Related Videos

Top 10 Movies With Famous Actors in Roles You Completely Missed

VO: JP WRITTEN BY: Laura Keating
Written by Laura Keating You know these movies, and you know these actors, but you never put them together! WatchMojo presents the top 10 Famous Actors in Roles That You Completely Missed! But who will take the top spot on our list? Will it be Nathan Fillion, Nick Offerman, or Harrison Ford? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to Travis Tenbrunsel for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Movies+you+didn't+know+certain+actors+had+a+part+in

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Is that who we think it is? Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies with Famous Actors in Roles You Completely Missed.

For this list, we’ll be looking exclusively at before they were famous roles, not cameos or Easter Egg type casting.

#10: “Mystic Pizza” (1988)

Matt Damon

This late eighties coming of age flick is best remembered for its rom-com center, as three waitresses of a small pizza joint (including a young Julia Roberts) navigate their romantic lives. But while following the ups and downs of Daisy, Jojo, and Kat’s lives, it might be easy to overlook then newcomer, but current A-lister Matt Damon. In his debut role, Matt Damon plays Steamer, the younger brother of Charles, Daisy’s affluent boyfriend. A small role, he only appears in the one dinner scene, in which Little Steam’s discovery of lobster tamale provides a little on-screen levity in an otherwise tense family affair.

#9: “Carrie” (1976)

John Travolta

Brian De Palma successfully made Stephen King’s debut novel a classic horror experience. In the role of Carrie, Sissy Spacek brought sympathetic life to the tortured telepath, and her final meltdown at the prom is one of the most iconic scenes in the history of the horror genre. Newcomers to the film, however, are sometimes surprised to find a very familiar face. Before John Travolta donned Danny Zuko’s leather jacket, he played Billy Nolan, the loser older boyfriend of Chris Hargensen, and one of the bullies responsible for Carrie’s terrible prom night.

#8:“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (1987)

Kevin Bacon

In this classic John Hughes comedy, two men are forced together with increasingly awkward results as they attempt to make it home by one means of transportation or another. With the combined comedic antics of Steve Martin and John Candy, it’s easy to forget anyone else was in the film at all. In one scene however, we get a glimpse of a young Kevin Bacon, who, despite only being credited as “Taxi Racer” and working with little screen time, manages to make an impression nonetheless. With a wicked grin and devilish sideways glances, he raced Martin’s character, Neal Page for what felt like the last vacant taxi in New York City.

#7:“Spider-Man 3” (2007)

Joe Manganiello

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that between all the web-slinging and crime fighting, Peter Parker is just a teenager trying to get through high school. And, unfortunately, like so many high schoolers, that means having to put up with a bully or two. In Parker’s case, that bully was Flash Thompson, who fans will remember from the comics as Peter’s classic tormentor. We first saw Joe Manganiello in the role back in the 2002 beginning of the trilogy, ridiculously outmatched when he picks a fight with Parker. Later, in “Spider-Man 3” we get a brief appearance of Flash at Harry’s funeral.

#6: “Remember the Titans” (2000)

Ryan Gosling

Set in 1971, this Jerry Bruckheimer produced outing is more than just the sports film it appears to be on the surface. Based on true events, the movie recounts the story of Herman Boone, a high school football coach, and his struggles in Alexandria, Virginia, to allow black students to play on the T. C. Williams High School football team. Alan Bosley, a player put in during an important play in a critical (if rigged) match is in fact a fresh-faced Ryan Gosling. While he doesn’t get much screen time, even then the Canadian heartthrob had undeniable magnetism and one of those faces you just can’t forget.

#5:“Zoolander” (2001)

Alexander Skarsgård

If you’re going to cast someone to be really, really … really ridiculously good looking, you can’t really do much better than Alexander Skarsgård. Considering this early 2000s Ben Stiller comedy boasts the likes of David Bowie, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Milla Jovovich, David Duchovny, and Vince Vaughn, you’d be forgiven for overlooking a big name or two. Skarsgård plays Meekus, one of Derek Zoolander’s beautiful roommates. Sadly, he is not long for the film, as, during a misguided gasoline fight intended to cheer up Derek, he perishes in a terrible fire.

#4: “Donnie Darko” (2001)

Seth Rogen

Not only did this cult classic give the world the most terrifying rabbit ever, it also brought siblings Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal to public attention. Even after multiple viewings though, what with all the metaphysical concepts and time travel talk, you just might’ve missed a young Seth Rogen. He plays Ricky Danforth, a student who bullies Jena Malone’s character at the bus stop, acts out in class and attacks Donnie and Gretchen on Halloween night. Basically… he’s a jerk. It’s an odd role to see the now well-known funny man playing, but hey, when you’re starting out… you take whatever roles come your way.

#3: “Sin City” (2005)

Nick Offerman

The tones are dark, the shadows are heavy, and to be honest... it took us a long time to spot him as well. Perhaps best known for his deadpan delivery and straight-talking turn as Ron Swanson on the American sitcom “Park and Recreation,” Nick Offerman had a small role in 2005’s neo-noir comic book adaptation of “Sin City.” When your character is a hitman sent to take out a Bruce Willis character – in this case, Detective John Hartigan – you know it can only end one way for you: badly. A man of few words, he is not long for the screen here, but next time you watch he’ll be unmissable.

#2: “Saving Private Ryan” (1999)

Nathan Fillion

This highly-respected war film also brought together a stellar cast of future all-stars, including Paul Giamatti, Bryan Cranston, and Vin Diesel, so this was a tough call. But the vote here had to go to fan-favorite character actor Nathan Fillion. While the Alberta-born actor seems to have a role (either live or voice) in nearly everything today, and is perhaps best known (or at least adored) for his role Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of the Serenity in the short-lived hit “Firefly,” back in 1999 he was Private James Frederick Ryan. Er, the other Ryan. Minnesota Ryan. Fortunately for this Private, it was just an unfortunate mix-up on the way to saving Matt Damon’s life. Again.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“City Slickers” (1991)

Jake Gyllenhaal

“Annie Hall” (1977)

Jeff Goldblum

“Species” (1995)

Michelle Williams

#1: “Apocalypse Now” (1979)

Harrison Ford

This Vietnam classic has a little of everything. And now you know it has Harrison Ford too. Two years off the set of “A New Hope,” then-newcomer Harrison Ford had yet to truly make the A-list. And with the dual powerhouse performances of Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando, this was an easy role to miss. Cast as Colonel Lucas (yes, that is a nod to George Lucas) he is one of the military officers who briefs Sheen’s Captain Benjamin L. Willard and gives his orders to assassinate the rogue Colonel Kurtz. Bespectacled though he may be, once seen you’ll wonder how you ever missed him!

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs