DVD Release DateThe 11 Best Supporting Actors in Biopics in 2023 Who Steal the...

The 11 Best Supporting Actors in Biopics in 2023 Who Steal the Scene

The 11 Best Supporting Actors in Biopics in 2023 Who Steal the Scene

Biopics, the gems of cinema, always revolve around a singular actor, resulting in mind-blowing performances. Yet, every once in a while, another thespian enters the stage and delivers their role with such magnificence that they become the true showstopper, turning a respectable supporting role into the most mesmerizing aspect of the film.

Keeping this in mind, brace yourselves to discover 13 supporting actors who effortlessly steal the limelight in every scene they grace. Prepare to be captivated by their brilliance as they transport you to another world. Get ready to embark on a thrilling journey through the uncharted territories of cinema.

1. Joe Pesci Is A Genuine Gangster Terror In ‘Goodfellas’

Joe Pesci Is A Genuine Gangster Terror In 'Goodfellas'
Is there a performance more closely associated with Martin Scorsese and modern gangster movies than Joe Pesci’s electrifying portrayal of mob wildcard Tommy Devito in Goodfellas? Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro also star as Henry Hill and James Conway, but Pesci steals the spotlight.

The camera showcases the lavishness of the gangster lifestyle, but it’s Pesci’s Tommy who hints at the harsh reality beneath the surface. This is a dangerous world, filled with unpredictable men whose split-second decisions can mean life or death. Pesci’s performance is simultaneously funny, irritating, exhausting, and terrifying, often within the same scene.

2. Regina King Doesn’t Mess Around In ‘Ray’

Regina King Doesn't Mess Around In 'Ray'
The biopic Ray, directed by Taylor Hackford, is often remembered for Jamie Foxx’s incredible portrayal of soul legend Ray Charles and his well-deserved Oscar win. However, it’s Regina King’s role as Margie Hendricks, Charles’ mistress and backup singer, that truly makes the movie worth revisiting. King perfectly captures the essence of Hendricks, effortlessly exuding flirtatious and sensual charm one moment, and then displaying raw and visceral emotions of sorrowful rage the next.

Although the movie may not fully develop Hendricks’ character, this is certainly not due to any shortcomings on King’s part. Her performance is brimming with authentic humanity, leaving a lasting impact even after the credits have rolled. While Jamie Foxx received much praise for his portrayal, it is Regina King who truly shines in the film.

3. Christian Bale Punches Above Everyone’s Weight In ‘The Fighter’

Christian Bale Punches Above Everyone's Weight In 'The Fighter'
Christian Bale is widely recognized for his exceptional dedication to his craft in the world of cinema. He is known for completely transforming his physical appearance for each role he takes on, whether it be a real person or a fictional character. This commitment is evident in his portrayal of Dicky Ward, the drug-addicted half-brother and trainer to underdog boxer Micky Ward in David O. Russell’s drama, The Fighter.

In The Fighter, Bale brings Dicky to life in a way that is both flamboyant and troubled, showcasing the immense talent he possesses. Dicky’s ostentatious and self-assured demeanor is a desperate attempt to hide his own inner turmoil and decline. Despite the clear affectation, Bale’s performance is deeply moving and filled with pathos.

Bale’s performance in The Fighter was met with overwhelming praise from audiences, critics, and his fellow actors. It was a turning point in his career, earning him his first Academy Award for his exceptional portrayal of Dicky Ward.

4. Geoffrey Rush Gives A Royal Performance In ‘The Kings Speech’

Geoffrey Rush Gives A Royal Performance In 'The Kings Speech'
Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech took everyone by surprise, becoming an enormous success not only with critics but also at the box office. This achievement can be largely attributed to the outstanding performances delivered by the cast. While Colin Firth received much acclaim and even won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the stammering King George VI, it is Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue, the Australian actor turned speech therapist, who truly steals the show and captures the film’s essence.

Rush infuses Logue with a lively and mischievous charm, radiating a genuine warmth and showing deep empathy and care. In scenes that could have easily felt dull or uncomfortable, Rush manages to extract every ounce of heartwarming hilarity. He brings a sense of inspiration to the film, as it tells a story of triumph over adversity. The unexpected and sensational popularity of the movie can be attributed, in large part, to Rush’s exceptional performance. He truly is the secret weapon of The King’s Speech.

5. Paul Giamatti Owns His Corner Of ‘Cinderella Man’

Paul Giamatti Owns His Corner Of 'Cinderella Man'
Paul Giamatti, known for his unique and captivating performances, showcases his talent in Ron Howard’s boxing biopic Cinderella Man. Similar to John Malkovich, Giamatti effortlessly balances between being over-the-top and reserved, all within a single performance. His portrayal of Joe Gould, the once-and-future trainer to Russell Crowe’s James J. Braddock, is nothing short of exceptional.

In the film, Giamatti’s character becomes the heart and soul of the story. He skillfully portrays Gould’s desperation and profound empathy, evoking a range of emotions in the audience. Giamatti’s natural inclination towards theatricality is utilized perfectly, resulting in Gould becoming the emotional core around which the inspiring narrative unfolds. Indeed, in moments that demand larger-than-life emotions, Giamatti delivers a performance that is nothing short of remarkable.

