Five of the Best Action Actors

Photo Credit: Buena Vista Pictures
December 10th, 2013

Five of the Best Action Actors

Action films are packed with intrigue and daredevil stunts. While action films may sometimes lack emotionally dramatic scenes, it is still easy to be drawn in by amazing physical feats that defy imagination. The lead actors in action flicks used to always be male, but more females are now acting as the protagonists in action films. Over the decades, many noteworthy action film stars have graced the screen, and here are five of the best.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger's sheer strength makes it easy to see why he will go down as one of the greatest action film stars of all time. Before forging a long and successful acting career, Schwarzenegger found fame as a competitive bodybuilder. All of those years in the gym paid off, as it gave Schwarzenegger the perfect frame from which to develop into an action hero.

The Austrian-born actor played only a handful of small roles throughout the 1970s, and it wasn't until the early 1980s when he was cast as Conan in "Conan the Barbarian" that he really became an action star. Schwarzenegger reprised the role in the sequel a couple years later, and these performances spurred him onto perhaps his most famous role in "The Terminator." The role was a perfect fit for him, as it allowed him to show off his immense strength. After a stint in politics, Schwarzenegger made a comeback to acting in 2012. While his age may make it tough for him to perform an action role today, Schwarzenegger has already secured the status of one of the great action heroes of all time.

Angelina Jolie

The daughter of famous American actor Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie was destined to become a film superstar from an early age, although not many could have predicted that she would excel in action films. After struggling for many years to secure a major film role, Jolie got her wish in 2001, when she was cast as Lara Croft in the hugely successful action flick "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider." The film was a surprising success, and it helped propel Jolie to action superstardom.

Since her role as Lara Croft, Jolie has gone onto bigger and better things. Over the years she has appeared in high profile action films such as "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," "Changeling," and "Salt." Jolie is a trailblazer for up-and-coming actresses who are looking to become action stars.

Bruce Willis

Although he has performed in a variety of different roles, Bruce Willis has put in some of his most memorable performances in action films. His most well-known role was as John McClane in the "Die Hard" series. With five films over a period of almost three decades, Willis has certainly shown that he can keep up with the role of McClane despite his advancing years.

Apart from the "Die Hard" series, Willis has also appeared in action films such as "Armageddon," "The Sixth Sense," and "Red." The capability of Willis to play many different types of roles shows his flexibility when it comes to acting, but the action genre seems to bring out the best in him.

Sandra Bullock

Actress Sandra Bullock switched back and forth between film and television for a number of years until she caught her big break onscreen with the hit action film "Speed." For much of her career, though, Bullock has acted in comedy and drama films. However, when she has sporadically appeared in action films, Bullock has always put in a professional performance.

The year 2013 has proved to be tremendously successful for Bullock, with a couple "The Heat" and "Gravity" doing extremely well at the box office. With such a talent for action films, Bullock may take on more action roles in the future.

Jason Statham

Usually typecast as an antihero, British actor Jason Statham is the face of a new generation of action film stars. As a martial artist, Statham has the physique required to take on demanding action film roles. The actor is also well-known for performing his own stunts.

Statham was working as a model when he caught his first big break in the acting world. Guy Ritchie offered him a role in "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels." Statham accepted, and it turned out to be the first in a long line of successful action film roles. Over the years, Statham has appeared in such films as "The Transporter," "Crank," and "Parker." With a cameo appearance in "Fast & Furious 6," it is widely expected that the actor will appear in the seventh film of the series in 2014.