14 Great B List Celebrities We Love
Not every celebrity can be an A lister. As much as everyone who is famous and in the public eye would like to think they are the be-all and end-all, it just doesn’t work that way. There are some celebrities who are prioritized over others, be that due to their talent, good looks, or knowing the right people. A list celebrities are people like Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lawrence, George Clooney, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Jennifer Aniston, and Angelina Jolie. These people are bonafide stars in their chosen profession and one level above B list celebrities.
That’s not to say B list celebrities aren’t great too. These actors, actresses, musicians, sports stars, and entertainers are still loved by many with huge fan bases. But they are often people whose careers are only just starting or have had a limited amount of success over the years. They may have starred on a hit TV show or released a number one selling song but haven’t been able to capitalize on that.
B list celebrities might not get the recognition they deserve, but we think many of them are still awesome and warrant a shot at becoming an A lister. To highlight these talented folk, here are 14 B list celebrities we love and hope can crack the top echelon of fame one day.
1. Elizabeth Olsen
Best known for playing Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Elizabeth Olsen has been in the movie business for just over a decade. She has been steadily building her resume with impressive turns in the movies Wind River and Godzilla (alongside the Marvel movies) and the TV series Sorry for Your Loss.
For much of her time in the spotlight, Olsen has been overshadowed by her famous older siblings, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. But this is all beginning to change as Olsen is slowly getting the recognition she deserves and will no doubt be on the A list very soon.
2. Anthony Mackie
Another actor whose role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has helped propel his career forward, Anthony Mackie is close to breaking out. This will most likely happen with the release of Captain America: New World Order, which will see Mackie’s character Sam Wilson assume the mantle of Cap.
While he patiently waits to join the top echelon, he’s assembled an impressive back catalog of performances. Stand-out roles in movies The Hurt Locker, Pain & Gain, and Triple 9, and TV series Altered Carbon and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are earning him the credits to finally make the A list.
3. Emily Ratajkowski
Model and sometime actress Emily Ratajkowski is one of those people who will forever be hovering in the grey between A and B lister. First gaining fame as a child actor on the Nickelodeon series iCarly, Ratajkowski crossed over into modeling. This led to her appearance in the music videos for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Maroon 5’s “Love Somebody,” which really put her on the map.
Since then Ratajkowski has modeled for various brands, popped up in a few movies, and strutted her stuff on catwalks around the world. A fierce feminist, Ratajkowski has also written a book, Body, containing essays about sexuality and her experiences as a woman in the modern world. She recently became a mother and is going through a divorce and seems to have no problem with what list she lands on.
4. Ansel Elgort
Breaking out in Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, Ansel Elgort has found himself locked out of the A list party. And for good reason. While a talented actor, the 28-year-old has come under scrutiny after sexual harassment allegations against him came to light in 2020. Although he denies anything happened, the incident still lingers some two and a half years later. This has greatly impacted Elgort’s time in the spotlight, with the actor being pulled from the publicity tour for his latest film West Side Story.
5. Sarah Paulson
Here is someone who deserves to be mixing it with the A listers. Sarah Paulson has been putting in the work for years and has even won a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe. Her filmography is stacked, with the American actresses having starred in indie fair such as Mud and Serenity as well as big Hollywood productions like Ocean’s 8, Bird Box, and 12 Years a Slave.
Paulson has also been in a stack of TV shows, including American Horror Story, where she has starred in ten seasons of the long-running horror series. Her time as a B list star is almost at an end.
6. Jason Bateman
Some might think he’s already achieved A list status, but Jason Bateman hasn’t quite reached the heights of some of his peers, despite some outstanding performances. He’s hilarious as Michael Bluth in Arrested Development and puts in an incredibly dramatic performance in Ozark. Bateman has also featured in some of the best comedies of the 00s, including Horrible Bosses, Game Night, and Identity Theif.
It’s hard to know why he is still considered a B list celebrity by many, but then if you’ve ever seen Teen Wolf 2 you might understand why he’s yet to make the jump.
