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James Marsden — The Actor's Best Movies and Roles

Dayna Remus
Jul 05, 2022
12:20 P.M.
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James Marsden will soon be returning for another season of the acclaimed "Westworld." However, this is only one of the masterpieces that the performer has acted in. Here are some of his highest-rated movies over the years.


"Westworld" is returning to HBO, and season 4 of the sci-fi show promises to bring along with it the return of James Marsden, which was announced at a panel in Austin, Texas, at the ATX Television Festival. But, no one provided any information on the nature of this return.

According to Marsden's IMDb, "Westworld" is only one of the 81 credits the Oklahoma native has built up over his long-spanning career in the entertainment industry. Out of his many acting projects, there are several films that IMDb considers some of his best.

 James Marsden at  "Westworld" Season 2 premiere on April 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. | Source: Getty Images

James Marsden at "Westworld" Season 2 premiere on April 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. | Source: Getty Images



The website rated this commercially successful movie at an average of 6.7. It portrays a live-action story of the CGI cartoon character Sonic. After laying low for many years, the hedgehog teams up with a detective to take on the villainous Dr. Robotnik. Marsden, who plays the talking animal's fatherlike-figure spoke about playing this role:

"I don't think Tom woke up one morning and said, 'I want to be a father to this kid.' It just sort of evolved into that. It's nice to take some of the ideas I've learned as a parent and incorporate them into some of these beautiful scenes with Sonic."


Marsden pinned that beyond his arch as a hero in the story, his CGI companion was someone who struggled to fit in and was looking to belong. "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" was released in theatres in April 2022.


HEIGHTS (2005)

"Heights," coming in at 7.0, is about interconnected storylines with one of the characters, Isabel, struggling over whether she should marry the man she is engaged to. Marsden plays this fiancé in the indie film.

The type of character with which he has become synonymous, the actor played the safer option for Isabel in her quest to choose the right partner. While he did not end up getting the girl, he managed to win the viewers' hearts.


ROBOT & FRANK (2012)

Marsden plays a side character in "Robot & Frank," which grabbed a 7.1 rating. While his character was not front and center, he remained a vital part of a plot that conveyed the importance of connection and belonging.

The film portrays how an older man begins to develop a perceived bond with a robot meant to assist him with his daily living. The robot becomes a replacement for his son, who is no longer part of his life.


X-MEN (2000)

Marsden blasted into the mainstream scene when he played Cyclops in 2000's X-Men. Cyclops remains many people's favorite X-Men character to this day.

This movie, rated at 7.4, depicts the looming possibility of war threatened by Magneto, a leader of mutants who believe the human race must be wiped out. Meanwhile, Professor X, the leader of the X-Men, and his team struggle to forge a sense of peace between mutants and man.


X2: X-MEN UNITED (2003)

Marsden returned for a second dose of mutant magic in the X-MEN sequel with an identical rating of 7.4 to the previous film. In this movie, a man named William Stryker is on a rampage to rid the world of mutants.

Professor X and Magneto's teams form an unwanted alliance so they can fight against this common enemy. Many celebrated the nuanced storytelling in this film at the time of its release.



In a journey of self-discovery, the actor plays a man who travels on an unmarked interstate. The protagonist, played by Marsden, gives him a chance to show off his acting chops as he plays alongside big industry names.

Within this fantasy drama, the main character learns how to access his inner courage and voice. A strange yet wonderful film, "Interstate 60: Episodes of The Road," boasts a rating of 7.7.



On par with Cyclops in X-Men, his character in the iconic romance epic "The Notebook" is also one of his most notable roles. In this 7.8-rated movie, Marsden plays the female protagonist's fiancé, who she leaves to be with her childhood sweetheart. Speaking about his part in the classic film, he expressed:

"That's a movie that I still get talked about to this day when people pass down the street..."

He stated that while everyone hoped the movie would be a success when they were making it, they had no idea what a massive impact it would have. The actor expressed that he was proud to have been part of creating such a timeless piece.



Teddy, played by Marsden, was a host in "Westworld" and was a heroic character. However, he became increasingly cruel after his lover, Dolores, played by Evan Rachel Wood, reprogrammed his personality to become more brutal.

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Eventually, unable to come to terms with this new behavior, Teddy took his own life in front of Wood, the female protagonist, in season 2. He ultimately blamed her for his decision to do so. Speaking about his determination not to leak any spoilers, the actor said to EW:

"I'm gonna remain a little mysterious about where you find me in the first episode, if at all."

However, some information has slipped through the cracks. For one, we know that Wood, whose previous character was Dolores, will be taking on a character called Christina, who ends up going on a date with a man who looks identical to Teddy.


Marsden spoke more about the secrecy surrounding his character's return on "Good Morning America." He was on the show promoting season 4 alongside Wood when he revealed that his return to the HBO series was not a big surprise for him.

He claimed that he knew his character would return to "Westworld" at some point. He has had to keep the fact that his character would be returning under wraps since season 2 ended, unable to reveal this information to anyone close to him.

He continued to say, however, that even though he knew his character would return, some of the details remain mysterious to him, which many agree is the nature of the show. Wood herself stated that the art of reinvention is the best part of "Westworld." The show returned on June 26, 2022.



While some actors return to their series, others leave for good, and Shannen Doherty was one of those people. The actress left after season 3 of "Charme" because of behind-the-scenes drama.

Doherty began her career as an actress when she was only a child, and there were whispers throughout the industry that she was a challenging employer and co-star to work with. Jennie Garth, who worked with her on "Beverly Hills, 90210," stated they had a love-hate relationship.

She also crossed swords with Milano, a friend, and co-star on "Charmed." The two had a fallout, which led Doherty to ask to be written out of the show, even directing the episode where they killed her character.


Years passed, but eventually, the two managed to find themselves on good terms with one another, with Milano stating that she was partially at fault for their conflict. She said she respects her fellow actress and has checked in on Doherty occasionally since she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.

Doherty remains open about her struggle with cancer and has not allowed it to get in the way of her career. But, she admits that finding work with this disease is difficult.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

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