By Ross Bonaime, Staff Writer

This week, Ben Stiller will be taking a break from comedies like the Night at the Museum and Meet the Parents series for a more serious turn in Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg, a film about a middle-aged man trying to figure out his life.

Stiller is one amongst several notable comedians who have tackled heavier, more dramatic roles with great success. With Stiller’s recent turn as a launchpad, here are the top five comedians to take on serious roles:

5. Jamie Foxx
After Foxx’s first dramatic role in Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday, it was easy to forget about his awkward, comedic past. With movies like Collateral, and his greatest role as Ray Charles in Ray, Foxx is stepping up as a promising young actor.

4. Will Smith
Who would have thought that The Fresh Prince would eventually earn two Oscar nominations? Yet Smith has, for his love-him-or-hate-him role as The Greatest himself in Ali and for his role as the father who will do anything for his son in The Pursuit of Happyness. Even with a fantastic career so far, Smith still has many penetrating roles ahead of him.

3. Robin Williams
A good rule of thumb for Robin Williams’ movies seems to be: if it’s a comedy, skip it, but if it’s a drama, don’t miss it. After performances in The Fisher King, Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting, Williams delved into darker roles like those in One Hour Photo and Insomnia.

Williams is a talented actor; it’s just a shame that he messes up his resume with abhorrent comedies.

2. Jim Carrey
Carrey could have easily gone the way of Pauly Shore with his obnoxious comedic roles, but instead took the high road in some fantastic dramatic roles.
His performance in The Truman Show was remarkable, as was his take on Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon. And let’s not forget his greatest role as Joel in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Carrey has proven that he is more than just the man with the rubber face.

1. Tom Hanks
After some spotty comedies in the 80s, Tom Hanks quickly emerged as this generation’s version of Jimmy Stewart, the most likable actor in America.
Just listing his films is like reading a lineup of classics: Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away, among many others. Hanks has gone from starring alongside a mastiff in Turner and Hooch to becoming one of the greatest stars of the past 25 years.