15 Actresses Who Can’t Seem To Land Big Lead Roles in Films

Like in almost any organization, Hollywood is laden with cliques, class distinctions, and a whole lot of drama, perhaps more so than any other field, except maybe, politics. The latest drama to hit tinsel town is the complaint that there is a glaring lack of black actors nominated for the upcoming Academy Awards ceremonies, hence the boycotting of several actors of the Oscars to show their protest.

Another aspect of Hollywood that “discriminates” is categorizing actors into the A-list, B-list, and even C-list. By loose definition, A-list actors are those who have had starring roles in hugely successful box office films and who always get top billing when their movies are being promoted. B-listers, on the other hand, are generally described as those who have had the occasional starring role in small or moderately successful films, but are seen more often on TV shows than on the big screen. C-listers are those who constantly have bit roles, whose faces we know, but whose names escape us.

Here’s a list of some of the actresses whom we can arguably classify as B-listers or even C-listers.

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15 Rose Byrne

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She’s certainly well-known in her native Australia as one of the country’s A-listers, having played her first lead role in the Australian film The Goddess of 1967. And though she has crossed over to Hollywood, many still seem to struggle with who she is. Rose Byrne made her first foray into mainstream Hollywood in the blockbuster film Troy, in which she had some steamy love scenes with Brad Pitt. She has played supporting roles in other popular films like 28 Weeks Later, Bridesmaids, and X-Men: First Class.

14 Vera Farmiga

via: theguardian.com

Uniqueness can either be memorable or forgettable, depends on how the wind blows. In the case of Vera Farmiga, it’s somewhat of a disadvantage to have such an unusual-sounding name because nobody can seem to remember it. Oh, there’s no doubt that she’s one amazing actress, having been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the film Up In The Air. She has also appeared in other big film hits like The Departed and The Conjuring. But she is easily overlooked by the general public and the media when it comes to big stars.

13 Shannon Elizabeth

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If you ask anyone who was a teenager or a young professional in the late 1990s, they’d easily identify Shannon Elizabeth as smoking hot Nadia who tried to seduce Jim (played by Jason Biggs) in the raunchy comedy film American Pie. That film officially launched her as a sex symbol. Unfortunately, she hasn’t seemed to be able to evolve from that image that the public sees her as. After American Pie, she had bit roles in other films like Scary Movie and Thirteen Ghosts.

12 Kate Mara

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In case there’s some confusion, there are two actresses in Hollywood whose surname is Mara and they happen to be sisters: Rooney Mara and Kate Mara. Both sister's respective careers are flourishing, with Rooney having a bit of an edge in the awards nominations category. Kate is probably most well known for her role in the Netflix political drama House of Cards. She has forayed into movies, but her roles have been minor and some of the films bombed at the box office.

11 Malin Akerman

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Blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes are a killer combination in the looks department by Hollywood’s standards. Swedish-Canadian actress, model, and singer Malin Akerman certainly fits the bill of sun-kissed Hollywood good looks, but for some reason, she has yet to have her big break. Sure, she has had pivotal roles in films such as The Heartbreak Kid, 27 Dresses, and The Proposal, but she always played second fiddle to those movies leading ladies, Helen Hunt, Katherine Heigl, and Sandra Bullock.

10 Minka Kelly

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She certainly turns heads on the red carpet, with her rich auburn locks, deep hazel eyes, and stunning figure that can make any haute couture gown she’s wearing look like a million bucks. But though Minka Kelly has been around for a while, it’s hard to say if she has “made it” in Hollywood. She’s probably had more success on the small screen, having appeared in TV shows such as Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, and Almost Human.

9 Eliza Dushku

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When she appeared in the 1994 film True Lies as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character’s pre-teen daughter, many predicted her as the next “it” girl, what with her exotic good looks. But though Eliza Dushku has appeared in several other films, her career never really quite launched the way other actresses in her peer group might have. She appeared in the TV shows Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, and starred in the TV series Tru Calling and Dollhouse, both of which got cancelled after only two seasons.

