11 Famous Actors Who Started Out As Extras

Brad Pitt
Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Here are 11 famous actors who started out as extras

An extra is usually a person with no lines in a TV show or movie. If they do have a few lines, the person is often called a “bit player” or a “day player” instead of an extra.

If a major known actor is an extra in a movie, their non-speaking appearance will then be called a “cameo.”

But, not all celebrities started as big names in movies and television shows. Many began their work as an extra.

The famous people below all made one or more appearances as movie extras before they made it big in Hollywood.

Michael B. Jordan CreedLOS ANGELES, CA – November 19, 2015: Actors Sylvester Stallone & Michael B. Jordan with Carl Weathers (left) at the Los Angeles World premiere of “Creed” at the Regency Village Theatre, Westwood. (Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com)

1. SYLVESTER STALLONE

Sylvester Stallone was an extra in Woody Allen’s 1971 film Bananas as a subway mugger. He was also a plus in Jane Fonda’s 1971 psychological thriller, Klute, as a disco patron (uncredited).

Brad Pitt
Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

2. BRAD PITT

(Photo Above) In 1987’s Less Than Zero, Brad Pitt was an extra billed as “Partygoer / Preppie Guy at Fight.” He was paid 38 dollars for the role as an extra.

Clint Eastwood Angelina Jolie
Clint Eastwood & Angelina Jolie at the photocall for their new movie “Changeling” at the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival. May 20, 2008, Cannes, France. Picture: Paul Smith / Featureflash – Image (Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com)

3. CLINT EASTWOOD

In the 1950s, Clint Eastwood was an eager member of Central Casting. He was an uncredited extra in several films before breaking into leading man roles.

Renee Zellwegger
Renee Zellweger, in a Carolina Herrera dress, at talk show appearance for The Late Show with David Letterman-THU, Ed Sullivan Theater, New York August 20, 2009 (Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com)

4. RENÉE ZELLWEGER

Renée Zellweger was extra, playing one of the hazed freshman girls, in 1993’s Dazed and Confused.

5. JOHN WAYNE

In the 1920s, John Wayne was an extra in several silent films before his first starring role in 1930s The Big Trail.

Megan Fox
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

6. MEGAN FOX

Megan Fox was an extra in Bad Boys 2 (2003) as a dancer in a club scene. Michael Bay would later cast her in several of his other projects in the future.

7. JAMES DEAN

In Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comedy Sailor Beware (1951), James Dean was an extra with one line: “The guy’s a professional.”

Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

8. BEN AFFLECK &  MATT DAMON

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon (not pictured) were extras for the Fenway Park scenes in Field of Dreams (1989).

Rush Hour - Jackie Chan Chris Tucker
Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan at the Los Angeles Premiere of “Rush Hour 3”. Mann’s Chinese Theater, Hollywood, CA. 07-30-07 – Image (s_bukley / Shutterstock.com)

9. JACKIE CHAN

As a teenager, Jackie Chan was an extra in two Bruce Lee films: Fists of Fury (1971) and Enter the Dragon (1973).

M. Night Shyamalan
NEW YORK-MAY 29: Actor Bruce Willis (R) and M. Night Shyamalan attend the premiere of “After Earth” at the Ziegfeld Theatre on May 29, 2013, in New York City. – Image (Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com)

10. BRUCE WILLIS

Bruce Willis was an extra in the courtroom scene of Paul Newman’s 1981 film, The Verdict.

11. MARILYN MONROE

Marilyn Monroe is often referred to as an extra in her first-ever screen appearance, 1948’s Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! Marilyn Monroe has one line (“Hi Rad”) in the movie and can also be briefly glimpsed sitting in a canoe with another actress.

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