In Hollywood film industry, supporting cast is also given equal importance as the main lead in the film because the filmmakers believe that a film’s success depends on upon the overall contribution of each and every member of the unit. Hence, there are many occasions in the history of Hollywood where supporting actors or actresses were praised better than the main lead of the film.
Today, we are trying to honor some of the best supporting roles enacted by the finest actors in Hollywood, who over the years have proved that no role is big or small and it’s all about the passion for cinema and the actor’s expertise to bind the audience during his or her screen presence. While most of these actors never got their fair share of success as the main lead, they did leave their impact in all their movies and remained the film’s supporting pillars for the most part of their careers.
Before we move on the list, you must understand that the difference between Main Lead actors and Supporting Characters in a particular movie is not about seniority or popularity of the particular actor. Also, unlike Bollywood, Hollywood doesn’t discriminate between positive and negative characters and treats them equal as an integral part of the movie.
Hence, out and out negative character of the film could be the main lead in the movie while the main protagonist may play the supporting role. The only way the characters are classified into the main lead and supporting cast is by their screen time and most importantly, if the whole movie is weaved around a particular character leading the audience throughout the film, then that’s the central character of the film.
But, today it’s all about the supporting cast and how well some of these actors have played smaller but equally important characters on the big screen and successfully stole the limelight from the central character of the film.
We have sorted out some of the best supporting actors and actresses who actually stole the show from the main lead in their films. Check them out as below:
Best Supporting Actors Outshines Lead Characters
Brad Pitt as Jeffrey Goines – 12 Monkeys (1995)
You might be wondering how is Brad Pitt on the list! Well, 12 Monkeys was released in 1995 It was based on Time Travel when Brad Pitt was not a big star he is today and the film’s central character was played by Bruce Willis. However, the portrayal of Jeffrey Goines was so brilliantly done by the young Brad Pitt that the actor received praise and accolades from everywhere. Playing the role of a mental asylum patient, Brad Pitt enacts a brilliant display of madness throughout the film. However, as you go through the whole movie, you realize that the character is not just a supporting one but something of much more importance.
Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit-Girl – Kick-Ass (2010)
Kick-Ass is a 2010 black comedy superhero film that displays the fantasy of every teenage superhero fan and desires to become one to fight crimes. Although, the main lead of the film is played by Aaron Johnson as Dave Lizewski, the character of ruthless vigilante Hit-Girl played by Chloe Graze Moretz completely blows your mind. Whether it’s her fighting skills, scare-free attitude or wit, the Hit-girl will keep you glued to your seats while she is on the screen.
J.K. Simmons as Terence Fletcher – Whiplash (2014)
Whiplash is a 2014 film about the relationship of a young ambitious Jazz student, Andrew Neiman played by Miles Teller and his arrogant, abusive music teacher Terence Fletcher played by J.K. Simmons. The film is also about the triumph of Andrew towards his goal against the pressure and abuse of his master, yet the scenes displaying the anger of the music teacher keeps you intrigued throughout the movie as well as makes you feel for the main lead Andrew in the film. Owing to the depth and brilliant act by J.K. Simmons, he grabbed the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in the film.
Christopher Walken as Nick Chevotarevich – The Deer Hunter (1978)
The Deer Hunter is a 1978 epic war drama film that talks about the story of Russian-American steel workers in Pittsburgh during the Vietnam War. Although the movie has brilliant performances by actors like Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, John Savage and others, it’s the magnificent act by Christopher Walken in a scene where he plays Russian roulette in an iconic fashion, which over the time became the trademark sequence of this 1978 classic.
Edward Norton as Aaron Stampler – Primal Fear (1996)
Well, all the actors on the list have displayed great acting skills and impressed the audiences throughout their career; however nobody has matched to the brilliance of Edward Norton in their debut film. Norton plays the sociopath Aaron Stampler in the 1996 crime thriller Primal Fear, who is shown having multiple personality disorder due to the abuse he faced at the hands of his father. Owing to the demands of his character, it is very thrilling to see Norton switch between an easy going, stuttering Aaron Stampler and the evil, violent sociopath Roy. Besides his brilliant take on these two different characters, the film is even today recognized as the one with the most disturbing and most importantly surprising ending.