7. Karen Gillan
Karen Gillan is on the fast track to A list celebrity. The Scottish actress is still fairly new in acting terms but is impressing fans and critics alike with her performances. She first got a buzz going after appearing on the reboot of Dr. Who as Amy Pond from season five to seven. Then she scored the role of Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy and life got a little easier for her as the doors of Hollywood opened up. But not enough for her to be considered an A lister just yet.
8. James McAvoy
Here is an interesting one. James McAvoy is a fantastic actor who has received various best actor nominations from award shows but still somehow flies under the radar. He’s appeared as Professor Charles Xavier in several X-Men movies, got rave reviews for his performance in the drama The Last King of Scotland, and gone big budget in horror It Chapter Two, but he still hasn’t been able to crack the A list.
Not that it seems to bother McAvoy, with the Scottish actor seemingly happy with his place in the Hollywood system.
9. Emilia Clarke
Yeah, she played Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, but that role aside, Emilia Clarke hasn’t really done much else. That’s not a crack at her acting talents, more of a general view that Clarke is yet to find a project that can lift her from B list to A list.
Starring in flops like Terminator Genisys and Solo: A Star Wars Story also haven’t helped her cause. But she has been cast in the main role in the upcoming Marvel series Secret Invasion, so that could be the role she needs to really cement her position in the Hollywood rankings.
10. Gerard Butler
Nothing says B list like Gerard Butler. He’s never going to win an Academy Award but you know what you are going to get with the handsome fella. The Scottish heartthrob got his start in several B grade action flicks (Dracula 2000, Reign of Fire, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life) before breaking out with the surprise hit 300. Since then he’s mixed it up with rom-coms (The Ugly Truth, The Bounty Hunter, Playing for Keeps), more action flicks (Den of Thieves, Copshop, the Olympus trilogy), and interesting stuff like the animated movies series How to Train Your Dragon.
While it’s fair to say Butler did have a moment there in the mid-00s, these days he’s happy turning out genre flicks and getting a payday. Still watch all his movies though.
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11. Jenna Fischer
American actress Regina Marie “Jenna” Fischer made her mark playing Pam in his American sitcom The Office. While she has gone on to star in more TV shows and over a dozen movies, Fischer is always remembered for The Office.
It doesn’t look like she’s going to get overcome forever being associated with the show, but this doesn’t faze her. In fact, she has embraced it, starting the podcast Office Ladies with fellow The Office star Angela Kinsey in 2021. The pod is a monster hit and has led to a book deal for the pair.
12. Walton Goggins
A personal favorite, Walton Goggins is forever typecast to play second fiddle to Hollywood’s leading men. While he might not be seen as “handsome” in the general sense, there is something captivating about Goggins, backed up by his incredible performances on screen. This is the guy who had star turns in The Shield, Justified, Vice Principals, and Sons of Anarchy. He’s also had some standout roles on the big screen too, making his presence felt in Predators, Django Unchained, and The Hateful Eight.
While he’ll never make it to the A list, Goggins doesn’t seem to mind. He is more concerned about the craft and putting in a good performance. He also has a lot going on outside of the movies, being a keen photographer who is also co-owner of a spirits company Mulholland Distilling.
13. Kim Kardashian
Another controversial pick, but has Kim Kardashian done anything worthy of making it to the A list? The social media star who got famous thanks to a sex tape and a pushy mom has done a lot during her 41 years on earth, but most of it has been self-interest.
There are TV shows, beauty products, clothing lines, and other business interests on her CV, but she hasn’t really don’t anything worthy of making it to the A list, although she no doubt sees herself (and her family) as top of the food chain.
14. Adam Driver
Adam Driver is arguably one of the great talents of this generation, but he hasn’t really risen to the top ranking of Hollywood stars just yet. But similar to Walton Goggins, he doesn’t seem like the type of person who cares about these things. He’s another B list actor who takes the craft seriously and is very particular with the roles he chooses.
Sure, he’s played Kylo Ren in the blockbuster Star Wars Skywalker trilogy but his best performances have come in indie fare and smaller movies like The Dead Don’t Die, Marriage Story, and Silence.
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