Supporting characters usually get a bad rep. They’re often dismissed as a necessary evil and characters that hang around for no other reason than to carry the plot forward. They interact with the main character so we can help understand why the protagonist does what he does, while giving us little to no information about the supporting character.
Sometimes, however, supporting actors knock it way out of the park. They completely own their character and steal the screen every time the camera’s pointed at them. Let’s take a look at some of those supporting actors.
Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
We know nothing about the Christopher Nolan’s Joker, and we didn’t really need to. While Heath’s wasn’t the most true to the comics Joker we’ve seen in movies, he is generally considered to be one of the best to take up the role. He won an Oscar for his role posthumously, and it was much deserved.
Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs)
Anthony wasn’t even on screen for 20 minutes in this movie and people still remember his performance more than Jodie Foster’s Clarice Sterling. If that’s not amazing method acting, I don’t know what is. This movie proves that Anthony Hopkins will always be one of the great actors of his time.
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile)
Never in my life has an actor made me feel this much respect for a prison inmate. Michael Clarke Duncan probably moved everyone with his amazing performance in what was supposed to be a Tom Hanks movie. It felt like Tom Hanks was the supporting character at times.
Christian Bale (The Fighter)
We already know Christian Bale is great, but he completely stole all attention from Mark Wahlberg in this amazing movie. While Christian Bale is more than capable of carrying a movie on his own, his ability to be a great supporting character isn’t any less awe-inspiring.
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
Look, Christoph Waltz is always going to be an amazing character, despite never really being the lead character of the movie. He’s mastered the art of being a great supporting character and that’s probably one of the reasons why Quentin Tarantino seems so keen on including him in nearly all his movies.
Brad Pitt (12 Monkeys)
This sci-fi movie saw Bruce Willis go back in time to prevent a global catastrophe. Brad Pitt was the support character that was supposed to guide Bruce Willis through a time he didn’t know, but he ended up becoming the most interesting character in the movie.
John Goodman (The Big Lebowski)
There’s only two things people remember about The Big Lebowski: the amazing Jeff Bridges at the peak of his art, and John Goodman being the best supporting character this movie could’ve wished for.