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The Dan Cave

The Greatest Background Extras in Movie History

Every year, the Academy Awards celebrate the best and brightest in the wild world of filmmaking. This year was no exception. From incredible performances by the likes of J.K. Simmons in Whiplash and Julianne Moore in Still Alice, to fantastical feats of filmmaking from the likes of Birdman cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, it was an amazing night full of well-deserved awards. However, I take issue with one group that was snubbed once again. No, I’m not talking about directors like P.T. Anderson or Richard Linklater. I’m talking about the hardest working people in Hollywood–background extras.

Without extras, our beautiful actors and actresses would exist in a vacuum, saying lines to one another all willy-nilly. Without extras, the vibrant cinematic worlds we love would be empty, hollow husks of themselves. Without extras, we would have no grayish, bluish blurs in the background while we focus on the adorable meet-cute playing out in the foreground. Well, I say no more! Today on The Dan Cave, we are paying tribute to the greatest background extras in movie history and paying these amazing artists their due once and for all.

Did I leave out any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below or tell me on Twitter (@Osteoferocious)!

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Thanks for tuning in — see you all next time!

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  1. Gary Howie says:

    In Animal House, when the mayor is presenting the Key to the City to Dean Warner before the parade, you can see an elderly man making all kind of faces at the mayor while he speaks.

  2. Granatee says:

    Dan, you should try and track down the kid that played Verne in Back to the Future 3. I’d love to hear him explain it from his point of view haha. 

  3. Cousin Jen says:

    I don’t believe you think dogs are superior while wearing that T-shirt.

  4. Thund3rstruck57 says:

    I don’t know if it counts because it’s a show but my favorite was the zombie extra drinking from a water bottle in the pilot episode of the Walking Dead

  5. mikedudez says:

    hollywood is not a stable for movie achievements anymore so the academy awards dont matter anymore.

  6. Sara says:

    I used to be an extra it’s kind of a soul sucking job but Im kinda sad I didn’t royally screw something up to make it on this list

  7. Chris says:

    I always liked the kid in the background who plugs his ears before the gun is fired in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest

  8. Chris says:

    I always like the kid who plugged his ears in the background before the gun was fired in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest