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10 Supporting Actors Who Stole The Scenes They Were In

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10 Supporting Actors Who Stole Every Scene They Were In

Sometimes the most memorable part of a film isn’t the lead or even the story – it’s that supporting actor who just blows you away every time they appear. Here are 10 supporting actors who stole the scenes they were in.

1. Robin Williams as Dr Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting

If there’s one guy who always steals the show it’s Robin Williams. It’s just what he does. He’s that damn good.

And although he’s known for his improvisation, there are few times it worked better than in Good Will Hunting.

Not only did he improvise the entire routine about his wife farting in her sleep – causing both Matt Damon and the cameraman to genuinely crack up – he also ad-libbed his final words in the film, “son of a bitch… he stole my line”.

Damon loved it so much he said it was “Williams’ best contribution to the movie” and they kept it in.

2. Mark Wahlberg as Sergeant Dignam in The Departed

Next on our list of supporting actors stole scenes is Marky Mark himself. In a film with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson, it’s hard to imagine anyone stealing their thunder. But Wahlberg hijacked every single scene he was in – so much so, he went on to score an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Not bad for a guy who cursed and insulted his way through a 2.5hr film.

3. Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada

This might be a cheeky one since some people argue that Streep and Hathaway shared the lead. Technically though, Hathaway was the lead, which means we can still include Meryl’s performance in The Devil Wears Prada as a scene-stealer. And it really was. 

From the way she commands attention with barely more than a whisper, to the cutting remarks delivered with a tiny self-amused curlicue of irony, Streep’s performance was mesmerising from beginning to end.

That’s all.

4. Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight

Thinking about this performance still gives us chills.

Ledger famously took a “method acting” approach to this role, isolating himself in a hotel room for 6 weeks while perfecting the Joker’s chilling laugh and voice.

It resulted in one of the most iconic, menacing performances of all time though, and bagged him a posthumous Academy Award.

5. Jena Malone as Johanna Mason in The Hunger Games

She may not get as much screen time as a lot of other actors in this trilogy, but boy, does she make her time count.

From her first scene stripping naked in an elevator, to her last promising to cover while Katniss slips away to kill President Snow, Jena Malone played the part of Johanna perfectly.

Sassy, confident, rebellious, strong… and madder than a honey badger on steroids.

6. Rhys Ifans as Spike in Notting Hill

Rhys Ifans is sixth in our list of supporting actors stole scenes. It’s been over 20 years since Notting Hill’s release, but we’re still in love with the  hapless-but-lovable roommate who almost scuppers Will’s chance with American actress, Anna.

Rhys Ifans’ character, Spike, is a lights-are-on-but-no-one’s-home kinda guy. Ifans hapless portrayal is just spot on though, delivering epic one-liners with perfect comedic timing.

7. Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds

Waltz was fantastic in Django, but he was iconic in Inglourious Basterds.

In the film, he’s known as The Jew Hunter – and if we said he made our skin crawl it’d be an understatement.

But when an actor really makes you feel something, you can only tip your hat and congratulate them for a job well done – especially when it won them an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Plus, he also received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Landa.

8. Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas

The most famous (and certainly the most quoted) scene in Goodfellas is when Tommy DeVito (Pesci) jokingly-yet-uncomfortably accosts Henry Hill for calling him “funny.”

Pesci is also responsible for coming up with the premise after he had a similar personal encounter.

His performance earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, but Pesci said just five words after accepting the award (“It’s my privilege. Thank you.”), thus delivering one of the shortest Oscar acceptance speeches ever.

According to Pesci, the speech was so brief simply because he didn’t expect to win.

Now that’s funny.

9. Anne Hathaway as Fantine in Les Misérables

Although Hathaway was on-screen for just 15 minutes, she managed to make jaws drop and hearts break with her powerfully devastating performance.

She famously took method acting to the next level by cutting off all her hair and losing 25lbs on a diet that she referred to as “starvation”.

And although they did upwards of 20 takes of the iconic ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ performance, it was the fourth attempt that made the cut. Done in one take with a live vocal rendition, we can’t help but be thoroughly impressed.

10. Leonardo DiCaprio as Arnie Grape in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Although Depp plays the lead role in this film and does so admirably, it’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s depiction of an autistic teenager that steals every scene.

The fact is, DiCaprio’s performance as Arnie Grape is simply sublime. From the improvised ‘nose flick’, the subtle hand gestures and mannerisms, to the way he blinks just that little bit slower and ever so slightly out of sync.

This is the kind of talent that you just can’t teach. You either have it or you don’t.


And that’s our list of ten supporting actors stole scenes. Are there any we missed out that you would like to have seen on the list? If so, leave us a comment below.


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9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies

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Wayne's World image
Paramount Pictures

There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.

1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)

Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.

2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.

3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)

You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.

4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)

Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.

5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)

Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.

6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)

I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.

7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)

This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.

8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)

We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.

9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)

Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.


That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.


Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.

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