11 famous faces that you never noticed appearing in big films

  • 11 famous faces that you never noticed in big films

On the way to the top, some of Hollywood's biggest faces had to play bit-part character and extras.

Of course, some appeared in some pretty big films on the way to becoming the biggest actor in the film.

Here are some examples of actors popping up in big films before they really became a force in the industy...

1. Samuel L. Jackson in Coming to America

One of Eddie Murphy's most popular films, Murphy plays an African prince who, dismissing his arranged marriage, travels to New York seeking a woman of his own.

While working at fast food restaurant McDowell's, Murphy's character finds himself the subject of a stick-up from a shotgun-wielding maniac, played by everyone's favourite foul-mouthed Marvel hero Samuel L. Jackson.

Jackson, who also appeared in Goodfellas as mob associate "Stacks" Edwards, and eagle-eyed Coming to America viewers will also notice a young Cuba Gooding Jr. getting a haircut in the hilarious barbershop boxing debate.

2. Seth Rogen in Donnie Darko

Before he rose to fame playing lovable stoners in Judd Apatow's screwball comedies, Seth Rogen popped up in mind-bending psychological thriller Donnie Darko.

In his first film appearance a 19-year-old Rogen played Ricky Danforth, one of the bullies that hassle the titular time-traveller and his friends.

In his next role, he played Ricky, the over-eager cameraman in Anchorman, so that's two roles you might have missed the comedy star.

3. Daniel Craig in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

A few years before Daniel Craig squeezed into a tux to play James Bond, he appeared opposite Angelina Jolie as Alex West, a fellow tomb raider, except with unscrupulous methods to his treasure hunting.

Putting on a vaguely passable American accent, Craig showed the physique and action skills that would land him the 007 role five years later.

4. Michael Shannon in Groundhog Day

Years before he was tearing down the entire city of Metropolis while slugging it out with Superman, Michael Shannon's debut film appearance was in Groundhog Day, where he is given a wedding present of tickets to Wrestlemania.

For all those fans of post-General Zod (or Boardwalk Empire) Michael Shannon, you might be interested to know that in 8 Mile he also plays the new boyfriend of Eminem's mother - what a variety of characters.

5. Chris Pratt in Wanted

The hugely-disappointing comic book adaptation starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie as ridiculous bullet-curving(?) assassins that chose their targets based on a tapestry or some nonsense like that.

But we bet you didn't notice that McAvoy's colleague whose sleeping with his girlfriend is actually current Hollywood hot property Chris Pratt.

That's right; Guardians of the Galaxy's Star-Lord and X-Men's Professor X shared an office... and a girlfriend.

6. Michael Fassbender in 300

The first time German-born Irish actor Michael Fassbender hit the big screens was a decade ago - as Stelios, one of King Leonidas' 300 ab-tastic Spartan soldiers who fight against the Persian hordes.

Fassbender would go on to hit the heights, starring in films like Steve Jobs, 12 Years A Slave and the X-Men reboots, and in 300 he got to deliver the second most memorable line in the film: "then we will fight in the shade."

7. Tom Hardy in Black Hawk Down

Before he became a bona fide Hollywood hunk, Tom Hardy was running around Somalia fighting local rebels and putting on a pretty decent American accent - which he has given up on attempting these days.

Not just Hardy, if you watch Black Hawk Down now, you'll see so many famous faces that have gone on to big things including Orlando Bloom, Ty Burrell, Ioan Gruffudd, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and many more actors aiming for the top.

8. James Earl Jones in Dr. Strangelove

In his first film role, and 13 years before he lent his epic voice to Darth Vader, James Earl Jones featured in Stanley Kubrick's satirical Cold War comedy.

James Earl Jones played pilot Lt. Lothar Zogg, who drops the bomb onto the Soviets that is being ridden by Major Kong in one of cinemas' most memorable moments - then he went on to play (the voice) the tyrannical leader of the Empire in a galaxy far away.

9. Gal Gadot in Date Night

Landing the role of Wonder Woman in the new DC cinematic universe, the Israeli model-turned-actress is no playing with the Hollywood big boys.

But Gal, who had appeared in Fast & Furious (and reprise her role in Fast 5), made a brief appearance in the crime caper Date Night as a girlfriend of Mark Wahlberg's James Bond-like action hero.

10. Brie Larson in Scott Pilgrim vs The World

Edgar Wright's take on the graphic novel was full of actors who were well on their way to becoming Hollywood stars including Anna Kendrick, Chris Evans and Aubrey Plaza.

One of them that you most likely (probably) missed was Room star and Oscar winner Brie Larson, who played one of Scott's ex-girlfriends and singer of a rival at the battle of the bands.

11. Robert Downey Jr in Weird Science

Way before the troubled times, and then insanely successful comeback of Mr RDJ, he appeared in John Hughes' 1985 teen sci-fi comedy Weird Science.

Downey Jr plays a bully who humiliates the film's main characters which prompts them to use science and computer hacking to build a stunning (magical) woman.

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