Fans Say The MCU Wasted This Actor’s Talents: The One Who Deserved More

Robert Downey Jr. received his Oscar-worthy script in Endgame, Chris Evans’ Captain America underwent an emotionally stirring arc throughout the course of Civil War, and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow went from self-serving spy to familial savior throughout the MCU’s decade-long Avengers saga. 

Marvel Studios MCU Kevin Feige
Marvel Studios Kevin Feige | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

While some MCU actors have been asked to put their chops to the test, other strong actors have not received the same degree of on-screen importance. Some MCU actors — though possessing sweeping talent — have had their prowess largely swept under the rug.  

The original six Avengers — as well as later additions, like Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, and Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch — have gotten to flex their acting muscles for all to see. However, as for supporting actors — those who serve a narrative purpose and then fade into the background — many fans agree that one received the shortest end of the stick. 

The MCU actor whose talents weren’t put to good use 

In discussions concerning the MCU actor “too good” for the role or the most “underutilized MCU actor,” one trend quickly emerges; fans often agree that Idris Elba — the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild winner — deserved much more than he received as a supporting actor in the Thor series.

If you don’t remember, Idris Elba portrayed Heimdall in Thor; the character is based on the Norse deity Heimdallr. He is the all-seeing and all-hearing (as described) sole protector of Bifröst in Asgard. 

While serving an important function to the narrative, and representing a heroic individual deserving of praise and recognition, Idris Elba’s screen-time in the MCU didn’t exactly align with his character’s value. While he’s strong in the role, fans agree that he should have had more responsibility, taken more consequential actions. One fan stated:

He’s great in the role but I think Idris Elba is wasted as Heimdell. He’s not given nearly enough to do.

Reddit User

Fans go on to claim that while Marvel made it seem like Elba’s character would grow in value, gaining more screen-time in successive installments, they failed to live up to expectations. One MCU enthusiast stated:

What hurts with Idris Elba is that Ragnarok seemed to be building Heimdall up to have a much bigger presence than in the past two films. But nope, he only got a solid 10 or so minutes of good screen time.

Reddit User

Most fans claim that the Thor series wasted a few of its actors with a great deal of potential, as Idris Elba was not the only strong actor recruited to appear in the MCU alongside Thor. Fans agree that the series also wasted Natalie Portman (until recently). One MCU fan stated:

It’s shocking how they wasted both Natalie Portman and Idris Elba in the Thor movies.

Both are good and big enough actors to carry their own movies with big roles. But no, instead Marvel gives them both useless meaningless characters.

Would have honestly loved to see both as heroes in this universe. Huge shame.

Reddit User

Natalie Portman in most discussions comes up almost as frequently as Idris Elba in this department; however, most agree that Idris Elba takes the gold, as he was arguably stripped of dignity when taking into account his minimal presence alone.