The world of cinema is filled with all types of acting roles, from leads to supporting roles to background extras. It would be impossible to tell these stories and make films without every part of the whole, no matter how insignificant each role may seem.

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Some actors have stayed in supporting roles for years or even decades, despite their incredible talent and popularity with movie fans. Many of them brought their supporting characters to life so well that they became known as sidekicks. And while it’s fun to see these actors in movies as villains, best friends, and background roles, it’s about time they gave fans what they want and moved into the lead role.


Alison Janney

Alison Janney has been in the acting business for a very long time. She made her official stage debut in 1989 and her breakthrough role came in 1999 as CJ Cregg on the hit television show The western wing. Since then she has played numerous supporting roles in films such as 10 things I hate about you, american beauty, Junoand the role in which she won an Oscar – I Tonya.

I Tonya cemented Janney’s acting prowess and proved that she is a master of comedy. As Tony Hardinghis loud-mouthed, profane mother, LaVona Golden, Janney killed it in the roll of his life. Janney stole the show in the film about the infamous leg kick that shook the world. And with over 100 acting credits and numerous awards, it’s comedy time with Allison Janney.

Lakeith Stanfield

Lakeith Stanfield steals every scene he’s in with his charming good looks and on-screen presence that mesmerizes the camera. His performances have also been part of some of the best films of the past decade, such as Go out, Unpolished gemsand knife out.

Stanfield is no stranger to a stellar supporting role that adds nuance to any film he stars in. Unfortunately, he has only landed leading roles in a few lesser-known films. He fully immersed himself in surrealist black comedy Sorry to bother you as Cassius, a man trying to make a name for himself in a hyper-capitalist America. Stanfield has proven he can carry a movie alone.

Naomi Harris

Tia Dalma is one of the most recognizable characters in the Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise. Naomi Harris became a mysterious, mystical diviner through and through, while simultaneously capturing the monstrous pull of Calypso, the sea goddess. She has appeared in dozens of films over the years, mostly in supporting roles such as 28 days later, Venom: Let there be carnageand moonlight.

Harris shines on screen, outshining her co-stars in almost every scene she stars in. Despite being incredibly adept at playing villains and anti-heroes, she deserves more starring roles in bigger films. She possesses phenomenal acting talent and becomes what she plays to the bone.

Paul Dano

Paul Dano has made a career out of playing the eccentric and unsavory characters in films like It will be blood, prisonersand OK yes. With his schoolboy looks contrasting with his quirky personality, he can embrace almost any character who lives on the edge.

Dano shot into mainstream audiences with his role as the Riddler Matt ReevesThe Batman. His talents brought the Batman villain to life in a way that had never been shown on screen before. Instead of turning the Riddler into some goofy psychopath, Dano turned the character into something completely creepy and sinister. He also perfectly complements any actor he works with, proving that Dano has so much more to offer in the film world than just being a villain.

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John Turturro

Many film fans can point to this John Turturro in any background or in a supporting role in a number of films he has been in – but not many ever remember his name. However, Turturro deserves great respect for having starred in some of the most successful and critically acclaimed films of all time: Barton Fink, transformersand The big Lebowski.

While Turturro has had a few leading roles throughout his career, they are overshadowed by his many memorable supporting roles. It’s hard to categorize his best performances because he brings something unique to each of them. It’s his turn as Carmine Falcone The Batman made him long overdue for some lead roles.

Sonoya Mizuno

Most people recognize Sonoya Mizuno as the beautiful cyborg in Ex Machinawho peels off her skin and dances along Oscar Isaak in a neon pink room. That’s understandable since, despite all the robotic murders and chilling AI romance, she’s one of the most memorable parts of the entire movie.

Mizuno also had roles in Crazy rich Asians, destructionand The domestics. And in every movie she’s in, it gets more frustrating to only see her as a background character. She’s got the screen presence and quiet actress nuance that’s been around for decades, but she’s yet to have any defining leading roles.

Peter Stormare

Ah, Peter Stormare. The Russian cosmonaut who boldly saves Ben Affleck in Armageddon. The guy who feeds Steve Buscemi‘s body into a wood chipper Fargo. And the actor who plays the devilishly unconventional Lucifer in it constantine. Stormare is a man of many talents, most of them in the form of quirky, chaotic society members in the film.

Stormare has acted in almost every great film imaginable. One role he has yet to conquer, however, is a leading role. It’s hard to understand because he’s unforgettable in every role. He created some very iconic characters like Karl Hungus in The big Lebowski and Czernobog one American gods. He’s even conquered video games — in 2015 he played the menacing therapist Until dawn.

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Catherine Hahn

let’s be honest Catherine Hahn is one of the funniest actresses of modern cinema. She has incredible comedic timing and can even pull it off Kate HudsonThe characters of seem a bit boring, as in How to lose a man in 10 days. Not only is she quick-witted, but she also has incredible dramatic acting talent that makes every character sharp with her subtle weaknesses.

However, Hahn has been in supporting roles throughout her career. She has appeared in dozens of romantic comedies and television shows, but Disney’sWandaVision is what propelled her into mainstream audiences. Her role as Agatha made sure we needed a Kathryn Hahn movie ASAP.

Raul Kohli

The upcoming glory of Raul Kohli has been running for a few years now. Not only is the man funny (check out his Twitter account), but he has some serious acting skills. His breakthrough was on the television show iZombieand he went on to play characters on the hit Netflix shows, The Haunting of Bly Manor and midnight fair.

Kohli has paid his acting duties and shown audiences that he can play both funny and serious roles with great success. He has great potential to move into other genres and bigger films. Kohli is also a die-hard nerd and proud to be openly obsessed with it war of stars, everything related to science fiction and video games. What’s not to love?

Julia Fox

Julia Fox is unlike many other actresses. She only had one starring role in one movie Unpolished gems, but she kicked it out of the park and became one of the most memorable parts of it. She also made headlines by getting involved KanyeWest and taking over the fashion world before moving on to more acting jobs.

Nonetheless, her charismatic screen presence is palpable. The Safdie brothers The fear-ridden masterpiece of a movie allowed Fox to portray both the chaos and tranquility of Howie Ratner’s Tempest. With her stunning face made for the big screen and her ability to steal scenes, she’s perfect for a starring role in the future.

READ MORE: 10 of the Strongest Supporting TV Characters of the Last Decade

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