5 Phenomenal Actors Who Are Shorter Than You May Think

movie_theatre - Phenom 5

Whenever anyone thinks of short Hollywood actors the conversation almost always moves to Tom Cruise. At 5’7 Cruise has often had his height pointed out especially when standing next to his current flame or leading lady. But maybe we are a bit too hard on Cruise. Today I’m looking at five other actors who are also short and they may surprise you! While Cruise is the poster boy (and occasional punching bag) for shorter actors, the five I’m listing are solid actors and known movie tough guys whose smaller stature may have flown under the radar. Now there are plenty of actors that fall into this category so this isn’t the definitive list. But it’s safe to say that there are several short actors who are certainly phenomenal.

#5 – JASON STATHAM (5’9)

While he may not be considered a phenomenal actor, I quite like Jason Statham. And he’s probably the biggest buttkicker on this list. But it may surprise you to find that he’s a fairly short fellow standing at only 5’9. But don’t let that fool you. Throughout his movie catalog, Statham has shown that height isn’t everything. In fact, I would call this martial arts guru one of the most charismatic and exciting action movie stars to come along in ages. He jumps, he kicks, he punches, he flips. And think about this – he does it all while only two inches taller than the singled out Mr. Cruise.

#4 – JEREMY RENNER (5’8)

Now I have heard a couple of references to Jeremy Renner’s height but overall it goes unnoticed. In fact, hearing that he’s only 5’8 may surprise some people especially considering the many tough roles he has taken on. He’s played a U.S. soldier teetering on the edge, a Marvel superhero, a tough as nails Boston criminal, and an on-the-run hitman. Yet you would never recognize his smaller size in any of his performances. Some haven’t bought into Renner as a strong actor but I’m instantly drawn to anything he’s in. And his 5’8 frame doesn’t hinder my enthusiasm one bit.

#3 – JAVIER BARDEM (5’11)


Perhaps my biggest surprise in putting this list together came when I found out that Javier Bardem is 5 foot and 11 inches tall. Bardem has had several fabulous roles yet most of which depict him as having a looming build. In “No Country for Old Men” his creepy, brutal Anton Chigurh character came across as a large and menacing presence. And in his role as a psychotic James Bond villain his smaller size is never hinted at. Don’t get me wrong, 5’11 isn’t short, but considering how he is so often shot, it’s surprising.

#2 – TOM HARDY (5’9)

Tom Hardy is one of my favorite modern-day actors so his shorter size was well known to me. But some people may not realize that the man who played the huge hulking DC Comics villain Bane is a mere 5’9. But his tough guy roles don’t stop there. He’s also played a hard-nosed Prohibition era bootlegger and a brutish mixed martial arts fighter. When Hardy bulks up for a role he really bulks up and his muscle mass does a lot to conceal his smaller frame. But the main thing to me is that he’s a phenomenal actor. That’s probably the biggest thing that makes his shortness such a non-factor.

#1 – AL PACINO (5’7)

Al Pacino has been around long enough that his size may not surprise many. But he’s still a prime example of how a tough guy actor’s height can go completely unnoticed. And Al Pacino certainly qualifies as a tough guy. From mob boss to drug lord to police detective, Pacino has played each role with a realistic toughness that few others can bring. And regardless of the role, his stature is backburnered due to his fantastic performances and larger than life characters. So if you think about it, Cruise shares the same height with a true screen legend and an unquestionable tough guy. So maybe Tom isn’t so short after all.

So there they are. What do you think of the list? Do you know of another great actor who would fall into the “short” category? Please take time to share your comments below.

57 thoughts on “5 Phenomenal Actors Who Are Shorter Than You May Think

  1. I think most movie stars are probably “smaller” than we imagine. I was surprised years ago when I stood next to Robert Redford in an elevator and found myself so much taller than he was! He’s about 5′ 9″

    • I think you’re right. In fact a while back I read somewhere that there are hardly any really tall top tier actors. The article went on to talk about the problems really tall actors bring with them for directors. Not sure of the validity of that but I do remember reading it.

      • I was taller than both my parents when I was 14, which was quite comical. My brother is only 3 or 4cm taller than me. Both my grandfathers were over 6ft but I have one grandmother who was 4’11 and brought the whole average down. Lol!

    • I’ve seen Bardem listed as everything from 5’7 to 6’0. The telling tale came in the form of a picture of him standing next to Woody Allen. He wasn’t that much taller.

  2. Fun list. 🙂 I’m pretty amazed by Bardem’s height too. Never would’ve guessed.

    Stallone and Van Damme are two other action stars who are below 6ft. And to be honest, I do wonder how many movie stars probably add a couple of inches to their real height for their IMDB bio. They probably measure themselves wearing those big stacked heels they tend to wear!

    • Honestly, I think the taller list would be tougher to do. I think it is harder for tall actors to get outside of the action movie box. I may do that though. Thanks for the great idea.

  3. Nice post. I knew about Pacino & Renner and somewhat about Hardy because of all the tricks Nolan used to make him appear massive in The Dark Knight Rises. The real surprise for me was Statham. I just knew he at least six feet tall.

  4. wow..Javier Bardem. seeing his height listed almost feels like a spoiler alert. good thing the cameras are always pointed upwards or dead-on to his face.

  5. Pingback: » Movie Review – Safe (2012) Fernby Films

  6. I always forget how short Pacino actually is. When it comes to short stars aside from Cruise, I always think of Robert Downey Jr and his ridiculous lifts he wears. Love that dude, but come on. They made him eye level with Benedict Cumberbatch in Infinity War and I just laughed.

  7. Al Pacino is 5’5 tops no joke. Seen him in person & close and I’m 5’7 and clearly taller than him. Stratham could be as short as 5’8 as well.

    Avg is 5’9 because there are many 5’5-5’8 guys out there with some cultures being shorter etc.

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