Some actors can play a smart person very well, even if they’re not smart very bright themselves. Think Russel Crowe in A Beautiful Mind or Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man or Sherlock Holmes. This is a list of actors who can’t seem to pull it off.
Many people consider this guy the greatest actor of his generation. Seriously? Okay, so the man has two Oscars under his belt, but his range is limited to a certain IQ level. Did anyone actually believe anything he was saying in The DaVinci Code or Angels & Demons? He sounded like he was reading his lines from a a teleprompter. Hanks is at his best when he plays the Everyman (in his ’80s comedies) or the idiot (Forrest Gump).
This one probably stems from the obvious fact that Brad Pitt isn’t very bright in real life. Yes, he tries to convince Angelina otherwise, but when he’s interviewed regarding the rebuilding of New Orleanes and his response is “things could be better,” it makes one wonder if the guy is capable of an original thought. His performance in Moneyball may not have been a character of high academics, but even when he’s talking sports terminology, it’s clear by the blank look on his face that he doesn’t have a clue what any of it means.
She’s played a professor twice. Have you finished laughing yet? It’s true. Once in Mona Lisa Smile, the other in Larry Crowne. And she was convincing in neither. Instead, she substitutes angst in hopes that it conveys intelligence, and sad for Julia, it doesn’t. No matter how loud she talks, a half-assed attempt to prove her convictions, she doesn’t sound like a woman of high brainpower.
At least Will Smith, for the most part, knows he plays the same character time and time again. Nothing new there. There were many, many things wrong with I am Legend, but having him play a scientist trying to cure the zombie disease may have been the worst. What makes it even more comical is that he seemed to take it so seriously. Why now? Why this butthole of a movie? Watching him pretend like he comprehended any of the medical jargon associated with his research will leave anyone having an ‘LOL’ moment.
This is one that truly hurts to say because this man plays the most famous archeologist in the world. He does that role well, no arguments here. He also played Dr. Richard Kimball in the best TV adaption ever. But those movies focus less on the character’s book smarts than they do their abilities to get out of a jam. And, luckily, we are spared having to listen to him try to give academic lectures for very long. Try seeing him stumble his way through the role of ‘research scientist’ in What Lies Beneath makes Michelle Pfeifer seem Oscar-worthy. Or even when he plays an M.B.A. in Working Girl, none of his lines are convincing. Half the time, it’s like he can’t even remember them. What does that tell you?