6. Allison Janney Skates Across The Screen In ‘I, Tonya’

Allison Janney Skates Across The Screen In 'I, Tonya'
I, Tonya” is a semi-comic and hyper-kinetic film that tells the story of controversial ice skating figure Tonya Harding, portrayed with movie star wattage by Margot Robbie. This movie received rave reviews upon its release and has since become a favorite among modern cinephiles. While Robbie shines as an absolute star, it is Allison Janney’s portrayal of Tonya’s perpetually-smoking, foul-mouthed, abusive mother LaVona that steals the show.

Janney holds nothing back in her performance, willingly and skillfully embracing the scenery-chewing hamminess of LaVona while also maintaining the human core of her character. LaVona is a broken woman whose jealousy and pride in her daughter constantly clash, resulting in a destructive tornado of a personality. It is simultaneously heartbreaking, horrifying, and hilarious to witness. Audiences, Janney’s peers, and critics all agreed on her exceptional performance, leading to numerous award nominations and accolades for her outstanding showcase

7. Chris Cooper Is Out Of This World In ‘ October Sky’

Chris Cooper Is Out Of This World In ' October Sky'
October Sky, released in 1999, may not be widely remembered, but it deserves more recognition. This film tells the true story of Homer Hickam, a NASA engineer, and his passion for the space program. It beautifully captures the essence of hope and showcases a touching family narrative.

Jake Gyllenhaal delivers an impressive performance as the young Homer, portraying his determination and innocence with charm. However, it is Chris Cooper as Homer’s father, a tough and emotionally restrained coal miner, who truly steals the spotlight. Despite his cold exterior, Cooper’s portrayal reveals a deep well of emotions simmering beneath the surface. It’s a heartwarming and heart-wrenching performance that takes the film to new heights.

8. Tommy Lee Jones Is A Second Shining Star In ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’

Tommy Lee Jones Is A Second Shining Star In 'Coal Miner's Daughter'
Coal Miner’s Daughter is a musical film that tells the captivating story of Loretta Lynn, a real-life country music icon, and her journey from poverty to fame. In this fictionalized account, Sissy Spacek portrays Loretta Lynn, while Tommy Lee Jones takes on the challenging role of her husband, Oliver “Mooney” Lynn.

Spacek’s performance delves into the struggles and triumphs of a rising star, as she gradually discovers her immense talent through heartfelt songs. However, it is Jones who faces the more complex task in the movie.

Jones brilliantly portrays Mooney as a devoted and selfless husband, determined to see his wife fulfill her extraordinary potential. Yet, he also brings out the character’s tempestuous nature, revealing moments of abusive behavior. This adds an emotional depth to the film, as Jones navigates the delicate balance of portraying a man who loves and believes in his wife while also allowing his drive to turn sour in possibly unforgivable ways.

9. Cate Blanchett Gets Under The Skin Of A Hollywood Star In ‘The Aviator’

Cate Blanchett Gets Under The Skin Of A Hollywood Star In 'The Aviator'
Cate Blanchett quickly rose to legendary status, despite a somewhat disappointing early career. She now shares the same esteemed company as Meryl Streep and Daniel Day-Lewis. One pivotal moment that completely transformed her career was her portrayal of Katherine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator.

Blanchett’s performance in this role earned her an Academy Award, and it’s easy to see why. She doesn’t merely imitate or mimic Hepburn, but instead fully embodies the essence of this iconic figure. Blanchett gracefully captures Hepburn’s delicate, refined, yet somehow gentle charisma that made her so captivating on-screen. What’s truly remarkable is how Blanchett’s performance serves as a perfect contrast to Leonardo DiCaprio’s increasingly intense and outward portrayal. As DiCaprio’s character becomes more frenzied and exuberant, Blanchett’s character remains calm and introspective. It’s a remarkable display of skill, delicately balancing the dynamics between the two actors.

10. Michael Shannon Is A Cherry Bomb Of Personality In ‘The Runaways’

Michael Shannon Is A Cherry Bomb Of Personality In 'The Runaways'
The Runaways, released in the 2010s, tells the story of the famous all-female rock band with a touch of fiction. While it may not be considered a beloved classic, the movie is undeniably entertaining and full of energy. The performances by Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart, portraying Cherie Currie and Joan Jett respectively, are solid. However, it is Michael Shannon’s unexpected role as the rock’n’roll guru, Kim Fowley, that truly steals the spotlight.

Shannon’s portrayal of this larger-than-life character, reminiscent of Malcolm McLaren, is both extravagant and flamboyant, just as one would expect from a father figure to a group of rebellious punk rockers. His physical presence adds an extra layer of impact to every gesture, making them seem grandiose. Shannon’s performance gives Fowley the perfect amount of personality to dominate every scene he appears in.

11. Tommy Lee Jones Is A Second Shining Star In ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’

Tommy Lee Jones Is A Second Shining Star In 'Coal Miner's Daughter'