16 Actors Who Play The Same Characters Over And Over Again

Have you watched movie trailers lately and felt like they keep making the same movies over and over again? They, being Hollywood, of course. And the answer is yes, they are! But it doesn’t just mean that all of Hollywood is lazy. There are plenty of actors out there who like to break the mold and change up their roles. Some actors enjoy taking on challenging roles that they’ve never played before.

But then there are undeniably those actors who are comfortable with what they know, almost too comfortable. Adam Sandler clearly knows exactly what kind of character he wants to play and he’s been doing it ever since the ’90s. These 16 actors have been playing the same character over and over again for years!

16. Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl has gotten some heat about things she’s said about her previous work – yet she continues playing the same character. She might have burned some bridges when she spoke negatively about Knocked Up, but that uptight professional character is the role she’s always doing. They never seem to take a day off from work and struggle to let loose. They aren’t looking for love, but if they were, it would ~never~ be with the leading man in the movie. Except that to everyone else, he’s so obviously the one! And they’re right! Just watch The Ugly Truth, 27 Dresses, and Life As We Know It, then tell us they’re all not the same character.

15. Adam Sandler

Much like Seth Rogen, Adam Sandler seems to just play a Hollywood version of himself. No one would be surprised if this on-screen man-child is the same as Adam is IRL. It’s always more about finding a good laugh and goofing off for Sandler’s roles than settling down. Even when he plays a married man, his wife is always the super successful one, and he’s just there for comedic timing. He’s been playing this character since his days in Billy Madison, Big Daddy, Happy Gilmore, and even more recently, Grown Ups. Same character, different movie.

14. Vince Vaughn

Even though Vince Vaughn‘s basically played the same character in every movie he’s been in, he’s one of the few people who actually try to make it interesting each time. Whether he’s handling relationship problems, like in The Break-Up, Four Christmases, and Couples Retreat, or he’s working with Owen Wilson, like in The Internship and Wedding Crashers, he manages to make us laugh. We’ll give him a little more credit for taking on a serious role recently playing Frank Semyon on True Detective. Again though, that’s the exception – not the rule.

13. Helena Bonham Carter

You’ve heard of character actors? Well, Helena Bonham Carter is the Queen of Character Actors. Much like her constant co-star, Johnny Depp, Helena seems to enjoy taking on characters because they’re a little freaky. Except she plays them all the same. Her roles are maniacal and crazy, just look at Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter series. Helena knows how to play insane and she does it very, very well. It probably comes from the fact that she enjoys being a little weird IRL. She does get credit for picking all of these unique and sometimes iconic characters, but they do come across fairly similar. We still love her all the same!

12. Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman might be best known for his work on Arrested Development, but when it comes to movies, Jason doesn’t exactly have much versatility. His characters in movies even mirror his main TV role. He always plays a self-deprecating guy a little down on his luck. But like clockwork, by the end of the movie, he either has a new lease on life or he’s got things figured out. Don’t believe us? Just compare Identity Thief, Horrible Bosses, and Bad Words. Even his animated character in Zootopia, Nick Wilde, fits this pattern!

11. Jennifer Aniston

Not to typecast Jennifer Aniston, but she is often cast as the “hot woman” in movies. But she isn’t just a hot chick, she also has a chip on her shoulder. There is always some storyline about her that makes her out to be a victim of circumstance. Maybe it is a bad job, but more often than not, it’s a bad boyfriend. Even when she played a stripper in We’re The Millers, the character is mighty similar to the one she played in The Bounty Hunter. All of her characters have a “don’t mess with me” attitude, which Jen is pretty perfect at exuding.

10. Jason Statham

How surprised would you be if we found out that Jason Statham couldn’t drive fast? Based on every movie he’s done (basically ever), it is safe to say that Jason likes fast cars. His characters all can drive really fast and really well. Along with being a total badass, his parts tend to have a bit of a dirty mouth. If you watched five minutes from one of his movies, you wouldn’t be able to tell if it was The Transporter, Crank, or Death Race. He’s typecast as the British bad guy in just about every movie. Though, he can also do comedy! He was in Spy with Melissa McCarthy and was surprisingly hilarious, even though he was still playing his typical character with a twist.

9. Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel is part of three franchises and in all of them, he plays the EXACT same guy. He’s tough, you don’t want to get in his way, and he kind of holds a grudge. Even if Riddick seems vastly different from Fast and the Furious, it’s hard to deny how similarly he plays those two roles. And then there is xXx, which seemed like another excuse to have Vin doing fight scenes. Vin did manage to branch out by voicing Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy. The character is so unlike anything he’s ever done before, which we have to give him props for! He even provides the voice for Baby Groot and Teenage Groot! We kind of love it.

