Manny Jacinto In "Top Gun: Maverick" And 23 Other Stars Who Were Cast And Then Given Literally Nothing To Do

Actors — even the biggest ones— can get phased out of the final cut of a movie for all sorts of reasons.

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Maybe something in the news leading up to the film's release caused a part to be retooled, even if it was already given to a big name (like in Mr. & Mrs. Smith). Or perhaps, the studio simply wanted as many big names as possible, even if the actors were playing bit parts (like in plenty of Star Wars and Marvel movies).

The most common reason, of course, is that scenes simply get cut. But whatever caused these big names to have tiny (or nonexistent) roles in the final cuts of blockbuster hits, at least they already had plenty of great movies/TV shows on their resume.

Manny Jacinto was in Top Gun: Maverick, but just barely.

Manny Jacinto  poses for an IMDb portrait session

Since this is such a new movie, there are only rumors as to why Manny Jacinto (best known as Jason Mendoza from The Good Place) is seemingly just an extra in the latest Tom Cruise action film.

While there's nothing wrong with being in the supporting cast, Jacinto was often walking the red carpet leading up to the film's release, suggesting that he may have had a bigger role at some point. The movie did take about eight years to complete, so there's likely plenty of storylines that shifted in that time.

Jacinto can be seen in the Top Gun hangar where the pilots first meet Maverick, on the beach during the football scene, and in the classroom. He is also one of the pilots doing push-ups during the first few training sessions with Maverick.

Rich Polk / Getty Images for IMDb, Kevin Winter / Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

Rebecca Hall was originally meant to be the main villain in Iron Man 3, but her role was changed (and greatly reduced) when the studio decided a female villain's toy wouldn't sell as well.

Rebecca Hall talking to Iron Man

Rebecca Hall, known for her work in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Prestige, and Christine, was supposed to be the first main female villain in a Marvel movie. But the president of Marvel Studios at the time, Ike Perlmutter, didn't think they'd make as much money in toy sales:

"There was an early draft of Iron Man 3 where we had an inkling of a problem. Which is that we had a female character who was the villain in the draft. We had finished the script, and we were given a no-holds-barred memo saying that cannot stand and we’ve changed our minds because, after consulting, we’ve decided that toy won’t sell as well if it’s a female. So, we had to change the entire script because of toy making." —Shane Black, Uproxx

If you rewatch the movie, it becomes much more obvious that Hall's character was simply split into two (Guy Pearce's Aldrich Killian became the main villain). Hall's character invents the technology that Pearce's character abuses, with Hall eventually dying. It's easy to imagine a version of the script in which those are a single character, with the inventor of the technology simply being the villain.

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Angela Bassett's role in Mr. & Mrs. Smith was reduced so much that now only her voice is in the movie.

Angela Bassett posing on a red carpet

You'd think that if you landed a name like Angela Bassett in your movie, you'd go to any lengths to feature her prominently. But right before Mr. & Mrs. Smith came out, people could only talk about one thing: Brangelina.

With everybody talking about how Mr. & Mrs. Smith was the movie Brad and Angelina met on, the filmmakers focused on the pair as much as possible. So Angela Bassett, who played Brad Pitt's boss, was almost entirely cut. Now you can only hear her voice in one brief scene.

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Chris Cooper was cut from The Ring because audiences wanted to see more of him.

Chris Cooper smiling for a portrait photo

No really. In an early cut of the movie, Chris Cooper was a murderer who appeared at the beginning and ending of the movie. In later interviews, Cooper implies that his character attacks someone in the beginning of the film and is killed himself at the end.

But when they ran test screenings of the movie, Chris Cooper was such a big name and great actor that he was only a distraction. Since he opened the movie, audiences wanted to know what happened to him throughout the movie. And when he finally came back at the end, it only took away from the core story of The Ring. So ultimately, he was completely removed.

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Serena Williams was in Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra.

Serena Williams shouts in excitement during a tennis match

Tennis legend Serena Williams voiced Ming in Avatar and a sage in Korra. Williams is a huge fan of both shows, and her character Ming is a small yet memorable fire-bender who shows Uncle Iroh sympathy while he's in prison.

Williams showed that she was a talented voice actor in both roles, but she's only appeared in one episode of each show. As such a big fan (she even points out plot holes on Twitter — minor spoilers) and massive celebrity, she could bring much more to the franchise than she already has.

Maybe with a new live-action Avatar show coming soon to Netflix, we'll see more of Serena Williams' acting talent.

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Speaking of the Avatar franchise, Rami Malek was also in The Legend of Korra.

Rami Malek at the Oscars red carpet

The Oscar-winning actor played Tahno in three episodes of Korra in 2014. He didn't have many other credits to his name (most notably, Night at the Museum and some video game voice acting roles) before getting Mr. Robot in 2015, which launched him to fame.

