Actors Who Barely Spoke In Their Movies

Even actors who receive top billing in big flicks sometimes get the silent treatment in their scripts. These thesps might usually have a way with words, but in some cases they've been asked to act less with their mouths and more with everything else—and as often as not, their box office and critical receptions still end up speaking loudly enough.

Henry Cavill in Batman v Superman

Considering the fact that Henry Cavill came into Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as one of the few returnees from the DC Extended Universe (his Man of Steel was its inaugural installment, after all, and set the tone for better or for worse) and his character was right there in the title, the number of words he ended up speaking during the movie wasn't exactly super. Fans on Reddit painstakingly tallied up Cavill's Dawn of Justice lines and came up with a paltry 43. It's a bird, it's a plane, it's ... a superhero playing the quiet game. Perhaps he'll have more to say in the Man of Steel sequel.

Matt Damon in Jason Bourne

For Matt Damon's fourth run as the sneaky former CIA operative, he let his fists and facial expressions do most of the talking, uttering a mere 25 lines throughout the whole movie. Damon, for one, said he "love[d]" the character's silence, arguing it reflected Jason Bourne's loneliness and grief after the loss of his lady love in the franchise's second installment. Unfortunately, critics weren't as impressed with Bourne as they'd been with the original trilogy, and audiences didn't exactly race to the theaters either.

Mark Hamill in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The return of Luke Skywalker (along with a bevy of other original franchise favorites) to the Star Wars universe in Episode VII was a major point of fan excitement and hype ahead of The Force Awakens' release, but once the film came out, it became clear that Mark Hamill's character was something of a mute MacGuffin for the story: he said exactly zero words in the film. Hamill himself has had a sense of humor about it, joking in a Star Wars-related charity promotional video, "Oh, I'm sorry, I have dialogue? I'm used to just staring intensely." (He also teased on Twitter that his part in Star Wars: Episode VIII will follow suit in silence.)

Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road

Even though he played the title character in George Miller's Mad Max revival, Tom Hardy was given little to say, leaving actor Tom Hardy to act with his body while following along in Furiosa's (Charlize Theron) thrilling journey down Fury Road. Hardy, for one, was initially frustrated by a lack of direction for his part, but he ultimately apologized for expressing doubts about it during production once he saw the final product. "There was no way that George could have explained what he had conceived," he said, and later admitted he actually thought his character's taciturn nature was totally in sync with Mad Max's overall presence throughout the stories. For a guy who said so little in the movie, Hardy sure had to eat his words in real life afterwards, huh?

Robert Redford in All is Lost

Even though his character was almost entirely speechless in this 2013 lost at sea adventure flick, Robert Redford's performance ended up being one of his more celebrated roles—and surprisingly enough, he actually still lost his voice during production. As writer-director J.C. Chandor explained, the choice to mute the movie's central character was inspired by the casting of Redford himself. He told the BBC, "If you'd cast Jack Nicholson in the role, it would have been a different movie, and I'd have rewritten it with a running commentary. But Redford has an innate ability to communicate complex emotional transitions non-verbally." Critics certainly agreed.

Ryan Gosling in Drive

One of the strengths of Ryan Gosling's work in Drive was the harrowing hush with which he worked the wheel. Most of the lines he did speak were between two and five words (including perhaps his most memorable, "I drive, that's all I do"), making his performance as a crook with a heart of gold all the more menacing. He was a man of few words, sure, but his actions spoke louder—and so did the film's slew of accolades.

Tom Hanks in Cast Away

Tom Hanks' Oscar-nominated turn as marooned FedEx employee Chuck Noland started off fairly wordy, but once the character was stranded at sea, his talking time severely dropped off. To keep audiences entertained, he did launch into random meanderings from time to time, and the character created two distinct personalities to talk to each other every now and then, but his biggest screen partner in the picture was a volleyball he named Wilson. He spent much of his screen time quietly working his way to rescue, and that was just fine with audiences and critics.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Any film buff worth his or her salt can quote at least one or two of the Terminator's most iconic phrases—and maybe his words are so ingrained in our collective memory because he said so few. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Schwarzenegger's lines amounted to just 700 words in all, which meant he earned $21,429 for each ("Hasta la vista, baby" alone was worth $85,716, by that measure).

Robert De Niro in The Godfather: Part II

Robert De Niro won his first Academy Award for his portrayal of Vito Corleone in The Godfather: Part II, but it wasn't for his verbal delivery: he spoke less than 20 lines of English (most of his other words in the movie were in Sicilian, and still didn't add up to much). Despite all that silence, the budding Don's presence was completely undeniable—and established De Niro as a world class actor on par with his predecessor in the role, the legendary Marlon Brando.