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Top 10 Actors You Forgot Were In The MCU

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
These actors are famous in their own rights, but you may have forgotten that they were in the MCU once! In a cinematic universe this large, it's not all that surprising to see some of our favorite actors! We're talking Stanley Tucci, Justin Theroux, Olivia Munn, Christopher Eccleston, Tommy Lee Jones, Natalie Dormer and more! These 10 actors you forgot were in the marvel cinematic universe have hung out with our favorite superheroes and supervillains! Which one shocked you the most?

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This massive cinematic universe is overflowing with familiar faces. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Actors You Forgot Were in the MCU.

For this list, we’ll be looking recognizable actors who appeared in Marvel Cinematic Universe films, but who, due to their limited screen time, coupled with the sheer number of characters in the MCU, are often forgotten.

#10: Stanley Tucci
Dr. Abraham Erskine

Some of you may not know this respected thespian by name alone, but his face is sure to be familiar. A versatile and scene-stealing character actor, Tucci has three Emmys to his name, as well as nominations from the Academy Awards and Grammys. He’s most notably appeared in such films as “A Midsummer Night's Dream” and “The Lovely Bones”. As for his place in the Marvel universe, he played a crucial role in turning Steve Rogers into Captain America as Dr. Abraham Erskine. Though “Captain America: The First Avenger” is his only on-screen appearance to date, he’s received lip-service in subsequent films, having had a major impact on the franchise.

#9: Justin Theroux
A Random Cop

This American actor, arguably best known for his phenomenal work in “The Leftovers”, has made a habit of popping up in random roles. He plays the odd-looking evil DJ in “Zoolander” and appeared as the unnamed, suave-looking Master Codebreaker in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”. Between the two, he also made a blink and you’ll miss it cameo in “Iron Man 2” as a police officer. It might seem odd for Theroux to play such an unremarkable role, but he was already involved in the production, having written the screenplay. Interestingly enough, Theroux might almost have had a much more prominent in the MCU. Around 2013, rumors circulated that he was in contention to play the role of Doctor Strange.

#8: Olivia Munn
Chess Roberts

This actor is no stranger to superhero films, having brought the mutant known as Psylocke to life on the big screen as part of the X-Men franchise. Before her appearance in “X-Men: Age of Apocalypse” however, she played a far more modest role in the MCU - that of Chess Roberts, a television journalist with WHIH World News. Like Theroux, Munn cameoed in “Iron Man 2”, and though her time on-screen was brief, she helped provide audience members with context surrounding Tony Stark’s Expo. Olivia Munn is the type of performer who rarely fails to make an impact, but considering everything going on in this film, including the introduction of Black Widow, most people quickly forgot this minor role.

#7: Christopher Eccleston

This actor actually had a pretty major role in the film in which he appeared - that of the central villain! Malekith was the leader of the dark elves, who sought to cover the universe in darkness using the aether - which is really one of the infinity stones. Eccleston is a celebrated English actor, perhaps most famous for his role as the ninth incarnation of Dr. Who. Unfortunately for fans of the actor, he was unrecognizable under all the prosthetics, which reportedly took six hours of makeup. Add to that the fact that “Thor: The Dark World” ranks among the least well-regarded films in the franchise, and Christopher Eccleston’s involvement in the MCU tends to get overlooked.

#6: Michelle Yeoh
Aleta Ogord

James Gunn doesn’t waste a single role in his Guardians of the Galaxy films. Even if they only get a few minutes (or seconds) of screentime, tons of obscure characters have been jammed into the films, much to fans’ delight. But it’s the caliber of actors that he manages to line up for these cameos that’s most impressive. Ving Rhames as Charlie-27 was a real treat, but ultimately, we had to put the focus on legendary Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh. An icon of Chinese action cinema, she’s best known internationally for her role in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. In the MCU, she played the role of Aleta Ogord, a respected Ravager captain and the wife of Sylvester Stallone’s character, Stakar.

#5: Kate Mara
A U.S. Marshal

This talented actor has played a Marvel superhero, but sadly not in the MCU. Mara had the unenviable task of playing Sue Storm in Josh Trank’s much maligned 2015 reboot of the Fantastic Four for 20th Century Fox. Though few people remember it, she also appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as an unnamed U.S. Marshal who is tasked with serving Tony a subpoena to appear before congress. It’s a minor role, but one that the talented actor makes the most of. Again, if “Iron Man 2” weren’t so overstuffed with characters, we think she would have made a lasting impression, even with her limited screen time.

#4: Zachary Levi

This actor is a leading man, but apparently Marvel couldn’t see it when they cast him for this supporting role! Once best known as the titular hero of the NBC series “Chuck”, Zachary Levi’s star is now shining brighter than ever thanks to the success of DC superhero movie, “Shazam!”. Before he blew away critics and fans alike as the bright red do-gooder, he played Fandral for two films in the MCU. One of the warriors three, Fandral was originally played by “Once Upon A Time” actor, Josh Dallas. Unfortunately for fans of Zachary Levi, the character was rather unceremoniously killed off in Thor: Ragnarok”.

#3: Tommy Lee Jones
Colonel Chester Phillips

Tommy Lee Jones is a living legend. He won an academy award for his role in the 1993 film, “The Fugitive”, became a pop culture icon as Agent K in the Men in Black franchise, and earned critical acclaim for his role in “No Country for Old Men”. Though he has the range to play an oddball like “Two-Face”, he’s clearly at his best when portraying stern, stone-faced characters. So it’s safe to say that Colonel Chester Phillips was a perfect fit for him. The thing is, he plays the part of the military man so well, he blends into the WWII setting of “Captain America: The First Avenger” to the point of almost becoming a part of the backdrop.

#2: Ty Burrell
Leonard Samson

Calling “The Incredible Hulk” the black sheep of the MCU is an understatement. They recast the role of Bruce Banner, dropped pretty much all of the secondary characters, and did a drastic redesign of the titular gamma irradiated monster. As such, it kind of feels like the entire film has been forgotten, and the involvement of Ty Burrell, best known as Phil Dunphy on “Modern Family”, feels like a distant, half-forgotten dream. In the MCU, he played psychiatrist Leonard Samson. As comic book fans already know, in the source material, Doc Samson is a superhero in his own right. As far as the MCU was concerned however, he was just your classic everyman, which is perhaps why most of his scenes got cut.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Chris O'Dowd

Jenna Coleman

Adam Pally

#1: Natalie Dormer

No one could forget Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones, but when she stepped onto the scene in Westeros, did you recognize her from the WWII era MCU? Dormer appeared in “Captain America: The First Avenger”, in which she played Private Lorraine. Dormer certainly has a knack for playing seductive characters, and her MCU role was no exception; Lorraine attempted to put the moves on Steve Rogers, only to have her efforts utterly derailed by Peggy Carter. Dormer’s role in the MCU was an admittedly minor one, and considering what an instantly recognizable face she’s become in the years since, it’s honestly a shame that her talents were wasted on a character so easily forgotten!

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