Woody Harrelson’s new Netflix movie The Highwaymen finds the veteran character actor in a familiar role, playing co-pilot to Kevin Costner. The two play former Texas Rangers who come out of retirement to hunt down the infamous Bonnie and Clyde. While Costner gets the hero shots and one-liners that come with playing legendary lawman Frank Hamer, Harrelson’s Maney Gault is the barb-spitting curmudgeon we would want to crack a beer with.
Since breaking out on the television show Cheers, Harrelson has made a decades-spanning career out of playing sidekicks who’re more interesting and likable than the heroes that we’re supposed to be cheering for. Think about it: True Detective, Zombieland, Now You See Me, White Men Can’t Jump, Semi-Pro –the list is endless, as are the movie memories. But else would you expect from a dude named Woody?
Harrelson might be Hollywood’s best sidekick, but there are plenty of actors who hold their own in supporting roles. Check out our favorites. Which ones are yours?
John C. Reilly is the ultimate character actor who always lets the stars shine in legendary supporting roles like those in Boogie Nights, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights, and most recently Stan and Ollie.
Dustin Hoffman is a living legend, but he’s best known for roles where he acted with leading men: Tom Cruise in Rain Man, Robert Redford in All The President’s Men, and Steve McQueen in Papillon.
Brad Pitt is one of the most famous actors of his generation but he seems most comfortable when he can play second fiddle. He’s at his best in films like Seven, 12 Monkeys, Fight Club, Oceans 11, and the upcoming Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.
Rachel McAdams is the archetype girl-next-door who can hang with the boys and look sexy doing it. She can do drama, romance, action, comedy, and usually does all of the above in every performance. Check her out in Game Night and Sherlock Holmes.
John Goodman can do it all, from drama to comedy, making him the perfect partner in a wide range of films from The Big Lebowski to Monsters Inc. to Argo.
Before he was Tony Stark, RDJ was the comedic relief buddy in a string of ’80s movies: Back to School, Weird Science, Less Than Zero, Johnny Be Good, and Air America.
Ever since her days on SNL, Maya Rudolph has stolen the show. She does more with less screen time than anyone in films like Bridesmaids, Idiocracy, and Sisters.
Paul Walker (RIP) had leading man looks and supporting role acting chops which made him the perfect co-pilot in the Fast and Furious franchise, Varsity Blues, and Eight Below.
Don Cheadle is the ideal wingman in the MCU and Oceans 11 franchise. He’s a solid dude who has wit, charm, wisdom and always has your back.
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