Characters in movies and TV series are often defined by the actors who play them. And while characters can have a myriad of people play them, there is always that one actor who manages to fill a character's shoes the best, and people can’t imagine anyone else playing the role.

Reddit has been discussing just that. One user asked the lovely AskReddit community which actor crushed a role so hard that nobody else will be able to live up to it? and got a slew of amazing responses.

Bored Panda has collected the best answers and turned it into a curated list that you can find below. While you’re scrolling, comment and vote on the submissions you loved the most, and tell us what character-actor combinations you think are iconic in the comment section below!

More Info: Reddit

#1

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver When they inevitably recast Jack Sparrow [Johnny Depp], it'll be clear just how big a gap there is.

Billbap@#$o , The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Second Mate Productions Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
2 months ago

Jack sparrow is only one!

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#2

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Alan Rickman as Severus Snape.

NZT-48Rules , Warner Bros. Pictures, Heyday Films Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
2 months ago

Honestly if they ever do reboot of the harry potter franchise i will have difficulty to get used to all the new actors and actresses.... But Snape will be the most difficult

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#3

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean.

Whitedragonfan , Working Title Films, Tiger Aspect Films Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
2 months ago

I cannot even see rowan atkinson as rowan atkinson anymore!!! He IS Mr Bean!!

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#4

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver RDJ for Iron Man, the man WAS Tony Stark end of discussion.

AirJvon , Marvel Report

Znaya
Community Member
2 months ago

The one and only Iron Man 😀

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#5

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Ryan Reynolds did an excellent job being Deadpool to the point where i am reading a Deadpool comic book with Reynolds' voice in my head narrating it.

422_is-420_too , Marvel Report

Laura Watts
Community Member
2 months ago

Honestly think that it's the same person now lol

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#6

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones.

He’s so deeply connected to that character that I feel it would be impossible for anyone else to fill the fedora.

BrotherOfTheOrder , Lucasfilm Ltd. Report

Znaya
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

No one could wear it like he does, not even Sean Connery when he played his father

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#7

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall.

plastic_bean , Warner Bros. Pictures Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
2 months ago

She was awesome in a role that was not so big...She was stealing the show

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#8

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Robin Williams as the genie.

PM_Me_Things_Yo_Like , Disney Report

Aunt Messy
Community Member
2 months ago

Robin Williams in any part he ever played. He owned all of his characters.

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#9

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Ian McKellen is the both true Gandalfs.

ElectricFlesh , New Line Cinema, Saul Zaentz Company, WingNut Films, Saul Zaentz Film Co. Report

denzoren
Community Member
2 months ago

#FACTS

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#10

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump.

literanch , The Tisch Company Report

denzoren
Community Member
2 months ago

Agreed. He made that role the icon it is today.

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#11

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Sir Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean Luc Picard.

JediAreTakingOver , Paramount Domestic Television Report

Znaya
Community Member
2 months ago

Make it so!

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#12

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, amazing acting.

copper8061 , HBO Report

Kathy Brandt
Community Member
2 months ago

My favorite scene was when Oberyn visited Tyrion in prison. Tyrion didn't speak a word while Oberyn was doing his dialog. His emotions spoke volumes.

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#13

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Hugh Laurie - Dr. House.

RizalParkCorner , Fox Broadcasting Company, LLC Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
2 months ago

Wherever i see him i see Dr House!

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#14

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Arnold Schwarzenegger - Terminator.

Str8_up_savage , Hemdale Film Corporation, Pacific Western Productions Report

Biology muffin
Community Member
2 months ago

No argument here!!

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#15

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.

goldenwolves101 , Marvel Report

Harry Potter
Community Member
2 months ago

ehh Danny DeVito could do it

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#16

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Christopher Lloyd as Doc in Back to the Future.

John_h_watson , Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment Report

Donna Leske
Community Member
2 months ago

YES!!! (another actor who CREATED every role he played)

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#17

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Tim Curry, Frank N Furter. Anyone else in the role knows they never live up to that sexy god of a man. ‘I can make you a man’ is the most brilliant filthy scene to appear on cinema screens while people aren’t nude :/

elizabethunseelie , Michael White Productions Report

earringnut
Community Member
2 months ago

Dr.

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#18

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams.

