If you had to compare the typical career of a well-known actor to an athlete who has the same kind of name recognition, more often than not, it would align much more closely with Steve Young or Manu Ginobili than Wayne Gretzky or Andrew Luck.
Most celebrities spend at least part of their early career acting in movies or television shows that don't blow away box office records or top the Nielsen ratings. And even if their gig is a hit, they may be making "scale" as a minor character or even just an extra.
No one outside the true believers in the Patriots organization cared about Tom Brady in 1999, because he hadn't given anyone any reason to. The same applies to A-list actors whom most people never gave a second thought about when they appeared on the silver screen before a breakout hit.
As a result, plenty of movies that were flops, hits or somewhere in between may be hiding a little gem of a performance by a star who was practically a nobody at the time but would get top billing today.
And when it comes to sports flicks, there is no shortage of celebrity appearances you may have missed.