10 Popular Lead Stars Who Were Once Extras

It’s safe to say that being successful, rich, and famous cannot be achieved overnight. It’s not a push of a button that when you do, you’ll suddenly have it. Maybe for the children of rich people? Even so, we still need to start at the bottom and climb our way up. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that even the brightest stars in Hollywood experienced struggles before earning the fame and fortune they possess today.


Before we got to know him for his acting credit in blockbuster movies such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith and the 1994 film, Interview with the Vampire, Brad Pitt, an Academy Award-winning actor, initially played as an extra. With that said, the part in question is as the “Partygoer / Preppie Guy at Fight” in the 1987 film Less Than Zero. According to Project Casting, he received $38 for the less significant role.


As someone who has been in the business for almost three decades, Renée Zellweger has already proven herself to be an actress with an incomparable degree of skill. She did not just prove that by winning an Academy Award, but by also starring in various box office hits like Shark Tale and Bridget Jones’s Diary. However, before the glitz and the glam, she was an extra in the 1993 film Dazed and Confused, playing the part of a hazed freshman.


One of the most notable actors to ever appear on the screen, John Wayne wowed us in every acting project he had, and for that, he’ll forever be remembered. Some of his notable films are The Sons of Katie Elder, The Longest Day, and True Grit, for which he received a Best Actor trophy from the Academy. Before landing starring roles in these movies, though, he experienced being an unrecognizable actor in the 1920s.


She received recognition for her acting credits in the Transformer franchise, Jennifer’s Body, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. However, prior to stardom, Megan Fox was an extra in the 2003 film Bad Boys 2, where she was seen as a dancer in the club. Since then, she’s had the chance to work on projects such as The Battle of Jangsari, Till Death, and is also set to star in an upcoming film titled Big Gold Brick.


If you haven’t heard, these two are childhood best friends. They have been together through ups and downs and even won an Academy Award together. How about that for a friendship? However, before Affleck garnered a high degree of recognition for his take on Batman and Damon for his performance as an astronaut stuck on the planet Mars, these buddies were extras in the 1989 film Field of Dreams.


Iconic! Just by hearing her name, this word always comes after. She was one of the most sought-after actresses in the 1950s and starred in various films like Some Like it Hot, All About Eve, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Before attaining an incredible degree of fame, Marilyn Monroe was an extra in Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!, a 1948 film that was also her first screen project. For sure, she didn’t take time memorizing her lines – or line, rather – as she only uttered “Hi, Rad” in the entire film.


Before scratching his head in memorizing long dialogs from his three starring movies like Rebel Without a Cause, Giant, and East of Eden, the gone-too-soon actor James Dean had only one line in Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin’s 1951 film Sailor Beware — “The guy’s a professional.”


Before receiving acting credit in films like The Karate Kid, Kung Fu Panda, and Rush Hour, a teenage Jackie Chan appeared in a couple of Bruce Lee movies: Enter the Dragon and Fists of Fury. Now, he is known as an action star who performs stunts like it’s his first and last.


In the 1971 film Bananas by Woody Allen, Stallone played a subway mugger. He’s also an extra in Klute, a psychological thriller film starring the award-winning actress Jane Fonda. Now, he’s an actor known in innumerable film franchises like The Expendables, Rocky, and Rambo.


Last but will never be the least, Clint Eastwood. Before becoming one of the most promising leading men in the history of the film industry, Eastwood experienced not getting any credit for his numerous works. Now, no one dares to cast him out as he’s an actor who has four Golden Globe Awards, four Academy Awards, and an AFI Life Achievement Award.