SnooDonkeys9743 , Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Bron Creative, The Jackal Group, Cinesite Studios, Nitrogen Studios Report

earringnut
Community Member
2 months ago

I'm a fan of the sitcom and Ricci did great but in my mind she's not the only Wednesday.

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#19

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn. Best book to movie translation for a character I’ve ever seen.

LimeGap , New Line Cinema Report

Marlowe Fitzpatrik
Community Member
2 months ago

Eh. He did good, but "best book-to-movie translation" would definitely not go there. I'd say that honor goes to Michael Sheen and David Tennant as Aziraphel and Crowley for "Good Omens".

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#20

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice.

DaLion93 , The Geffen Company Report

Znaya
Community Member
2 months ago

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! 😀

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#21

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley.

pixelburger , Brandywine Productions Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
2 months ago

A friend once said Sigourny is the only woman who can look sexy in army underwear ! She is amazing.

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#22

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge.

Umbridge sucked in the books, but in the movies she turned Umbridge into a character that you just don't like into one that you hate with a burning passion.

DoDaDrew , Warner Bros. Pictures, Heyday Films Report

Charlotte A.
Community Member
2 months ago

I hated the character to begin with and was really curious as to who could possibly do such an awful person "justice". Imelda did it wonderfully (and without me hating HER for it - sometimes it's just hard to disconnect one character from another played by the same actor). But that said, I think almost every actor cast in Harry Potter was a great choice. I was also curious who Emma Thompson would play when I heard she'd be in the series, and I did NOT see her Trelawney coming. Absolutely excellent!

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#23

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Heath Ledger as the Joker.

8en80 , DC Comics Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
2 months ago

I honestly liked also Jack Nicholson and Joaquin Phoenix! They all gave something different to the role

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#24

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Jack Nicholson in the Shining.

Zufurix , The Producer Circle Company Report

denzoren
Community Member
2 months ago

Here's Johnny!!

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#25

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka.

Reddit User , Wolper Pictures Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
2 months ago

I liked both performances i think they are totally different!

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#26

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Andre the Giant in The Princess Bride.

3ulaF0x , Act III Communications Report

Znaya
Community Member
2 months ago

One of my favorite movies of all times 😀

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#27

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Jim Carrey in The Mask.

Queer-and-stupid , New Line Productions, Dark Horse Entertainment Report

Slinkman
Community Member
2 months ago

This role was written for Jim. He always has a habbit of playing the same kind of character in every movie he's in. No matter what he does there ALWAYS slips a bit of Carey into his performances. The Grinch has Carey, Ace ventura has Carey, Count Olaf has Carey. But in the Mask it didn't matter, he could go out of his way to be himself.

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#28

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad. He begins as sympathetic and ends up terrifying.

And in general the whole cast of Malcolm in the Middle, even the very secondary role. There have been many middle class effed up famy sitcom but zero have achieved to be crazy and relatable like this show.

HopeSuper , High Bridge Entertainment, Gran Via Productions, Sony Pictures Television Report

Kathy Brandt
Community Member
2 months ago

I had to watch an episode of "Malcom in the Middle" to like Bryan Cranston again.

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#29

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Jody Foster as Clarice Starling. I particularly love the scene where she looks at Buffalo Bill’s victim and you hear her voice crack during the first part of the description, where she is looking at tiny personal details like painted fingernails, but then go clinical and determined when she sees the wounds on the girl’s back. Playing badass women often veers either towards emotionless and stalwart, or basically aping a 80s action male role. Foster nailed the emotional vulnerability, ambition, and courage of that character in minute, but profound ways. No one compares.

elizabethunseelie , Orion Pictures Report

Viviane
Community Member
2 months ago

I really liked an early scene: she doesn't do well on her first visit to the asylum, and looks as about to cry in the parking lot. In the next scene, she's fine. It showed her as vulnerable but resilient.

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#30

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Leslie Nielsen as Frank Drebin.

wish_my_wash , Paramount Pictures Studios Report

Znaya
Community Member
2 months ago

Masterpiece of police captain

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#31

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver I really can't see anyone else as Hellboy. Ron Pearlman was amazing.

AzoriumLupum , Columbia Pictures Report

James016
Community Member
2 months ago

The reboots were nowhere near as good

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#32

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Christopher Lee as basically anything.

