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.
Wow, I had a good idea of how short Hardy is, but Bardem really surprised me. Great post!
Thanks man. Bardem was a huge surprise for me. He doesn’t look short at all in any movie I’ve seen him in.
Maybe I’ll be less intimidated next time I watch No Country for Old Men.
Now it’s worth noting that I also found somewhere that said Bardem was taller. So his may also be in question.
It’s all good. Still, quite eye-opening. Hey, would you be interested at all in contributing to my Guest List segment. I recently started it and would love to have you. I really enjoy your phenomenal 5 posts and would be thrilled to see you expand it to 10 for my segment.
What do you have in mind?
You can choose whatever topic you like :).
Where’s Danny DeVito? 😉
I think the “surprise” part of the title kinda rules him out! LOL
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.
Nice list. It always surprises me how short Javier Bardem is. When I saw No Country For Old Men, I thought he was six feet tall.
To me he even looked taller than 6 foot in “No Country”. The Coens filmed him in a way that made him seem like a looming presence.
This makes me feel so much better about being 5’9! It basically means I could take on Statham in a fight. Doesn’t it? Guys?….
Ummm, well I’m 6’3 and I want NONE of Statham. Let me just set that record straight! LOL.
Good lord… at almost 5’8 I am taller than a few of these fellas (and my own dad, I got ALL the tall genes in my family).
LOL. I have the tall genes too. It’s funny though, my son is going to be taller than me. He’s only 11 but he’s already about as tall as my wife!
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!
Bardem is 5″7? Wow! Fun list, Keith. I’ve seen Gary Sinise and Ed Harris up close and they looked tiny to me–they are both 5″9.
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.
Haha makes me feel like a big man 😀
I here ya!
Ahah, I knew they’re all short guys! 5’9″ is not too bad though and Hardy more than makes up for it w/ massive sex appeal and talent 😉
LOL! I’m 6’3 so I guess 5’9 seems short. But I think what really makes it surprising are the huge roles these guys play. And again, Tom Cruise has his 5’7 frame constantly mentioned but considering things he really isn’t that far off from numerous others.
Yeah I was about to say that. Cruise seems to be the only actor getting flak/made fun of for being short but there are others. Well I’m only 5’3″ so everyone is taller than me 😀 Anyway, haven’t seen you on FC for a while man, what gives??
I thought I’ve read and spoke on everything you’ve put up (except for today’s post). I need to hop to it!
I’ve got like 2 other posts since last Friday 😀
Awesome! I knew there was something up today but I missed this weekend’s other post!
I reviewed The Family and a couple others from the weekend. Curious to hear what you think. Y’know I always value your opinion 😀
Sure thing. Don’t think I’ll be seeing It. It didn’t interest me at all but I think you verified all of my concerns.
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!
Very true. I wondered the same thing. To be honest, there just aren’t many really tall actors in Hollywood. You just don’t find.
Interesting. Maybe it’s because I’m 5’9, but I tend to think of everyone around that height. I’d also be interested in a list of the opposite. People who are taller than you think.
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.
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.
I know! Statham really seems taller in his films. The magic of cinema, right?
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.
Yes they are. The Coens especially are very clever with their camera usage.
haha. Bardem is the most surprising on this list. esp given the camera angle work in Skyfall. a fun list here. Nice work Keith.
Thanks. It was a fun one to do. A lot more short fellas than we might think!
Love this Keith! Great idea for a post 🙂 Bardem is a big shock, as most have already said. I thought Statham would be taller too. Dunno why! Makes me feel slightly better about my compact size (5’9)!
I’m 6’3 but I still wouldn’t tangle with Statham! lol
I always kinda figured Statham for a short guy, but had no idea about Bardem.
Funny how Statham’s girlfriend is so tall haha.
I know right? Still I would mess with Statham. He could kick my 6’3 butt all over the room! lol
Brilliant idea for an article. Cool choices and style. Learnt so much.
Thanks! It was a lot of fun to put together.
Found your site through your list on Tyson Carter’s desert island list. Really liked your choices and glad you keep it up here.
That’s fantastic! Hope you’ll drop by often!
Pingback: » Movie Review – Safe (2012) Fernby Films
Jeremy Renner isn’t short, he’s just compact. Love him.
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.
Oh yes! Downey, his lifts, and some very strategic camera angles!
I’ll never understand how the average height globally is 5”9 and it’s considered short?
That’s a really good point.
Condidered short by who? A small, pardon the pun, 🙂 , bunch of people,who live under the delusion that 5 9 is short, ,ive already stressed here ,the vast majority of sex symbols from Holly wood,range from Al Pacino , probably 5 5 , to Paul New man 5 9, and Colin Farrell 5 10, short my ass, how ridiculous.
Exactly. I think short only against the perception. It is funny how Hollywood uses all kinds of trickery to make actors appear taller than they really are. It’s such a misguided perception.
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.
That’s a good observation. One culture’s ‘short’ is another culture’s ‘normal’.
If 5 9 is short then most of the planet are actually dwarves and midgets, as 5 9 is an average height in Ireland the USA and many places, whereas , in many other places it is shorter than 5 9, so com on , 5 9 is most definitely not at all short.
Very true. Hollywood definitely has a warped perspective on short vs tall.
As short as 5 8? I really dont get that , 5 8 is not short,because if it is then most of the planet is short , average height world wide ranges from 5 5 to 5 11..5 11 Nederlands.. And like i replied to Keith , if you care to look ,most of the sex symbols from Hollywood were in the 5 6 , to 5 10 range.eg. Al Pacino, Robert De Niro , Paul Newman Marlon Brando ,James Dean etc.. Taller people are James Bond characters, period, look up the history of the Hollywood greats , a few are tall John Wayne, Clint Eastwood , James Stewart, Erroll Flynn, but the vast majority were,and still are in the 5 6 to 5 10 range.
Spot on Keith,it is actually so pathetic, i can name 5 people off the top of my head in the 5 7 5 9 5 10 range ,whom were total sex symbols , Marlon Brando ,James Dean, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Orlando Bloom, Colin Farrell, i could go on ,but im sure my point is clear and valid, I have a strong feeling the taller dudes are envious of the average guys getting more attention from the female population , 🙂 Btw, yes ,i am 5 feet nine on the button,and never had a problem with the ladies, i am very comfortable with my height , i have friends 5 2 and shorter , perfectly fine gentle men . Wow , people all end up the same height in a coffin , if you get my drift, embrace your life , not your height .
You’re so right.
I am absolutley astonished at the idea that 5 feet nine inches is being deemed to be fairly short here? Seriously? In that case , Americans on average are a fairly short race of people, rest my case, of course the same will apply to Great Britain France Ireland and a lot of countries. Please, im feeling you longer lanky people are making these comments, because if you do your research, most sex symbols, James Dean, Johnny Depp, Paul Newman,Tom Cruise, are so hot it just down right pisses u long ass dudes off, i am bang on 5 feet nine, and very handsome, i dont mind saying, never had a problem in my entire life with women, had to fight them off many times in fact, get real you people . 5 9 is average, or normal , NOT!!! “fairly” short!!!!
Al Pacino has been referred to as the shortest male actor in Hollywood. I believe that even Pacino’s previously reported height of just 5’6” requires a stretch of the imagination.
That list is a fine list of talented shorter actors , but left out were old school classic actors Edward G.Robison , and Legendary James Cagney !
Both short in statue but very ample in talent !
Great mentions for sure!