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Darkhorse Casting

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Sometimes, a director doesn't want famous actors and actresses in his movie. Maybe it's to avoid a bias in the viewers, maybe they just want a challenge, or maybe they just want to help struggling actors and actresses in the brutal world of show biz. For whatever reason, a director will go out of their way to find obscure actors and actresses to put in their movie.

Contrast All-Star Cast. Look at Ensemble Darkhorse for a definition of darkhorse.


Examples

Film

Live-Action Series

  • Game of Thrones had a lot of unknown actors and actresses at that time and the one of the only mainstream actors in the cast is Sean Bean whose character got killed off in episode nine of season one.
  • How I Met Your Mother: Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan (and maybe Jason Segel) are the only mainstream actors in the main cast back then. In fact, the actress who played the Mother is unknown.
    • Even then, NPH had left TV for stage work and had been doing mostly guest spots if anything for almost 10 years, Hannigan coming off of Buffy into a sitcom was hardly a lock... and Segal was just starting to get attention, most of it still 'cultish' due to Freaks and Geeks.
  • Every Disney Channel and Nickelodeon live-action series is given an almost entirely unknown child cast (as most of them are just starting their careers). The adults could be people who rose up the Kidcom ranks (i.e. Jerry Trainor, Beth Littleford, Brian Stepanek), D-list actors from obscure adult shows (i.e. Rosa Blasi, Steve Valentine, Hal Sparks), Black sitcom parents (i.e. Kadeem Hardison, Chico Benymon), people more known for voice acting (i.e. Daran Norris, Jack DeSena), or comedians (i.e. Chris Tallman, Stephen Glickman)
  • At least four of the leads of Arrested Development (Michael Cera, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, and Alia Shawkat) were completely unknown when the show began. Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, David Cross, and Jeffrey Tambor were all fairly well-known at the time; Jessica Walter was somewhere in the middle.
  • Band of Brothers: David Schwimmer seemed to be the only recognized name among the cast due to his popularity in Friends and he only had a small role as Captain Herbert Sobel. The rest of Easy Company characters were played by actors who were unknown at that time.
  • Titans mainly consists of lesser-known actors who were chosen specifically for their talent. The best known so far are Brenton Thwaites, Ryan Potter, and Conor Leslie, but even they aren't exactly A-list. One notable example is Teagan Croft, an Australian child actress that was completely unknown outside her home country and still very obscure in it, as Raven herself.

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