BySam Plank, writer at
"You have to be what you are. Whatever you are, you gotta be it." -Johnny Cash. Tweet a tweeter at my twitty twitter, @tw1tterintw1t
Sam Plank

How many times have you sat down to watch a movie, and at least one time said to yourself, “that actor/actress looks so familiar! Where have I seen him/her before?” Chances are, plenty of times!

Chances are, you've never said that when you saw a younger Ben Affleck, a skinny Matt Damon, and a younger (even more that she is now) Selena Gomez. Everyone knows where they've seen THEM before. Usually those words are reserved for when you see a lesser-known actor; the actor that plays “that guy” or has that small role in what seems like every movie ever made. These are the faces that itch at our memories!

Here's a list of some very well known actors in some of there not very well known roles!

Warning: some of these made my, well...

1. Orlando Jones - Office Space

Orlando played Steve, the magazine salesman, who was, but then wasn't addicted to crack. He makes one heck of a sale, at the expense of Peter, who ended up buying 40 subscriptions to Vibe to keep Steve quiet about his little money laundering scheme.

2. Joe Manganiello - Spider-Man

How can you forget the scene where Peter kicks Flash's butt in the original Spider-Man? And until now, I had no clue whatsoever that Joe Manganiello, famous for True Blood and Magic Mike, was Flash!

3. & 4. Zoe Saldana (and Taryn Manning too, I guess) - Crossroads

Crossroads, or the “An Hour of Britney Spears Singing and Trying to Act” movie, was pretty unforgettable. I have no idea why I've seen it...I was 23 when it came out...but let's not talk about that. Pretty much everyone who has seen it and is reading this right now had forgotten about it, and might actually be mad at me for bringing it up.

Zoe (Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Avatar) and Taryn (8 Mile, then 13 years of nothing except Sons of Anarchy and Orange is the New Black) starred with Britney is this coming-of-age...never mind. Here's a car scene from it:

5. Michael Cera - Switching Goals

This is a movie starring Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, and is a story about...wait for it...twin girls!

Oh yes, I did!

It's a little more than that, believe it or not. The Olsen girls play identical twin sisters, one who is a star soccer player and a tomboy, but would like to be able to attract boys. The other is more into fashion and girly-girl stuff, but wants to be better at sports. In the end, after some switching places and heated soccer games, lessons are learned and both girls get a boy. Neither of which is Taylor, who is played by Michael Cera:

6. Eric McCormack - Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

Another movie starring the Olsen twins! Eric played the dad in this movie about twin girls whose Great Aunt Sophia is trapped and cursed by her own twin sister, Agatha, who is evil and really, really mean. The only way to save their good aunt is to team up and whip up some magical spells!

7. Angela Bassett - Kindergarten Cop

Before American Horror Story, Stella, and about four million other movies and shows she's starred in, Angela was a flight attendant in Kindergarten Cop!

8. Ellen Pompeo - Catch Me If You Can

She really wanted Leo to be her deadhead!

A fun little fact from People Magazine:

On her first day playing Leonardo DiCaprio's lover in Catch Me If You Can, Ellen Pompeo "had to have a simulated sex scene," she told the Chicago Tribune. "I can't say it was difficult, but it was a little awkward – sex with Leo on my first day."

9. Damon Wayans - Beverly Hills Cop

Playing a character who gives the one and only Eddie Murphy free bananas? Not a huge role, but who can say they got their start by helping Axel Foley? While that classic 80s drum music was playing? Followed by Axel F music? Not many!

10. Ben Affleck - Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie) & Field of Dreams

This was another jaw-dropping moment for me. Not only did he have an uncredited role as Basketball Player #10 in Buffy, but he was in Field of Dreams, too? With Matt Damon?! I wasn't able to find the scene that showed them, but it's all over the it must be true! Here's the Fenway Park scene that they appear in, somewhere:

MAN that scene gives me chills every time!

11. Matt Damon - Mystic Pizza

Matt got his start playing the role of Steamer in Mystic Pizza, a coming-of-age 1988 film about three teenage girls who worked in a pizza parlor in Mystic, Connecticut. It also starred Julia Roberts, so that's one hell of a good start, Matt!

12. Josh Hutcherson - Zathura: A Space Adventure

This 2005 movie definitely wasn't his first appearance, but it was one of the younger Peeta's first big movies. Before he stole our hearts and gave Jennifer Lawrence burnt bread in The Hunger Games, he went on a huge, well, space adventure:

He played Walter, and Kristen Stewart was his sister, Lisa.

Oh, hey! Speaking of Bella-

13. Kristen Stewart - The Thirteenth Year

K-Stew plays the HUGE part of a girl in line for a fountain-

Sorry about the extra long intro...whoever made that video apparently likes her.

Before Bella and even Zathura, Kristen got her start in this uncredited role in a movie about a kid who turns into a mermaid-boy on his thirteenth birthday. Chez Starbuck, the mer-kid, only has 6 credits to his resume on, so it looks like Unknown Water Fountain Line Girl came out on top!

14. Jussie Smollett - The Mighty Ducks

Starring in Alien: Covenant in 2017, and currently in Empire, Jussie got his start in a TV movie, A Little Piece of Heaven, in 1991. The next year, The Mighty Ducks picked him up!

Catch up with all the Ducks in this video-

15. Selena Gomez -Spy Kids 3D: Game Over

Selena's first IMDB entry is Waterpark Girl from Spy Kids 3, who pays Juni Cortez to find out why all the water is missing from her waterpark. Even though it isn't her waterpark.

Hey, not all of us can get our start giving Eddie Murphy bananas!

16. Tom Felton - The Borrowers

Tom is one actor that I just figured didn't exist until Draco sneered and appeared on Harry Potter, but apparently, he had a few credits before then! His first was Peagreen Clock, in The Borrowers. Just look at that red hair!

Terrible quality, but you can still make out Draco in there.

Want to see an even bigger list?
Head over to and check it out!

Can you think of any more surprise roles for huge stars? Let me know in the comments!


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