There are certain qualities that you are expected to possess to be a Hollywood star. You must be handsome or unique. You have to be undoubtedly charismatic. And you should be tall to ensure that you radiate the highest level of machismo. Except that last part is far from the actual truth. Because here’s a list of successful actors who break the mold in terms of height. The fact is, plenty of leading Hollywood men are quite a bit shorter than you might expect.
40. Al Pacino – five feet seven inches
In terms of screen charisma, they don’t come much bigger than Al Pacino. The movie legend has been in a host of iconic films including The Godfather, Scent of a Woman and Heat. And it just goes to show that being small in stature – Pacino is just five feet seven inches tall – doesn’t mean you can’t become a movie giant.
39. Dave Franco – five feet seven inches
Dave Franco, of the famous Franco acting dynasty, will be familiar to audiences for his roles in a number of popular movies. Now You See Me, Warm Bodies and Bad Neighbours have all featured the star, who is rather diminutive at a height of five feet and seven inches. Incidentally, actor-brother James is not only older but the taller sibling too, clocking in at five feet 11 inches.
38. Dominic Monaghan – five feet seven inches
It’s a sure sign that you are of slightly less-than-average height when you are cast to play a hobbit. And that’s exactly the case with Dominic Monaghan, who played the cheeky Merry in the mega-popular Lord of the Rings trilogy. This British star is reportedly a modest five feet seven inches tall, but that hasn’t prevented him securing roles in other blockbuster hits, including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
37. Jonah Hill – five feet seven inches
Jonah Hill is a versatile actor, but he is definitely best known for playing comedic characters such as in Superbad or 21 Jump Street. In that latter movie, plus the popular sequel 22 Jump Street, Hill stars alongside the six-feet-one-inch Channing Tatum, so it’s no surprise that the five-feet-seven-inch funnyman looks a little on the short side. He is.
36. Emile Hirsch – five feet seven inches
Emile Hirsch has been in several hit movies, including Into the Wild and The Girl Next Door. And although he may never have struck audiences as a big man, necessarily, it still might be a surprise to learn the actor is only five feet seven inches tall. But that fact certainly hasn’t stopped Hirsch from becoming a bona fide Hollywood star.
35. Martin Lawrence – five feet seven inches
Martin Lawrence is a funny guy, which is never more in evidence when appearing in the popular Bad Boys movies. In those films he stars alongside Will Smith, who is definitely on the tall side, so it’s no surprise that the five-feet-seven-inch Lawrence looks a little bit small in comparison. But there’s no doubt it adds beautifully to the on-screen dynamic between the duo.
34. Jesse Eisenberg – five feet seven inches
The star of The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg may be big in acting circles, but at just five feet seven inches tall, he hardly qualifies as big in real life. Rather ironically the New Jersey native has also written a book of short stories. But that refers to the length of the stories themselves, not the height of the stories’ protagonists, of course.
33. Martin Freeman – five feet six-and-a-half inches
British actor Martin Freeman got his big break in the U.K. version of The Office, but since then has been seen in any number of big screen hits. From Love Actually to Black Panther, this versatile actor has never hidden the fact he’s a little on the shorter side. I mean, how could you when arguably your biggest starring role was in The Hobbit trilogy as Bilbo Baggins?
32. Josh Hutcherson – five feet five inches
Producer and actor Josh Hutcherson is best known to audiences for playing Peeta Mellerk in the highly popular Hunger Games franchise. Hutcherson shares the screen in those movies with Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth, who both tower over their five-feet-five-inch co-star. Not that you’d know it, however, as Hutcherson is far from the only actor whose true height cannot be discerned from his performances on the big screen.
31. James McAvoy – five feet seven inches
James McAvoy definitely qualifies as a movie heartthrob, which just goes to show that height isn’t everything. The Scottish star has graced our screens in hits including The Last King of Scotland and Atonement, as well as playing the role of Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men franchise. Yet even by his own admission, McAvoy is an unlikely leading man. “I’m five-foot-seven, and I’ve got pasty white skin,” the star told the Los Angeles Times. They haven’t held him back.
30. Ben Stiller – five feet seven inches
Comedian, actor and director Ben Stiller must be one of the most recognizable men in Hollywood thanks to hits including Zoolander, Meet The Parents and Starsky and Hutch. Stiller’s dad Jerry was also a famous actor, and at just five feet five inches, a short one at that. It’s not hard to see why the younger Stiller is himself only five feet seven inches tall.
29. Jack Black – five feet seven inches
Beloved actor and comedian Jack Black is certainly what you would call a little bit on the short side, although that hasn’t stopped him racking up box office successes over the past two decades or so. Perhaps ironically for a man who stands at only five feet seven inches tall, Black once played the part of a giant in Gulliver’s Travels. That’s the beauty of cinema, though, isn’t it? Anyone can be anything.
