The 9 Most Against-Type Against Type Performances

[caption id="attachment_181004" align="alignleft" width="300"]The Bling Ring A24[/caption]

This week the former star of "Harry Potter" gets hotter as the squeaky-clean Emma Watson shows off her inner bad girl in Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring," where her character Nicki commits a series of robberies against celebs like Paris Hilton. For the 23-year-old Watson, who shot to fame as goodie-two-shoes wizard Hermione Granger in the "Potter" movies, this role marks a distinct departure from both her on-screen and real-life images. The only thing more shocking would be if Lindsay Lohan maintained sobriety for six months.

While we're all hoping young Ivy Leaguer Watson doesn't follow in the Lohan mold and quit Brown University for the School of Hard Knocks, let's take a look at some other actors who shed their media-sanctioned image to take on roles nobody saw coming. From Tom Cruise going bad to Jennifer Aniston going perv, these actors played against type for keeps.

9. Tom Cruise, 'Collateral' (2004)


Tom Terrific has made his name playing do-gooders in various capacities of both law ("A Few Good Men," "The Firm") and order ("Minority Report," "Mission: Impossible"), but for director Michael Mann's "Collateral" he showed what that sharp skill set could do if applied to evil. Hence, his contract killer Vincent forces cabbie Max (Jamie Foxx) to escort him for a night on the town icing dudes left and right, with nary a shred of remorse. His character digs jazz, though, so he's not totally irredeemable. Tom went grey and buzz cut for the role, as the Cruiser tends to re-invent himself physically when he plays anything other than his usual heroic self (blonde/long hair in "Interview With the Vampire," fat/bald in "Tropic Thunder").

8. Johnny Depp, 'Nick of Time' (1995)

Nick of Time

Back in the pre-"Pirates" era of the mid-'90s, Johnny Depp was already known for tackling a seemingly never-ending string of bizarro roles ("Edward Scissorhands," "Benny & Joon," "Ed Wood"), a streak he has continued well into today. That being the case, it was definitely out of character for Depp to take a part as a normal average Joe caught in a lousy situation: forced to assassinate a governor or his daughter will be killed by Christopher Walken (doing his best Christopher Walken impression). This real-time action stunt didn't catch on at the box office, so Depp got back to doing what he does best; namel,y playing pale loners in Tim Burton flicks.

7. Tom Hanks, 'Road to Perdition' (2002)

Road to Perdition

It's become a cliché that Hanks is called "the Jimmy Stewart of today," although that means that, like Stewart, Hanks is entitled to an occasional lapse from likable everyman roles. Playing an Irish mob hit man in "Road to Perdition" was about as far from "Forrest Gump" as anyone could imagine, but like everything Hanks does he aced it and wound up looking pretty cool with a Tommy gun, to boot. Of course, even when Tom Hanks plays a badass he's still a mopey badass.

6. Jim Carrey, 'The Truman Show' (1998) & 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Since his early stand-up days the rubber-faced Carrey has been seen as the heir apparent to Jerry Lewis, and films like "Dumb & Dumber" did nothing to dissuade that line of thought. Somewhere along the line Carrey decided he didn't want to be Jerry Lewis 2 anymore — he wanted to be Robin Williams, alternating between goofy paycheck roles and serious gigs. "The Truman Show" was his first stab at it, playing the unwitting star of a TV show since birth, thus confirming every narcissist's conspiracy theory that all of life revolves around them. A few years later he played a sad sack illustrator in Michael Gondry's sci-fi meditation on love, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," which showed off the more depressive side of the actor with none of his usual physical schtick. Carrey, who has battled clinical depression in his personal life, said that his "Eternal Sunshine" character was the closest to himself of any role he's had.

5. Denzel Washington, 'Training Day' (2001) & 'American Gangster' (2007)

Training Day

Denzel is the very definition of class, whether he's performing Shakespeare ("Much Ado About Nothing"), defending an AIDS patient ("Philadelphia") or protecting the free world ("Crimson Tide"), but did you know he's also a BMF? Neither did we until he blew us away as the corrupt Detective Alonzo Harris in "Training Day," a role so against-type he earned an Oscar for going the extra mile. He later went full-on Michael Corleone as heroin smuggler/mafia don Frank Lucas in Ridley Scott's "American Gangster," a role so scary we can never watch one of Washington's Boys & Girls Clubs of America commercials the same way again.

4. Jennifer Aniston, 'Horrible Bosses' (2011)

Horrible Bosses

Jennifer Aniston is a horndog rapist. Yeah, you read that right. America's sweetheart and rom-com go-to girl morphed into a skeezy sex-offender dentist who tries to dig her claws into the happily married Charlie Day in "Horrible Bosses." Her not-so-subtle passes include walking around in nothing but a white coat and undies as well as putting Day's character under to pose for a series of salacious photos. When day sees the photos and literally yells "Rape!" over and over, Aniston simply responds, "Just relax there, Jodie Foster." The "Friends" beauty clearly relished her chance to get nasty in order to buck her image as a vanilla cookie-cutter love interest.

3. Eddie Murphy, 'Bowfinger' (1999)


Murphy was one of the first comedians to wear a rock star getup on-stage and exuded cool in all of his on-screen roles, most notably as Axel Foley in the "Beverly Hills Cop" series. For Steve Martin's Hollywood satire "Bowfinger," he opted to play a loser nerd, with braces, glasses, the whole ball of wax, in the form of a Starbucks employee named Jiff. Murphy also manages to lampoon his own image as a self-obsessed movie star in the dual role of Jiff's more famous brother Kit Ramsey, making "Bowfinger" one of the most meta against-type outings ever.

2. Harrison Ford, 'What Lies Beneath' (2000)

What Lies Beneath

Han Solo. Indiana Jones. Jack Ryan. Ford embodied all these heroes with integrity and honor, which is what made his turn as a cold-blooded psycho murderer in "What Lies Beneath" all the more shocking. Who would have seen that coming? The guy who exclaimed, "I didn't kill my wife!" in "The Fugitive" was all of the sudden trying to kill his wife, played by Michelle Pfeiffer. This supernatural thriller's twist came from the mind of screenwriter Clark Gregg, who later made a career out of popping up randomly in some of the Marvel movies as Agent Phil Coulson.

1. Jimmy Stewart, 'Vertigo' (1958)


The lovable star of "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Harvey" would not usually show up on the short list to play "twisted obsessed pervert"-types, but that's exactly the kind of switcheroo Alfred Hitchcock had in mind when he cast the game Stewart in "Vertigo." Stewart plays a San Francisco cop traumatized by a woman named Madeleine's suicide. Then he meets a woman named Judy (Kim Novak), who reminds him of the deceased woman so much that he forces her to dress just like her. Creepy! Then it turns out she really was pretending to be her but the real woman was killed but then she really dies, too … wait, what the hell happens in this movie? Let's just say Stewart plays a perv and leave it at that.