10 Best Actors The MCU Wasted

After almost 40 different projects, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has hired hundreds of actors to play Marvel’s most iconic heroes and villains. Some of these actors actually got their breakthroughs thanks to the MCU, such as Chris Hemsworth or Tom Hiddleston. However, others already had great careers when they first joined this universe.


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Given their prolific filmography, the audience feels like some of these actors were definitely underused by Marvel and Disney. Whether they could have had more significant and more complex roles or because their character adaptation lacked depth and exploration, these talented actors were barely showcased in this franchise.

10/10 Florence Pugh Is Usually An Emotional Power House In Her Films

10 Best Actors The MCU Wasted

Florence Pugh debuted in the MCU at the beginning of Phase 4 as Yelena Belova, Natasha’s adoptive sister, with whom she shares the trauma of growing up in the Red Room. So far, Yelena has also appeared as a secondary antagonist in Hawkeye and will be a member of the Thunderbolts.

Since her debut, Pugh has gotten her fair share of screen time. However, everyone who has seen other films with her knows she can provide emotional range. As hilarious and interesting as her character is in the MCU, considering Yelena’s disturbing upbringing, they could use Pugh to make a more complex character.

9/10 Michael Douglas Is Too Important For A Secondary Role

Hank Pym - Marvel Cinematic Universe

Hank Pym first appeared portrayed by Michael Douglas in Ant-Man. Then he also had an essential role in Ant-Man and the Wasp spirit Avengers: Endgame. At the moment, Douglas is seen to reprise his role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Michael Douglas’ career has earned him several awards, including two Academy Awards and five Golden Globes. Considering this, the MCU should give him a more leading role in the films. So far, Hank Pym has been particularly bidimensional, and Douglas could add more complexity to the character.

8/10 Sersi’s Comic Personality Would Have Worked Better For Gemma Chan

Gemma Chan as Sersi in Eternals

By 2022, Gemma Chan has appeared in the MCU as two different characters. First, she appeared as Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel. Later on, she suffered Eternals as Sersi. Unfortunately, neither of these two roles has done Chan’s acting justice, which is a shame, considering that she has proven to be a great actress, for example, in Crazy Rich Asians.

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As Minn-Erva, she didn’t even get enough screen time. As Sersi, the character was completely butchered. In the comics, Sersi is an almost reformed party girl who doesn’t take her role seriously until she has to. However, in the movie, she is just incredibly serf-righteous and dull. Her role as Astrid in Crazy Rich Asians shows that she would have made excellent comic-accurate Sersi.

7/10 Mysterio Wasn’t As Creepy As Jake Gyllenhaal Could Have Made Him

Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio

Spider-Man: Far From Home pits Peter Parker against one of the strongest members of Spider-Man’s rogue gallery, Mysterio/Quentin Beck. A former star industry employee who uses holograms to confuse his enemies. Ultimately, Mysterio reveals Spider-Man’s identity to the world as a matter of revenge.

Jake Gyllenhaal, who portrayed the role in the film, did a great job conveying how arrogant, but disturbed Mysterio is. However, considering his incredibly creepy job in night crawler, he could have been taken to an extra level of darkness, but as always, the MCU shows to keep their projects PG-13.

6/10 Rachel McAdams Is Great At Doing Love Stories

Christine Palmer with her arms crossed

Rachel McAdams appears in the MCU as Christine Palmer, Stephen Strange’s main love interest and former medical colleague. After sharing a heartbreaking love story with Doctor Strange, the hero meets an alternate version in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which helps Stephen heal from that relationship.

McAdam’s role in the MCU is significant enough for the hero, but it barely allows her to flex her acting skills. After years of playing the love interest in dramatic films like Disobedience, she could have added a lot of extra depth to the movie if the script had allowed it.

5/10 Natalie Portman And Jane Foster Were Wasted In The MCU

Jane Foster fighting in New Asgard as Mighty Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder

Initially just a love interest, Jane Foster gained a new development during Thor: Love and Thunder. When Mjolnir calls her, she becomes Mighty Thor. As the Goddess of Thunder, Foster sacrificed herself to stop Gorr the God Butcher. This film is likely Natalie Potman’s last appearance in the MCU, which is very sad considering both the actress and the character were criminally underused.

In the comics, Jane Foster has a way more complicated story that truly explores her battle with cancer and her sacrifice for humanity. Additionally, Portman is one of the brightest actresses of her generation. Portman has always shown a matchless skill to portray psychological distress, so she could have given Jane the tridimensionality that the MCU denied her.

4/10 Anthony Hopkins Would Have Made A Great Antagonist

One of the strongest Asgardians, Odin is Thor’s ruthless father and Asgard’s ruler. This character, who eventually died in Thor: Ragnarok, has a strong influence on the personality of his two kids, Thor and Loki, as well as on Asgard’s history. Anthony Hopkins plays the MCU’s Odin.

Hopkins did an excellent job with Odin. Unfortunately, like most secondary characters in the first few phases of the MCU, Odin turned out to be widely unexplored as a character. Hopkins’ longstanding career in film and theatre, including his incredible performance as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, proves he would have made quite an antagonist if the MCU had chosen to give Odin the Jason Aaron treatment.

3/10 Linda Cardellini’s Character Retcon Disrespects Her Career

laura barton

Linda Cardellini first appeared in the MCU as Laura Barton during Avengers: Age of Ultron. When the Avengers needed a place to hide, Clint Barton opened their house, where Laura and their kids live. The news that Barton had a family was a surprise for both the Avengers and the audience, but this wasn’t the end. Hawkeye confirmed that Barton wasn’t an average stay-at-home mom, but she was a former SHIELD agent known as Agent 19.

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Cardellini has been acting since 1999. She has appeared in dozens of films and series, including ER, Bloodline, spirit Dead to Me. Considering she’s a high-profile actress, it was sad enough that they only gave her a secondary role, but this was even more obvious when it was revealed that she was a former superhero. She would have made an exemplary member of the OG Avengers.

2/10 Angelina Jolie Was Lost Amidst The Eternals Amount Of Characters

Thena Slips Into Mad Weary Condition

Eternals, by ChloƩ Zhao, introduced a new race of super-powered beings to the MCU, the Eternals. Among these gods living on Earth, there was Thena, portrayed by Angelina Jolie, a formidable warrior dealing with an Alzheimer-like disease.

Thena’s storyline was one of the most heartbreaking moments of the MCU. Unfortunately, it wasn’t developed enough due to the number of characters. The audience already knows that Jolie is impeccable, which shows in the few scenes that highlight her character. Seeing her have a more prominent presence in the film would have been amazing.

1/10 Christian Bale Had The Potential To Make A Darker Gorr

Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder

Thor: Love and Thunder confronts the God of Thunder with his own unworthiness through the character of Gorr the God Butcher. Portrayed by Christian Bale, Gorr is a former religious man who has lost all respect for the gods after his family died. Because of this, he wants to commit the ultimate suicide.

Gorr is one of Thor’s darkest villains. He comes from “The God Butcher Saga” by Jason Aaron, which genuinely makes Thor question his identity. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t deliver in this sense. However, bale’s filmography proves he can provide an outstanding, disturbing villain. The God Butcher had the potential to be the creepiest MCU character ever, but Disney didn’t take advantage of the actor’s skills.

NEXT: 10 Marvel Actors And Their Funniest Role Outside The MCU

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