During the course of an acting career, we can see actors reinvent themselves and take their careers into different directions; for some, it is a natural progression, for others, it is a major change to tackle something new.
The Gunman arrived on DVD & Blu-Ray on 20th July and sees Sean Pen - who is a bit of a fave here at FemaleFirst - tackle an action role really for the first time as he teams up with Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, and Ray Winstone.
We take a look at some of the reinventions we have seen some actors take over the years - and there are plenty who have changed the course of their careers.
- Sean Penn
Sean Penn launched his big screen career back in 1981 when he starred in Taps, before going on to teenage cult classic Fast Time at Ridgemont High. He has enjoyed a career that has spanned over thirty years and become one of the greatest actors of his generation.
During this glittering career he has been best known for his wonderful dramatic performances in the likes of Dead Man Walking, Mystic River, Milk, I Am Sam, and 21 Grams - to name but a few. Most of his performances have earnt him critical acclaim, while Mystic River and Milk saw him scoop the Best Actor Oscar.
When you think 'action hero' is Sean Penn a name that you immediately think of? Probably not... that is until this year when he took on the central role in The Gunman.
We have never seen Penn tackle the action film genre but he has turned himself into a bit of an action hero with this latest role - which looks set to be his only film outing this year.
In The Gunman, Penn has reinvented himself as an actor, swapping his intense dramatic side, for an all action, flying kicking alter ego out to save the world with a combination of intellect and heavy-duty weaponry. Will we see Penn return to this genre and role? I guess we are going to have to wait and see.
- Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson is another actor who has delved into the action genre as he has got older and turned into quite the action hero icon.
Much like Penn, Neeson was known for his dramatic roles and had given terrific performances in the likes of Schindler's List, Michael Collins, and Gangs of New York over the years... but it was Taken that was to be the film that really changed the course of his career.
It was back in 2008 when Neeson took on the role of Bryan Mills for the first time and announced to the world that he had a 'particular set of skills' as he threatened to hunt down the men that had kidnapped his daughter.
Directed by Pierre Morel, Taken went on to be one of the unexpected sleeper hits of the year - kicking off Neeson's career as an action hero.
Fast forward to the present day and Neeson is now an iconic action star. Whether he's starring in the Taken franchise, Non-Stop, or Run All Night one thing is for sure- he's taking care of business, and his opponents are one step away from their imminent doom.
- Matthew McConaughey
It's fair to say that in the early stages of his career Matthew McConaughey was best known for playing charming lead characters in rom coms and wasn't afraid to whipping his shirt off every once in a while - which of course made him a bit of a fave amongst the ladies.
Movies such as How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Fool's Gold made him a star, but McConaughey has even higher ambitions when it came to his acting career and the types of roles he wanted to tackle.
It was his role in The Lincoln Lawyer that started his journey down a different path, while Killer Joe, Mud, and The Paperboy showed that he was looking for roles that he could well and truly get his teeth into.
It was 2014 that he turned himself in a real Hollywood heavyweight as he took on the real life role of Ron Woodroof, who fought to get Aids patients the medication they needed, in Dallas Buyers Club, which saw him team up with filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallee.
Dallas Buyers Club was met with critical acclaim and saw McConaughey scoop his first Best Actor Oscar - it was also the first time that he had been nominated. And he continues to tackle interesting dramatic roles he has The Sea of Trees and The Free State of Jones on the horizon. He really has become one of the most exciting actors working in Hollywood and is a major force to be reckoned with on the big screen.
- Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr is a big favourite here at FemaleFirst and he was an actor who caused a lot of excitement at the beginning of his career with roles in the likes of Less than Zero and Chaplin - which showed he was a major acting talent to watch out for.
He took on the title role in Chaplin back in 1992 and picked up a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his great performance - it remains the only Oscar nomination of his career so far.
After battling some problems off screen, Downey Jr returned to rebuild his acting career and we have seen him take his acting work in a very different direction.