Kibassi , New Line Cinema Report

Znaya
Community Member
2 months ago

He always fit whatever character he played and made it his own

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#33

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Joaquin Phoenix as commodus in gladiator. I have never hated a character so much till I saw him in that movie. He is so cowardly, despicable, and creepy. Phoenix did such a good job in making you loathe his character.

DarthDiabetor , DreamWorks Pictures, Universal Pictures, Scott Free Productions, Red Wagon Entertainment Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
2 months ago

Well, show me a movie that Phoenix was not good at!

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#34

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Patrick Stewart as Professor X, and everyone knew it would happen a decade before the first X-Men movie.

jah05r , Marvel Report

Axolotl King
Community Member
2 months ago

Yes.

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#35

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Danny Trejo as Machete.

megabitfl , Troublemaker Studios Report

Spuck Oblivious
Community Member
2 months ago

This had to be made.

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#36

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds.

DJZbad93 , A Band Apart, Studio Babelsberg, Visiona Romantica Report

Paola Martz
Community Member
2 months ago

Also Christoph Waltz as Dr. King Schultz in Django unchained 👌

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#37

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Steve Carrell as Michael Scott.

elaineadler , NBC Universal Television Studio Report

BlueReaper
Community Member
2 months ago

Let’s face it, Andy Bernard never met the expectations of Michael Scott.

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#38

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver [Nick Offerman as] Ron Swanson.

Babblewocky , NBC Report

Dave P
Community Member
2 months ago

Yup, making men in Swansons. So Iconic

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#39

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano.

Fat-Villante , HBO Report

Heather Resatz
Community Member
2 months ago

Can I upvote this a thousand times???

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#40

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Kelsey Grammer, Frasier Crane.

Garaquarubyline , Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions Report

Znaya
Community Member
2 months ago

Dr Frasier Crane 😀

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#41

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver John C. McGinley as Dr Cox.

Jedi_Outcast , Doozer Productions Report

denzoren
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Oh yeah, agreed. He was hilarious. I would also say JD and Turk also...they cannot be recast. The only comparison I can find is James and Dule in Psych.

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#42

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Rainn Wilson as Dwight Scrute.

ramta_jogi_oye_hoye , NBC, Global Television Network Report

denzoren
Community Member
2 months ago

Agreed. He was amazing at that role.

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#43

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Ronald Lee Ermey as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket.

flyzapper , Natant, Harrier Films Report

Cip IESAN
Community Member
2 months ago

In fact, it wasn't a role, it was just him, but they changed his name...

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#44

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Catherin O'Hara as Moira Rose!!

theshwarna , POP, CBC Television Report

Angela Brisebois
Community Member
2 months ago

The brilliance of the whole cast!!! Daniel Levy for the win!!!!!

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#45

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Val Kilmer in Tombstone.

Amazing Doc Holliday!

Every once in a while there's a role that it seems like the actor was born to play. There's really not another role that compares in his career.

TessaMurphy , Hollywood Pictures, Cinergi Pictures Report

Stephanie Did It
Community Member
2 months ago

I'll be his huckleberry.

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#46

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Christian Bale in American Psycho.

SWG_138 , Muse Productions Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
2 months ago

He acted so natural that i was scared!

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#47

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver J.K Simmons as John Jonah Jameson.

Tobz51 , Columbia Pictures; Marvel Enterprises; Laura Ziskin Productions Report

denzoren
Community Member
2 months ago

YES! He is the embodiment of the comic character.

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#48

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Jessica Walter in Arrested Development (and Archer) .. her mean mom character dynamic is gold

ModelChimp , 20th Century Fox Television Report

Spuck Oblivious
Community Member
2 months ago

Arrested Development is underappreciated iyam.

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#49

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine.

Cuish , Lucas Films, Disney Report

Glynna Bowood
Community Member
2 months ago

Maybe someone else could have been creepier but I am hard pressed to imagine it!

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#50

Person Online Asks "Which Actor Crushed A Role So Hard That Nobody Else Will Be Able To Live Up To It?", 50 People Deliver Danny Devito's Frank Reynolds is the best piece of casting this century.

Mcpilch , FXX Report

Joe Blow
Community Member
2 months ago

a lot of these are NOT going to be remade, let alone recast. At least not in our lifetime...

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