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5 best portrayals of athletes by Hollywood actors on-screen

5 best portrayals of athletes by Hollywood actors (Image via Sportskeeda)
5 best portrayals of athletes by Hollywood actors (Image via Sportskeeda)

Quite a number of Hollywood actors have portrayed eminent athletes in various movies. And just like real sportsmen and sportswomen, actors also require considerable training and talent to play an athlete.

With the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics approaching, this is quite obviously not a bad time to take a look back at actors who portrayed athletes in Hollywood movies. Many actors deserve shoutouts for their skills presented in films about sports and sportspeople. Scroll down to find about five such actors.


Will Smith and Margot Robbie among actors with top athlete depictions in Hollywood

1) Will Smith as Muhammad Ali in Ali

Will Smith as Muhammad Ali (Images via Everett Collection & Britannica)
Will Smith as Muhammad Ali (Images via Everett Collection & Britannica)

Will Smith played Muhammad Ali, arguably the best boxer of all time, in the 2001 film Ali. The story follows the life of Muhammad Ali, his achievements and controversies spanning from 1964 and 1974.

The movie, which Michael Mann directed, received worldwide acclaim and got Smith nominated for an Academy Award as well as a Golden Globe Award.


2) Emma Stone as Billie Jean King in Battle of the Sexes

Emma Stone as Billie Jean King (Images via 20th Century Fox and Dreamstime.com)
Emma Stone as Billie Jean King (Images via 20th Century Fox and Dreamstime.com)

Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone portrayed Billie Jean King in Battle of the Sexes (2017). The film's plot revolves around the 1973 tennis match that Billie won against Bobby Riggs.

For her acting in the movie directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, Stone was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, a Satellite Award, and a Critics' Choice Movie Award.


3) Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz in Foxcatcher

Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz (Images via Sony Pictures & AP)
Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz (Images via Sony Pictures & AP)

In the 2014 movie Foxcatcher, Channing Tatum played Olympic gold medalist wrestler Mark Schultz. The movie tells the dark story of the tragic relationship between multi-millionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell) and two champion wrestler brothers, Mark and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo).

Tatum won an International Cinephile Society Award for his portrayal of Mark and was nominated for two MTV Movie Awards.


4) Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding in I, Tonya

Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding (Images via Neon & AP)
Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding (Images via Neon & AP)

In Craig Gillespie's 2017 film I, Tonya, Margot Robbie embodied prominent figure skater Tonya Harding. The movie presents the story of Harding, who rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but has her future made uncertain when her ex-husband steps in.

With her portrayal of Harding, Robbie earned herself an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award nomination, among others.


5) Taron Egerton as Michael Edwards in Eddie the Eagle

Taron Egerton as Michael Edwards (Images via 20th Century Fox & Getty Images)
Taron Egerton as Michael Edwards (Images via 20th Century Fox & Getty Images)

Taron Egerton starred as Michael Edwards in the 2015 biopic titled Eddie the Eagle, which focused on the journey of the world-famous ski jumper to Olympic fame.

Though the movie was underrated, Egerton earned a Teen Choice Award nomination for his embodiment of Edwards and was praised by Eddie the Eagle himself.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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