28. Scott Caan – five feet five inches
Scott Caan followed in his father James’s footsteps in becoming an actor and has never let his height hold him back. At just five feet five inches Caan is used to seeing co-stars tower over him, which was certainly the case in Ocean’s Eleven and its sequels alongside much taller actors Brad Pitt and George Clooney, for example.
27. Robert Downey Jr. – five feet eight-and-a-half inches
If you are five feet eight-and-a-half inches tall, then you are a mere half an inch shorter than the average American male. But if you happen to be one of the highest-paid actors in the world and Iron Man himself – starring alongside relative giants Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth – then it may come as a shock that you are below the national average. And that’s the case with Robert Downey Jr.
26. Jet Li – five feet six inches
Being short and being a renowned action star certainly don’t have to be mutually exclusive. And that’s certainly true with famous Chinese actor Jet Li. The Hollywood star has been in plenty of explosive box-office hits since bursting onto the scene in Lethal Weapon 4. Li’s martial arts expertise have certainly overcome any doubts about his height, that’s for sure.
25. Danny DeVito – four feet ten inches
If you had to think of one famously short Hollywood actor, who would you come up with? The chances are that it would be none other than the star of such movies as Twins and Matilda. That’s Danny DeVito of course. The actor is actually four feet ten inches “tall.” It’s rare enough to meet a man on the street at under five feet in height, much less a Hollywood icon.
24. Tom Cruise – five feet seven inches
Tom Cruise’s height has been somewhat of a sore point down the years: the star has famously worn platform shoes to add a few inches on screen. Cruise also has a penchant for taller women in the shape of ex-wives Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes. Still, Cruise can never really claim his height has held him back, can he? And at five feet seven inches, he’s not exactly Danny DeVito.
23. Elijah Wood – five feet six inches
When playing the role of a hobbit on screen, it’s probably a prerequisite that you are on the short side. And when you play the most famous hobbit of them all – Frodo Baggins – you are pretty unlikely to be a six-footer. And that is certainly true with star of The Lord of the Rings trilogy Elijah Wood, who clocks in at just five feet six inches.
21. Danny Trejo – five feet six inches
If you don’t know Danny Trejo’s name, you certainly know his face. The actor is instantly recognizable for his portrayal of tough guys and criminals in hits such as Machete. Trejo may measure in at only five feet six inches, but this is one tough cookie. The actor is a former drug addict and prison boxing champion, so if you get the feeling that every line on Trejo’s unmistakable face tells a story, you’re probably right.
22. Dustin Hoffman – five feet six inches
Hollywood stars don’t come much more iconic than Dustin Hoffman. The actor has been dazzling fans for half a century now, starring in box-office classics including The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy and Rain Man. Hoffman is proof once again, if needed, that to be a big presence on screen, you don’t need to be big in real life.
20. Tom Hollander – five feet four inches
Brit actor Tom Hollander is recognizable for roles in movies such as Pride and Prejudice, but the star has never let his compact five-feet-four-inch frame bother him. “Funnily enough I never thought of myself as being short,” the actor once told British website The Independent. “Being an actor has made me much more conscious of it than I would have been otherwise,” he added.
19. Billy Crystal – five feet seven inches
Billy Crystal is a well-established actor but is also known to many as one of the most regular presenters of the Academy Awards shows. That equates to being a pretty big deal in Hollywood, yet in real life the star of When Harry Met Sally and City Slickers is far from what you would deem big. Five feet seven inches comes in at about two inches shorter than the average American male, by all accounts.
18. Mark Wahlberg – five feet eight inches
Five feet eight inches tall is not exactly short, perhaps. But when you’re known as somewhat of a screen hardman and have played boxers and action heroes on screen, it is usually supposed that you are a little bit taller than that. Not so with Mark Wahlberg, who probably wouldn’t have been a natural choice for a screen icon based on height alone. But here he is: a movie mega star.
17. Johnny Galecki – five feet five inches
Johnny Galecki is known for playing the hilarious character of Leonard in The Big Bang Theory. Galecki appears short as he is often seen alongside a relative giant in the shape of screen roommate Jim Parsons, who’s over six feet tall. So it might surprise you – or not – to learn that Galecki is only five feet five. That’s pretty meager.
16. Aziz Ansari – five feet six inches
Most fans will recognize Aziz Ansari from the popular series Parks and Recreation. But as well as an accomplished actor, Ansari is somewhat of a dapper gentleman. In fact, men’s style magazine GQ once celebrated Ansari for seemingly outdressing the stylish Jon Hamm of Mad Men fame, declaring it a “win for short men worldwide.” Style icon and famous actor are pretty solid achievements for a man who stands at only five feet six inches tall. It just goes to show that size shouldn’t be a barrier to anything.
15. Frankie Muniz – five feet five inches
Frankie Muniz will forever be etched in the minds of T.V. fans for playing the title role in the incredibly popular series Malcolm in the Middle. Muniz, who is only five feet five inches tall, has also starred in Agent Cody Banks and its sequel on the big screen. But you’d never think of the actor as short, as such, because he’s most closely associated with the younger characters he’s played.
