Movie magic makes us see many amazing things. It suspends our disbelief to get us to watch stories about aliens, superheroes and wizards. Thanks to costumes, makeup and CGI, movies can make any actor completely unrecognizable. But we forget that it also tricks us into believing strange things, including the idea that every actor is tall. Perhaps it’s because we watch them do their work on large screens. But it also could be because directors purposely have made certain short actors appear taller. Some of the incredibly famous actors on this list are surprisingly famous diminutive, coming in at 5’7″ or under. These actors might loom large on the big/small screens but in person, they’re actually like almost tiny.
We often assume that tall people get all the glory. They get paid large paychecks and get to walk the red carpets. But sometimes, diminutive height can work to one’s benefit. You can move swiftly through the crowds, disappear if you need to and also have an excellent posture. The point is, if you’re short, that’s not a disadvantage but rather it can play to your advantage very well and can get you a lot of roles even if you don’t necessarily match the prescribed height requirements. Now this needs to be reminded that we’ve taken only those short actors who not only fit the short height requirements but also who are either well known/famous purely for either their acting prowess, the choice of film projects they undertake and how well known are they to the general public and not only just how good-looking they are. While a few them are known to be quite short (to the public eye) but there are also some surprising picks who are very short but don’t seem to the movie-going audience. So which actors are actually much shorter than they look on camera? Here is the list of top short actors. They might be small in height but not in their stature. These short male celebrities have big talent.
12. Peter Dinklage (Height: 4’4″)
Being the shortest actor in this list, it’s no surprise to us that Peter Dinklage is just 4’4″ tall. Despite being that short, that didn’t stop , Dinklage from giving such a terrific performance as Tyrion Lannister in the world famous ‘Game of Thrones’ television series consistently for so many seasons. But Dinklage isn’t just known for portraying Tyrion Lannister for he’s done his fair share of other films like ‘The Station Agent’ (2003) and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ (2017). Comic-book fans recognize him for his terrific performance as the villain Dr Trask in ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ (2014) and as the dwarf Eitri in MCU’s ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (2018).
11. Elijah Wood (Height: 5’5″)
Well, Hobbits aren’t really that tall, are they? Still, that did not stop Elijah Wood from capturing the hearts of all the fans of the ‘Lord of the Rings trilogy’ (2001-03), considered by many as simply the greatest film trilogies of all time. But our Frodo Baggins isn’t just known for that, for he also has been an accomplished child actor right from the beginning with roles in most notably ‘The Adventures of Huck Finn’ (1993). The blue-eyed, pointy-eared actor has since featured in films like ‘Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind’ (2004), ‘Sin City’ (2005) and has done some terrific voice work in the both the two Happy Feet movies as the penguin Mumble.
10. Toby Jones (Height: 5’4″)
You may not recognise him but Toby Jones has been in the film industry for quite a long period of time. Jones is best known for portraying Truman Capote in ‘Infamous’ (2006), playing supporting roles in films like ‘W’ (2008), ‘Frost?Nixon’ (2008), ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ (2011), playing Dr Arnim Zola, a villain doctor in the first two Captain America movies and providing the voice of Aristides Silk in Spielberg’s ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ (2011) and as our beloved Dobby in the Harry Potter movies. If you recognize him from any of these roles, the you know how short he is in real life. That being said, Toby Jones is one of the most underrated actors working in the industry today.
9. Michael J. Fox (Height: 5’4″)
Ah Michael J. Fox. We all remember him for his famous role to date which is that sweet, innocent-faced Marty McFly in the very famous Back to the Future trilogy (1985-1990). But Michael J. Fox isn’t just known for that for he’s given a commendable performance in ‘Casualties of War’ (1989) and some terrific voice work in the Stuart Little movies as the titular character Stuart Little. Fox has also done some commendable work on television with sitcoms like ‘Spin City’ (1996-2000) and ‘Family Ties’ (1982-1989). It doesn’t come as a big shock to us all regarding his height considering the fact when he’s often seen with his co-actor Christopher Lloyd in the ‘Back to the Future’ series whose height is a towering 6’1″. Still, the man has five Emmy awards and four Golden Globes to his name. Now that’s an impressive feat.
8. Daniel Radcliffe (Height: 5’4″)
Yup, our very famous Harry Potter isn’t that tall after all, is he? Considering the fact that even his Harry Potter co-star Rupert Grint who plays his best friend Ron Weasely shoots up in height and even appears to be taller than Radcliffe throughout the entire film saga. Radcliffe has also done a lot of other films with his best role being a sentient corpse in the comedy drama ‘Swiss Army Man’ (2015). Yes he may be short but that didn’t stop his Harry Potter from capturing our hearts with his lightening scar and a hell lot of bravery. And also, since when did it become a necessary prerequisite to be tall when it comes to be good at playing Quidditch?!
