Let me start by being perfectly clear that the below list consists of my own personal opinion, and my opinions only based on the shows which I watch.
And ok, i’m sure you’re definitely gonna recognize at least a few, if not all the names on this list. It’s not about them being unknown entirely, but more so unknown for their mass body of work versus just one role that may or may not be associated with their name.
1. Actor: Pablo Schreiber – Where to find them: American Gods
When I first ever saw Pablo Schreiber on a tv screen, it was in Law and Order SVU and he terrified me. If i’m being completely honest, I would say that his role as William Lewis still, to this day, is one of the most evil and sadistic characters I’ve ever seen. Considering that, I for a long time saw his face and felt true fear. And what might you ask is the next thing I really saw him in? Orange Is The New Black, as Pornstache. Of course Pornstache is nowhere near as bad as Lewis, but still not quite the most inviting character. So what made me so astounded by this man and his acting? The movie 13 Hours.
Simply put, this man is a genius actor because his role in 13 Hours had me completely forgetting about the usual uneasiness I feel when associating him with some of his more unsavory characters. To be able to play opposite ends of the spectrum of good and evil so believably is a true talent. I have dove headfirst into all he’s been in and don’t plan on resurfacing any time soon. I was ecstatic to learn that he was cast as Mad Sweeney in the tv show adaptation of American Gods, the magnificent book by Neil Gaiman.
Combining actors I love and books I love? Yes please.
2. Actor: Kyle Gallner – Where to find them: Outsiders
As a horror movie fan, Kyle Gallner’s face is one I have seen and recognized for many years. From Jennifer’s Body to Nightmare On Elm Street, Gallner’s career was one to be revered long before he landed his role in Outsiders. The truth of the matter is that he is one of the reasons I ever started watching Outsiders in the first place. I was thrilled to see him as a series regular in a new show aside from just a guest star or recurring character.
However, as far as guest star roles go, I very clearly remember his appearance in Bones (way back when I still watched that show) and how stand out he was. I’ve always admired his non-trope characters that somehow always have had a contradiction about them. Outsiders, in fact, is a cast full of actors I was very happy to see get the recognition of their own show.
3. Actor: Shannyn Sossamon – Where To Find Them: Wayward Pines
I first became a fan of Shannyn Sossamon when I saw the movie Wristcutters: A Love Story. Then I saw her in Rules Of Attraction and she quickly became my indie movie queen.
Shannyn Sossamon, however, is a perfect example of a face you know and name you don’t. In fact I have said her name out loud to people before who claim to have no idea who she is, only to be shown her picture and then exclaim that they’re actually a fan of her work. It’s almost a win-win lifestyle wise because although she is in a way known, she is also oddly unknown.
I have not actually watched Wayward Pines yet, but I have heard nothing but great things about it. Still it wasn’t until my mom told me that Sossamon was in it that I decided it became a must watch.
4. Actor: Iwan Rheon – Where To Find Them: Game Of Thrones
I know that you’re probably thinking, Game Of Thrones? How can this be considered an underrated or unknown actor?
Well, because most people only know him from Game Of Thrones.
Iwan Rheon stole my heart as Simon in Misfits, the UK show that blew my mind away. It’s funny because since that was the first role I saw him in, I went into GOT with a very different mindset. Of course many people associate him with the psychotic Ramsay Bolton, I’m hear to tell you that this little muffin can warm your heart with his acting just as much as he can cut it out. The praise he’s received for Game Of Thrones is well deserved, but do yourself a favor and dive deeper into his career. He’s much more than just a very very scary face.
5. Actor: Theo Rossi – Where To Find Them: Luke Cage
Lets talk about Sons Of Anarchy because I ALWAYS want to talk about Sons Of Anarchy. No but let’s talk about Theo Rossi for a second because his character of Juice in SOA caused me great turmoil in how I ultimately ever felt about him. (see The Pardoned Son) But Theo Rossi is someone who should be on everyones radar right now.
The highly anticipated new Marvel series Luke Cage is on its way to our screens and Rossi will be playing Shades Alvarez. I’m incredibly excited to see him on tv again, but he hasn’t just been sitting around since Sons ended. In fact, like the rest of this list, I suggest you go to his imdb and look up what exactly he’s been in and pick a few to watch. Most highly recommended (aside from Sons Of Anarchy of course) is his emotional roller coaster of a movie Bad Hurt.
So there you have it guys! The what is, what was, and what will be of shows that house some of my favorite underrated or unknown actors of the moment.