so fitting, especially after reading the comics. I can’t wait to see how he does when the show starts ramping up like the comics.”

Side-by-side of Steven Yeun and Invincible
Priscilla Grant/Amazon/Courtesy Everett Collection

3.“Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds. They needed someone who was fluent in four languages ​​and could fill an extremely intelligent and extremely evil role. That movie would not be the same without him.”

Hans Landa
Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

4.“A very recent one, but I’m going to go for Austin Butler as Elvis. Some other bigger names auditioned for the part (Harry Styles, Miles Teller, and Ansel Elgort), but I couldn’t imagine anyone ever giving a better performance than Austin.”

Austin Butler as Elvis
Warner Bros. /courtesy Everett Collection

5.“Gene Wilder played Willy Wonka immaculately back in the 1971 film. His whimsy, complete disinterest in the hazards befalling the kids, and righteous anger at the Fizzy Lifting Drinks being stolen were all genuine and wonderfully performed!”

Willy Wonka
Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

6.“Patrick Stewart as Professor X. Even as a kid reading the comics and watching the cartoon, I just pictured him as Professor X. It almost felt inevitable.”

Professor X
20th Century Fox Film Corp. / Courtesy Everett Collection

7.“I loved all the people cast in The Addams Family. Raul Julia made a wonderful Gomez with his stilted delivery. Angelica Huston came to life as Morticia Addams. Christopher Lloyd’s transformation into Fester is incredible to see. Christina Ricci made a genuinely chilling Wednesday.”

The cast of
Paramount Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

8.“Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Absolute genius and a perfect casting decision. Given that they didn’t know there would be an MCU when that came out, I firmly believe that the fact that any of it worked at all is due to that performance and that casting.”

Tony Stark
Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

9.“Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada immediately comes to mind. But she’s also basically a perfect cast for every role.”

Miranda Priestly
20th Century Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection

10.“I will say this ’til I am blue in the face. Bryan Cranston as Walter White. While he 100% nailed the role, that’s not why the casting is perfect. Bryan spent seven years on American television as Hal from Malcolm in the Middle before going on breaking Bad. For the first couple of episodes, viewers didn’t just see Walter White, they also saw the lovable family man they’ve been seeing for years. It really helps establish an initial ‘good’ in Walter that we then see get corrupted by money, power, ego, etc. nobody could have done the role as well as Bryan Cranston did.”

Walter White
Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

11.“Richard Ayoade in The IT Crowd. He was so perfect they couldn’t even replace him with someone else when they tried to make a US version. They just brought him over.”

Richard Ayoade
Channel Four/Courtesy Everett Collection

12.“Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. One of the most iconic movies of all time, and she didn’t even win Best Actress for that performance, either.”

Holly Golightly
Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

13.“The entire cast of Dark. It’s a show about time travel, and you see the same characters at various stages of their lives, so they had to use different actors, and the cast is so good you’d wear they are the same people.”

Screenshot from
Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

14.“Jamie Foxx in Ray was preternatural.”

Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles
Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

15.“James Earl Jones as Darth Vader’s voice. There is no other answer.”

Side-by-side of James Earl Jones and Darth Vader
Jim Spellman/via Getty/Lucasfilm Ltd. /courtesy Everett Collection

16.“James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel as strongly about any other casting. What a remarkable talent.”

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano

17.“Alan Rickman as Severus Snape honestly worked incredibly. You usually don’t realize until you rewatch it, but in the final scene in The Half-Blood Prince, you can just see a gentleness in his eyes. He made the character hatable. Which is what you wanted.”

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

18.“I can’t imagine anyone else playing Doc Brown except for Christopher Lloyd.”

Screenshot from
Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

19.“Christopher Lee as Saruman. I remember leaving the cinema as a kid being absolutely mind-blown because he looked exactly as I imagined reading the book, like someone reached into my head and plucked him out. All the Lord of the Rings casting choices were great, really, but he stands out to me the most.”

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

20.“Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter. Terrifying and classic. Nothing compares — and with so little screen time.”

Screenshot from
Orion / courtesy Everett Collection

21.“Hugh Laurie as House. He pulls off being extremely self-centered, egotistical, offensive, condescending, and childish, while still being infectious to watch and admirable, even to the people he’s constantly ridiculing and manipulating. The level of wit written into that character and the way it was delivered was pretty masterful.”

Hugh Laurie as House
20th Century Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection

22.“Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes in Misery. Nobody else could touch that role.”

Annie Wilkes holding a knife
Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

23.“Jim Carrey in the Series of Unfortunate Events movie. Feelings on the film itself aside, the entire cast looks 100% like how I imagined them when I was a kid.”

Jim Carrey as Count Olaf
Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

24.“Rainn Wilson was born to be Dwight Schrute. I believe he made the show what it was. He doesn’t get enough credit.”

Dwight Schrute
NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

25.“Jesse Plemons as Todd in breaking Bad. I couldn’t tell he was acting. He did whatever he needed to do perfectly to make me uncertain, skeptical, and uncomfortable most times he was on screen.”

Todd in
Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

26.“Imelda Staunton as Umbridge. She absolutely nailed that sycophant of a woman.”

Delores Umbridge
Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

27.And finally: “Margo Martindale as Esteemed Character Actress Margo Martindale in BoJack Horseman. Absolutely outstanding performance.”

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Which casting decisions are pure perfection to you? Tell us about them in the comments!

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