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Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

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Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Old 11-26-20, 08:45 PM
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Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

What actor or actress really gave an exceptional performance, even though he or she was only playing a minor character. To be clear, I don't mean a supporting character, but a character that only appears in at most two or three scenes in the entire movie?
Old 11-26-20, 08:54 PM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

I'll get the obvious one out of the way first. Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross.
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Old 11-26-20, 09:02 PM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

O. P. Heggie as The Hermit in Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Christopher Walken in True Romance
Christopher Walken in Pulp Fiction
Alec Guinness as King Faisal in Lawrence of Arabia
Old 11-26-20, 09:06 PM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Kevin Spacey in Se7en
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Old 11-26-20, 09:10 PM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Gas station owner who isn't killed by Anton Chigur

Last edited by Mrs. Danger; 11-26-20 at 09:21 PM.
Old 11-26-20, 10:32 PM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

I've always thought the motel clerk in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles gave an extraordinarily odd, dryly hilarious performance in a 60-second cameo.
Old 11-26-20, 10:57 PM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Bronson Pinchot in Beverly Hills Cop


Old 11-26-20, 11:48 PM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Alfred Molina in Raiders of the Lost Ark and in Boogie Nights
Old 11-27-20, 12:19 AM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now.
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Old 11-27-20, 02:02 AM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Julianne Moore in The Fugitive
Old 11-27-20, 04:28 AM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Matthew McConaughey in Wolf of Wall Street.
Dave Sheridan in Ghost World
Bill Murray in Zombieland
Tim Robbins in High Fidelity
Steve Buscemi in The Wedding Singer
Harland Williams in Dumb & Dumber
Murray Rubin in Ghostbusters
Diedrich Bader in Napolean Dynamite
Diedrich Bader in Office Space.
Chris Farley in Dirty Work
Chris Farley in Billy Madison
Old 11-27-20, 09:10 AM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Orson Welles - The Third Man
Gene Hackman - Young Frankenstein
Martin Scorsese - Taxi Driver
Ned Beatty - Network
William Hurt - A History of Violence
Old 11-27-20, 09:17 AM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Mike Yanagita in Fargo
Old 11-27-20, 10:11 AM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

I don't think that the villain qualifies as a minor character. So I would exclude Harry Lime and John Doe.
Old 11-27-20, 10:28 AM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys

and another vote for Spacey in Se7en
Old 11-27-20, 10:55 AM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Originally Posted by Paff View Post
Julianne Moore in The Fugitive
I mean, she's in it briefly, but would you consider that an exceptional performance?
"Hey, Do you have a particular interest in our patient's X-Rays?"
Old 11-27-20, 11:30 AM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Paul Kelly has a brief scene or two as Gloria Grahame's slightly looney husband in CROSSFIRE (1947). Minor character, brief screen time, but his scenes stand out for me more than any others in an otherwise star-packed film noir (Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Robert Young, Sam Levene, etc.).

Kelly's the one on the far right here. He and Gloria are staring each other down.


Old 11-27-20, 11:47 AM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Mark Strong - Body of Lies (2008) -- always thought he was fantastic in that small role - Oscar worthy in fact.
Old 11-27-20, 12:01 PM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road
Old 11-27-20, 02:40 PM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Janet Leigh in Psycho-How long was she on screen before she met here end in the shower scene?

Steven Seagal in Executive Decision

Samuel Jackson in Deep Blue Sea
Old 11-27-20, 05:21 PM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Originally Posted by TGM View Post
Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys

and another vote for Spacey in Se7en
Exceptional performances? Absolutely. Minor characters? Hardly. Spacey plays the main villain, and Pitt is the leader of the titular group, so no I wouldn't say they're minor characters. Supporting, sure, but not minor.

Now if you talk about Brad Pitt in True Romance...
Old 11-27-20, 05:22 PM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Ooh! Here's one!

Julia Butters in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
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Old 11-27-20, 06:31 PM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Ben Stein as the teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off
The disgruntled All-American Burger customer in Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Tommy Chong's father in the opening of Up in Smoke
Old 11-27-20, 06:37 PM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
I mean, she's in it briefly, but would you consider that an exceptional performance?
Apparently she had a bigger part but much of it didn't make the final cut. In her two or three scenes that made the final cut she did really stand-out. Her subsequent success has certainly proven that.
Old 11-27-20, 08:42 PM
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Re: Exceptional performances by an actor or actress playing a minor character?

Leland Orser never gets much love but his intense performances in both Se7en and Alien Resurrection are so damned memorable! He is the king of intensity!



Last edited by PatD; 11-27-20 at 08:50 PM.
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