Although we have saw him in movies such as Tropic Thunder, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, and Tropic Thunder, it was his role as Tony Stark in Iron Man than propelled his career to new and very dizzy heights. Three Iron Man movies and two Avengers films later, Downey Jr is the heart of the Marvel franchise and is one of the biggest and most in demand stars working in Hollywood at the moment.
He has also enjoyed success with the Sherlock Holmes franchise and is set to return as Stark in Captain America: Civil War next year - everyone has their fingers crossed that we will finally be getting a third Sherlock Holmes movie.
Since the release of Iron Man back in 2008, Downey Jr has put all of his troubles behind him and has become one of the biggest and most popular Hollywood actors as he continues to enjoy success after success.
- Will Smith
Will Smith may be one of cinema's biggest names but he kicked off his career on television with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in the early nineties - a TV series that paved the way for him to enjoy success on the big screen.
As he made the transition into film, Smith showed that he was a major action star with box office hits such as Bad Boys, Men In Black, and Independence Day, which showed he was a bona fide leading man and more than just a comedy actor.
Smith is an actor who is always adapting and changing and he showed that he could be a dramatic actor as well back in 2001 when he took on the role of Muhammad Ali in biopic film Ali. This was the role that earnt Smith is first Best Actor Oscar nomination.
He continued to showed that he was a terrific dramatic actor with The Pursuit of Happyness and Seven Pounds, while Hancock, I Am Legend, and Hitch showed that he was still keen to tackle action and comedy roles as well.
Over the years, Smith has become one of Hollywood's most bankable stars but he has shown that he is also a versatile actor who can turn his hand to anything. He is set to return to the big screen next year when he takes on the role of Deadshot in Suicide Squad - which is set to be one of the must see films of summer 2016.
- Jaime Foxx
Jamie Foxx was another actor who spent most of the nineties showing off his comedic talents with his own sitcom before making the leap into movies.
While his performance as Stan 'Tookie Williams' in TV movie Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story made people sit up and take note in 2004, it was his role as Ray Charles in Ray and alongside Tom Cruise in Collateral later that same year that proved to be the major breakthrough.
His towering performance as Ray Charles saw Foxx win his first Best Actor Oscar - he was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor that say year for his role in Collateral.
Since then we have seen Foxx show that he is a versatile actor with roles in Dreamgirls, The Soloist and Django Unchained. He's also shown his lighter and more comedic side with Horrible Bosses, Due Date, and Annie.
- Leonardo DiCaprio
By the time that Titanic hit the big screen in 1998, Leonardo DiCaprio was a huge star and his face was plastered all over the bedroom walls of millions of girls around the world.
DiCaprio has enjoyed an action career prior to Titanic with What's Eating Gilbert Grape and the Basketball Diaries, but it was the James Cameron blockbuster that sent his star rocketing.
DiCaprio could have gone on to have a 'pretty boy' acting career... but in 2002, he teamed up with Martin Scorsese for the first time and started to take his career in a very different direction.
DiCaprio went on to work with Scorsese on The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island, and The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as starring in Inception, Blood Diamond, and Revolutionary Road - all of the above showing that he was an exciting and versatile actor and not just a pretty face.
With those movies, DiCaprio has enjoyed huge success; he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for The Wolf of Wall Street, Blood Diamond, and The Aviator - however, he is yet to get his hands on this major movie prize.
Today, DiCaprio is a major Hollywood heavyweight, enjoying success as an actor as well as a producer. He will be back on the big screen at the beginning of 2016 with The Revenant, which sees him team up with director Alejandro González Iñárritu for the first time. The Revenant is already being tipped as a possible Oscar contender. Could 2016 finally be DiCaprio's Oscar winning year? Only time will tell.
The Gunman is released on digital platforms from 13th July, 2015 and on Blu-ray and DVD from 20th July 2015, courtesy of STUDIOCANAL.