Many great film stars began their journey to stardom on the sitcom circuit; Star-Lord, Bilbo Baggins, even Marty McFly. The most recent graduate from sitcom fame is John Krasinski who stars in the upcoming action thriller from Michael Bay, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. Making his first real breakout role in The Office (US), Krasinski has since starred in The Holiday, and loaned his voice to Monsters University and The Wind Rises.
Cast as Jack Da Silva, Krasinski dons a more action-heavy persona in Bay’s high-octane depiction of the true attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya and the efforts of six CIA operatives to defend the American Ambassador and his staff for 13 hours, long through the night.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is released in UK cinemas on 29th January. To mark the film’s release, we’re rounding up some of sitcom’s greatest breakout stars…
Chris Pratt – Parks and Recreation
Launching Chris Pratt’s career into the stratosphere comes Parks and Recreation. An offbeat, mockumentary, political satire about the Parks department of a small fictional town in Indiana. Originally intended as a guest character his naïve immaturity, slapstick humour, and outlandish comic timing has since earned him leading roles in huge blockbuster hits, including: Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World, and The Lego Movie.
Martin Freeman – The Office
Created by Ricky Gervais and Stephan Merchant The Office is one of the most successful British TV shows. Starring Martin Freeman as Tim Canterbury the show deals with the often demoralising themes of frustration, mundaneness, and inappropriateness of office life in hilarious mockumentary style. Playing off Gervais’ dry wit and stand-out performances from supporting cast member Mackenzie Crook, Tim very much became the hero in this otherwise dreary tale of the nine to five. Launching the career of Freeman into major films such as The Hobbit, Hot Fuzz, and Love Actually, he has since become a major hit.
Jennifer Aniston – Friends
Probably the most iconic sitcom of the 90s that ran for ten seasons until the emotional farewell in 2004. Jennifer Aniston stars as Rachel Green, a spoilt daddy’s girl who moves to New York City for a new life. Starring Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, and Matt LeBlanc the six friends went through a lot and delighted audiences for a decade, inspiring a number of similar shows and leading Aniston to a number of stand-out film roles including: Office Space and We’re the Millers.
Donald Glover – Community
Community landed Donald Glover is first major break out role on screen. With previous writing credits for 30 Rock and short sketch appearances with comedy troupe ‘Derrick Comedy’ Glover was just waiting to be picked up. Troy Barnes (Community) feels like a natural extension of Glover’s personality, of which he also writes original music under the pseudonym Childish Gambino. His various entertainment credits earned him roles in Magic Mike XXL and The Martian in 2015.
Michael J. Fox – Family Ties
Michael J. Fox was a huge breakout star of hit family sitcom Family Ties that ran from 1982-1989 with seven successful seasons. So much so that he had to split his time evenly between Family Ties shooting and filming for Robert Zemeckis’ science fiction classic Back to the Future. Earning him global recognition in Hollywood, Fox became a global superstar and cult hero as Marty McFly but without Family Ties we may well have seen Eric Stoltz sent back to the future.
Jennifer Lawrence – The Bill Engvall Show
Jennifer Lawrence was by far the stand-out performer in the ill-fated sitcom about Bill Pearson, a family counsellor who has trouble understanding his own family. Running for a lowly two years until it was cancelled The Bill Engvall Show won’t be making any ‘Best of…’ lists but Lawrence’s role is well worth noting for the success she has since gone on to claim. Starring in The Hunger Games, American Hustle, and X-Men amongst others she has garnered critical acclaim for a number of roles and won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2013 for her role in Silver Linings Playbook.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi hits UK cinemas on 29th January.