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9 Comics Who Got Serious for Cinema

  • Jonah Hill

    Jonah Hill has made audiences laugh in his many comedic films, but in his role in "Moneyball" alongside Brad Pitt, he becomes a no-nonsense money guy. It's up to Hill's character, Peter Brand, to help bring to life a failing baseball team on a very low budget. His character helps Pitt's character bring together a great team, and finds value in each player that others thought was lost.

  • Robin Williams

    Williams brings comedy to almost every movie he's part of, but playing teacher John Keating in the "Dead Poets Society" really brought out his serious side. The movie went on to gross over $200 million. Robin Williams has since been nominated for several prestigious awards for his serious roles in films including "World According to Garp," "The Fisher King," and "Good Will Hunting."

  • Ben Stiller

    In 1998, Stiller stepped outside his normal comedic roles, and starred as real-life comedy writer Jerry Stahl in "Permanent Midnight." The movie centered around Stahl's $6,000 a week heroin habit, and how desperate it made Stahl during those times. "The Washington Post" praised Stiller's performance, calling it "a breakthrough" and "what could easily be the finest performance of his career."

  • Mo'Nique

    Funny woman Mo'Nique knows how to make people laugh, but in her role as an abusive mother in the movie "Precious," she quickly transformed into a very serious actor. Oprah highlighted the movie and Mo'Nique on an episode of her talk show, describing to her audience, "When I called Mo'Nique after watching the movie, my first words to her were 'What are you wearing to the Oscars?'" She went on to win an Oscar for her role in "Precious."

  • Bill Murray

    Many remember Bill Murray as the crazy guy who lived the same day over and over again in "Groundhog Day," but it's his role as a faded movie star that brings Murray into the game as a more serious actor. Murray, who stars opposite Scarlett Johansson in the film "Lost in Translation," shows off his ability to focus on the serious side of acting, winning a BAFTA and Golden Globe for his role. The movie grossed over $100 million worldwide.

  • Dan Aykroyd

    Aykroyd fans got used to seeing the funny man ghost hunting in the "Ghostbusters" movies, but were able to see his serious side in the 1991 movie "My Girl." The actor took this role after critics suggested his comedic skills had fallen, and helped earn the movie almost $60 million, which was triple the film's initial budget. Aykroyd went on to star in the "My Girl" sequel.

  • Jim Carrey

    Many didn't think it could happen, but Carrey surprised his fan base with a more serious side when starring in "The Truman Show." The movie, which was set up like a reality show, showed the Truman character being followed by cameras 24/7. The actor received a Golden Globe, but was famously snubbed by the Oscars. The movie grossed over $260 million worldwide.

  • Mike Myers

    Myers left his "Wayne's World" ways behind him, and focused on a more serious role in "Studio 54." The movie barely made $17 million at the box office, and Myers' performance received mixed reviews. The "New York Times" called his performance a half-step away from his comic spoofs, but "The Washington Post" was quoted saying, "Myers was both poignant and funny."

  • Steve Martin

    Martin wrote and starred in the movie "Shopgirl." The 2005 film was based off of his short novel by the same name. The story focuses on a love triangle, putting Martin's character at the center of it all. Critics were harsh, suggesting he should stick to his more comedic roles.

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