The act of appearing in a single scene can be a difficult and demanding business. There are times when the development of these supporting characters has to compete with that of the main character. The one-scene-wonder is usually meant to do double duty by advancing the plot and providing some light amusement. Because of the film’s poor execution, it is difficult to believe that one is actually watching it.
1. Cameron Diaz – The Mask
Her first scene in the movie The Mask, which was directed by Jim Carrey and released in 1994, made an indelible impression on audiences. When Diaz, who plays the gangster’s moll Tina Carlyle, entered Carrey’s bank wearing a damp red dress, she stunned the audience as well as Carrey’s protagonist Stanley Ipkiss. The scene focuses more on Diaz’s charms than on her acting, but the rest of the movie shows that she had more to contribute than just her looks.
By the late 1990s, Diaz had established herself as one of the most bankable actresses in Hollywood, and she continued to be a draw at the box office until 2014. (as she stated explicitly in her 2018 confirmation). This is the scene that Diaz’s admirers remember the most, despite the fact that she had many high-profile jobs and was praised for them over the next 20 years.
2. Matthew McConaughey – Dazed & Confused
In the film Dazed and Confused, Matthew McConaughey played David Wooderson, a stoner who rose to fame. Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Parker Posey, Adam Goldberg, Joey Lauren Adams, and Renee Zellweger were some of the actors whose careers were launched by the film, but Matthew McConaughey was not one of them. After saying “All right, all right, all right,” he picks up Pink (played by Jason London) and Mitch (Wiley Wiggins) and puts them both on his shoulders. With roles in films such as Lone Star, A Time to Kill, Contact, and Amistad, McConaughey established himself as a highly sought-after actor. Since then, the sequence from Dazed and Confused has become McConaughey’s signature piece of work. Even when he was accepting the Oscar for Best Actor in 2014, he made reference to it.
3. Brad Pitt – Thelma & Louise
In Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise, which went on to win an Academy Award, Brad Pitt made a brief appearance as the dashing drifter J.D., which caused quite a stir. Even though he only appears in the movie for seven minutes, he manages to leave audiences curious about who this exceptionally handsome young man was. Which scene was it that turned him into a Hollywood hottie? When he takes off his shirt and shows Thelma (Geena) his six-pack before the two of them have their momentous sexual encounter. After nearly 30 years, Pitt’s shirtless performance in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is just as impressive looking. Thelma & Louise catapulted him to the top of the Hollywood food chain with his portrayal of a slick con man with hidden agendas.
4. Terry Crews – White Chicks
Despite being a terrible film, White Chicks was instrumental in increasing Terry Crews’ popularity around the globe. Crews was given a place of honor in the pantheon of pop culture thanks to the scene in White Chicks in which he sang Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles.” Crews’ dynamic performance, singing loudly and shaking his head to the instruments, is the film’s funniest scene and put him on audiences’ radars. Before landing the role of Terry Jeffords on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Crews had spent years working as a supporting actor in a variety of comedic and action movies. Without his meme-worthy role in White Chicks, who knows?
5. Johnny Depp – A Nightmare On Elm Street
In the movie “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” Johnny Depp was cast in the part of Glen, the boyfriend of Heather Langenkamp, who was played by Nancy Thompson. He took his close friend Jackie Earle Haley with him to the audition, and he ended up getting the job anyway. There are many awkward early roles for A-list performers to be found in horror films, but Johnny Depp’s is fine. Glen is best known for his strange, violent death scene in Freddy’s dream, as he is pulled into his bed and his blood shoots out like a geyser.
It is one of the most memorable deaths in the genre, and it was largely responsible for putting Depp on the radar of Hollywood casting agencies. His acting career took off after he appeared in 21 Jump Street playing the role of undercover detective Tom Hanson. It’s possible that Depp’s professional life would have taken a different path if he hadn’t gone to Haley’s audition.
6. Shannon Elizabeth – American Pie
It was American Pie that served as the springboard for the acting careers of Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Alyson Hannigan, Natasha Lyonne, and Tara Reid. Shannon Elizabeth caused a stir in the role of Nadia, an exchange student from the Czech Republic who Jim (Biggs) is obsessed with. Her most famous scene is the movie’s centerpiece when Nadia “studies” at Jim’s house, and he sets up a webcam to broadcast the shenanigans. Nadia invites Jim to undress with her, but he has two premature climaxes, both of which are captured on video and viewed by everyone at the school when the video goes viral.
7. Christopher Mintz-Plasse – Superbad
Fogell is a nickname given to Superbad because it is one of the most memorable comedies of the past 20 years. McLovin is a character that will live on forever (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). McLovin was immortalized at the moment where Fogell shows his bogus ID to buy wine as a 25-year-old Hawaiian organ donor named “McLovin.” Because of the absurdity of Fogell’s ID and the way it contrasted with his innocent appearance and nerdy demeanor, he is considered a classic of the genre.
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