14. B.D. Wong – five feet five inches
Tony Award-winning actor B.D. Wong has made a name for himself in movies such as the Jurassic World series of films and Father of the Bride. Yet the actor is probably more recognizable for his countless T.V. appearances in popular shows such as Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Gotham and Mr. Robot. That’s quite a resume for an actor that stands at only five feet five inches in height.
13. Richard Dreyfuss – five feet five inches
Richard Dreyfuss has been making movies for the best part of half a century. His canon of classic films includes Jaws and Mr Holland’s Opus, so clearly his small stature – the star is only five feet five inches tall – has never been an issue. His Best Actor Oscar for The Goodbye Girl is testament to that.
12. Daniel Radcliffe – five feet five inches
You don’t need to be tall when you’ve got a magic wand. And being only five feet five inches is less of a drawback when you are the world’s most famous wizard. British actor Daniel Radcliffe famously played Harry Potter in the mega-successful series, yet it may come as a shock to know that the actor – now fully grown – is only five feet five inches tall.
11. Ken Jeong – five feet five inches
Ken Jeong is perhaps best known for playing the hilarious character of Mr Chow in the Hangover trilogy of movies. This is one actor who can certainly claim that his big on-screen presence more than makes up for his diminutive height. Jeong registers in at only five feet five inches on the height chart, but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming an immensely popular star.
10. Kevin Hart – five feet four-and-a-half inches
Kevin Hart is a funny man and a popular actor. He’s been in many a well-known movie, including Central Intelligence and Ride Along. Yet the star also likes to joke about his small frame, and be careful, because half an inch makes a big difference to Hart. “Hey, what’s going on, I’m Kevin Hart, and one thing you may not know about me is… I’m five foot four-and-a-half. A lot of people think it’s just five-four. It’s not. Five foot four-and-a-half,” the actor famously stated in a Variety magazine video.
9. Toby Jones – five feet four inches
British actor Toby Jones is recognizable as a star who has been in such notable movies as Infamous, where he plays Truman Capote, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Jones always appears on the small side in his movies because, well, he is. At five feet four inches he’s a long way below the average height of a male in both America and his native Britain, where five feet nine inches is stated as the average.
8. Woody Allen – five feet five inches
Woody Allen is known as an actor but perhaps better respected as a writer and director. He often stars in his own movies, and there are no better examples of how this has led to success than with the likes of Annie Hall and Manhattan. But I guess when you are casting yourself, then your height need not be a consideration. That’s lucky, perhaps, as Allen is only five feet five inches.
7. Zac Efron – five feet eight inches
Zac Efron is a bona fide movie heartthrob. He’s that iconic mix of tall, dark and handsome. Except, he’s actually not. No, he doesn’t dye his hair, but Efron, who is known for movies including The Greatest Showman and The Lucky One is far from what you would class as ‘tall’. Five feet eight inches is not exactly short, but, then again, it’s not really that towering either.
6. Seth Green – five feet four inches
Seth Green is known for his comedy as well as his film roles, but were you aware the star only measures in at five feet and four inches? But it matters not when you’re this talented. The star of Robot Chicken is also short in terms of his relationship: his wife Clare Grant is actually three inches taller than the star.
5. Joe Pesci – five feet four inches
An actor who may well spring to mind when you think of short stars in Joe Pesci. Yet the recognizable New Jersey native gave no better example of how small can certainly be menacing with his portrayal of Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas. Further hits including Home Alone and Casino prove that being only five feet four inches is not a barrier to success on the silver screen.
4. Michael J. Fox – five feet four inches
Michael J. Fox forged a highly successful career out of his boyish good looks. No doubt his height added to the package too: the actor is a tiny five feet four inches. But with movies such as Back to the Future and Teen Wolf on his resume, Fox is a 100 percent Hollywood big-hitter. His tireless charity work makes him a pretty big-hearted human being too.
3. Rob Schneider – five feet three-and-a-half inches
Rob Schneider has played some funny roles down the years, including the titular character in Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, The Hot Chick and The Animal. You may well have noticed that Schneider is short in comparison to his co-stars, but at only five feet three-and-a-half inches, the funnyman is probably even smaller than you expected, right?
2. Kit Harrington – five feet eight inches
Kit Harrington is famous for playing the hunky Jon Snow in Game of Thrones. Snow is a broad and beefy character but, thanks to Harrington, he’s also on the shorter side – not that you would necessarily notice. The British actor is only five feet eight inches, which, although not tiny, is less than you’d expect for a hero of the screen. Which is why Harrington reportedly had to wear high heels when playing the role.
1. Emilio Estevez – five feet six-and-a-half inches
Emilio Estevez is an accomplished actor and director who is also part of the Sheen acting dynasty. Son of Martin and brother to Charlie, Estevez is the shortest of the bunch due to the fact he registers in at only five feet six-and-a-half inches. At that height, it’s doubtful whether this star of The Mighty Ducks has ever had to duck entering a room in his life.