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Three Hollywood Stars That Began As Movie Extras

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When it comes to acting, no role is a small role. Have you ever looked at extras in the background of a film and thought, “Hey, that’s a famous actor!”? Many of your favorite actors probably had two seconds on screen in their first flick while pursuing their dream.

Among The Future

In 1993, Dazed and Confused hit theaters, and the cast was filled with future stars. Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, and Milla Jovovich are among those featured in the film. Another star that wasn’t listed in the film was Renée Zellweger. The Texan had her eye on Hollywood, but at the age of 24, she found herself struggling.

Gramercy Pictures

She had some roles in a few low budget films that probably never saw the light of day. Luckily, she landed the nonspeaking role of Nesi White. Director Richard Linklater stated that she could’ve landed the bigger role of Darla Marks. “She’s technically a featured extra, and we met her really late and had cast most of the movie, and it was between her and Parker Posey for that part. We went with Parker, but [Renée] would’ve been good,” he told The Daily Beast.

A Stallion Of Roles

Sylvester Stallone may be one of Hollywood’s biggest acting stars, but he originally got his start in Switzerland. While in the country, he filmed his extra role in 1969’s Downhill Racer. Due to his physical appearanceStallone was featured in MASH and Lovers and Other Strangers the following year.

United Artists

In 1971, he gained two more extra roles in Woody Allen’s Bananas and Jane Fonda’s Klute. His final role as an extra before landing a starring role was in 1972’s What’s Up, Doc?

Chan’s The Man

Jackie Chan’s acting career will always be connected to Bruce Lee. Chan began his career as a stuntman, and his talents led him to work on Fist of Fury and Enter The Dragon as an extra. At the time, Chan was completely starstruck with being about to work with Lee.

Warner Bros.

While shooting his Enter The Dragon scene, Lee struck Chan in the face. Chan was simply glad his idol cared about the situation. “As soon as the director shouted cut, he threw the sticks down and rushed to me. I was used to getting hit. I got hit every day as a stunt guy – I got punched, I got kicked. But when I saw him running towards me, I pretended [I was hurt],” he said in a 1997 interview.

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