By Matt Zoller Seitz
Press Play Contributor
The following slide show of underrated actresses is the promised sequel to last week’s roundup of the 10 most underrated actors. The same criteria apply — these actresses are versatile and charismatic, and viewed by peers and viewers alike as somebody who nearly always improves a scene. Yet when you look at their filmographies, you see surprisingly few awards and nominations next to their names — especially from mainstream organizations. They are well-liked, perhaps even loved, but for whatever reason they aren’t stars. And movies and TV are the poorer for it.
This list includes a number of chameleon-like character actresses, some offbeat leading ladies and at least one world-class clown. My admittedly arbitrary cutoff point is an Oscar or Emmy win; if a performer has taken home at least one statuette, she didn’t make my list, because she could no longer be considered “underrated.” But you may have different criteria, and I hope that as we list other great, underappreciated actresses in the Letters section, we’ll have a spirited argument about what, exactly, “underrated” means, and whether all these 10 performers qualify.
You can view Matt’s slide show at Salon here.