Top 15 Australian Actors

23 March 2016
We take a look at fifteen great Australian actors in Hollywood.
australian actors cate blanchett article image

Last week we celebrated fifteen Irish actors for St. Patrick’s Day. This week, for no reason at all, we’re celebrating fifteen Australian actors. Although we can’t really say “for no reason at all”, since it is Wicked Wednesday, and no matter the day of the week there’s always an Aussie somewhere on your screen.

This list was extremely difficult to narrow down, because there are so many incredible Aussie actors out there, but we managed it in the end. Do you think we left someone off? Share your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.

1. Cate Blanchett
Our list may be alphabetical, but it’s quite apt to find Blanchett landing on top as she really is one of the best acting exports into Hollywood from Down Under. With six Oscar nominations and two wins, she’s about a third of the way to catching up with Meryl Streep.

2. Chris Hemsworth
It feels a bit unfair to leave the other Hemsworth brothers off the list, but we had to make a choice. Older brother Luke is still very much based in Australia, while younger brother Liam has broken into Hollywood, but is largely known for his role in The Hunger Games’ franchise. As for Chris…well, he’s Thor, and we wouldn’t want to incur the wrath of a god by leaving him off this list.

Watch Chris Hemsworth in Blackhat on M-Net Movies Premiere.

3. Geoffrey Rush
Anyone who can go from impassioned pianist to improper pirate the way Rush has deserves to be on this list.

4. Guy Pearce
If for some reason you are only now beginning to discover this actor’s work, we hope you started with his excellent character choices in L.A. Confidential and Memento.

5. Heath Ledger
He left life not only too young, but also at the peak of his career, astounding with two bold yet very different performances in Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight. He will always be missed.

6. Hugh Jackman
Do we want to see him as Wolverine again? Yes. Yes we do. Luckily, there’s a Wolverine sequel in the works. Unluckily, this may be Jackman’s last outing as the character. Luckily, again, his talent will undoubtedly take him to other awesome projects.

Watch Hugh Jackman in Chappie on M-Net Movies Action+

7. Hugo Weaving
From Mitzi Del Bra and Agent Smith to Elrond, Megatron and V, pop culture would be lost without Weaving.

Watch Hugo Weaving in The Matrix on M-Net Movies Action+

8. Margot Robbie
The youngest Aussie on our list, we absolutely loved her in The Wolf of Wall Street and absolutely cannot wait to see her as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad.

Watch Margot Robbie in Focus, your Sunday night move on 3 April.

9. Mia Wasikowska
Despite her youth, Wasikowska is not afraid of a challenge. She’s tackled two great literary characters as the titular heroines in Alice in Wonderland and Jane Eyre, while pushing darkness to the limit in Chan-wook Park’s Stoker.

10. Naomi Watts
Who can forget her unforgettable Hollywood breakout in Mulholland Drive? Since then she’s dabbled in horror, thriller, comedy, and drama...and made a very big friend when she resurrected the role of Ann Darrow.

Watch Naomi Watts in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) on M-Net Movies Comedy.  

11. Nicole Kidman
Can you believe there was a time when this great actress was mostly known as Mrs. Tom Cruise? Much as we love him as an actor, their split was the best thing for her, sending her career soaring during and after their break up. Starting with Moulin Rouge, she’s hit many highs since, including her Oscar-winning performance as Virginia Woolf in The Hours.

Nicole Kidman lends her voice to Happy Feet. Watch it on M-Net Movies Family.

12. Rebel Wilson
If you thought women couldn’t be funny Rebel Wilson will prove you wrong. From stage to screen, the comedian and actress knows how to keep people in stitches. 

13. Russell Crowe
Yes, yes we know he’s part Kiwi; but he’s spent enough time Down Under - on land and on television – to merit a place on this Aussie list. As for his acting...remember Gladiator? Enough said.

14. Sullivan Stapleton
Stapleton spent so much time in South Africa while filming Strike Back it affected his accent in 300: Rise of an Empire. Watch it again, and you’ll see what we mean. His Americanese in Strike Back and Blindspot, on the other hand, is quite perfect. Accents asides, his performances in these three have landed him on this list.

Blindspot Season 1 returns on Wednesday 13 April at 20:30 on M-Net.

15. Travis Fimmel
What Travis Fimmel really wants is to live on farm, surrounded by sheep. OK, don’t quote us on the sheep, but it’s Australia, so we’re going with it. However, sheep or no, until Fimmel gets his farm we’re going to continue enjoying his extraordinary performance in Vikings.

Watch Travis Fimmel in Vikings Season 4 Express from the U.S. every Saturday at 03:00, and in prime time every Thursday at 20:00, on M-Net Edge.

Feature image credit: Jason Merritt/TERM/Staff