One of the most annoying encounters from an actor's perspective is the classic interaction with a non-thespian where they say something along the lines of "Oh, you're an actor? Why don't you phone up EastEnders and ask to be in?"
"Well, because it's not that simple, you ********!" (I'll let you decide on your own expletive).
The performing arts industry - particularly film and television - is extremely competitive and getting more and more so each year. In order to get so much as an answer at the door, let alone get a foot in it, years of grit, determination, sacrifice and experience on set as background artists and minor roles are necessary to establish your name and reputation. But even then, that is often not enough.
A small handful have been in the public eye since their days as child actors, for instance, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, whilst most others didn't get their breaks until later on in their careers; Christoph Waltz and Harrison Ford being classic examples.
Like their characters, artist's journeys are vastly different, and everyone has to start somewhere.
8. Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt is more than just a pretty face in the acting industry. He has proven time and time again, over the course of eighty plus films, that he also has an handsome about of versatility. You only have to see his performances in Inglorious Basterds, Fight Club and Snatch to appreciate his abilities.
Before he gained recognition for his role as the cowboy hitchhiker, J.D., in the 1991 film, Thelma and Louise, the Hollywood hunk had four uncredited background credits to his name, throughout 1987.
He was a party-going, preppy kid in Less Than Zero, a waiter in No Man's Land, a black tie party guest in No Way Out and, funnily enough, a role in the film Hunk, playing a guy at the beach (with a drink).
Pitt has also made surprising, brief, unspoken cameo appearances since becoming a household name, thus making those features memorable and, coincidentally, 'extra' special. Blink and you'll miss him in his, literally, shocking appearance in Deadpool 2 as Vanisher and as Contestant No.2, alongside Matt Damon in the biographical, spy comedy, Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind.