Riding The Coattails: 15 Actors Who Ride High on Talent Tidal Waves

Blake Lively

They always say that successful people surround themselves with successful individuals, though does this count for actors? A recent online post shares internet users' choices for actors who appear skilled primarily due to the talented individuals around them.

1- Nicholas Braun

Nicholas Braun
Image Credit: HBO Entertainment.

When you have such a strong cast as Succession does, you may get away with not being the best actor on the call sheet. Braun has good improv skills and his character is iconic, but compared to the rest of the cast, it looks like he's playing himself. 

2- Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Television.

Not to attack Jerry Seinfeld's stellar stand-up talents, but some people feel his acting isn't the best. However, Seinfeld himself would be the first to agree, admitting part of the reason for Seinfeld's success was the talent of his co-stars. 

3- Harry Styles

NEW YORK - MAY 19: Singer Harry Styles performs on NBC's "TODAY" Show at Rockefeller Plaza on May 19, 2022 in New York City.
Image Credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com.

Some stars make the step from music to acting look easy; Cher, David Bowie, and Sting all had decent acting careers, but Harry Styles still needs work, say some commenters. One notes he wasn't good in Don't Worry, Darling, and another called his cameo at the end of Marvel's Eternals laughable. 

4- Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot
Image Credit: Netflix.

One fan said that Chris Pine acted circles around Gadot in Wonder Woman. Though, we have to be fair to poor Ms. Gadot; playing Wonder Woman means you spend 85% of the movie acting in front of a green screen. 

5- Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom
Image Credit:Amazon Studios,Julie Vrabelová.

The next film fan claims Orlando Bloom would struggle getting a job if he didn't have roles written perfectly for him. I couldn't help but feel Bloom had a smirk on his face during most of his Legolas stint. Who can blame him? He was playing Legolas!

6- Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson
Image Credit: John Wilson,Netflix.

I first encountered Hudson in Almost Famous, and I found her a brilliant emerging talent, but a spate of romcoms since distracted from her talent. If she has a strong cast and director around her, she's excellent. Without either of those, she falls short. 

7- Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez
Image Credit: DFree / Shutterstock.com.

It seems some moviegoers have a bone to pick with Selena Gomez. Several commenters noted she's being carried by her costars in Only Murders in the Building. Luckily for Selena, she is a warm, kind, and decent person — I think that also comes through in her characters. So, there.

8- January Jones

January Jones
Image Credit: Kevin Estrada,20th Century Fox Television.

Mad Men was a huge success, launching the high-flying career of John Hamm et al. However, Hamm's on-screen wife, played by January Jones, was a cast member the others carried for sure. She was perfect for the role she played, but, according to those on the forum, won't ever find a role that suits her again. 

9- Norman Reedus

Norman Reedus
Image credit: Emmanuel Guimier,AMC Film Holdings LLC.

Norman Reedus is another great example of how a supporting cast can make or break the way someone is perceived. While Reedus doesn't have many other features than low-fi naval talking and grunting, the character he played on The Walking Dead fit the bill. 

10- Jamie Lee Curtis

Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)
Image Credit: A24.

Many fans feel Curtis fell short in Everything Everywhere All At Once, though she won the Academy Award for a supporting role in the highly acclaimed film. However, one must ask why they waited so long; she was better in earlier movies.

11- Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Sadly, the Mean Girl star is more renowned for her off-stage behavior than her on-stage ability. However, was that ever not the case? It's hard to say. Many forum members believe her acting is mediocre when compared to the rest of the cast she's surrounded by. 

12- Blake Lively

Blake Lively
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

The Gossip Girl star is firmly entrenched in the joys of motherhood these days and appears less on screen. However, she has detractors from her time as New York's favorite young socialite.

13- Charlie Hunnam

Charlie Hunnam
Image Credit: CLAY ENOS,Netflix.

One rule for convincing acting is not letting the audience suspend disbelief, which isn't easy when you have an English Geordie (Newcastle native) playing a Californian biker. The rest of the cast was so good that they left Hunnam in the dust. 

14- Kit Harrington

Kit Harington
Image Credit: Media Res.

Game of Thrones was such a phenomenal series that it is hard to find fault (outside Season Eight — but let's not go there!) in anything. However, on second viewing, Jon Snow is a little wooden. Let's be fair; Harrington was surrounded by names like Peter Dinklage, Pedro Pascal, and Charles Dance.

15- Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Did Friends really need Rachel? Some viewers think not, though it didn't help that the rest of the friends were given distinct roles and personalities, while she was just Rachel. 

Source: (Reddit).

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Raised in England and with a career background in international education, Ben now lives in Southern Spain with his wife and son, having lived on three continents, including Africa, Asia, and North America. He has worked diverse jobs ranging from traveling film projectionist to landscape gardener.

He offers a unique, well-traveled perspective on life, with several specialties related to his travels. Ben loves writing about food, music, parenting, education, culture, and film, among many other topics. His passion is Gen-X geekery, namely movies, music, and television.

He has spent the last few years building his writing portfolio, starting as a short fiction author for a Hong Kong publisher, then moving into freelance articles and features, with bylines for various online publications, such as Wealth of Geeks, Fansided, and Detour Magazine.