Follow TV Tropes

Following

Large Ham / Actors

Go To

Actors/Actresses:

    open/close all folders 

    Antonio Banderas 
  • How can you classify his work on Four Rooms?
    • "Did they misbehave?"
    • The elevator scene.
  • Also his portrayal of Zorro is quite hammy. In particular, he gleefully chews the scenario whenever Alejandro gets drunk in The Legend of Zorro.
    Alejandro (in the sequel): No-one leaves my tequila worm dangling in the wind!
  • In Spy Kids 2: "These are my children. And I will find them MY WAY!!"
  • Puss-in-Boots in Shrek!
    "PUSS! In boots...
    • From movie numero quatro: "Feed me... if you dare!"
  • It's almost impossible to beat him as Miguel, the Ax-Crazy killer in Assassins. Just look at this! This is one of the biggest Chewing the Scenery scenes in cinema history.
    Miguel: YOU BLEW IT! I AM STILL ALIVE!!! HAHAHA!!!
  • Galgo from The Expendables 3, who might be low-energy compared to other Banderas performances but it's still hammy for how much he speaks.
Advertisement:

    John Belushi 
  • "Wild Bill" Kelso in the underrated WWII comedy 1941.
  • The Blues Brothers. Take the scene where Belushi finally comes face to face with Carrie Fisher (aka the Chick With the Flamethrower) and throws himself on his knees to apologize:
    Jake: Oh, please, don't kill us! Please, please don't kill us! You know I love you baby. I wouldn't leave ya. It wasn't my fault!
    Mystery Woman: You miserable slug! You think you can talk your way out of this? You betrayed me.
    Jake: No, I didn't! Honest! I ran out of gas! I, I had a flat tire! I didn't have enough money for cab fare! My tux didn't come back from the cleaners! An old friend came in from out of town! Someone stole my car! THERE WAS AN EARTHQUAKE! A TERRIBLE FLOOD! LOCUSTS! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!
  • How could we mention the good Mr. Belushi without talking about his most ludicrously over-the-top role ever: Bluto Blutarsky!
    TOGA! TOGA!

    BRIAN BLESSED 
One folder is simply not enough to contain the amount of gnawed-on scenery provided by BRIAN BLESSED. His self-demonstrating page will undoubtedly satisfy you if you seek the wisdom of BRIAN BLESSED.

    Kenneth Branagh 
  • Any of his own adaptations of William Shakespeare.
    • Much Ado About Nothing being a prime example.
    • Hamlet is also notable. He plays Hamlet, and so we get to hear him do the speech on how actors should act and be a Large Ham during it; we get to see him saw the air while urging the actors not to. This makes that speech more hilarious than was probably intended. It's made even better with Hamlet's father being played by BRIAN BLESSED. The scene with the two of them together is pure Ham-to-Ham Combat.
    • His speech in his own adaptation of Henry V is especially good as he is supposed to be a Large Ham. The audience can see that Branagh is loving it - as Henry does in the play. It is incredibly powerful.
    • His 1930s-set musical version of Love's Labour's Lost is full of hams, the biggest being Timothy Spall's Don Armado. His Cole Porter bit must be seen to be believed.
    • Though in the 1996 film adaptation of Othello, he's actually very subtle and restrained as Iago. Knowing how hammy he usually gets when he does Shakespeare, this makes his performance incredibly effective.
      • No so much Ham, but some TRIFLES!
  • Branagh was even hammier as Dr. Loveless in Wild Wild West. "Don't yew just haaaate thay-ut song?" complete with 720 degrees of eye-rolling.
    "Ah am not an animal! Ah am a visionary, and ah am a genius, and now AH AM 'AGREH! And after I kill you, ah swea' ah'm gonna boil you down for ax-ell grease!
  • His performance in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, playing the titular character. His mother dies and he feels compelled to look up the ceiling shrieking "THIS MUST NOT HAPPENNNNNNN!"
  • He even hams it up playing an American private eye in Dead Again.
  • And chews the scenery as an uptight government official in The Boat That Rocked.
  • Averted in some of his more recent dramatic roles, such as Wallander, Valkyrie, and Shackleton.

