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mac wonder boys.jpg

24 Now Famous People You Didn't Know Were In Movies You've Seen

By Petr Navovy | Lists | February 23, 2016 |

By Petr Navovy | Lists | February 23, 2016 |

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.

Look, see:
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That’s not Ruffalo; that’s Fanning.

And, also, in the same movie, Mr Bardem:
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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
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Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Clay Davis) in The Spanish Prisoner and Goodfellas (with bonus Kevin Corrigan)
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Chris Messina in Rounders
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Cuba Gooding Jr. in Coming To America


Kerry Washington in Mr. & Mrs. Smith
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Cynthia Nixon in Amadeus
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Chris Bauer (Frank Sobotka) in The Devil’s Advocate

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Viola Davis in Out Of Sight
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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
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Claire Danes and Joaquin Phoenix in U Turn
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Dean Norris (Hank from Breaking Bad) in The Last Seduction and Total Recall
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Spinal Tap bonus:
Ed Begley Jr.

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Paul Schafer
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Dana Carvey
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Billy Crystal
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TV bonus:
Baby Gus Grimly and Fassbender in Band of Brothers!

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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.