In case you can’t tell, that jabroni up there in the header pic is Mac (sure, his ‘actual’ name is Rob McElhenney, but no it isn’t — it’s just Mac) in 2000’s underappreciated Wonder Boys.
I bring that up because I fell into a bit of a rabbit hole the other day. I was watching Collateral for about the eighth or ninth time — because I love Collateral — and, just like every single time I watch that movie, I was surprised that Mark Ruffalo was in it. He just disappears into the Detective Fanning role so damn well that it can’t be just me who forgets that he’s in this.
That’s not Ruffalo; that’s Fanning.
And, also, in the same movie, Mr Bardem:
Anyway, this led me down a slightly tangential rabbit hole. His role in Collateral happened around the time Mark Ruffalo was just about breaking through into our collective movie-watching consciousness (Eternal Sunshine was that same year), so which other movies had now-famous people star in them that at the time wouldn’t have registered? We’ve done this before , but not with this bunch of faces.
So strap yourself in and feast on these mind biscuits!
Kate Mara in Brokeback Mountain
Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Clay Davis) in The Spanish Prisoner and Goodfellas (with bonus Kevin Corrigan)
Chris Messina in Rounders
Cuba Gooding Jr. in Coming To America
Kerry Washington in Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Cynthia Nixon in Amadeus
Chris Bauer (Frank Sobotka) in The Devil’s Advocate
Viola Davis in Out Of Sight
Adrien Brody in Natural Born Killers (he’s the cameraman)
Gerard Butler in Tomorrow Never Dies
Portia deRossi in Scream 2
Giancarlo Esposito in The Usual Suspects
Claire Danes and Joaquin Phoenix in U Turn
Dean Norris (Hank from Breaking Bad) in The Last Seduction and Total Recall
Spinal Tap bonus:
Ed Begley Jr.
Baby Gus Grimly and Fassbender in Band of Brothers!
Petr Knava plays music and he also had a brief role as the original cinematic Iron Man before Robert Downey Jr. swooped in and took all the credit. Maybe.