7. James McAvoy (Height: 5’6″)
Now this may surprise a few but our beloved Professor X is quite short. James McAvoy has come a long way before he became an X-Man with roles as the faun Mr Tumnus in the first Narnia movie, playing a young doctor in ‘The Last King of Scotland’ (2006), the critically acclaimed romantic war drama film ‘Atonement’ (2007) and playing a newly trained assassin in ‘Wanted’ (2008). But anyone who’s watched his films will agree that his best role till date was in M. Night Shyamalan’s psychological horror ‘Split’ (2016) where he played a man with 23 different personalities trapped in his head and how he turns to become a cannibalistic and merciless sociopath with superhuman abilities. Just watch how he turns into the Beast with such an outstanding physique and with bulging muscles which makes his short height an insignificant number.
6. Danny DeVito (Height: 4’10”)
DeVito’s short height is due to the result of multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (Fairbank’s disease), a rare genetic disorder that affects one’s bone growth. Still, DeVito’s career spans over decades with roles a large variety of films like ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ (1975), ‘Terms of Endearment (1983), ‘Romancing the Stone’ (1984), ‘Batman Returns’ (1992) and ‘LA Confidential’ (1997). But in our eyes, he will always be known as the dad from ‘Matilda’ (1996). The dad from Matilda is pretty damn scary even though if he is only 4’10”!
5. Aamir Khan (Height: 5’3″)
Well although in the movies, he’s often made to look like a man of average height, it turns out to be that this Bollywood Actor is only 5’3″. Still for a man who’s past fifty years of age, he keeps himself so incredibly fit. Aamir Khan has throughout the years given us so many memorable performances in films like ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’ (1988), ‘Raja Hindustani’ (1996), ‘Rang De Basanti’ (2006), ‘3 Idiots’ (2009) and ‘PK’ (2014). He even took Lagaan (2001) to the Oscars, being India’s last nominated film till date for Best Foreign Film. His directorial debut with ‘Taare Zameen Par’ (2007) made us cry and laugh in tears. And just watch his performance in ‘Dangal’ (2016) where his transformation from an old overweight man to well-built wrestler is truly commendable. Simply putting it, Aamir Khan’s contribution to Indian cinema cannot be forgotten.
4. Joe Pesci (Height: 5’4″)
Well, his short height is really not that surprising. But that didn’t stop him from portraying some tough, volatile characters in a variety of genres of films. He’s best known for his roles (most of them being supporting roles) in films like ‘My Cousin Vinny’ (1992), the first two Home Alone films, ‘JFK’ (1991), the Lethal Weapon franchise and his collaboration with Martin Scorsese in films like ‘Raging Bull’ (1980) and ‘Goodfellas’ (1990). His best performance till date still remains to be his role of that of a psychopathic gangster Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas for which he won an Oscar. A top, top actor indeed.
3. Tom Cruise (Height: 5’6″)
Now this might come as a surprise to some who have grown watching all the films one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Yes, most of his movies purposely make Cruise look taller by capturing him from a lower angle. He’s so short that even Family Guy made an entire episode featuring Cruise looking like a grown adult but with the height of that of Stewie – a one-year old! Still, most of his fans could less give a toss about his Cruise’s height. Tom Cruise has been giving some terrific performances consistently for the last three decades whether it involves his dramatic roles or his roles in action films, most notably the world famous Mission Impossible series. Even despite being aged like 55, he still performs some rarely tried stunts which are just out of this world and which have often blown our mind.
2. Al Pacino (Height: 5’6″)
Well, when we all watched the Godfather trilogy (1972-1990), we were all charmed by Al Pacino as he plays Michael Corleone with such style, suaveness, charisma and sex appeal. But little did we know back then that Al Pacino is actually quite short! Most of his movies make him look quite tall or at least someone with a normal height but that’s only because he imposes as such a commanding and towering figure. Well, anyways how does his height even matter? Many critics and movie-going audiences have voted him as one of the greatest actors of all time. Now that’s a compliment that many few actors strive to achieve and that’s all that matters, doesn’t it?
Read More: Best Al Pacino Movies
1. Dustin Hoffman (Height: 5’5″)
With a career spanning almost five decades, it’s suffice to say that Dustin Hoffman is a living legend. Some of his most memorable performances include dressing up as a woman in ‘Tootsie’ (1982), playing an investigative reporter during the Waterloo Scandal in ‘All the President’s Men’ (1976), playing a young bachelor in’The Graduate’ (1967), playing as a divorced father in ‘Kramer vs Kramer’ (1979) and portraying an autistic savant in ‘Rain Man’ (1989). Still, we’re all surprised to know that the man is only 5’5″ tall.
Read More: Best Dustin Hoffman Movies