16 Celebs You Never Realized Were In Your Favorite Movies

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Share

While it sometimes seems as if movie stars come out of nowhere to suddenly take over the industry, that's almost never the case. Even the most famous actors struggled for years with small roles before getting their big break, and some of their earliest parts were in super popular movies... except practically no one noticed. There are loads of celebs you never realized were in your favorite movies, and some of them will really surprise you.

The bulk of these appearances consist of actors early in their career, but that doesn't mean they're all kids. While some stars got their start when they were very young, others were adults when they got into acting. And like I said before, a lot of these would-be-stars worked hard for years and took whatever roles they could before finding one that made them a household name. There are also some stars on this list who were already established but took on a role that required them to be unrecognizable. Think Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street. If he hadn't removed his disguise in that film, few would have recognized the actor during his surprising cameo.

So take a look below at 16 big stars who had roles in some of your favorite flicks, and see if you can actually remember seeing any of them.

1Chris Hemsworth In 'Star Trek'

Giphy

Before he was Thor, the Aussie actor had a brief role in this reboot playing James T. Kirk's (Chris Pine) dad.

2Melissa McCarthy In 'Charlie's Angels'

Giphy

The comedian briefly shows up in this action/comedy, where she fawns over — and then insults — Lucy Liu's character.

3Matt Damon In 'Mystic Pizza'

MGM

Many fans think Damon got his start with 1997's Good Will Hunting, but he actually showed up nine years earlier in this cult favorite.

4Nick Offerman In ‘Sin City’

Miramax

That bleached blond badass is in fact Ron Swanson.

5Miley Cyrus In 'Big Fish'

Columbia Pictures

Before she was even Hannah Montana, a young Cyrus popped up in this fantasy film, where she was credited as "Destiny Cyrus."

6Seth Rogen In ‘Anchorman’

DreamWorks Pictures

This tiny role of cameraman helped keep Rogen busy with Judd Apatow in between Freaks & Geeks and Knocked Up.

7Jonathan Banks In 'Airplane!'

Paramount Pictures

The Breaking Bad star was in this classic comedy nearly three decades earlier — and he had hair.

8Glenn Close In ‘Hook’

TriStar Pictures

Yep, that bearded fellow is none other than the super famous actor.

9Jonah Hill In 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin'

Giphy

Before becoming a full-fledged member of the Apatow crew, Hill cameoed as a boy desperate for some sweet platform boots.

10Elizabeth Banks In 'Spider-Man'

Sony Pictures

The future megastar portrayed Betty Brant in all three installments of the original Spidey trilogy.

11Daniel Craig In ‘The Force Awakens’

Walt Disney Pictures

The poor stormtrooper upon whom Rey plays the Jedi mind trick? Yep, that's James Bond.

11Ellen Pompeo In 'Catch Me If You Can'

Gifs

Pre-Meredith Grey, Pompeo was a flight attendant in this fun caper.

12Elijah Wood In 'Back To The Future Part II'

Universal Pictures

That's little Frodo playing video games in pseudo future 2015.

13Ryan Gosling In 'Remember The Titans'

Giphy

Before "Hey, girl," Gosling was just another high school jock.

14Joe Manganiello In 'Spider-Man'

Sony Pictures

That's a far less-jacked (yet still intimidating) version of the eventual Mr. Sofia Vergara portraying iconic comic book bully Flash Thompson.

15Keira Knightley In 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace'

Lucasfilm

Before her big break in Pirates of the Caribbean, Knightley had a small role in another huge franchise.

16Ben Affleck In 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'

20th Century Fox

Not exactly a meaty role, the future Batman was credited as "Basketball Player #10" in this cult classic.

As you can see, sometimes stars show up in the most unexpected places — like right under your nose in your favorite movie.