MCU has been the starting point for many successful acting careers over the years. However, it has also been a place for established actors to appear in minor roles and give credibility to the films they star in.
Many Hollywood legends have performed in MCU, and audiences are usually thrilled to see a familiar face alongside some of tomorrow’s brightest stars. Although many of MCU’s main stars will become Hollywood legends in the future, some actors entered the MCU with a strong reputation for award-winning performances.
Michael Keaton is no stranger to superhero roles and is most famous for playing Batman in the 1989 film by director Tim Burton. Keaton also appeared in MCU as the villain Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, proves he still had a talent for the superhero genre.
Keaton has a reputation for playing over-the-top characters, and his casting as Vulture was spot-on. He brought the perfect amount of instability to the part that matched the rest of the film’s tone perfectly. He also brought an established face to a film that introduced his audience to new actors.
Jeff Goldblum has been a part of some of the greatest blockbusters of all time, but he also has a good reputation as an actor and has also appeared in critical darlings. Goldblum appeared in Thor: Ragnarok as Grand Master and brought his unspeakable style of performance to the part.
Goldblum was ideal for the role, and his specific delivery brought a certain alienation to the strange character. Goldblum fit perfectly into the cast and brought a lot of extra star power to a film that was already packed with heavy hits.
Captain Marvel was a reinvention for MCU after the shocking events of Infinity Saga, and a familiar face was needed to anchor the film. Oscar-nominated Annette Bening was selected to play Mar-Vell, and she came with the gravitas that the role required.
Bening shines in the film and is the real star to carry the weight of Marvel Comics history on its back. The character Captain Marvel has been reinvented on several occasions in the comics, and Bening’s role in the film serves to pass on the torch from one generation to the next.
Anthony Hopkins was one of the first established stars to jump on the MCU bandwagon, and he has returned several times in the same role. He first appeared as Odin in Thor and has been a constant presence throughout Thor’s history at MCU. Hopkins’ presence in the films brings a strong sense of authority to the Odin character, and he can count on delivering an amazing performance every time.
The Oscar winner was the perfect choice to play Thor’s father, and he excels at playing authoritative figures with flaws. There is a Shakespearean quality in Thor’s family strife, and Hopkins’ experience with Shakespeare made him stand out in the role.
William Hurts career has taken him from Oscar-winning movies to TV movies and everything in between. Hurts versatility served him well when he first appeared The amazing Hulk as Thaddeus Ross, and he has returned to play the role on several occasions throughout the MCU’s long run.
Hurts’ normally understated performance fits in well with the exaggerated action of the Marvel movies. His quiet delivery and subtle acting draw attention to him every time he is on screen, and he portrays Ross’ unstable nature with a certain literary quality.
Perhaps best known for his portrayal of Dude in The great Lebowski, Jeff Bridges has had a legendary career and is no stranger to sci-fi roles. He appeared alone in MCU as the villain in the franchise’s first round, where he played Obadiah Stane in 2008’s Iron Man.
Bridges is a rare actor who has never been typecast, and he often proves that no character is out of his reach. His charismatic personality is translated on screen and he can be both sympathetic and contemptible at the same time. He understood the type of film that was made and played the role with just the right amount of cartoon gusto.
Legendary actor and classic heartbreaker Kurt Russell has seen his career range from science fiction epics to understated romance films, and he is memorable in every role he inhabits. Russell showed up Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Ego and delivered one of the most memorable performances in the entire MCU.
Russell is able to play characters who speak smoothly and he has a natural charisma that translates well on screen. But he is also able to add subtle layers to his performance that prevent his characters from becoming one-dimensional and boring.
Michael Douglas comes from a rich family of famous actors, and his father, Kirk Douglas, was one of the biggest stars of his time. Michael Douglas appeared in MCU as Hank Pym in Ant man, a character through which he inherited a lot of important history in the Marvel universe.
Many of the screen legends appearing in MCU play authority figures, and Douglas is no exception. Like the original Ant-Man, Pym acts as Scott Lang’s mentor, and he’s perfectly suited for the role, as he guides Lang through the growing pains of being Ant-Man. Douglas is able to make the viewer believe that the whole story of the Pym character has led him to the events of Ant-Man, and Douglas carries the weight of the story in his performance.
Harry Dean Stanton
Not every Hollywood legend in the MCU gets a chance to play a big role. Sometimes they only make a short cameo, but they are so charismatic that they shine in their small role. The late, great Harry Dean Stanton is one of the most famous supporting actors in history, and his como in The Avengers took many fans on guard.
Stanton worked with legendary directors throughout his long career and had a unique style and appearance that made him perfect for the character parts he played. He was no stranger to science fiction and even appeared in the landmark horror sci-fi movie Alien.
When it was time for the first one Captain America the successor, MCU needed an established star to anchor the project. Screen legend and director Robert Redford was selected to play Alexander Pierce in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and he brought his typical star power to the role.
Redford is known for not playing villainous roles, but he made an exception and showed his reach and versatility by portraying the company’s evil. The filmmakers of the MCU showed their creativity by stepping outside the box to throw Redford against type. His presence in the film brings a sense of legitimacy that had been lacking from previous MCU films.
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