Huddle: Underrated Actresses


When I saw that Judy Greer would finally be starring in her own show, I mentally thrust my fist into the air in victory. The hilarious actress has been a favorite of mine since Jawbreaker, and she never gets her due. Always the best friend, never the lead, it’s about time Hollywood gets hip to Judy and some other actresses who we find less appreciated than they should be.

Group, who do you think deserves some more accolades?

Grace Chu: While she has been nominated for two Academy Awards and more Golden Globes than there are fingers on my hand, and she has starred in prominent roles in several box office hits, Helena Bonham Carter still often gets the quizzical “Who’s that?” when her name is dropped — at least in the United States. Then light bulbs go off when people say, “that crazy woman in Fight Club” or “Bellatrix from Harry Potter.”

With a body of work that puts most Hollywood actresses to shame, Helena Bonham Carter is an A-list actress without the superstar name recognition.

Heather Hogan: It blows my mind that it’s been two full years since Ugly Betty went off the air and no one has scooped up America Ferrera for an awesome project yet. She can do drama, she can do comedy, she can even do wigs and braces.

My admiration for Ferrera goes beyond beauty and acting chops, though. She’s clever and articulate and always dialed into the news in feminism and politics. I fondly remember her and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants co-star Amber Tamblyn stumping for Hillary Clinton. And she’s already using her voice to raise awareness of women’s issues for the 2012 election. Last month she attended Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Playing Politics With Women’s Health. She’s already got an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and a SAG Award to her name, and right now she’s making her West End stage debut in Chicago. I won’t be satisfied until Ferrea has her EGOT.

The Linster: My default answer to this question is Lizzy Caplan, who caught our attention as Janis Ian in Mean Girls and has been rocking our world ever since, especially in True Blood and Party Down. Even though Caplan steals every scene she’s in and has played a wide range of roles, she never seems to get her due as an actress.

That may, however, be about to change. At Sundance this year, Caplan was one of the “7 Fresh Faces in Film” for breakthrough performances in Bachelorette and Save the Date. And this week, Showtime announced that Caplan is starring with Michael Sheen in its new pilot Masters of Sex, a drama about sex pioneers William Masters and Virginia Johnson.

Looks like I may soon have to find another actress to top my “most underrated” list. It’s about time.

Trish Bendix: Besides Ms. Judy Greer, I would like to see Sarah Paulson star in something that is all about her. She was close a few times, but the pilot she was supposed to star in last year didn’t work out and since then she’s played memorable roles in American Horror Story, Martha Marcy May Marlene and the upcoming Game Change, but I want to see Sarah as the leading lady for once.

Emily Hartl: I’m going to have to go with Katherine Moennig on this one. What happened to her after the life and wild times of Shane on The L Word? I first fell in love when I saw her as an angsty and confused baby dyke at the age of 16 when she starred in the WB series Young Americans where she essentially played a drag king. (Thud). Anyway, Everybody’s Fine and Lez Chat were nice little doses of her, but I’d like to see her be front and center, once and for all.

Who do you think is underrated?