Adam Brody in Ready or Not.
Zachanowich/20thCenturyFox/Kobal/Shutterstock

Culture

13 Completely Slept-On Adam Brody Performances

The best work from the actor who helped a generation of indie outcasts define their sexuality.

Adam Brody rose to fame playing Seth Cohen, the charming nerd who referenced Death Cab and Rooney with ease, thrusting an artsy dude into the mainstream for a generation of indie music fans who never thought Aaron Carter was cute. But Brody is less known for some of his best performances — where he brings either the energy of a good boyfriend or slimy scumbag to his varied roles. Read on for 13 of his most underrated, excellent performances.

Gilmore Girls (2002-2003)

Brody plays Dave Rygalski, a wholesome guitar player and sweet-natured love interest in the show. He pretends to be in a Christian rock band because he has a crush on Lane, but leaves after nine episodes because he suddenly “moves to California,” which is coincidentally when The O.C. started. (Netflix)

Warner Bros.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

Brody plays the unlucky DIA prisoner Benjamin “the Tank” Danz who is the target of not one, but two assassination hits to be executed by titular Smith family. (FuboTV)

Stephen Vaughan/20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

Smiley Face (2007)

In his definitive underrated role, Brody plays a Rastafarian drug dealer who has to deal with his stoner client (played to perfection by Anna Faris) in Gregg Araki’s cult favorite dark comedy. Brody’s line delivery of “He’s a skull-f*cker, he f*cks skulls” is the type of thing that stays with you for life. (Tubi)

IMDB

In The Land of Women (2007)

In this severely underrated film that also stars Meg Ryan and Kristen Stewart as mother and daughter (we are not worthy!), Brody plays a sad soft-core porn writer who makes both of them fall in love with him, which, fair! (Prime Video)

Liane Hentscher/Land Inc/Castle Rock/Kobal/Shutterstock

Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Brody plays a creepy musician in this cult-fave 2009 Diablo Cody movie starring Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried, where Brody tries to offer Megan Fox as a virgin sacrifice to Satan. Unfortunately, she’s not a virgin, so the plan backfires and she becomes possessed by a man-eating demonic entity instead. Sadly, Brody doesn’t do his own vocals, but he does wear some moody eyeliner onstage. (Hulu)

Fox Atomic

Scream 4 (2011)

Brody clearly has the taste on top of the range, which is why it’s no surprise that he’s in Wes Craven’s seminal Scream franchise as Sheriff Dewey Riley’s bumbling deputy, Ross Hoss. (FuboTV)

Dimension Films/Kobal/Shutterstock

Damsels in Distress (2011)

Four girls who run a college campus’ suicide prevention centre come up with the brilliant plan to date mildly gross losers to help boost the mens’ confidence. Wacky! (Prime Video)

Westerly/Kobal/Shutterstock

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World (2012)

There was span of time where Steve Carrell was doing a bunch of quiet, wholesome rom-com movies where he played the quirky romantic hero. Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World was part of that era, and Brody plays the guitar-strumming ex-boyfriend of Kiera Knightley, who ends up with Steve Carrell! Who knows if he actually can play more than four chords, but we’re not mad about this musician typecasting! (Prime Video)

Anonymous Content/Kobal/Shutterstock

Life Partners (2014)

Leighton Meester and Gillian Jacobs are two best friends who have some friction after Jacobs starts dating Adam Brody, which is understandable. What’s even better is Brody and Meester had been dating for years at this point. Hollywood’s most pure couple onscreen together? Cute! (Prime Video)

Magnolia Pictures

New Girl, Season 3, Episode 15 (2014)

Adam Brody is in one episode playing Zooey Deschanel’s grimy, long-haired ex-boyfriend Berkey, who she’s still best friends with. His character was so unlikeable it prompted a post in The Atlantic accusing the show of trying to “ruin Adam Brody for the rest of us,” which will never happen. (Netflix)

GREG GAYNE/FOX

Billy & Billie (2015)

In the absolutely unhinged plot of this short-running TV show, Adam Brody plays Billy, who falls in love with his step-sister Billie. We love an actor willing to tackle taboos!

Lithium

Ready or Not (2019)

Ready or Not asks the question, “What if your new in-laws tried to hunt you down on your wedding night because of a decades-old deal with the devil?” This horror comedy features Brody as the disillusioned, alcoholic son of the millionaire Le Domas family, who must murder their newest (and deeply unlucky) family member in a twisted game of hide-and-seek in order to live. (Prime Video)

Zachanowich/20thCenturyFox/Kobal/Shutterstock

Mrs. America (2020)

The FX miniseries follows the ratification of the Equal Rights Movement, and features Brody as Marc Feigen-Fasteau, an author, lawyer and activist, and the husband of activist Brenda Feigen. Historical and great costumes, what’s not to love? (Hulu)

Sabrina Lantos/FX/Kobal/Shutterstock

Thanks for reading,
head home for more!