    Steve Buscemi 

    Nicolas Cage 
Advertisement:

    Jim Carrey 
  • Liar Liar, source of a previous page image (long story short: Jim Carrey's character suddenly Cannot Tell a Lie; he tests it by trying to say a blue pen is red. Hilarity Ensues.) has such gems as: "I HOLD MYSELF IN CONTEMPT! WHY SHOULD YOU BE ANY DIFFERENT?!" and this outtake:
    Swoosie Kurtz: Your Honor, I object!
    Carrey: You would!
    Kurtz: Overactor!
    Carrey: Jezeb—! (collapses in laughter as the entire "courtroom" bursts out)
    Kurtz: He [indicating the director?] put me up to it! It wasn't my idea! He told me to do it!
    Carrey: (mugging for the camera even though it's clearly not getting into the movie) ...oh no! They're onto me!
  • Count Olaf from the movie version of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events was a Master of Disguise, but also a Large Ham - not just because Carrey played him that way, but because within the story itself Olaf is supposed to be a Large Ham. There's also this outtake: "But enough of recent history, let's go back in a TIME machine! [high voice] TIIIME machine, TIIIME machine..."
    • Actually if you read the books, Count Olaf doesn't actually become a proper ham until the books that came out after the film. Beforehand, his evil was more withheld.
    • Even better, try to watch him and Meryl Streep outmug each other.
  • The Grinch. And given Jim's wearing tons of make-up, yellow contact lenses and dentures, it's simply a feat that his overacting surpasses any physical pain!
  • As Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber: "We've got no food! We've got no jobs! Our pets' HEADS ARE FALLIN' OFF!!!!"
  • Ace Ventura. "ALLLLL RIGHTY THEN!"
  • The Mask was a shy guy who got turned into a Large Ham by Applied Phlebotinum. "Sssssssmokin'!"
  • Carrey's acting in Batman Forever was once described as "transcend[ing] considerations of good or bad acting into sheer weirdness". "Weird", in this case, means... well... ham.
    "If knowledge is power, then A GOD... AM... IIIIIIIIIIII! (beat) Was that over the top? I can never tell!"
    • His character was The Riddler. It takes true talent to be accused of making the Riddler too hammy.
  • The Cable Guy
  • With Man on the Moon, Jim gets moments of ham — Andy Kaufman, after all, loved creating and inhabiting Large Ham personas such as Tony Clifton and the Intergender Wrestling Champion of the World, so the role(s) requires someone who understands the art of going over the top.
  • Bruce Almighty: You know, the one where Jim Carrey becomes God (more "A God Am I" for ya!). "SMITE ME, OH MIGHTY SMITER!", etc.
    "I AM BRUCE ALMIGHTY!!!!! MY WILL BE DONE!!!!!"
    "It's a funny thing about pleasure. It can be quite...PLEASURABLE!"
    "EROOOOOOOODIIIIIIING...EROOOOOOODIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNG!!!"
  • Earth Girls Are Easy had him in a natural role - a randy space alien with a talent for mimicry, at one point imitating James Dean out of nowhere, wailing "You're TEARING me aPAAAAHRT!!!
  • He's Doctor Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), and he goes full-on Evil Is Hammy, complete with Milking the Giant Cow.
    "OOUUUUUGH! Give me a BIG! FAT! BREAAAAAAAK!!''

    Tim Curry 

    Dan YELL Day-Lewis 

    Benicio Del Toro 

    Brad Dourif 
Advertisement:

    Will Ferrell 

    John Goodman 

    Jonathan Harris 
  • The late, truly great Jonathan Harris, who built his reputation on hamming it up. Who is he you ask? You know him best as Dr. Smith from Lost in Space and that's really all you need to know. Although you should also know him pretty well as Manny, the praying mantis, in Pixar's A Bug's Life. I dare you, no really, I. DARE. YOU. to come up with a better actor who has taken the Large Ham and honed it, perfected it, nay! taken it to the pinnacle of the art form! Seriously, he was such a master of it because he could take any role and imbue it with such over-the-topness, without making it silly, until it was unforgettable. You love him and you know it.

