7 Extras Who Became Famous

by Jan 31, 2018

Ahh, a day on set as an extra. Long hours, amazingly mediocre pay…but also some incredible learning experiences (not to mention Craft Service, amiright?) If you’ve never been part of a large-scale project, working as an extra for a day can be a fun way to learn a little more about what it’s like being on set. In fact, some very famous faces that we all know and love did their time working as extras on movies.

It’s funny how things change, and how with a little hard work, talent, and good luck you can make it from living off of granola bars on set for a day to living the dream. So to give you a little boost next time you’re working as an extra, here’s a list of seven famous actors who once stood in your shoes.


Renée Zellweger- Yep, before she became Bridget Jones and won an Academy Award for her performance in Cold Mountain, Zellweger was seen as an extra in Dazed and Confused directed by Richard Linklater. Her starring role? “Girl in a blue pickup truck.”

cb ReneeZellweger - CallBoard


Brad Pitt- Less Than Zero was Brad Pitt’s debut as an extra, where he played the coveted role of “Partygoer/ Preppie Guy at Fight.” And then things only went uphill from there!

cb BradPitt - CallBoard


Clint Eastwood- For about four years at the beginning of his film career, Clint Eastwood was working as an extra consistently! We especially love that he did so in the 1955 film Tarantula. If you’re wanting a good chuckle, go watch that movie trailer.

cb ClintEastwood - CallBoard


Sylvester Stallone- Rocky? Or a mugger on the subway? Both are equally intense and terrifying. The latter, though, was a role as an extra that Stallone played in Woody Allen’s 1971 production Bananas. Although no boxing occurs, Stallone does choke out an old lady with her own crutches. It’s pretty quality stuff. Check out the clip below.

cb SylvesterStallone - CallBoard


James Dean- Yep, in the 1951 film “Sailor’s Beware” James Dean was an extra with one whole line. Probably could have just retired then and there, but it’s kind of cool that he went on to do the Rebel Without a Cause thing too.

cb JamesDean - CallBoard


Charlize Theron- Want to watch a creepy horror movie that also showcases Theron as an extra? Look no further than Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest. Doesn’t the title just sound cheery?

cb CharlizeTheron - CallBoard


Bruce Willis- Another who worked as an extra relatively often at the start of his career was Bruce Willis. One of the most notable films he worked as an extra in during this time was The Verdict in 1981.

cb BruceWillis - CallBoard

What valuable things have you gained from working as an extra? Please comment below. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up on a list like this someday.

Sources for this article
  • https://www.backstage.com/galleries/9-famous-actors-who-started-extras/8
  • https://www.ranker.com/list/actors-who-started-as-extras/matthewcoleweiss
  • http://mentalfloss.com/article/29936/19-famous-people-who-started-extras


  1. Stephanie Stewart

    I want to be a extra

    • CallBoard Support

      Hey Stephanie! Luckily it is pretty easy to get started as an extra on set. I would start by checking our current auditions list: https://callboard.com/see-auditions/

      If you find any opportunities that you are interested in feel free to create an account with us so that you can apply for extra work!


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