The conventional wisdom is that being the protagonist is the ultimate role in a movie but many films have proved that does not necessarily mean that it is the best. The lesson is that sometimes supporting roles are just as—and occasionally even more—iconic as lead roles.
In this context it is shown that some supporting characters are so strong that the actors
who play them are catapulted to stardom. It is also proved that some are indeed breakthrough roles that stand out above the rest.
Samuel L. Jackson – ‘Pulp Fiction’ (1994)
John Travolta might have had more screen time and indeed he was a much bigger star
back then, but Samuel L. Jackson’s performance in ‘Pulp Fiction’ is as memorable as it
gets. He was nominated for an Oscar for it as well.
Emily Blunt – ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ (2006)
Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep might have taken center stage in the movie but Blunt’s character Emily Charlton was a very nice surprise.
The actress was not a huge star she is today when this film came out but this role was a real breakthrough.
Angelina Jolie – ‘Girl, Interrupted’ (1999)
Jolie’s role in ‘Girl, Interrupted’ really put the audiences on the edge of our seats. So much so, in fact, that she won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
Cuba Gooding Jr. – ‘Jerry Maguire’ (1996)
Stealing the show when one is placed against a Hollywood heavyweight such as Tom Cruise was not easy but Cuba Gooding Jr. managed to do it with his character, football player Rod Tidwell. His dialogue “Show me the money!?” has become an iconic dialogue
Brad Pitt – ‘12 Monkeys’ (1995)
Pitt’s character, Jeffrey Goines, is a psychotic mental patient and eco-terrorist who
manages to steal the show in this movie. Pitt was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a
Anne Hathaway – ‘Les Misérables’ (2012)
Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe were the Hollywood heavyweights in the movie but Hathaway’s performance as Fantine definitely stole the show.