The Most Difficult Role to Play, Ranked

Choose the role you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jul 19, 2024 06:32
Roles vary extensively in their complexity and the skills they demand, making some particularly challenging. This diversity often leaves audiences and practitioners alike debating which roles are the hardest to portray. By ranking these roles, we gain insights into where the greatest demands in performance lie and what makes a particular role taxing for those who undertake it. Your votes help illuminate which roles are viewed as the most daunting, offering a collective perception from a broad community. This living tally not only reflects current opinions but also shifts over time with trends in the performing arts. It serves as a valuable resource for both newcomers and veterans in the field, providing a clearer picture of the challenges they may face or have conquered.

What Is the Most Difficult Role to Play?

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    Othello in Othello

    Othello in Othello

    A role that demands a portrayal of intense jealousy, love, and trust.
    • Famous Line: "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-ey'd monster..."
  2. 2
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    Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire

    Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire

    A complex role demanding the portrayal of fragility, delusion, and desperation.
    • Famous Line: "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."
  3. 3
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    Lady Macbeth in Macbeth

    Lady Macbeth in Macbeth

    A role that demands a deep understanding of ambition, guilt, and madness.
    • Famous Line: "Out, damned spot! out, I say!"
  4. 4
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    Norman Bates in Psycho

    Norman Bates in Psycho

    A challenging role that requires depicting a complex and disturbed personality.
    • Famous Line: "A boy's best friend is his mother."
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    points
    Hamlet in Hamlet

    Hamlet in Hamlet

    Shakespeare's tragic prince of Denmark, known for its emotional depth and complexity.
    • Famous Line: "To be, or not to be: that is the question."
  6. 6
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    Joker in The Dark Knight

    A role requiring the portrayal of chaotic madness and dark humor.
    • Famous Line: "Why so serious?"
  7. 7
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    points
    King Lear in King Lear

    King Lear in King Lear

    Another of Shakespeare's complex characters, depicting madness and the tragic downfall.
    • Famous Line: "Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!"
  8. 8
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    points
    Gollum in The Lord of the Rings

    Gollum in The Lord of the Rings

    A role requiring the actor to portray split personalities and deep conflict.
    • Famous Line: "My precious."
  9. 9
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    points
    Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment

    Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment

    A complex character torn by guilt and philosophical dilemmas.
    • Famous Line: The character's inner turmoil and moral dilemmas are central to the story.
  10. 10
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    points

    Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman

    A tragic figure struggling with failure and disillusionment.
    • Famous Line: "The woods are burning! I can't drive a car!"

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult role to play. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or role is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

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A participant may cast an up or down vote for each role once every 24 hours. The rank of each role is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

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More about the Most Difficult Role to Play

Othello in Othello
Rank #1 for the most difficult role to play: Othello in Othello (Source)
Acting offers many challenges, but some roles stand out as the most difficult. These roles require more than just skill; they demand intense emotional and physical commitment. Actors must dive deep into the character, often exploring dark or complex aspects of human nature.

One reason these roles are hard is the emotional depth needed. The actor must connect with emotions that may be far from their own experiences. This can be draining and sometimes even painful. To portray these emotions convincingly, the actor must tap into their own feelings, which can blur the lines between their life and the character’s.

Physical transformation is another challenge. Some roles require actors to change their appearance drastically. This can mean gaining or losing weight, altering their voice, or learning new skills. These changes are not just cosmetic; they affect how the actor moves and interacts with the world. The physical demands can be grueling and take a toll on the actor’s body.

These roles also often come with intense scrutiny. Audiences and critics expect a lot from performances in these roles. The pressure to deliver can be immense. An actor must balance staying true to the character while meeting high expectations. This can lead to stress and anxiety, which adds to the difficulty.

Preparation for these roles is extensive. Actors must research and understand the background of the character. This might involve studying historical events, learning about different cultures, or even spending time with people who have lived similar experiences. The goal is to portray the character as authentically as possible. This level of preparation can take months or even years.

The actor must also work closely with the director and other cast members. Collaboration is key to bringing the character to life. This requires good communication and the ability to take direction. Sometimes, this means changing their approach or adapting to new ideas. Flexibility and openness are crucial.

These roles often involve intense scenes that can be emotionally and physically taxing. The actor must maintain energy and focus throughout the performance. This can be hard, especially if the role requires long hours and little rest. The actor must find ways to stay healthy and balanced, despite the demands of the role.

The impact of these roles can last long after the performance ends. Actors often carry the emotions and experiences of the character with them. This can affect their mental health and personal life. Finding a way to separate from the character and return to their own life is essential.

Despite the challenges, many actors find these roles rewarding. They offer a chance to explore different aspects of humanity and tell important stories. The hard work and dedication required can lead to some of the most memorable and impactful performances in film and theater.

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