08/02/2013 03:48 pm ET Updated Aug 03, 2013

Funny Actors Who've Played Serious Parts: When Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell And Other Comedians Get Solemn

Paramount / DreamWorks / Lionsgate

Why so serious, gentlemen? Well, because it's often inevitable for Hollywood's best comedic actors to take on solemn roles as a reminder to audiences (and themselves) that they can rise above the chuckles. It's a hit-and-miss affair, but one that often gives way to standout performances on these actors' otherwise uproarious résumés. So far, the buzz is high for Ben Stiller's next attempt to stretch his serious legs, this time with the Oscar-friendly Christmas release "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."

For better or worse, here are 16 actors who've broken out of the comedic mold and exercised their dramatic chops.

Funny Actors Playing Serious