Sunday, May 3 by

They don’t quite possess the good looks and panache necessary to thrive as A-list leading men, and they haven’t yet been granted a role meaty enough to raise them up to supporting actor status.  They are the supporting actor’s supporting actor.  The character actors that populate a film with moving, emotional performances yet too often go unnoticed or remain the undistinguished “guy who was good in that movie.” 

We here at ScreenJunkies wish to honor a few of these unsung heroes of the silver screen.  It’s time to eliminate the question mark and give these outstanding thespians the recognition they deserve. 



Movies You’ve Seen Him In:
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
The Chronicles of Riddick

You may recognize him as The First Gentleman from this season of ’24,’ but Mr. Feore’s chiseled jaw line has been elevating the prestige of feature films for over two decades.  In the clip above, Colm shows Laura Linney the true definition of “give and take.”




Movies You’ve Seen Him In:
The Insider

When Bruce yells, “Wipe that smile off your face!” at Big Tobacco’s litigation team in The Insider my heart skips a bit.  It’s like daddy came home after a hard day’s work and caught you rifling through his liquor cabinet.  Lord knows that punishment was always steep…  




Movies You’ve Seen Him In:
Déjà Vu
A Few Good Men

Regardless of what you think of Disturbia as a movie, you have to admit that the opening sequence is staged surprisingly well.  Take the time to watch the clip above and I promise you won’t be disappointed.  To avoid spoiling it, Matt Craven takes a (blank) to the (blank) like a real champ. 




Movies You’ve Seen Him In:
Crimson Tide
Basic Instinct

Maybe George could acquire a higher status as an actor if he changed his last name.  It has too many Z’s and D’s in to be a leading man.  Until then, he’ll just have to continue being Michael Douglas’ and Denzel Washington’s right-hand man. 




Movies You’ve Seen Him In:
Spider-Man 3
Road to Perdition
Requiem For a Dream

Can we please just forget that Dylan played a pedophile in Todd Solondz’s Happiness already?!  Geez!  He didn’t molest Peter Parker in Spider-Man 2 or 3.  Even though he kinda looked like he wanted to…  Enjoy the comedic clip above!  




Movies You’ve Seen Him In:
The Shawshank Redemption
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
Demolition Man

I could go on about all the movies that Mr. Gunton has appeared in, but since he played Warden Norton in The Shawshank Redemption it doesn’t really seem necessary.  Or am I being too obtuse?




Movies You’ve Seen Him In:
The Break-Up
Best In Show
Fun with Dick and Jane

He’s a Christopher Guest regular, and a damn funny man.  No one can quite do ambiguous flamboyance like Mr. Higgins can, especially when it involves singing a classic Yes song in Vince Vaughn’s face in The Break-Up.




You probably remember him best as the victim of the “lust” sin in Se7en.  He killed some prostitute with a dildo/knife/belt…

Leland’s spastic and terrifying performance made us all believe his character killed a prostitute with a dildo/knife/belt.  Now let’s watch the opening credits of Se7en because they rule.



Movies You’ve Seen Him In:
The Last House on the Left
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
No Country for Old Men

Based on his most recent appearances, it’s apparent that Mr. Dillahunt enjoys wearing a cowboy hat, Last House excluded, of course.  His chilling performance as Krug got people to take notice of him, but his role as Tommy Lee Jones’ deputy in No Country is also a real winner.  




Movies You’ve Seen Him In:
Casino Royal

A classically trained theatre actor, Mr. Wright honed his skills on Broadway before bringing them to the big screen.  He puts everything into his performances, and while I’m not certain if he’s Method, he looks so much like Colin Powell it’s a little frightening:



Movies You’ve Seen Him In:
Charlie Wilson’s War
Michael Clayton

It seems like the world just recently discovered Mr. O’Hare, and it’s putting him in everything.  He’s right up there with Bruce McGill on the People-I-Would-Never-Want-To-Get-Scolded-By list.  In his tiny part in the beginning of Michael Clayton he shows George Clooney who’s the boss, damnit, and it’s not Tony Danza. It’s Denis O’Hare!




Movies You’ve Seen Him In:
State of Play
Garden State

Okay, maybe you haven’t seen Pathology, but you should because it’s good in a bad way.  And Mr. Weston plays a great psychopath in it.  He also embodies psychopath-like tendencies rather well in ‘Six Feet Under’ when he kidnaps David and makes him smoke crack.  I don’t mean to pigeonhole him, but the man can do crazy.





Movies You’ve Seen Him In:
Last Action Hero
Alien 3
The Golden Child

Charles Dance’s forte is a soul-piercing, icy stare.  Also, as we know from Last Action Hero, he has a nifty interchangeable glass eye.  That might have just been his character in the movie, but I’d like to pretend he always walks around with a yellow bull’s-eye eyeball.   





Movies You’ve Seen Him In:
The Game
My Cousin Vinny
Independence Day

Note: Watch for Dylan Baker all up in this clip

If a scene is in need of some comedic punch, Rebhorn brings the goods.  He always stands out with his Ichabod Crane-like stature and strong delivery.  He also always seems to be covering something up, whether it’s Area 51, or an elaborate game specifically tailored for each individual who plays it.  




Movies You’ve Seen Him In:
Silence of the Lambs
The Hills Have Eyes
Joy Ride

Need I say more than Buffalo Bill?  Sure, Mr. Levine has stared in other movies, but no other role compares to the one where he demands that lotion be put on the skin and then be placed directly in the basket.  As the voice of deranged trucker Rusty Nail in Joy Ride, he should have tol Paul Walker and Steve Zahn the same thing, just to make things interesting.

Any unsung actors YOU think deserve to be on the list?


Ian Sobel is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles and hopes to one day write fifteen films, each of which stars one of the above actors.  He has been reading The Secret a lot recently in hopes of making that all happen.

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