    Charlton Heston 

    Jeremy Irons 

    Samuel L Jackson 

    Michael Keaton 

    Harvey Keitel 

    Udo Kier 

    Christopher Lloyd 

    John Malkovich 

    Malcolm Mc Dowell 

    Ian Mc Kellen 

    Richard O'Brien 

    Gary Oldman 

    Al Pacino 
  • Al Pacino has been delivering Large Ham performances for, oh, the past decade or two. Some particular gems:
    • Scent of a Woman ("If I were the man I was five years ago I'd take a FLAME-THROWER to this place!" "HOO-AH! I'm just getting warmed up!") - after being passed over for numerous Oscars, he finally got one for this movie due to the hammy speech at the end. He's stuck with the formula since.
    • Heat ("cause she's got a... GREAT ASS! And you got your head... ALL THE WAY UP IT!" note  "I had COFFEE with McCauley... HALF AN HOUR AGO!")
    • The trailer for City Hall has all the ham you need. "I choose to FIGHT BACK!!!!!1111one... until this city is a palace again!"
    • Pacino as Big Boy Caprice in Dick Tracy is a ham large enough to choke Godzilla.
      "I'm looking for generals ... and what do I get? foot soldiers!"
    • As the Devil in The Devil's Advocate, Pacino would only take the part if he got to do a ten minute rant in the film's climax. Upon hearing that, the producers must have looked at each other, shrugged, and said; "Do whatever the hell you want, Al!" Cue Satan Breaking The Fourth Wall as he dips a finger into holy water, boiling it.
      "HE'S A TIGHTASS! HE'S A SADIST! HE'S AN ABSENTEE LANDLORD!! WORSHIP THAT?! NEVER!"
    • In Scarface (1983), practically every line of spoken dialog by Tony Montana is Ham, and the movie wouldn't have been half as good without it (though that probably goes for all of Pacino's roles)
    "SAAAAAAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEEEEEEND"
    • ...And Justice for All - Al ends the movie with an epic bit of courtroom haminess: "My client, the Honorable Henry T. Flemming should GO RIGHT TO FUCKING JAIL!!! THE SON OF A BITCH IS GUILTY!" (lots of ranting then follows)
    • Any Given Sunday definitely lets him ham his way. Special moment at the end : "WE CLAAAAW WITH OUR FINGERNAAAIIILS FOR THAT INCH!"
    • In Ocean's Thirteen, Willy Bank is nothing but ham topped with bacon under a layer of fried pork chops. Every scene he's in has him yelling or browbeating someone, and when he's not, he's still incredibly full of himself.
    Reuben: (heartbroken after finding out Bank renamed their casino after himself): You changed the name.
    Bank: I LIKE IT BETTER. DON'T YOU? (walks away laughing while Reuben collapses from heart attack)
    • Or when The Plan is being executed under his nose without him being any the wiser.
    "EVERYONE IN THIS ROOM (the security center), EMPTY YOUR POCKETS NOW!"
    • He was pretty low-key as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Parts I and II, back in the early 70s, but years later in Part III he went full ham, especially in the scene during the thunderstorm where Michael is having a diabetic attack.

    John Rhys-Davies 

    George C. Scott 
  • He was a master at saving the ham for just the right moment, for maximum effect.
  • In the desert battle in Patton, he spends most of it just watching, calmly observing the whole thing. Then when it's clear his troops are winning, comes the immortal, "Rommel, you Magnificent Bastard, I read your BOOOK!"
    • Interestingly enough, George Patton's daughters said that Scott nailed Patton's personality so perfectly, they felt like they were actually watching their father on the movie screen. Does that make George Patton a ham? (especially in light of the fact that the movie actually DOWNPLAYS some of the more crude and vulgar catchphrases that he was famous for).
    • Maybe the real-life Patton was a hammier ham than George C. Scott? After all, those pearl-handled revolvers were not exactly Army regulation.
    • That jingoistic speech at the beginning of the movie? It's fairly closely paraphrased from an even more over-the-top speech that Patton actually gave.
  • Also in The Hustler, "You owe me MONEY!"
  • Similarly, The Rescuers Down Under. "I didn't make it all the way through third grade for NOTHING!"
    • "Home, home on the range! Where critters are tied up in chains! I cut through their sides and rip off their hides, and the next day I do it again! EVERYBODDAY!!!!"
  • He also, at Kubrick's urging, made quite the snack of Dr. Strangelove.
  • Hardcore. TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF!
  • The Exorcist III. The I BELIEVE speech was off the charts, even for Scott.
    Kinderman: Yes, I believe... I believe in death. I believe in disease. I believe in injustice and inhumanity and torture and anger and hate... I believe in murder. I BELIEVE IN PAIN. I believe in cruelty and infidelity. I believe in slime and stink and every crawling, putrid thing... every possible ugliness and corruption, YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH! I BELIEVE... in you.
    "There is a carp in my bathtub, father. Swimming. Up. And down. Up. And down. And I hate it."
    "WE'RE FINE!"
    "WILL YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH!"
    "It is NOT in the file! It is NOT!"

