10 Supporting Movie Characters Who Should've Been The Lead

You've disrespected Ken Watanabe for the last time, Hollywood!

Hit Girl

In an ideal world, supporting characters would maintain their appeal without taking away the spotlight from the real protagonist, because the main character has so much personality, a proper motivation, and a clear sense of logic to their actions to ensure they always drive the story, even when they're not on screen.

Sadly, you don't need to be told that that just isn't the world we got.

In fact, there are multiple instances where the supporting character is so good in comparison to the main hero that you cannot help but fantasize about an alternate reality in which they were the lead, with the story becoming infinitely more enjoyable by virtue of that simple change.

This might be because the acting is better, the character is better, or because their presence is just so much more interesting to observe within the narrative, but sometimes a supporting player should have been the main character all along.

So, join in celebration of those underrated heroes and heroines who were cheated out of a spotlight that, let's be real, was always rightfully theirs.

10. Trinity (The Matrix)

Hit Girl
Warner Bros.

Sitting down to watch The Matrix for the first time in 2019 might leave you unimpressed. Because the film inspired so many other action movies after it, it's kinda like watching Dragonball Z after watching My Hero Academia, Naruto, One Piece and so on. You can appreciate it for kicking off what it did, but you sadly just can't appreciate it in quite the same way those original audiences did.

But, another reason to be let down by this classic is its reliance on the 'chosen one' narrative, something the filmmakers subverted in the sequels but which plays out pretty conventionally in the original. Which is a tragedy, especially when you have far more capable people like Trinity in your hero lineup.

Trinity isn't just more capable, she's also more invested in the story than Neo, and has a more interesting character arc. Plus, having the main character be the one mentoring the chosen one is a novel approach to the concept that you don't see as often as you'd think.

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John Tibbetts is a novelist in theory, a Whatculture contributor in practice, and a nerd all around who loves talking about movies, TV, anime, and video games more than he loves breathing. Which might be a problem in the long term, but eh, who can think that far ahead?