The Oscars are coming up soon, and the nominees were announced.  Which has me thinking about the many other actors out there who may not be Brad Pitt, George Clooney, or Johnny Depp.  But their talent reaches and sometimes soars beyond the Big Boys. 

1. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Whenever I see that Joseph is cast in a movie, it perks my interest.  He started off making us laugh by playing the alien Tommy Solomon in the CBS sit-com, 3rd Rock from the Sun.  Since then, he played roles such as a depressed, love struck greeting card writer (500 Days of Summer), a traumatic brain injured janitor turned criminal (The Lookout) and a young man battling cancer (50/50). 




2. Giovanni Ribisi



Giovanni, first of all, has an awesome name.  Secondly, he’s portrayed many colorful characters.  He played Phoebe’s brother in Friends, a mentally challenged man in The Other Sister, was in the Mod Squad, an antisocial engineer in Flight of the Phoenix and a cold-hearted capitalist in Avatar.




3. Timothy Olyphant




Yum-to-the E.  He donned a sheriff’s uniform and attempted to protect his town from The Crazies.  He was the sadistic villain in Live Free or Die Hard.  He went skinny dipping with his soon-to-be wife and a couple of serial killers in A Perfect Getaway.  Now Timothy is Justified. 



4. Anton Yelchin

Anton stars as Charlie Bartlett, which is one of my favorite movies.  Charlie has been kicked out of every private school and resorts to many antics to make friends in the public school.  He also was tragically murdered in Alpha Dog, was the son of a suicidal mother in House of D, and stepped up to play a young Chekov in the latest Star Trek movie.   




5. James McAvoy



James charmed me as the faun in Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe and as Penelope‘s true love that helped break a family curse.  Then he kicked a lot of bums in Wanted (in addition to making-out with Angelina Jolie).  And he tried to unite mutants and humans as Professor X in X-Men First Class.




6. Ben Foster



Ben has portrayed the unhinged, violent type and the a beautiful young man struggling with growing magnificent wings.  In Alpha Dog, he screamed and fought his way on a rampage to find his younger brother (played by Anton Yelchin).  He was a merciless gunslinger in 3:10 to Yuma and trained with Jason Statham as an assassin in The Mechanic.  But he also sprouted wings as X-Men’s Angel. 




7. Emile Hirsch


In addition to his talent, Emile’s good looks and winning smile have landed him many roles.  He crushed on The Girl Next Door, skateboarded in Lords of Dogtown, and met a slow, horrible end when he went Into the Wild.  His thick curly locks were dyed black so he could play anime’s icon, Speed Racer.