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, 67%). 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

USA Network Winners spanish language breaking bad dramedy 2016 indie romance Awards facebook Comics on TV CW Seed Black Mirror cinemax jamie lee curtis south america disaster Lifetime TruTV blockbuster Binge Guide batman The Witch kids Food Network Mudbound latino Quiz versus canceled 2017 golden globes Heroines elevated horror Esquire Walt Disney Pictures spider-man historical drama Anna Paquin The Walking Dead Premiere Dates screenings revenge Nominations IFC Films cancelled TV shows Apple TV Plus Marvel technology teaser adaptation Western Marvel Television American Society of Cinematographers dc sitcom DC streaming service Pirates video justice league game show based on movie Syfy anime spy thriller Television Academy YA MTV Sundance Now composers strong female leads Extras Trailer screen actors guild cartoon Grammys binge CBS All Access dceu CBS PaleyFest spinoff Spectrum Originals Writers Guild of America thriller Nickelodeon TCA TV Land TBS series TCA 2017 independent Character Guide Adult Swim Ellie Kemper TLC Spring TV NBC Christmas police drama Apple Tomatazos book APB X-Men Shondaland CNN Mindy Kaling Bravo Comedy 2015 Martial Arts First Reviews Vudu Calendar Netflix cars mutant Red Carpet Spike Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt natural history Amazon witnail Countdown cults A&E Photos LGBT ghosts true crime Freeform halloween romantic comedy GoT stand-up comedy Lionsgate TV Film Hallmark transformers Arrowverse Drama San Diego Comic-Con ESPN HBO Max 21st Century Fox sequel Superheroes Stephen King Columbia Pictures cops vampires Teen festivals Fox News doctor who Sony Pictures E! AMC GIFs FXX Britbox PBS mockumentary ABC Family 2019 Song of Ice and Fire sag awards Paramount USA miniseries Pop Showtime Trophy Talk Acorn TV 20th Century Fox TIFF Emmy Nominations Disney Plus Tarantino quibi DGA Toys TNT social media Lucasfilm Chernobyl casting Hulu WarnerMedia Music Polls and Games Crunchyroll animated free movies Netflix Christmas movies anthology Comedy Central Watching Series Peacock Sneak Peek Podcast Mary Poppins Returns Rocketman FX Turner WGN foreign Animation DirecTV MSNBC Rock psychological thriller Pet Sematary 2020 cancelled Fantasy Trivia The Arrangement toy story Amazon Prime Video Cannes children's TV finale singing competition Family travel Shudder Amazon Prime The Purge Reality politics Awards Tour zombies Infographic Nat Geo comic psycho YouTube theme song Video Games Best and Worst DC Universe Brie Larson Reality Competition Country Hallmark Christmas movies hispanic christmas movies BBC America name the review joker Fall TV Disney harry potter canceled TV shows cancelled TV series Sci-Fi comiccon Warner Bros. tv talk HBO RT History National Geographic zombie IFC rotten movies we love Women's History Month Superheroe Biopics FOX RT21 71st Emmy Awards Film Festival Musical Holiday Oscars Endgame SDCC BBC The CW Ovation crime drama Elton John Sundance war Disney Channel movies comics Valentine's Day 45 E3 unscripted robots boxoffice Summer Election Crackle Ghostbusters sports green book Kids & Family ITV OWN adventure political drama Cosplay Epix award winner Mary poppins Thanksgiving diversity Emmys New York Comic Con See It Skip It Pixar Comic Book MCU supernatural CMT crime period drama Cartoon Network Creative Arts Emmys A24 Disney streaming service richard e. Grant First Look Musicals VH1 Logo Tumblr Interview crossover game of thrones Lifetime Christmas movies Mary Tyler Moore Marvel Studios zero dark thirty ratings aliens Disney+ Disney Plus Action SXSW talk show YouTube Red Horror Rom-Com NYCC science fiction Mystery television serial killer Captain marvel DC Comics streaming Starz 24 frames Dark Horse Comics Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 007 Year in Review YouTube Premium Star Trek Box Office Apple TV+ Super Bowl Marathons cats Masterpiece blaxploitation TV renewals History slashers hist El Rey Rocky GLAAD nature medical drama crime thriller space ABC Universal VICE spain Paramount Network Set visit cooking Avengers BET Turner Classic Movies Pride Month Certified Fresh biography Star Wars Opinion what to watch Schedule dragons discovery Winter TV Holidays docudrama werewolf cancelled television LGBTQ Classic Film 2018 SundanceTV TCM renewed TV shows President