    Quentin Tarantino 

    John Turturro 

    Hugo Weaving 

    Other Hams on the Menu 
  • French actor Louis de Funès. These videos are filled with his ham.
  • Italian comedian Totò.
  • R.J. Fletcher, the main villain in UHF, is a truly monumental ham. The performance was so over the top that, according to "Weird Al" Yankovic, veteran actor Kevin McCarthy had a very difficult time keeping a straight face.
    "This community means about as much to me as a festering bowl of dog snot!"
  • The entire Barrymore family are the original Large Hams. Example: John Barrymore in Twentieth Century (1934): I CLOSE THE IRON DOOR ON YOU!
    • Their prominence is all the more impressive considering it was an age when being a Large Ham was practically a requirement to appear in movies.
    • Except Drew Barrymore, who has a tendency to underplay things. Averted in her directorial debut, Whip It, in which she, cast in the minor role of Smashley Simpson, has a grand time chewing the scenery and shamelessly stealing every scene she's in - and the film is better for it.
  • Billy Crystal loves to scream. A lot.
  • Michael C. Hall truly hams it up in Gamer. Just take a look at his dance number!!!
  • Robert de Niro as Max Cady in Cape Fear. His Captain Shakespeare of the movie adaptation of Stardust belongs here as well — that cancan REEKS of ham (and you can just tell he loves every second of it).
  • Since Alan Rickman was mentioned in Harry Potter, this page can't be complete without mentioning Hans Gruber and the Sheriff of Nottingham.
    • Gruber's actually something of an anti-Ham; until the end of the movie, he was viewed as much more restrained than the typical action movie bad guy.
  • Robert Preston. The Music Man, Victor/Victoria, The Last Starfighter...
  • James Robertson Justice. A Ham so Large, he was BRIAN BLESSED and John Rhys-Davies combined, in virtually every single role he performed (including the cheese commercials!).
  • ANY movie John Agar is in. And watching him is like getting hit in the face OVER AND OVER by a large ham.
  • Rupert Everett is incredibly hammy. Highlights include Dr. Claw ("Claw, just one name... like Madonna"), Prince Charming from the Shrek sequels, and that Crowd Song-propelling scene in My Best Friend's Wedding.
  • Marlon Brando in some of his films.
    • Marlon Brando started dishing out large servings of ham almost as soon as he started getting lead roles.
    • Stellaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
    • And if he wasn't hammy, it's likely because he simply didn't give a damn (the Superman movies)
      • A role for which he didn't even bother memorizing his lines. He had cue cards taped all over the set so that every time he's on-screen, he is just reading lines.
  • Let's not give Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. "The Rock" a free pass. From The Rundown to Doom, hammy till the cows come home. Not that that's a bad thing, but it's pretty hilarious in every single case (the best being Be Cool, specially his "acting showoff").
    Can you SMEEEEEELL what The Rock is COOOOKIIIIING?!
    • Yes, and it's a big thick ham steak, wrapped in bacon and stuffed into a suckling pig with a can of Spam in its mouth. Served on a plate of porkchops.
    • The Rock's mother didn't like him using the word "ass" (during his general promo about "turn[ing] that sumbitch sideways and sticking it straight up your candy ass!")... so one time, he changed it to "straight up... your RECTUM."
    • His work in the masterful Southland Tales. "I'm a pimp... and pimps... don't. Commit. Suicide."
    • In The Scorpion King he proves you can ham up gestures.
    • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle downright has "Smoldering Intensity" as one of his character's traits.
    • Really, any wrestler-turned-actor is going to run into this as a rather understandable result of originating from the World of Ham that is professional wrestling, Hulk Hogan being possibly the Ur-Example.
  • Vincent Price is another classic example.
    • For a particularly thick slice, check out one of his own particular favorites: Professor Ratigan in The Great Mouse Detective.
    • Justified in Theatre of Blood, where his character is a murderous actor. A HAMMY murderous actor.
