film / tv / politics / social media / lists / web / celeb / pajiba love / misc / about / cbr
film / tv / politics / web / celeb


The 15 Most Prolific Film Actors of the Last 5 Years

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | February 11, 2013 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | February 11, 2013 |

I computed this list nearly five years ago now, and with a new five years behind us (and ahead of us, as I’m also counting films set to be released in 2013), I thought it’d be worthwhile to again see the most prolific actors in Hollywood. The make-up of the list has changed considerably over the last five years, but the number one spot is still held by the same man, and like the last time, it’s not even close.

Why is this seriously random list worthwhile? Well, it’s serious and random, so it doesn’t really need to be, but, it is worth knowing not just who the most in-demand lead actors are, but those character actors who are most frequently used. This list excludes all television series appearances (otherwise, it might look slightly different and would most certainly include Stephen Root), but it includes movie voice work, narrative shorts, and cameos. It is exceptional, however, that several of these people are on the list despite regular television series, which are not counted.

There aren’t a lot of lead actors on the list (except for those that double as both lead and character actors), but just missing the list were the likes of Liam Neeson, Michael Shannon, Robert DeNiro, Bradley Cooper, and Channing Tatum, Anton Yelchin, who were all on the very edge of breaking into the list. If she’d been around a year or two earlier, Jessica Chastain also would’ve made the list.

Ultimately, however, these are the actors and actresses with the most film appearance from 2009-2013, so if you’re wondering why you seem to see all of these faces over and over again, this should explain it. What’s also remarkable, and the reason why they’re probably cast as much as they are, is that despite being as prolific as they are, besides number three down there, I am not in the least sick of any of them. They’re all welcome to populate my multiplex as often as they’d like.

15. Paul Rudd


14. Bryan Cranston


13. Adam Scott


12. Carla Gugino


11. Joseph Gordon-Levitt


10. Kristen Wiig


9. Sam Jackson


8. Paul Giamatti


7. JK Simmons


6. Susan Sarandon


5. Justin Long


4. James Franco


3. Melissa Leo


2. Vinnie Jones


1. Danny Trejo


Dustin Rowles is still bummed his Danny Trejo “Hey Girl” Meme never took off.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.