10 Hidden Gems of The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Stars

by and | April 16, 2017 | Comments

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is fast approaching but did you know that its cast members have previously acted in other movies outside the franchise? And that some of them were good? We take the 10 biggest stars of Marvel’s intergalactic, planetary adventure and give you some Fresh and Certified Fresh movies of theirs that you may have missed. Put these on the mixtape!

Chris Pratt (Peter Quill / Star-Lord)

Film: Wanted (2008, 71%). This adaptation of the Mark Millar comic stars James McAvoy as an underachieving, over-medicated corporate drone who’s enlisted by the mysterious Angelina Jolie to join a secret fraternity of assassins, hone his hidden superhuman strength, and avenge his father’s murder.

Role: A movie starring Angelina that made $350 million worldwide isn’t your normal “hidden gem,” but amidst the bullet curving and car chases it’s easy to forget Pratt’s role. He plays McAvoy’s delightful douchebag co-worker and memorably takes a keyboard to the face. Pratt essentially played the same dude in the first season of Parks & Recreation before the character was re-written, turning him into a TV fan favorite and eventual legendary space outlaw.

Zoe Saldana (Gamora)

Film: Infinitely Polar Bear (2015, 81%). Sometimes when Mark Ruffalo gets mad, he turns into the green smashing Hulk. And sometimes he goes to the hospital and has his kids taken away from him, as in this bipolar disorder-addressing drama from Maya Forbes.

Role: Saldana plays Ruffalo’s long-suffering wife, who moves herself and the kids into an apartment as her estranged husband gets help to get it together. Ruffalo puts in another of those highly-tuned sensitive performances, which Saldana matches scene for scene.

Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon)

Film: The Midnight Meat Train (2008, 72%). The movie biz carves up another Clive Barker adaptation, this time telling the drenched tale of people getting butchered on a subway and the amateur photographer who makes it his quest to expose the truth.

Role: Cooper plays the photographer, who becomes intensely obsessed with figuring out why the murders are taking place, at great risk to his health and relationship with his girlfriend. Studio politics effectively reduced this movie to being dumped directly to video, though it’s grown a small cult due to its unflinching gore and its mega-black ending.

Michael Rooker (Yondu)

Film: Slither (2006, 86%). Guardians director James Gunn’s feature debut is a nasty little horror-comedy about a small town overcome by an alien parasite that begins its colonization of Earth by possessing a philandering car dealer. Before long, everyone’s pets are missing, the local livestock are turning up mutilated, and neighbor-on-neighbor violence is at an all-time high.

Role: Rooker stars in Slither as Grant Grant, aka patient zero himself, the car dealer who becomes infected by an extraterrestrial slug and, in turn, whose mistress becomes the hive queen. The problem is, Grant still retains some of his human memories, and all of them lead back to his not-so-doting wife (Elizabeth Banks), who’s understandably less than thrilled to come home to a horribly disfigured man slowly transforming into a tentacled monster. It all amounts to a raucous mix of uncomfortable laughs and the ridiculous kind body horror that would make David Cronenberg proud.

Kurt Russell (Ego)

Film: Bone Tomahawk (2015, 91%). This surprisingly confident debut by writer/director S. Craig Zahler seamlessly introduces elements of horror into a deliberately paced Western about a local sheriff who leads a small party of gunslingers to face off against a tribe of ruthless cannibals after some of his townspeople are abducted.

Role: Russell’s filmography is vast and varied, but this underseen thriller (and Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, both from 2015) arguably makes the best use of his late-period gruffness and magnificent facial hair, and he is terrific as the sheriff who sacrifices everything for his town. The whole thing is a tightly wound slow build to a grisly, violent climax, and there are a few things in there you won’t be able to unsee.

Benicio Del Toro (The Collector)

Film: Inherent Vice (2015, 73%). After the gold rush of the hippie era, reality and hard living sets in as 1970 rolls on in California. Perpetually stoned private dick Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) is hired to solve a beguiling case while avoiding the LAPD and a life of responsibility.

Role: Del Toro plays Doc’s attorney and occasional informant Sauncho. He gives a classically mumbly Benicio performance, but attach that to the film’s outsized characters and byzantine plot and it all weaves into a piquant psychedelic tapestry.

Nathan Fillion (Simon Williams)

Film: Waitress (2007, 90%). Adrienne Shelly’s smart and heartfelt romantic comedy centers on an unhappily married waitress (Keri Russell) who dreams of opening her own bakery and finds something akin to hope when her unwanted pregnancy leads to an affair with her equally married new physician.

Role: Having done some space swashbuckling of his own (on FOX’s TV series Firefly and its follow-up feature film Serenity), as well as co-starring in another gem on this list (Slither), Nathan Fillion brings his effortless charisma to this decidedly understated charmer as the aforementioned doctor, striking up such a natural chemistry with Keri Russell that, maybe just for a little while, infidelity doesn’t seem like such a bad thing after all.