8 Daryl Hannah

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Hers is a household name, for sure, though it’s probably due to her personal life as much as her acting career. Daryl Hannah was infamously known as one of the late JFK, Jr.’s many girlfriends before he finally settled down and got married. Hannah has appeared in big films, but has only had supporting roles in films such as Blade Runner, Splash, Roxanne, Wall Street, Steel Magnolias, and Kill Bill. She continues to do bit roles, but is more focused on her environmental causes than her Hollywood career.

7 Tara Reid

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She pulled many a heartstring when she very endearingly played cutesy girl-next-door roles in coming-of-age films like the American Pie film installments and Van Wilder. Tara Reid had so much potential to be America’s sweetheart with her blonde hair, blue eyes, and lovely figure. But whether it was poor choices for her other roles or plastic surgery gone bad, Reid’s career never fully took off and she never got that starring role that would put her on the map as an A-lister.

6 Mena Suvari

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1999 can arguably be considered Mena Suvari’s year, career-wise. It was the year she garnered international recognition in two movie genres: drama and slapstick comedy. The American actress appeared in two films that began with the word American: American Beauty (in which she played the Lolita-esque best friend of Kevin Spacey’s character’s daughter) and American Pie (where she played the cute choir girl who landed the jock). Apart from these films, though, Suvari never quite got a big lead role and dabbled in TV instead.

5 Brittany Snow

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Despite the many teen and young artist awards she was nominated for during the days of her fledgling career, Brittany Snow has always been known more for her looks than her name and acting abilities. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed, sun-kissed good looks, Snow can probably be touted as that modern-day Sandra Dee. She played the unassuming new girl in the film John Tucker Must Die, the annoying, ambitious Amber Von Tussle in the movie musical Hairspray, and Chloe Beale in Pitch Perfect parts one and two.

4 Leslie Mann

via: imdb.com

She’s one of the most endearing comediennes we see on the big screens. It’s too bad Leslie Mann has not headlined a movie, despite being named by Elle in 2012 as “Hollywood’s queen of comedy,” because she certainly has the comedic skills down pat. Maybe it’s because almost all of the roles she conveniently gets are in films made by her husband, director and producer Judd Apatow, so she’s never able to shine by her own merits. She has had supporting roles in films like The Cable Guy, Big Daddy, Knocked Up, 17 Again, and The Other Woman.

3 Katherine Heigl

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She got her start in Hollywood as a teenage actress and gained recognition in the 1994 film My Father The Hero. In the movie, Katherine Heigl played the daughter of Gerard Depardieu’s character and she seemed destined for stardom. Instead of starring in big movie roles, she gained more popularity in TV shows such as Roswell and Grey’s Anatomy, for which she won an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Dr. Izzie Stevens. Her newfound popularity in the medical drama led her to appear in romantic comedies like Knocked Up, 27 Dresses, and The Ugly Truth. However, Heigl is rumored to be difficult to work with, hence the lack of lucrative roles that have come (or not come) her way after she left Grey’s Anatomy.

2 Ashley Greene

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There’s no doubt that she’s gorgeous, but in the case of Ashley Greene, pretty is as pretty does. She is best known for her role as Alice Cullen in the film adaptations of the Twilight saga, but that’s perhaps the only character she’s known as. Greene has had other small roles, but they’ve gone by the general public’s radar without incident, and she’s probably now just as known for once dating Joe Jonas as she is for her involvement in the Twilight movies.

1 Leighton Meester

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In TV shows, there’s almost always one person whose career takes off while the others are left eating the dust in his or her wake. In the case of the Gossip Girl cast, it was undoubtedly Blake Lively who was able to successfully transition to leading actress in films. Leighton Meester, who played best friend Blair Waldorf to Lively’s Serena van der Woodsen, has had a few movie roles here and there, but mostly as a supporting character and nothing of true significance.

sources: imdb.com, dailymail.co.uk, businessinsider.com, pajiba.com, cinemablend.com

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