What does it take to be one of Hollywood's leading stars? Is it crawling through the freezing wilderness only to get mauled by a CGI bear? Or dangling yourself from a plane or the world's tallest skyscraper for an action sequence? How about whatever Nicholas Cage does? After all, acting is a cut-throat industry that demands the finest of skill sets combined with the most attractive of faces. As an audience, we demand more and more out of what our A-listers can provide for our viewing pleasure! "Oh, so here's two hours of Shia LaBeouf teaming up with Optimus Prime? Let's make three more of those, throw Mark Wahlberg in the mix, and then have them ride dinosaurs. Dinosaurs aren't enough? OK, let's make them robot dinosaurs!"
As our visual appetites develop, one thing can stand the test of time: our leading actors. From Humphrey Bogart to Bill Murray, we are compelled by those who ground our films with their presence. So the question still stands: who is the most reputable? I have a definite answer. Here's a hint, he is 5 feet 8 inches tall, portly, and sports a ginger 'fro (no, not Jonah Hill, he's not even a redhead). Still don't know? You've seen him in the original "Spider-Man," "The Social Network," and "American Pie."
He's worked with the likes of Will Farrell, Zac Efron, and Leonardo DiCaprio. He's been in "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "NCIS," "Entourage," "Arrested Development," "Heroes," "Parks and Recreation," and "Glee." This magnificent vessel of pure method acting talent, with an onscreen presence so strong he has never been required to speak a single word, is found in one man. This Man:
This is Jesse Heiman and he is the world's greatest extra. He has been in more movies than Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, or Tom Cruise. He has worked with the likes of David Fincher and Stephen Spielberg. His rosy complexion and modest demeanor has been enticing audiences for over a decade and they don't even know it. A quick search on IMDb.com will give you a list of the 85+ productions he has worked on.
Heiman was born in Boston and moved to Austin, TX. After graduating from Texas State University, he moved to Los Angeles to stake a career in the acting world. He took upon his first role in the year 2000, in "American Pie 2," and since then has led an illustrious career full of gracing the backgrounds of our favorite films with his existence. When asked about his fame in an interview with MTV, he humbly said, "It feels amazing. It feels really cool to finally get some kind of recognition. Everybody comes to LA to try to be a successful actor. I never thought my career would be as a background extra, leading to people recognizing me as much as they did. It turned out great." Jesse's work has developed a strong cult following of fans who watch certain films just for him. You may even remember seeing him as the "nerd" in the famous GoDaddy.com Super Bowl commercial alongside supermodel Bar Rafaeli.
Next time you watch a movie or TV show, keep an eye out for this man. America's greatest extra is bound to show up just about anywhere, and Jesse Heiman's talent for grandiose subtlety is a high-wire act too astonishing to pass up!
Seriously though, this is just a cool thing to know. Isn't it?