8. Dawyne “The Rock” Johnson

The character that Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson is always playing is being the biggest guy in the room – and not just physically. He’s also always on a mission to save the world. In more than one of his movies, the Rock even says the exact words, “let’s go save the world!” Now that’s no coincidence.
He’s either playing an athlete (i.e. The Game Plan) or some type of government agent (i.e. The Other Guys and the Fast and the Furious franchise), but his characters are still BASICALLY the same.

7. Nicolas Cage

We know that Nicolas Cage is a Hollywood star and worth millions, but we can’t help but say it: the guy is kind of boring! Haven’t you ever noticed he plays the same boring guy who is surrounded by interesting people in every damn movie? We’re not trying to be rude, but the entire internet has already said it. Nic Cage is just playing different versions of Nic Cage in his movies. For proof, watch National Treasure, Leaving Las Vegas, Face/Off, and even Next, then proceed to die of boredom.

6. Sylvester Stallone

Much like how Jason Statham is the British Badass, Sylvester Stallone always plays the slightly Older Badass. Of course, back in the day, he was just a badass, period. Can anyone honestly spot a difference between his characterization in Rocky and Rambo?! Obviously, Sylvester is a good fighter and likes to showcase that in his movies, but it’s become a bit over-the-top. His movies nowadays show that no matter his age, he’s always playing the same dude – just look at The Expendables franchise and the movie Bullet to the Head. We might count his work in Creed as an exception here, though! Good for you, Sylvester!

5. Michelle Rodriguez

Not to be too blunt, but Michelle Rodriguez is the female version of Vin Diesel. She’s the tough, virtually emotionless woman in every flick she appears in. Her characters aren’t weighed down by your average, everyday emotions, which is why they’re able to reach such levels of badassery. For years, she’s played Letty in the Fast and the Furious franchise – Are you starting to notice a theme within that series? – but she has repurposed this character time and time again in films like Machete Kills, Battle: Los Angeles, and she even managed to play a tough chick (through voiceover) in the animated film, Turbo.

4. Leslie Mann

Maybe it is a personal choice, seeing as she likes to work with her husband, director Judd Apatow, and their two children, Maude and Iris Apatow, but has anyone else noticed that Leslie Mann is ALWAYS relegated to the suburban wife/mom part? In Knocked Up and This Is 40, she plays the nagging wife, portrayed as completely off-her-rocker when she isn’t getting attention from her husband. In The Other Woman, she is the wife who has no clue her husband is cheating on her with not one woman, but two! It is time for Leslie to play someone different, so maybe Judd needs to start making more complex roles for her. Just sayin’!

3. Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel has played the quirky girl for so long, we don’t know her as anything else. Even in the movie Elf, before she became known in Hollywood as the go-to gal for cute and eccentric female characters, she was still acting as one! (She was dressed in an elf character for a majority of the holiday classic, after all!) Some of her most notable roles as the quirky, fun-loving girl you just can’t pinpoint are in 500 Days of Summer, Yes Man, and Our Idiot Brother. She even managed to play the same character on her hit TV show as Jess on New Girl. A noticeable variance from this typical role was her character Alma in the 2008 movie The Happening. We love to see some versatility, girl!

2. Seth Rogen

Every character that Seth Rogen plays just is another version of himself. He works as a writer on a vast majority of his films and they all have the same exact stoner humor. We don’t fault Seth for sticking with what made him famous since people are obviously still paying to see his movies! Every movie he’s in features the classic Seth Rogen laugh that should honestly be trademarked at this point. Need proof his characters are all the same? Just watch Pineapple Express, Knocked Up, and This Is The End and try to tell us otherwise. And if you need further proof, even when he played a superhero in The Green Hornet, he was still just your average stoner bro.

1. James Franco

Remember when James Franco wasn’t Seth Rogen‘s other half? Back in the day, he was a cute guy in Spider-Man. But before he made it big, he worked with Seth on Freaks and Geeks. When the actors reunited for Pineapple Express in 2008, the new James came out and he’s been exactly the same ever since. James’s characters are basically just the best friends of Seth’s characters, with the same slightly questionable humor. Just look at The Interview, This Is The End, The Night Before, and even The Disaster Artist. One standout role in recent years that is a bit unlike his others is 127 Hours, but we’ll call that one the outlier.

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