Over the years, Netflix has evolved from a lesser-known DVD delivery service, to the largest streaming service in the world. In 2014 they had another original idea, produce their own movies and TV shows to draw in long term customers. While obviously costing a fortune, 2019’s The Irishman for example had a budget of 150million$, despite no direct financial return. Several actors since embraced the Netflix overlords. That’s what we’ll be discussing today.
Netflix makes all kinds of original content, from multiple-season series, Oscar winning movies, documentaries and even stand-up specials. Projects from all four of those categories will be considered for this list.
Note: These are actors I personally noticed appearing on lot’s of Netflix projects. I’m sure there are plenty of others that I missed. If you know of any actors working with Netflix on a regular basis, please comment below.
Adam Sandler – 8 Projects:
I’m not referring to the fact that basically every other Adam Sandler movie is on Netflix. No, I mean the fact that he has a whopping eight projects with Netflix. While yes, one of these was a standup special, which Netflix has done with just about every comedian alive. Adam Sandler has actually been teaming up with Netflix from the very beginning. His first Netflix Film was ‘The Ridiculous 6’, which came out in 2015, one of the very very first Netflix Originals. He also doesn’t appear to be stopping the trend anytime soon, since he’s appeared in at least one NO every year sonce TR6.
Appeared in: The Ridiculous 6, The Doover, Sandy Wexler, The Meyerowitz Stories ( New and Selected ), Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh, Murder Mystery, Uncut Gems, Hubie Halloween
Rosario Dawson – 6 Projects:
So I realize the majority of these projects were simply the Netflix Marvel shows, but even if we only counted all of them as one, we’d still have two “originals” making her qualifiabld for this list. Throughout her career, Rosario has taken on a series of famous roles. Unfortunatly, she doesn’t always get remember for it. Her non-Netlix work includes: Kids, Welcome to the Jungle, Sin City, Death Proof, Killshot and Men in Black II. All of which were pre-2010. So perhaps her Marvel character was chosen in order to come back into the spotlight, in a way where people would actually notice her. Regardless of what she chooses, she’s a very talented actress who at the very least, does the best with what she has to work with.
Appeared in: Jessica Jones ( 1 episode ), Luke Cage, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Defenders, Someone Great, The Last Kids on Earth
Jesse Plemons – 5 Projects:
The rising star has done a good job at balancing his career between both TV shows like Breaking Bad and Fargo, to movies like Hostiles and Netflix’s own Scorsese directed The Irishman. Despite having only appeared in a single episode ( like most of the cast of the show ) Plemons is the first actor credited for the Netflix original ‘Black Mirror’. Since then he’s appeared in a variety of Netflix projects, the most recent being the psycho-film ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’.
Appeared in: Black Mirror ( 1 Episode ), The Discovery, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Film, The Irishman, I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Lakeith Stanfield – 5 Project
In recent years, the youngish actor has made a quiet yet sturdy name for himself. Sure, he has some not-so-great movies, like Netflix’s attempt at Death Note, which believe it or not, as where this all started. Why they’d work together after that? – Beyond me. Anyways, they have a total of five projects together, including the Safdie brother film ‘Uncut Gems’ starring Adam Sandler. Death Note ( remake ), The Incredible Jessica James, Come Sunday, Someone Great & Uncut Gems
Alison Brie – 4 Projects:
Star of Netflix’s Glow, and wife of Dave Franco, the 37 year old actress has appeared in four Netflix projects. She started with the recently cancelled ‘mature’ cartoon ‘Bojack Horseman’ along with Will Arnett and Aaron Paul, having also appeared in the Christmas Special. The series ‘Glow’, also having elavated her career. Though it looks like she may be changing her alliegence ( read here:
Appeared in: Bojack Horseman, Bojack Horseman: Christmas Special, Glow, Horse Girl
Kevin James – 4 Projects:
The King of Queens actor had a great debut as the package delivering Doug Heffernan in ‘The King of Queens’. Unfortunately, those days are over and can never come back due to the unfortunate passing of Jerry Stiller ( Arthur ). Nowadays he’s transitioned from sitcom star to movie star, many of which in one way or another involve Adam Sandler. Two of those projects are Netflix Originals, those being ‘Sandly Wexler’ and the upcoming Hubie Halloween.
Appeared in: True Memoirs of an International Killer, Sandly Wexler, Kevin James: Never Don’t Give Up, Hubie Halloween
John Carroll Lynch – 3 Projects:
The very talented actor, is probably the least known on this list. In all honesty though, you’ve probably seen some of his work. His credits include: Shutter Island, Face/Off, American Horror Story, Fargo, The Founder, The Walking Dead and the new Trial of Chicago 7 with Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen and Michael Keaton among others. If you haven’t recognized this actor before, I highly suggest you do so and allow yourself to be bewildered at how underrated and versatile this man is. He first appeared in the 2018 movie ‘Private Life’. Appeared in: Private Life, The Highwaymen, The Trial o Chicago 7
Robert Forster – 3 Projects ( honorable mention )
The deceased actor most famous for his role as Max Cherry in Jackie Brown ( for more information read here: https://www.thescreenwritersjournal.com/robert-forster-fallen-filmmakers/ ). He first appeared in a movie I only watched because he was in it, called ‘Small Crimes’ ( 2017 ). He also reunited twice with the Breaking Bad universe, apearing in the fifth season’s first episode of Better Call Saul and El Camino: A Breaking Bad Film. Obviously though, he didn’t do BCS and El Camino because of Netflix, but rather to contribute to the Breaking Bad universe. So this counts as more of an honorable mention than anything else.
Appeared in: Small Crimes, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Film, Better Call Saul ( 1 Episode )
PS, happy birthday to Tim Robbins