Saturday, June 10, 2023

List: Top 3 Performances by Non-Professional Actors

This week on Episode 260 of the InSession Film Podcast, inspired by The 15:17 to Paris, we discussed our favorite performances by non-professional actors and actresses. This was a topic that we really enjoyed talking about as there are so many great performances over the years by non-professionals. It also made this exercise quite challenging, especially since a few of these are some of our favorites of all-time. On that note, what performances would make your list? Here are the one’s that made ours:

**Please keep in mind that we each had different criteria for our selections**


1) Ayano Shiraishi – Grave of the Fireflies
2) Lamberto Maggiorani – Bicycle Thieves
3) Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild


1) Carlo Battisti – Umberto D.
2) Gaspard Manesse – Au Revoir les Enfants
3) Bria Vinaite – The Florida Project

Honorable Mentions (Combined)

Nikolay Burlyaev – Ivan’s Childhood
ean-Pierre Leaud – The 400 Blows
Body – White God
Dwight Henry – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Brooklyn Prince – The Florida Project
Jacob Tremblay – Room
Millicent Simmonds – Wonderstruck
Maya Taylor – Tangerine
Barkhad Abdi – Captain Philips
Anna Paquin – The Piano
R. Lee Ermey – Full Metal Jacket
Roddy Piper – They Live
Zoe Bell – Death Proof
Rama Gangopadhaya – Pather Panchali
Enzo Stailoa – Bicycle Thieves
Victoire Thivisol – Ponette
Abraham Attal – Beasts of No Nation
Gary Poulter – Joe
O’Shey Jackson Jr. – Straight Outta Compton
Macon Blair – Blue Ruin
Auli’i Cravalho – Moana
Dave Batista – Guardians of the Galaxy
Tim McGraw – Friday Night Lights
Eminem – 8 Mile
Cast of City of God
Cast of The Battle of Algiers

Hopefully you guys enjoyed our lists and if you agree or disagree with us, let us know in the comment section below. There are many other great performances that we may not have mentioned or accidentally skipped out on that you love. That being said, what would be your Top 3? Leave a comment in the comment section or email us at

For the entire podcast, click here or listen below.

For more lists done by the InSession Film crew and other guests, be sure see our Top 3 Movie Lists page.

JD Duran
JD Duran
InSession Film founder and owner. I love film. Love art. Love how it intersects with our real lives. My favorite movies include Citizen Kane, The 400 Blows, Modern Times, The Godfather and The Tree of Life. Follow me on Twitter @RealJDDuran. Follow us @InSessionFilm.

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