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Top 10 Scene-Stealing Supporting Characters

The “Ice Age” is a massively popular movie series for family, with each entry making millions the world over. The fourth movie, “Continental Drift,” is already a hit around the world, but one of the most enduring legacies of these movies is they have always been hijacked by one of the supporting characters who carries his own subplot.

10. Scrat (Chris Wedge) - Ice Age Series

Lets start this list by looking at the character who influenced it, Scrat the Saber-toothed Squirrel. Since the start of the “Ice Age” series in 2002, Scrat and his quest for his nut has always been a highlight of the movies. Scrat has provided some of the best silent, physical comedy and he is easily the most popular character from the series.

9. Gollum (Andy Serkis) - Lord of the Rings Trilogy

“They stole it, they stole the precious. My Preciousssss!” Gollum was one of the most popular and interesting characters in the Lord of the Rings novels and Peter Jackson and Andy Serkis brought the strange creature to life. Using first-rate motion capture, Serkis gave an entertaining and compelling performance, bringing to life Gollum with his split personality and flexible motives. More on Serkis later.

8. Staff Sergeant Dignam (Mark Walhberg) - The Departed

Mark Wahlberg has shown real comic talent in The Other Guys and Ted, but it all started with his supporting role in The Departed. Walhberg delivered some of the most witty lines and had a great interaction with the other actors, particular Alec Baldwin. The Departed would have still been a great movie without Walhberg, but he offered an extra flavor.

7. Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) - Inglourious Basterds

Before being cast as Colonel Landa, Christoph Waltz was a television star in his native Austria. Afterward, he became an Oscar-winning actor whose services are now coveted in Hollywood. Waltz oozed a dark charisma as the self-serving villain in Quentin Tarantino’s rewriting of history. He was a stand out performer in a movie that featured Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Mélanie Laurent.

6. Les Grossman (Tom Cruise) - Tropic Thunder

Tom Cruise is in the news a lot at the moment and has been the source of media ridicule for years. But he is a good actor, most of the time, and in 2008 he played against type in the comedy Tropic Thunder as the vile Hollywood executive Les Grossman. Cruise has some of the best and most crude lines in a very funny comedy and satire of Hollywood.

5. J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) - Spider-Man Trilogy

J. Jonah Jameson is one of the most memorial supporting characters in all the versions of "Spider-Man" he has appeared in. The casting of J.K. Simmons was pitch perfect, playing a slurry cheapskate on a mad crusade against Spider-Man. Simmons was so popular in the role that there was speculation he would respire the role in The Amazing Spider-Man and offered his voice in the atrocious Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon.

4. Caesar (Andy Serkis) - Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The other motion-capture performance by Andy Serkis on this list is as Caesar the Chimpanzee in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. For a mostly silent performance, Serkis was mesmerizing as Caesar, bringing out the emotions of the character through his facial expressions and body language and allowing the audience to get absorbed in his struggle. There was an Internet campaign to get Serkis an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor and it could easily be argued that Caesar was the main character of the movie.

3. Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermey) - Full Metal Jacket

R. Lee Ermey was a former army drill sergeant who was hired to act as a consultant for the man who was meant to play Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the classic war movie Full Metal Jacket. That all changed when Stanley Kubrick saw a video of Ermey shooting insults for 15 minutes without stopping and without repeating himself and was cast in the role. The rest is history because Ermey stole the show and his character is one of the most memorable in Kubrick’s great filmography. What made the performance even better was that Ermey mostly improvised, including one of his famous lines when Kubrick had to stop him so the great director could ask what a "reach-around" is.

2. The Joker (Heath Ledger) - The Dark Knight

The release of The Dark Knight Rises is just around the corner and The Dark Knight itself is a great movie. The ensemble cast was loaded and everyone involved gave top performances, but of course Heath Ledger was one of the most highly praised as Batman’s nemesis, giving us a menacing, intelligent sociopath with a dark charisma. The Joker had some of the best lines and was in some of the best scenes of the movie. Tom Hardy has a lot to live up to next Friday as Bane.

Dishonorable Mention: Skids and Mudflap (Tom Kenny and Reno Wilson) - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

For me it was a toss up between Jar Jar Binks and the Twins from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen as the worst supporting character. Although Jar Jar Binks was annoying as hell, The Twins were in a league of their own. They somehow outshined Shia LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky, Agent Simmons, Wheelie and the ultra whiny Leo Spitz (Ramon Rodriguez). That took a real skill. We all know that The Twins are one of the worst racist stereotypes in modern cinema, added nothing to the movie, were completely useless and were just so goddamn annoying. Michael Bay naturally ended up cutting them out of “Dark of the Moon.” Personally, I think Bay missed a trick and should have left them in the sequel just so they could have a violent death in the first five minutes.

1. Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) - Kick Ass

Since the release of Kick-Ass, Chloe Grace Moretz’s has become a star and the character has become a pop-culture phenomenon. Not only did Hit-Girl outshine everyone else on the screen, she actually hijacked the movie from the main character. Kick-Ass turned into Hit-Girl’s story for revenge against the big bad gangster Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong). She was the real hero of the movie.


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