Have you heard of Alexander Rhodes?
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It doesn't ring a bell, eh? OK, we'll give you a hint: he's an actor and he was in the Dark Knight Rises and will be in Tom Cruise's forthcoming film, Jack Reacher. In fact, on the movie's IMDb page, Rhodes is listed above the Hollywood megastar and he's currently the eighth most popular celebrity across the extensive online database.
Still don't know who he is, right?
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Well, don't feel bad. Not many people know Alexander Rhodes. So how did he leapfrog Tom Cruise and get into the IMDb Top 10? Simple: Reddit.
Everything started when the actor, who's listed as "suspicious onlooker" for Jack Reacher, posted a comment on a Reddit thread that asked: "Where do they find those skinny guys for Holocaust movies?" Rhodes replied with a detailed response and explained that he knew the answer because he had worked as an extra in a few movies. Then he posted a link to his IMDb page as well as a "random photo" of himself.
Redditors found his picture and biography so amusing that they flocked to his IMDb page. Turns out the movie database ranks actors based on their profile traffic, and Redditors' visits made Rhodes more famous than his résumé might suggest.
An avid Redditor himself, as his Twitter profile says, Rhodes thanked the online community by posting a new thread: "I was a movie extra and posted a screenshot that got a lot of upvotes. Apparently they rank the cast based on profile traffic. Look at what you guys have done AGAIN..."
And Redditors are not be done yet. An operation to make him even more famous has been ongoing. Users started an hashtag, #rhodes2holllywood; there's a petition to get Rhodes' Twitter account verified; and a user posted a whole to-do list to make him a celebrity, including suggesting people tweet at celebrities, "in particular talk show hosts and late night personalities."
At this point, it's impossible to tell when the snowball will stop. We might soon see him sitting on the couch of a late night talk show rubbing elbows with so-called real celebrities. Maybe at that point everybody will know Alexander Rhodes.
This story originally published on Mashable here.