Oh, Kevin James. What are we gonna do with you? Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Really? At one point or another, every actor tells him or herself, "Well, a girl’s gotta eat, right?" which is usually followed by a stint in a B-, C- or D-list movie. That’s how we found Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel in that business with the iPad, and Julianne Moore in Seventh Son shortly after we had seen her Oscar-winning Still Alice. But you, Kevin James. We can’t remember the last time you’ve been in anything of substance. It might be time for a change.

Hollywood is a tough industry, and only those willing and able to adapt can survive. (Unless, of course, you’re Leonardo DiCaprio and only work with Oscar-winning filmmakers.) As such, we’ve seen a number of comedians take a leap over the fence to feel out the pastures of dramatic acting. Not everyone thrives in this unfamiliar terrain, but some have delivered spectacular performances and proven themselves to be chameleons. This might be an option for you, Kevin James. Lord knows what you’ve been doing in Adam Sandler movies isn’t working out.

To inspire better choices for you in the future — because we have hope — here are 10 comedians who’ve dabbled in drama and have become better actors for it.

Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill used to be that plump 23-year-old guy in Knocked Up and Superbad, and he worked that image for all it was worth. That’s how he broke out in the spotlight. Hill followed up those roles with films like Horton Hear’s a Who, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and How to Train Your Dragon, but he would soon start making a more dramatic turn with Moneyball, the six-time Oscar-nominated film from Bennett Miller. Now, audiences recognize his acclaimed role in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, for which he received his second Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. Of course, he never forgot his comedy roots, but he’s leaving his mark in both genres.

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