The Marvel Cinematic Universe boasts its fair share of intoxicating characters with talented actors in latex. While several A-listers have signed on to join the superhero soiree — adding to the ever-expanding and neverending list of Avengers and villains — who has always risen to the MCU occasion, time and again?
Which MCU actors have given the best performances consistently — remaining true to character at every turn, pulling on our heartstrings in every somber moment, drawing us in for each line of dialogue? When it comes down to it, limiting the list of potential actors is no easy task. However, when diving into an online discussion concerning “who has given the best performance in the MCU,” a few names seem to pop up more frequently than others. This list will aim to highlight the winners, yet will, unfortunately, leave out a few who deserve recognition!
3. Chris Evans / Captain America
Making a morally upstanding, righteous, and altruistic superhuman likable is no easy task. For, who is that much of a straight shooter? Who is that good? Who stands up to be a hero when everyone else falls silent (even before his physicality could threaten)?
Chris Evans takes Captain America and makes him relatable; he makes him human, as the character journeys from the selfless savior to the man who understands the importance of individualism, and that sometimes, self-sacrifice must come second to self-fulfillment. He finally winds up with Peggy Carter in Endgame. When discussing Evans and Rogers, fans explained:
I don’t think the Cap trilogy would have been this successful critically and commercially if it didn’t have a man with this much gravitas at the center.
Chris Evans because he’s the perfect Cap
2. Tom Hiddleston / Loki
No matter how selfish Loki can seem, no matter how much villainy subsides within the character, Hiddleston always manages to retain and convey the character’s true center. Loki is a complex character with a past muddied by feelings of inferiority; he lived through his youth feeling like an outcast. But, he is driven, in extreme circumstances, to do what is right. In Infinity War, he dies on the right side of history.
Tom Hiddleston, in each Thor installment and MCU mash-up, plays the deceptive trickster with ease, yet he settles seamlessly into the broken man looking in the wrong places for direction and understanding. Loki is no easy character to play, for he must be relatable, but bad, likable but untrustworthy; his actions must be both unpredictable and inevitable, always capturing the character’s two-fold identity. One fan explained:
Hiddleston has always knocked it out of the park and his chemistry with Hemsworth is incredible – he took a character Marvel could’ve (and would’ve) easily disposed of and made him integral, and that’s notable.
1. Robert Downey Jr. / Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr. and Iron Man have grown intimately connected throughout the years. People often joke that the character and the actor are now fused — inseparable in description. While this is not exactly true, the fact that it remains a common consensus speaks volumes. RDJ carried the franchise and carried the character (from selfish egotist to selfless savior).
Downey perfectly embodied Stark’s billionaire playboy ways before coming to accept a familial nature and drive. He became a father figure to Spidey before raising a daughter and sacrificing himself to save humankind. RDJ always played the character perfectly — using the character’s quick-tongued nature as a means to characterize and retain familiarity, yet slowly breeding his depth, loyalty, and worldview across a saga that spans over a decade. Fans explained
If we’re talking most consistently good performance, it’s a toss up for me between Hiddleston and RDJ.
And RDJ, for obvious reasons. People believed his arc as Tony because he was Tony. It was a good redemption narrative for the character and RDJ – he sold the first movie and made you want to root for both the character and the actor.
Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., and Tom Hiddleston never phoned in a performance; they arrived ready to embody characters that fans know and love. And, they delivered every time.
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