Famous Actors Who Made Unexpected Movie Cameos

Celebs August 3, 2018 By Hugo

There's no business quite like like show business. That has been Hollywood's mantra for many years, and in that sense, you can't fault their honesty. After all, where else would you find a talentless family making billions from reality tv? Or sub-par actors appearing in god-awful romcoms and making millions?

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It's a land of haves and have-nots, but for those that make it, the rewards are endless- just like the lives these 10 stars now lead. However, even they had to start somewhere, even if that meant starring in films that have long been forgotten. In a few cases, the roles were actually pretty good for the then-up and coming actors, but can you remember any of them?

Find out as we take you through a series of unexpected, megastar cameos.


1. Ryan Gosling - Remember The Titans

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Ryan Gosling is a bonafide megastar, from roles in cult indie flicks like Drive, Blue Valentine and Half Nelson to timeless box office smashes such as Crazy, Stupid, Love, La La Land and The Big Short. With such a stellar career, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Canadian heartthrob had it easy the moment he set foot in Tinseltown- but that wasn't the case.

Despite entering the industry at a young age, (he starred alongside Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera in Disney's Micky Mouse Club) it wasn't until Gosling was cast as Noah Calhoun in Nick Cassavetes adaptation of The Notebook that he finally started catching the attention of Hollywood.

And despite Cassavette's belief that Gosling was perfect for the role because he wasn't that handsome, Gosling would actually go onto become one of Hollywood's most attractive stars, a far cry from his days nabbing bit-part roles in films like Clash of the Titans.


2. Johnny Depp - Platoon

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Johnny Depp's career has been so incredible it's almost hard to imagine he started out just like any other jobbing actor. And in many ways, he didn't. After jamming with Nicholas Cage, the Leaving Las Vegas star suggested he took up acting and gave him the details of his agent. From the get-go, Depp landed a string of small, but notable roles, including the war movie Platoon.

The film actually had a lot of stars who would go on to big things, such as John C. McGinley, Forrest Whitaker, and Kevin Dillon. However, it was Depp's character Lerner, the titular platoon's translator, that today's viewers will notice before anyone else.


3. Elijah Wood - Back to the Future Part II

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The cherubic face of Elijah Wood adorned billboards all over the world when Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy took the box office by storm, but a blockbuster trilogy didn't make Wood's career. Starting out as a child actor, Wood was already landing prominent cinematic roles, including a part in the second instalment of the much-loved sci-fi series, Back to the Future Part II. 

The guy who would be known as "Frodo" to millions of nerds played a cheeky child who couldn't understand the value and brilliance of vintage arcade video games.


4. Keira Knightley - The Phantom Menace

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The British actress famously asked her parents for an agent at 5-years-old, and 7 years later, she was appearing alongside Natalie Portman playing Queen Amidala's handmaiden Sabe in the ill-received Star Wards reboot, The Phantom Menace. 

Such was her canny resemblance to Portman: both mothers reportedly had a hard time telling the two apart. Funny fact: Producers incorrectly spelt Keira's name as "Kiera" in the end credits.


5. Seth Rogen - Donnie Darko 

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Rogen has pretty much been typecast as the nerdy stoner dude, so it was refreshing to stumble upon a time when he was a jobbing actor and little else. In Donnie Dark, for instance, he played a high school bully called Ricky, and he was convincing in the role, so much so that you'd wish Rogen would give dramatic acting another go.


6. Matt Damon - Eurotrip 

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"Scotty doesn't know, Scotty doesn't know!" Remember that ridiculously catchy song in the 2004 movie, Eurotrip? It was the soundtrack to the crass, teen comedy with a threadbare plot but a song that had everyone singing along as Matt Damon belted out the lyrics clad in outrageous punk clothing.

Proving what a top guy he is, the actor agreed to be in the movie as a favour to his friends. One more time now: "Scotty doesn't know, Scotty doesn't know, oh Scotty doesn't knowww." 


7. Hayley Jole Osment - Forest Gump

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"Run, Hayley, run!" It just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it? While the titular role went to Tom Hanks- considering he was far more age-appropriate- everyone's favorite child actor from the 90's did, however, land himself a small part playing Forest's 6-year-old son. At age 6, it would be Hayley's movie role.


8. Jim Parsons - Garden State

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Basically playing a caricature of his future, beloved character Sheldon Cooper, Jim Parsons put in a similar performance to his Big Bang Theory character when he played a socially awkward, misunderstood young adult in Zac Braff's indie flick, Garden State.


9. Sam Rockwell - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 

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Sam Rockwell is the indie darling of Hollywood, but long before he made a name for himself in films like Moon, his filmography wasn't as curated, as evidenced by his roles in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The American thespian played the ringleader of a group of gangsters linked to the Foot Clan.


10. Jake Gyllenhaal - City Slickers

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Isn't he all grown up? Well, technically, but not in this photo! Beleive it or not, Jake Gyllenhaal wasn't always a handsome leading man. In his youth, he was simply an aspiring child actor like many of his peers growing up in Los Angeles.

The only difference between Gyllenhaal and other kids, however, was that his parents happened to be leading figures in the film industry, which allowed Jake an early foot in the door, with films like City Slickers one of many films a young Gyllenhaal performed in. 


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