Comedic Actors Who Can Pull Off Dramatic Roles

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Saturday Night Live alum Will Forte stars in Alexander Payne‘s latest film, Nebraska, a project likely to get nominated come Oscar season. After taking his signature MacGruber character to the big screen and guesting on shows like 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation, the somber performance is a different look for the actor. But he’s hardly the first to try something new, as comedy legends like Robin Williams, Steve Martin, and Adam Sandler have all given the more serious genre a go.

We might be used to them making us laugh, but these performers haven proven they know how to get serious and get noticed by fancy award shows. And while it may be jarring to see man child Will Ferrell trade in his Elf tights for musings on the meaning of life, it only signifies his staying power. For those who are still wondering what Bill Murray whispered to Scarlett Johansson in Lost In Translation, or continue to have nightmares about Mo’Nique‘s terrifying turn in Precious, check out our list of 15 funny folks who put their acting skills to the test by experimenting with drama.

[Photo Credit: First Independent Pictures, Miramax Films, Focus Features, Lionsgate]