The Top Five Non-Verbal Actors on Television Right Now

There are characters in TV shows that just don’t say much because they don’t have to, or their characters just don’t have a lot of dialogue. If it’s the former reason then it’s because those actors put so much into their roles that just a look or a gesture can be enough to get their point across. The other characters are made to feel that if that person truly has to speak then it’s going to be the same as opening a can of worms they didn’t mean to disturb. On the other hand, some roles just don’t demand a lot of dialogue and attempt to build up the mystique of the character, or display a serious developmental issue that could be used to further the story.

Here are a few stars that aren’t really big on talking in their role for one reason or another.

5. Cillian Murphy – Peaky Blinders

He doesn’t look all that mean, but he doesn’t look like a pushover either. In truth he speaks when he needs to and otherwise stays silent. It’s the kind of ploy that makes people think that whatever comes out of his mouth is sure to be golden and that his words come at a premium that some people just can’t pay. The cold and calculating looks and the thousand-yard stare are all a part of the persona that Cillian Murphy seems to carry to many roles.

4. Doona Bae – Sense8

She can be vocal, but it’s her moments of silence that say a whole lot more than anything words could. She has the look that suggests that she’s always thinking, always ready to react, and definitely isn’t up for taking any type of guff she feels is unnecessary. While she might not be the toughest in the show, she definitely has the kind of appearance and look that doesn’t need words to back it up.

3. Brenden and Brandon Sims – Shameless

This is one case in which silence is more about a developmental issue than anything. He does speak and make himself heard, but his moments of quiet are more telling than when he opens his mouth. Developmental issues are very serious as they can stunt the social and mental growth of a child at a certain age, making it difficult if not impossible to acclimate to the world around them as they grow up.

2. Tom Hardy – Taboo

When this guy looks at you the general feeling is either warm and tingly or that you should just look away and mind your own business. He doesn’t look like a nice guy a lot of times, but his looks also tell more of a story than his words sometimes. Hardy is one of the few actors that steps into his roles so thoroughly that he makes you believe that he is that guy, that this is his persona off screen as well as on. Sometimes that seems a bit unnerving, but it’s what makes him great.

1. Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things

A little girl staying silent seems more weird than menacing, but if you’ve watched the show then you know how Eleven operates. She’s quiet most of the time largely because she’s not sure how to interact with those around her. The other times it’s because somebody did something to upset her and she’s concentrating on how to mess them up from a healthy distance. You might be safe if she’s quiet and looking friendly, but when those brows lower it’s best to apologize or just run, if you can.

It’s harder and harder to find non-verbal moments in TV and film these days largely because dialogue is so badly wanted. Sometimes though a mere look can fill the gap better than words could ever hope to.


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