Behind every famous actor is a completely unique story about how they “made it” in Hollywood. Some entertainers are born into the business, while others work for years to establish a name for themselves. One of the first major hoops for an actor to jump through while building their career is obtaining a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) membership. Many actors do this by participating in extra work in movies and television. After three days working on a SAG production, actors are automatically eligible to get their SAG cards.

Background work is also a great way for actors to pay the bills while they’re auditioning for parts and honing their craft. In fact, many huge stars started out by being an extra in major movie and television productions. If you look really closely, you might even spot them in some of your favorite films. Sometimes, they’re barely recognizable — you’ll see a bit of their shoulder, or a vague silhouette in the background. It’s often a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment.

While these actors ended up becoming A-list talent, it’s still cool to think about how at one time, they were just young performers at the beginnings of their careers. Everyone gets their start somewhere, and oftentimes, an actor’s first on-screen appearance happens way before they hit their big break. Who knows how many future stars are hiding in the background of today’s movies and TV?

Keep reading below to learn about these 12 stars who began their acting careers by being extras in movies and television.

12 Actors Who Started As Extras In Movies And Television

These famous actors all began their on-screen careers with uncredited roles in movies and TV.

10 Actors Who Were The Second Choice For Iconic Movie Roles

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