This morning, I was watching 2002 spy comedy Bad Company when I noticed quite a few familiar faces that I would have never recognized in 15 years ago. Gabriel Macht (Suits) and Kerry Washington (Scandal) had a major role in the film while Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) had an uncredited role.
It’s quite common for actors who are trying to make it in Hollywood to have a bit role or even one without a spoken line. Here are some of my favorite appearances by actors before they made it big.
Brad Pitt – Less Than Zero
Before he was scalping Nazis or aging in reverse, Pitt was partying with Robert Downey Jr., James Spader and Andrew McCarthy in this 1987 adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same name. According to IMDb, Pitt was paid $38 for the uncredited cameo.
Nicolas Cage – Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Hey bud, let’s party! This was Cage’s first on-screen appearance, and he wasn’t even credited as Nicolas Cage, but instead, his real name, Nicolas Coppola. He worked with Brad (Judge Reinhold) at the All-American Burger.
Casey Affleck – American Pie
Forever living in the shadow of his brother Ben, recent Oscar-winner Casey was in both American Pie and American Pie 2 as Tom Myers, the older brother to Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) who mentors Kevin on multiple occasions. Affleck was uncredited in the first film, but not the sequel and while Affleck has a role in Good Will Hunting two year prior, he wasn’t as well-known until the Oceans series came out.
Zach Galifinakis – Heartbreakers
Before achieving fame with the Hangover trilogy, Galifinakis was the best friend to Jack Withrowe (Jason Lee) in this 2001 comedy about a mother-daughter con artist combo who fall into trouble when the daughter falls in love.
Eva Mendes – A Night at the Roxbury
Will Ferrell is literally standing on the altar, about to get married when he starts hitting on Mendes, a bridesmaid, in her on-screen debut. Ferrell and Mendes would later play a married couple in The Other Guys.
Dave Franco – Superbad
Apparently people do forget. James Franco’s younger brother plays Greg, a soccer player who is unfortunately reminded by Jonah Hill about the time that he peed his pants.
Kevin Hart – The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Hart played a role in one of the funnier scenes in The 40-Year-Old Virgin as an unruly customer.
Dane Cook – Mystery Men
Before Cook was taking forever to get to the punchline in his stand up or took on lead roles as an actor, he was the Waffler, who was hoping to use his Griddle of Justice to join William H. Macy, Ben Stiller and the rest of the Mystery Men.
Bill Paxton – The Terminator
Paxton would eventually star in films such as Aliens, Apollo 13, and Titanic (along with constantly being confused for Bill Pullman). Before that, however, he was a blue-haired punk who got beaten up by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Jeff Goldblum – Annie Hall
Sixteen years before Jurassic Park, Goldblum was partying with Woody Allen and making a phone call because he “forgot his mantra.”