7. Matt Damon - Courage Under Fire
Back in 1996, when "Courage Under Fire" was released, Matt Damon was still a relatively unknown actor. In this film, Colonel Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) has been assigned the task of researching the death of Karen Walden (Meg Ryan) in order to see if she is deserving of the Medal of Honor. Specialist Ilario (Matt Damon) was one of the passengers on Walden's helicopter. Years later, overwhelmed by guilt, due to the events of Walden's death (the truth of which we eventually uncover), Damon's character has now gotten into heavy drugs, hence the weight loss seen in the film.
Damon reportedly lost more than 40 pounds for the role. And all for only two scenes in the film, with a total screen-time of less than twenty minutes. Though I always admire good method acting, it is questionable whether it was necessary for such a minor role. And, supposedly, this led to him almost being passed up on the title role of "Saving Private Ryan," due to Spielberg's speculation that Damon was too skinny.
Luckily, the hit "Good Will Hunting" was just around the corner, which soon skyrocketed Damon to the ranks of stardom. So, "Courage Under Fire" probably did not hurt him too much in the long run.