Glenn Close (Nova Prime)

Film: Reversal of Fortune (1990, 94%). In the famous murder case of 1990, Claus von Bulow stands on trial, accused of sending his wife into a diabetic coma after pumping her with an overdose of insulin.

Role: Close plays Claus’ wife Sunny and spends the entire movie with her eyes closed and her tongue hanging out of her mouth. Just kidding, reverse that: there’s plenty of Close and Jeremy Irons going at it in a dramatic exploration of this tense marriage.

Elizabeth Debicki (Ayesha)

TV Series: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015, 66%). Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer play American and Russian secret agents who begrudgingly join forces during the Cold War-era ’60s to track down a nuclear weapon in this Guy Ritchie adaptation of the classic TV series.

Role: Debicki wears killer dresses and assembles even deadlier bombs as one of the two major villains in this movie, which is celebrated for its action scenes and quirky humor (at least for a movie with this many explosions), though it struggled at the box office.

Sylvester Stallone (???)

Film: Nighthawks (1981, 70%). Originally conceived as a third French Connection, the film deals with urban terrorism in New York as Rutger Hauer, in his first English role and one year before the legendary Blade Runner, runs New York through the wringer.

Role: Stallone is an NYPD detective named Deke DaSilva, tasked with taking down the sadistic Hauer in a city still at the height of its grime and grit. The film was plagued with production problems and multi-hyphenate Stallone took over directing duties briefly.

Tag Cloud

Sci-Fi Horror Interview disaster Ellie Kemper award winner TV Land Awards Tour TCA 2017 sequel Bravo ratings boxoffice AMC Trophy Talk Adult Swim DC Universe Tomatazos cooking Rock cars San Diego Comic-Con anime book Superheroes green book jamie lee curtis Mudbound Polls and Games 20th Century Fox Podcast Heroines Fantasy GoT CW Seed Marvel 2016 science fiction TCM adventure LGBT 45 thriller theme song Paramount 2015 SXSW Comedy Rocky Schedule DirecTV biography diversity discovery cops Cannes dragons casting miniseries Cosplay festivals Starz nature Tumblr CBS dc Mary poppins Writers Guild of America spinoff Film CMT Summer Countdown PaleyFest Spectrum Originals Musical E3 Premiere Dates children's TV DC Comics Shondaland richard e. Grant zero dark thirty kids First Look GLAAD sports harry potter Country facebook comiccon cats The CW Pop finale CBS All Access Logo dramedy Reality Competition movies witnail Trivia LGBTQ Mary Poppins Returns SundanceTV SDCC Stephen King supernatural YA mutant ABC E! 2019 war Sundance MTV Anna Paquin Infographic President comic ITV Marathons 2017 NYCC 21st Century Fox Shudder Opinion Warner Bros. Apple ABC Family OWN TCA Quiz golden globes Epix Elton John Grammys HBO Max Mary Tyler Moore robots Best and Worst zombie ghosts natural history MCU Christmas Song of Ice and Fire adaptation USA Network Sony Pictures Spike zombies streaming Winter TV Red Carpet cults composers WGN mockumentary History docudrama USA Spring TV Black Mirror true crime tv talk crime thriller Chernobyl Pirates Crackle social media DC streaming service Comic Book 2018 National Geographic Video Games GIFs Captain marvel Lionsgate FX Lifetime Star Trek Election Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Rocketman Superheroe Drama Biopics TNT series Teen Mindy Kaling CNN sitcom spy thriller based on movie Brie Larson political drama Disney streaming service Women's History Month Lucasfilm Walt Disney Pictures Rom-Com Toys transformers YouTube Red IFC Films Universal Creative Arts Emmys Musicals YouTube Premium Dark Horse Comics Food Network TIFF Disney Channel IFC Martial Arts Calendar 24 frames toy story El Rey Family Amazon Prime Video VH1 Year in Review cinemax Box Office Character Guide BBC America New York Comic Con Mystery talk show Paramount Network serial killer Action Acorn TV American Society of Cinematographers Super Bowl X-Men Hulu Certified Fresh doctor who technology DGA Syfy Awards Showtime teaser Emmys Set visit revenge blaxploitation crime drama 007 Holidays game show FOX NBC Amazon Valentine's Day historical drama space politics Fox News RT21 TV psycho Britbox VICE binge Star Wars unscripted Western strong female leads Emmy Nominations TruTV Ghostbusters Photos hist FXX justice league what to watch Binge Guide Extras PBS TBS quibi MSNBC Film Festival A&E aliens crime Columbia Pictures Pixar TLC Netflix period drama Winners The Arrangement HBO romance Disney Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Watching Series Comics on TV Animation Sneak Peek police drama psychological thriller BBC television elevated horror Ovation Nickelodeon travel Kids & Family medical drama Sundance Now APB Pride Month dceu animated singing competition Vudu Tarantino Freeform The Witch Reality vampires ESPN Trailer Nat Geo Thanksgiving Esquire spider-man See It Skip It Amazon Prime Music Fall TV Masterpiece Comedy Central Oscars Pet Sematary WarnerMedia anthology Nominations RT History crossover Cartoon Network BET