It's a shame Korra didn't get a chance to utilize more of Malek's talent, but he certainly made the most of his role.

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Judy Greer is barely in Jurassic World.

Judy Greer on the red carpet for the premiere of Jurassic World

Judy Greer has been a movie star since the '90s, best known for her roles in Jawbreaker, Arrested Development, and 13 Going on 30. Now that she's also a writer, director, and producer, she's probably got plenty on her plate. But still, her extremely small role as the mom in Jurassic World reminds me of Chris Cooper's story being cut from The Ring — I just wanted to see more of her.

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In the four hours of Zack Snyder's Justice League, Henry Cavill's Superman has just 13 lines of dialogue.

Henry Cavill as Superman in the theatrical release of Justice League

Even if you're not a comics fan, it's hard to think about the Justice League without picturing Superman. And while the Snyder cut of Justice League has plenty of characters with their own arcs at over four hours long, Superman is barely in it.

While it makes sense that the filmmakers would want to hold off on bringing back a superhero who can do almost anything until late in the movie, Henry Cavill is such a good Superman that it's hard not to want to see more of him.

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Not only is John C. Reilly in Guardians of the Galaxy...

John C. Reilly in Guardians of the Galaxy, talking to Glenn Close's character
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...Glenn Close is, too!

Glenn Close in Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel is certainly not above putting high-caliber actors in small roles (just look at Matt Damon in Thor: Ragnarok or Garry Shandling in Iron Man 2), but most feel like parts that are meant to be "thrown away." But John C. Reilly and Glenn Close's parts are just involved in the plot enough that I'm really hoping they come back for the third Guardians of the Galaxy.

I mean, Close was nominated for eight Oscars; only nine other people in history have been nominated for more (for acting, that is). At the very least, she should make another cameo, but fingers crossed her and John C. Reilly play more involved roles as Nova Corps members in the future.

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Michael Stuhlbarg was that super forgettable doctor in Doctor Strange.

Michael Stuhlbarg as a doctor in Doctor Strange

The dad from Call Me By Your Name and the main character of A Serious Man, Michael Stuhlbarg is a phenomenal actor who usually pulls more weight in a movie than he did in Doctor Strange. His whole character's purpose is to be jealous of the titular doctor, but the conflict between he and Strange doesn't amount to much.

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Ewan McGregor was in 2006's Stormbreaker for about six minutes.

Ewan McGregor driving a car in Stormbreaker

Also known as Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker, this teen-spy movie has a wild cast that includes Alicia Silverstone, Andy Serkis, Bill Nighy, Damian Lewis, Robbie Coltrane, Stephen Fry, and Mickey Rourke. Ewan McGregor also makes an appearance as Alex Rider's uncle, though he's only in a quick action scene at the beginning and quickly killed off just six minutes into the movie.


Natalie Dormer makes an extremely brief appearance in Captain America: The First Avenger.

Natalie Dormer as Private Lorraine holding a newspaper in Captain America

To be fair to the filmmakers of Captain America, Dormer wasn't in Game of Thrones until the following year. However, she'd already wrapped up her first claim to fame — playing Anne Boleyn in The Tudors — by the time she landed the role of Private Lorraine in Captain America: The First Avenger.

After such impressive work in The Tudors, it's hard not to feel like she was underutilized as the "blonde who makes Peggy Carter jealous." After pulling Steve into a corner and throwing herself on him, she disappears from the entire MCU.

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Sofia Coppola played Queen Amidala's handmaiden in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.

Sofia Coppola at an awards show

In a blink-and-you-miss-her role, Sofia Coppola plays one of Padmé Amidala's handmaidens in The Phantom Menace. She joined other soon-to-be stars who wore those orange robes, such as Rose Byrne and Keira Knightley.

Admittedly, in 1999, Sofia Coppola wasn't yet the household name she is now. While we now know her as an auteur in her own right, back then, she was usually referred to as Frances Ford Coppola's daughter. But Sofia Coppola released her debut film The Virgin Suicides later that same year. Since then, she's no longer simply called someone else's daughter.

"I asked George if I could come and watch the shoot, and he asked if I wanted to be in the royal entourage. […] I'm at the back with a hood on and you can't really see me. I don't even remember what my character was called." ―Sofia Coppola, Empire

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Max von Sydow opens Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and immediately dies.

Max Von Sydow leaning against a rock wall and looking into the camera for a photo

Most people would know Max von Sydow as the Three-Eyed Raven from Game of Thrones, though his most lasting legacy comes from working with the filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. Von Sydow plays Lor San Tekka, who gives Poe Dameron a piece of a map leading to Luke Skywalker.

To have such a powerhouse actor open up one of the biggest movies of all time, you'd think he'd stick around for a while. But nope, Kylo Ren quickly takes care of Lor San Tekka.

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Andy Serkis's Supreme Leader Snoke introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens wasn't the big bad everyone thought he'd be.

Cindy Ord / WireImage, Disney /

Andy Serkis first shot to fame as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and he's since directed, starred in Marvel movies, and of course, delivered many more memorable motion-captured performances.

So when it was announced that Serkis would be playing the shadowy Supreme Leader Snoke in The Force Awakens, we all figured he'd play a pivotal role. But after minimal screen time in The Force Awakens, his death in The Last Jedi, and a confusing explanation for his existence in The Rise of Skywalker, things didn't quite pan out the way we (and maybe Andy Serkis) expected back in 2015.

BB-8 initially had an actual voice, and that voice was Ben Schwartz.

Ben Schwartz attends a Sonic the Hedgehog premiere

At the end of the day, only the editors of The Force Awakens really know how much of Ben Schwartz's voice makes up BB-8's beeps and boops. He was initially approached by J.J. Abrams to read actual lines which would be fed through a synthesizer. The filmmakers felt that sounded too odd, and tried a bunch more techniques before settling on BB-8's final "voice."

At some point, Bill Hader also stepped in to help, and Schwartz has said that more of Hader is in the final cut. Though, as he explains in this video, Schwartz's line readings were apparently helpful during the film's editing. While it's hard to hear much of Schwartz or Hader in the final cut, that just means they and the sound editors did their jobs right.

Charley Gallay / Getty Images for Paramount Pictures, Disney /

Simon Pegg played Unkar Plutt in The Force Awakens.

Simon Pegg waves at the audience on a talk show

Simon Pegg is no stranger to sci-fi franchises that start with "Star." He's Scotty in the Star Trek movies and co-wrote Star Trek Beyond. He's actually not a stranger to Star Wars either. He and Nick Frost made this video; he played a bounty hunter in The Clone Wars, voiced C-3PO in Phineas and Ferb, and voiced a character in the Star Wars: Battlefront video game.

So it's no wonder that he wouldn't mind starring in The Force Awakens, even if it meant he was unrecognizable, played a small role, and had to wear a massive suit in the desert.

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Thomas Brodie-Sangster is also in The Force Awakens, for even less screen time than Simon Pegg.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster as a First Order officer in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Faster than you can say "Thomas Brodie-Sangster," the actor from Game of Thrones and The Queen's Gambit flashes on screen as a First Order officer.

For a lot of these Star Wars roles, of course, the actors know that they're only getting bit parts. Some, however, feel that these small roles should go to background actors who don't get paid the same large sums that movie stars do.

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Daniel Craig plays the stormtrooper that sets Rey free in The Force Awakens

Daniel Craig attends the Bond 25 film launch at Ian Fleming's home

For the final Force Awakens role that took a massive celebrity and put them in an extremely small role, this one is perhaps the most well-known. Rey uses the Force to get a stormtrooper to free her from her restraints, leave her his gun, and walk away. It's a quick scene, but the man behind the helmet was James Bond himself, Daniel Craig.

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J.K. Simmons was a pretty inconsequential Jim Gordon in the theatrical cut of Justice League.

J.K. Simmons as Jim Gordon in the theatrical cut of the Justice League

He got some more screen time in the Snyder Cut, but the original Justice League had barely any of J.K. Simmons' Jim Gordon. We would've seen more in the Batman movie starring Ben Affleck, but that was cancelled. So all we get from the Whiplash and Spider-Man actor is a few brief scenes and a lovely mustache.

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Rachel McAdams isn't in much of the first Doctor Strange.

Rachel McAdams as a doctor performing a procedure in Doctor Strange

Fortunately, this was made up for in Multiverse of Madness. The sequel to Doctor Strange saw the love of the doctor's life return and have a more prominent role. In the first movie, we didn't see much of her.

While other big name actors in the movie like Tilda Swinton and Mads Mikkelsen had weighty roles that they could do plenty with, McAdams was given a pretty standard "hero's girlfriend" treatment.

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Edward James Olmos's 60-second scene in Blade Runner 2049 didn't add much to the movie.

Edward James Olmos wearing a white shirt and bowtie in Blade Runner 2049

Edward James Olmos delivered one of the best lines in the original Blade Runner, but his quick appearance in the sequel felt more obligatory than necessary. Ryan Gosling's character goes to see Olmos while searching for information about Deckard, but all Olmos tells him is that Deckard liked being alone and is probably isolating himself from the world. Doesn't seem worth it for the Oscar-nominated actor, but better an unnecessary scene than not having him at all.

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Who else was underutilized in a movie role? Let me know in the comments!