    • His monologue at the beginning of the song Black Widow by Alice Cooper is nothing short of hamtastic. Same goes for his rap in Michael Jackson's Thriller.
    • In The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Price chews the scenery without even opening his mouth.
    • Price was always the right side of ham though, as his passion for acting and captivating voice and mannerisms helped him stop becoming cheesy.
    • He also played Egghead in the 60's Batman (1966) series, delivering a fine meal of ham and eggs.
    • In His Kind Of Woman, Price plays an Errol Flynn-style movie star who, when confronted with real mortal danger from mobsters, gets a huge rush from it, and leaps into the fray shouting out Shakespeare with extra ham - he even wears a thespian cape!
  • Joan Cusack:
    • In School of Rock, although Jack Black outhams her in that film.
    • Also, Joan Cusack as the nanny in Addams Family Values. ''Don't I deserve love... and jewellery?
      "That's not what I wanted! That's not who I was! I was a ballerina! GRACEFUL! DELICATE!"
  • Jack Palance could go from quiet, breathy ham to loud, bombastic ham in the blink of an eye.
  • Listen up you primitive screwheads! Bruce Campbell is a LARGEHAM! He starts off as a Deadpan Snarker, top-of-the-line. You can find this in lines like "Groovy". That's right, then this sweet actor from Royal Oak, Michigan gets 110 bucks worth of ham. He's got a hyperactive jawline, walnut brown eyes and a hair ham trigger. So when shopping for ham, Shop Smart. Shop S-Mart. GOT THAT?
    • Also, the only Sci Fi original movies that are even close to bearable are the ones with Bruce Campbell in them, specifically for this reason.
    • His performance as an elderly Elvis in Bubba Ho-Tep is a slightly subdued version.
    • Sort of lampshaded in Army Of Darkness, where one character asks if everyone in the future is as much of a loudmouthed braggart as he is.
    • Sam Raimi gave him cameos in each film of the Spider-Man Trilogy. The first two (a wrestling announcer and a theater usher) are short and constrained. But as a French maître d' in the third, he chews scenery and easily steals the scene.
    • Most of his covers in Burn Notice are usually of the annoying American variety or high class suit and tie coupled with a heavy serving of ham.
  • Christopher Lee.
  • Peter Sellers knew a thing or two about being this in many of his films.
    • Prime cuts of ham include the title character in Dr. Strangelove and Dr. Fritz Fassbender in What's New Pussycat? (arguing with his wife: "Is she prettier than you? I'M prettier than you!"). And Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau was good for five films' worth of this, especially as he drove Herbert Lom's hapless Dreyfus to the (hammy) edge of sanity.
    • Stanley Kubrick, making Lolita, gave Sellers plenty of room to improvise, so his part as Claire Quilty grew much larger than planned, apparently bothering star James Mason in the process.
    • Speaking of Chief Inspector Clouseau, in Revenge of the Pink Panther, when he disguised as a "Salty Swedish Seadog" complete with a peg leg and inflatable parrot, his mangling of the sea shanty "Dead Man's Chest" climaxes in a really hammy manner deviating from the true lyrics even more than first three lines:
    Sixteen chests on a dead man's rum
    Yo-ho-ho in the bottle of the chest
    Drink to the devils and done for the rums
    HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
  • Mako:
    • The Wizard played by Mako in Conan the Barbarian (1982) is a humming ball of ham in a seaweed outfit, while Thulsa Doom manages to be completely mesmerising, yet hammy as well. "Steel isn't strong, boy...flesssh is stronger."
    Contemplate this... on the tree of woe.
    Mako: "BETWEEEEEN THE TIME WHEN THE OCEANS DRAANK ATLAAANTIS... AAAND the rise of the sons of Aryas... there was an age undreamed-of. AND ONTO THIS, CONAN! Destined to bear the jeweled cwown of Kahlifonia Aquilonia UP...PON A TROUB...BLED...BROW. It is I, his KWONICLER who ALONE can tell thee of his saga. LET ME TELL YOU OF THE DAYS OF HIIIIIIIGH AD-VEN-TUUUUREE!!!!"[1]

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report