Famous Actors You Missed in Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers is one of HBO’s most ambitious and adventurous productions. The miniseries follows the history of “Easy Company,” a small regiment in the US Airborne Division, as they went through training and entered the Second World War. It is based on the book of the same name by Stephen E. Ambrose and was created for the small screen by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.

The series is a true television masterpiece, with magnificent scenery, thrilling and tremendous fighting sequences, and a great trubute for the real-life personalities involved.

Ron Livingston, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Cudlitz, Neal McDonough, Scott Grimes, and David Schwimmer were among the show’s leading actors. However, due to the show’s scope and epic, movie-like nature, there were many other big names who passed across our screens that you may have missed or completely forgotten about.

 

Michael Fassbender

For seven out of ten episodes, Michael Fassbender plays Sergeant Burton “Pat” Christenson, a member of Easy Company who is terrorized by Captain Sobel during the company’s intense training exercises. After the first episode, he is generally visible in the backdrop of the show’s many pivotal events, most notably in episode nine, “Why We Fight,” when Easy Company stumbles into a concentration camp.

Fassbender has gone on to larger and better things in his career since Band of Brothers, starring in the Alien film, the relaunched X-Men series, Shame, Hunger, and 12 Years a Slave.

Jimmy Fallon

The famous late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon was once just another actor trying to make it big in the entertainment industry. He was a regular on Saturday Night Live before and after his one-episode stint on Band of Brothers, and it’s possible that the military drama helped raise his public profile.

Lieutenant George Rice is played by Fallon in the fifth episode of the show, “Crossroads.” While preparing to invade Bastogne, Easy Company realizes that none of them is ready for another large battle. At this pivotal moment, Lieutenant Rice comes into the scene in a Jeep and gives supplies to the soldiers.

Dominic Cooper

Dominic Cooper had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo part in the first episode of Band of Brothers, “Currahee”. Cooper can be seen collecting his lunch when Easy Firm takes their seats in the cafeteria. “Allington” is written on his nametag.

The fact that Cooper’s brief and mostly unseen appearance in the show was only his fifth acting credit up until that point is remarkable. Even though it was such a small role, he has gone on record to say that the atmosphere on set and the intensity involved in some of the show’s bigger scenes almost convinced him to leave the industry.

James McAvoy

James McAvoy starred as Private James Miller in the fourth episode of Band of Brothers, “Replacements.”

In the episode, Easy Company lost a significant number of soldiers on D-Day and is in dire need of assistance. Miller, a young and inexperienced soldier, is teased and mocked by the veterans in the unit. He joins in with the squad, and they’re assigned to take part in Operation Market Garden, an ill-fated Allied attempt to win the war before Christmas that entailed dropping British and American parachute forces behind German lines in Holland. In the attack, Miller is killed by a huge wound to the crown of his head.

McAvoy has gone on to feature in the X-Men trilogy, Split, Atomic Blonde, Wanted, and It: Chapter Two, and many other exciting films.

Colin Hanks

Given that Tom Hanks co-produced the show, it’s not surprising that his son Colin Hanks snagged a piece of the action.

Lieutenant Henry Jones, played by the younger Hanks, is featured in one of the show’s most stunning and really harrowing scenes. Jones joins Easy Company in “The Last Patrol,” the eighth episode, with little to no field experience and a high rank. His position in the unit does not endear him to the other troops very much.

Jones launches a daring mission with the aim of crossing a river and capturing enemy prisoners. When the patrol is attacked by the enemy, he takes command and leads his men to safety while somehow alerting the remainder of the company to the impending danger.

Hanks went on to play prominent parts in television programs such as Fargo and Roswell, as well as films such as King Kong, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Parkland.

Andrew Scott

During the show’s second episode, “Day of Days,” Andrew Scott had a few seconds to shine and show fans what he’s made of as Private John “Cowboy” Hall. Unfortunately, once the company is on the ground during the D-Day Landings, Hall is the first soldier to die under the command of Lieutenant Winters.

His death causes a shift in tone for the series, as well as a startling realization for Winters that the war would be far from simple. Hall’s death, like so many others on the series, weighs heavily on Winters’ mind.

Scott has gone on to play Jim Moriarty in Sherlock, as well as roles in the Bond film Spectre and the TV series Fleabag.

Stephen Graham

Stephen Graham plays Private Mike Ranney in the first two episodes of the miniseries. In the show, he is one of several troops who revolt against Captain Sobel, whose command methods and field knowledge are widely seen as ineffective and hazardous. Ranney is demoted and moved to another unit as a result of betraying his superior.

Graham hasn’t really slowed down since then to catch his breath. Boardwalk Empire, The Virtues, Save Me, Line of Duty, and Taboo are just a few of the hit TV shows in which he has starred. He has appeared in films such as Gangs of New York, The Irishman, This is England, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Rocketman.

Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg, like Jimmy Fallon, is one of the more unusual additions to the Band of Brothers ensemble. He’s most known for his cult classic antics in Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, At World’s End, and Spaced, but he had a modest, two-episode role in the popular military epic before that.

First Sergeant William Evans, played by Pegg, is Captain Sobel’s largely perceptive right-hand man. He has a few lines that he delivers with a great American accent, but he never gets a chance to be seen in battle.

Pegg’s career has been nothing short of amazing since Band of Brothers, with parts in everything from Paul, Big Nothing, and Run Fatboy Run. More than that, Pegg’s career is built on franchises, with major parts in both the Mission: Impossible and Star Trek reboots, as well as a modest supporting role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Tom Hardy

Simon Pegg and Stephen Graham aren’t the only British stars on the show. Mega-star Tom Hardy also had a minor part as well. In retrospect, his portrayal is all the more impressive because it was his first ever on-screen appearance.

In the show’s final two episodes, “Why We Fight” and “Points,” Hardy plays Private John Janovec, a replacement soldier for Easy Company. In the role, Hardy has lots of opportunities to shine, and his sweet and innocent approach before his Jeep crash often pays off beautifully when engaging with the rest of the cast.

Hardy’s career has taken off since then, with appearances in Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, Venom, Legend, Bronson, The Revenant, Dunkirk, and the smash hits Peaky Blinders and Taboo. It’s safe to say he’s not going anywhere, and seeing him again in Band of Brothers serves as a timely reminder of how much he’s spread his wings.

Tom Hanks 

In the episode “Crossroads,” the British “Red Devils” are toasting Easy Company. Tom Hanks plays an unnamed British soldier who is only seen for a few moments before disappearing behind the mob. It’s a subtle appearance that’s worth keeping an eye out for the next time you watch the series.

There’s no need to go into Tom Hanks’ whole illustrious career, both before and after Band of Brothers. He’s appeared in a wide range of films, including romantic comedies, military epics, fantasy films, family cartoons, critically acclaimed biopics, and action thrillers.

Needless to say, his work on Band of Brothers proved timeless.

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