Some Famous Actors Who Began Their Careers As Extras


The story of how each great actor "made it" in the entertainment industry is as individual as the person who tells it. Some performers are lucky enough to be born into the profession, but others must toil tirelessly for many years before becoming well-known in their field. It is one of the first significant obstacles that an actor must overcome to advance in their career that they become a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

The film and television industries provide many performers with additional opportunities to enhance their income. Performers who have completed three days of work on a SAG-affiliated show are eligible to get SAG membership cards immediately after completion.

Additionally, background work allows actors to earn money while honing their skills and preparing for casting calls. Many well-known celebrities began their careers as extras in major movie pictures and television series. If you look closely enough, you may even be able to recognize them in some of your favorite movies if you are paying attention. Stare closely, and you might be able to pick out their shoulder or a fuzzy shadow in the distance if you look closely enough. Blink, and you'll miss it, is a frequently heard phrase.

1. Matt Damon

Matt Damon was still a student at Harvard University when he was cast as an extra in the romantic comedy Mystic Pizza at 18. The next year, he appeared as an extra in The Good Mother and Field of Dreams.

In Geronimo: An American Legend, Damon's first significant part came after he had appeared in the film as an extra. But even though it failed commercially, Damon's young career was launched, and he is now a great celebrity and an Academy Award-winning actor.

2. Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon's boyhood pal, also followed a similar road to fame and fortune. After appearing in The Dark End of the Street and Buffy the Vampire Slayer as extras, the actor improved as an actor and as a director.

Recognizing the lessons he's learned from his past blunders and the ups and downs of his acting career, Affleck is moving forward with a brand new approach. The actor is a two-time Academy Award winner, and he has a bright future ahead of him.

3. Channing Tatum

In 2005, Channing Tatum appeared in four films, three of which were uncredited cameos. Actors such as She's the Man and Step Up gave him his moment to shine in 2006.

After starring in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and its sequel, Channing Tatum became a household name because of his appearance in the latter film, which served as a breakout role.

4. John Wayne

As one of the most popular performers of his day, John Wayne was awarded an Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. However, his professional career started out looking bleak.

Wayne featured in almost a dozen films as an extra, and fifteen of those roles went uncredited. Keep your head held high because the actor was hellbent on becoming a household name, and he did just that.

5. Bruce Willis

You may have never heard of Die Hard's first three films, in which he acted as an uncredited extra. Bruce Willis may be seen sitting in the courtroom in the 1981 film The Verdict if you take a close enough look.

In the end, Willis was given big roles in Blind Date and Sunset, both of which garnered lukewarm reviews, but they were enough to put him in the public eye.

6. Megan Fox

Even as an extra, Megan Fox's situation was not looking good. On television, she received her big break after two uncredited parts and one that was deleted from the final cut in the comedy Hope and ' Faith.

Michael Bay selected Fox for his first Transformers movie, which rocketed her to international prominence and a tasteful film career.

7. Charlie Sheen

It wasn't long before Charlie Sheen became known for his drug misuse, legal difficulties, and domestic violence that he had a promising acting career. He was one of the most challenging performers to deal with.

On the other hand, Sheen had to begin his acting career as an extra even before that. The actor had a successful career as a movie star, only to see it all go down the drain.

8. James Dean

James Dean became a cultural figure and a symbol of adolescent disillusionment and social alienation even though he only appeared in three films. As a consequence of his early death due to an automobile accident, the actor became the first person to be nominated for a posthumous Academy Award.

It's possible that the bad boy actor wouldn't have earned such popularity if he hadn't taken the risk of working as an extra four times, all of which were uncredited.

9. Renée Zellweger

Renée Zellweger is no exception to the rule that anyone can become a superstar in Hollywood if they work hard and persevere. The indie film A Taste for Killing didn't help her career since she later appeared in Murder in the Heartland as an uncredited actress.

The actress, who had previously worked as an extra in films, regarded this as a stepping stone to a more prominent part and subsequently won an Academy Award from three nominations.

10. Brad Pitt

Even Brad Pitt, the A-list star, started as an extra in four films before landing his first starring part in 2005's The Dark Side of the Sun. Brad Pitt was determined to establish that he was a force to be reckoned with, even though his previous two films received poor reviews.

After starring in Thelma and ' Louise, he became a star overnight. Pitt has proven to be one of Hollywood's most bankable actors by starring in hit after hit.

11. Jackie Chan

Hong Kong martial artist Jackie Chan is a world-renowned action and comedy celebrity. Still, his career may have gone in a different direction had his potential not been underutilized as a stuntman and extra.

With persistence, Chan climbed the ladder of success to break out of the shadows and become a household name. With a net worth of $350 million, it can be inferred that the former stuntman and extra had a successful career path.

12. Marilyn Monroe

Even Marilyn Monroe, destined for international recognition, began her acting career as an extra. When the model-turned-actress earned her big break in Ladies of the Chorus after just two films, it was the beginning of something truly extraordinary for the model-turned-actress.

Monroe's reputation is greater than that of many excellent actors, even though she was never nominated for an Academy Award. Even decades after her claimed suicide, Monroe is still regarded as a symbol of beauty.

13. Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone's ascent to Hollywood stardom has been extensively documented and continues to inspire aspiring actors and producers. Stallone was determined to make it in the movie business, but he had to suffer several uncredited movie parts as an extra because of his slurred speech.

Stallone's intention to play Rocky Balboa in the film, which he intended to sell to studios, prompted him to pen a story about an underdog boxer. The story showed promise, but no one wanted to take a chance on making a movie with Stallone in the starring role.

Even though the filmmakers were reluctant to go along with his demands, Rocky was eventually created, and it was nominated for and won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

By taking on physically challenging parts, participating as a writer on several projects, and performing stunts for the story's sake rather than himself, Sylvester Stallone rose to stardom like a flash in the pan.

14. Clint Eastwood

In 1955, Eastwood appeared in various uncredited parts, including "Revenge of the Creature" and "Million Dollar Baby." Yes, in his early 20s, Eastwood worked as an extra in several films, including "Francis in the Navy," "Lady Godiva of Coventry," "Tarantula," and more.

When he earned the part of Rowdy Yates on the TV show "Rawhide" in 1959, his career began to take off. Eastwood once again demonstrated he had no qualms with playing uncredited roles in "Breezy" in 1973. Eastwood portrayed. "Man at Marina" in his performance. Now, have a look!

15. Matt Damon

When you watch "Mystic Pizza," have you ever wondered whether that steamer is a pizza oven? Who is Matt Damon? You're correct! At the tender age of 18, Damon was cast as an extra in a Julia Roberts movie.

Then, after seeing "Mystic Pizza," have you ever seen "Field of Dreams" and thought to yourself, Is that Matt Damon as a baseball fan at Fenway Park once more? You'd have a two-for-two record. Another well-known figure also appeared alongside Damon as an extra in that film.

16. Daniel Day-Lewis

Daniel Day-Lewis had a talent for thoroughly immersing himself in his characters, even as a teenager. Day-Lewis was barely 14 years old when he appeared in John Schlesinger's film Sunday Bloody Sunday as a juvenile vandal. Using a shattered bottle, Day-Lewis scratches the side of a blue automobile. It may be difficult to identify him first, but rest certain that it is him.

17. Channing Tatum

It's a little different from the others. There was a sequence in the 2005 film War of the Worlds in which Channing Tatum appeared, but it was omitted due to time constraints. A short scene in which he sprints behind Tom Cruise during an extraterrestrial attack on a cathedral was all he got on film. To the right of the police officer, you can make out the shape of a man wearing a black jacket, a hat, and pants. Tatum made his feature film debut as Jason Lyle in Coach Carter the following year.

18. Evangeline Lilly

Evangeline Lilly is a well-known actress for her roles as Kate Austen in ABC's Lost and Hope van Dyne in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But before that, in 2003, she portrayed a typical high schooler who walked the hallways of Freddy vs. Jason High. Lilly is dressed in a long-sleeved green t-shirt and seems terrified as the two protagonists talk about Freddy Krueger from their nightmares.

19. Renée Zellweger

As an extra in the 1993 cult hit Dazed and Confused, Renée Zelwegger made her name as a beer-guzzling girl. She finally got her big break after appearing in the 1994 horror picture Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation with Dazed and Confused actor Matthew McConaughey.

20. Charlize Theron

As an extra in the monster movie Children of the Corn Part ii: Urban Harvest, Charlize made her name. You can recognize Theron when a priest tries to convert the city's youngsters to his religion. Several sequences include her, and she dies at the hands of an evil tentacle that invades her home.

21. Cuba Gooding, Jr

Although many people are familiar with the 1988 film Coming to America, starring Eddie Murphy, did you know that future Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. appeared in the film as an extra, sitting on a chair in the barbershop? Gooding does not have a line, but his facial expressions throughout the scenario are amusing to watch.

22. Jean-Claude Van Damme

Even though he doesn't speak anything in the film, watch for a broad-chested Jean-Claude Van Damme in a tank top in the breakdance flick Breakin'. Van Damme is watching from the sidelines as a dance celebration breaks out on the streets around him. Try to catch some of Van Damme's fantastic '80s dancing skills on video sometime; it's well worth your time.

23. Willem Dafoe

Heaven's Gate is regarded as one of the most infamous box office failures. Yet, it included a cast that included well-known actors such as Jeff Bridges, Kris Kristofferson, Mickey Rourke, and Christopher Walken. However, a young Willem Dafoe may be seen in the film's background. Dafoe later stated that he spent months working on the set but was fired after director Michael Cimino overheard him laughing too loudly on site.

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