One of these is Liev Schreiber. He's on my "must-watch" list because he rarely turns in a bad performance, even though he's been in some real clunkers. But liking him has been some kind of gradual and snotty process that I can trace back to having first encountered his ugly side in Scream and Ransom. I had him pigeonholed as a nasty ass thug for a long time. It wasn't until A Walk on the Moon that I started to come around, but even then I was rooting for Diane Lane to leave him for Viggo Mortensen. Viggo was Aragorn! Schreiber was Cotton Weary! He wasn't to be trusted. (He's even vaguely nasty in the otherwise fluffy Kate and Leopold. Meg Ryan is pretty unpleasant in that, but did she really need him to remark "Those were your best [years]?")
But somewhere in there, he converted me to fandom that found me moving Defiance to the top of the Netflix queue when I might have let it linger until gosh knows when. If Brian DePalma ever gets around to making that Untouchables prequel, he should look no further for his Al Capone.
Of course, Schreiber is just one of many I've had to warm up to. I've fallen in and out of enjoyment and admiration for Nicole Kidman, Christian Bale, Ed Harris, Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio, and others I've forgotten for the moment. Sometimes it's dependent entirely on what characters they've played, other times it's based purely on a vague notion that they've ripped me off for a few bad movies.
But more often than not, it's the former, and I hold performances against them for ages, as I did with Schreiber. It took me several movies to forgive Laura Linney for destroying Gillian Anderson in The House of Mirth. Lest you think I'm too imaginative, sometimes it's based on the sheer amount of drips or thugs someone plays. I'm never sure if they're typecast, or if that's the only thing they can play. (Exhibit A: Maria Bello, who had a lot of buzz, but seems to have grown very fond of playing a wife and mother whose perfect life is falling apart.)
On this slow news day, I'll throw the topic out to you commenting wolves. Do you find yourself cherishing the same prejudices? Or are you far more forgiving than I am?