12 Most Unlikely Action Movie Stars - Rolling Stone
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12 Most Unlikely Action Movie Stars

Cindy Crawford, Michael Cera and other actors who we didn’t expect to become ass-kicking heroes

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Michael Keaton as Batman.

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Can Chris Pratt become the next Harrison Ford? Armies of geeks thundering out of screenings of Guardians of the Galaxy would have us think so. In James Gunn's adaptation of the Marvel Comic, out this week, the affable, comic actor has the lead role as Peter Quill, a.k.a. Starlord, a sort of wisecracking, Han Solo-esque renegade hero. Many of our greatest action movies are about ordinary characters doing extraordinary things, but off-beat casting choices can add a whole other meta-dimension to this idea, showing us actors we'd previously not thought of as action heroes stepping up to play big parts. We've combed through the action movie past and come up with a few of our favorites – some due to their sheer inappropriateness and others their sheer brilliance. Here are 12 of cinema's most unlikely action heroes. By Bilge Ebiri

Bruce WIllis

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1. Bruce Willis

You may not remember this, but Bruce Willis was not thought of as an action star when Die Hard first came out. He was largely considered a comic actor, having gained fame as the funnier half of the private eye duo from the hit TV show Moonlighting. Theatrically, he'd made a couple of Blake Edwards comedies that did little, and he'd even released an album. But an action movie? Bruce Willis? Needless to say, John McTiernan's legendary hit about a no-nonsense New York cop who's stuck in an L.A. building during a hostage takeover changed all that, turning Willis into a bankable action star. Of course, comic timing was an essential part of the role. Between the wisecracks and the bits of physical humor, Willis turned out to be an inspired choice for the part. He seems so ordinary, even as he does extraordinary things. It's the ultimate example of an offbeat casting choice changing not just an actor's career, but the very nature of the action genre itself.

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