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The famous stars you forgot were in Band of Brothers

Several famous faces in Hollywood appeared in the HBO show before making it big.

Band of Brothers saw Damian Lewis (centre) lead a large ensemble cast with many actors who have gone on to become superstars like Andrew Scott and Stephen Graham. (HBO)
Band of Brothers saw Damian Lewis (centre) lead a large ensemble cast with many actors who have gone on to become superstars like Andrew Scott and Stephen Graham. (HBO)

Band of Brothers changed the game when it came to adapting war epics, but it also served as a jumping off point for many actors' careers.

The 2001 miniseries followed the Easy Company, and explored the regiment's heroic actions on the Western Front during World War II. Damian Lewis led the extensive cast as Major Richard "Dick" Winters, with episodes featuring an array of up-and-coming actors by his side. Created by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, the series was followed up by The Pacific and, from Friday, Masters of the Air.

Read more: How to watch WW2 drama Masters of the Air

As some of these actors were little known stars at the time, some viewers may not even realise that some of their favourite stars featured in the HBO drama. Here is everything you need to know about the famous actors who appeared in the series before their rise to fame.

The famous stars you forgot were in Band of Brothers

Michael Fassbender

Band of Brothers TV series 2001.Michael Fassbender ©HBO
Michael Fassbender was a major supporting character in Band of Brothers, though he wasn't well known at the time. (HBO)

Before his breakout roles in Inglorious Basterds and the X-Men prequels, Michael Fassbender starred in Band of Brothers as Technical Sergeant Burton P. "Pat" Christenson. The actor, who was just 23 at the time of the show's release, appeared in seven episodes in a supporting category.

James McAvoy

Band of Brothers TV series 2001. James McAvoy  ©HBO
James McAvoy appears in one episode of Band of Brothers. (HBO)

Fassbender's X-Men co-star James McAvoy also had a starring role in the HBO series, but his character was more minor by comparison. The Split star appeared as James W Miller in one episode of Band of Brothers, titled Replacements, in which the Easy Company helped to liberate the Dutch town of Eindhoven.

Dominic Cooper

Band of Brothers TV series 2001. Dominic Cooper ©HBO
Dominic Cooper appears briefly in Band of Brothers. (HBO)

Dominic Cooper also starred in one episode of Band of Brothers as Allington in the pilot Currahee, which introduced the Easy Company in 1942 as they went through their arduous training to be ready for war. Cooper was one of the many soldiers in the line-up.

Tom Hardy

Band of Brothers TV series 2001. Tom Hardy  ©HBO
Tom Hardy took a memorable supporting role in Band of Brothers. (HBO)

Appearing in two episodes, Tom Hardy starred as John A. Janovec in the Points and Why We Fight. The actor featured prominently in the two episodes but as it was his screen debut he is likely to have been missed by viewers at the time, since then he has become a household name with hit shows like Peaky Blinders and appearances in films like Inception and The Dark Knight Rises.

Andrew Scott

Band of Brothers TV series 2001. Andrew Scott ©HBO
A then little known Andrew Scott starred in Band of Brothers, he's now famous the world over. (HBO)

Before Sherlock and Fleabag catapulted him to stardom, Andrew Scott appeared in one episode of Band of Brothers as John D. Hall. The All of Us Strangers actor stars in Day of Days, in which the Easy Company find themselves scattered after parachuting into Normandy in 1944.

Colin Hanks

Band of Brothers TV series 2001. Colin Hanks ©HBO
Colin Hanks, son of Tom Hanks, appeared in Band of Brothers. (HBO)

Band of Brothers is executive produced by Tom Hanks so it might not come as a surprise that the actor's son Colin makes an appearance on the show. The actor has gone to forge an impressive acting career of his own with Fargo, A Friend of the Family and more. In the HBO series he stars as Lt. Henry Jones in The Last Patrol and Why We Fight.

Jimmy Fallon

Band of Brothers TV series 2001. Jimmy Fallon ©HBO
Before his talk show days Jimmy Fallon starred in Band of Brothers. (HBO)

Before he was a talk show host Jimmy Fallon dabbled in acting, and he appears as Lt. George C. Rice in the episode Crossroads. While his screen debut was in 2000's Almost Famous, his appearance in Band of Brothers was one of his bigger acting roles outside of Saturday Night Live before he went into late night TV.

Stephen Graham

Band of Brothers TV series 2001. Stephen Graham ©HBO
Stephen Graham appeared in two episodes of Band of Brothers. (HBO)

This is England may have made the public finally take notice of Stephen Graham but the actor put in the work long before this, starring in projects like Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York and, of course, Band of Brothers. He starred in the first two episodes of the show, Currahee and Day of Days, as Sgt. Myron "Mike" Ranney.

Simon Pegg

Band of Brothers TV series 2001. Simon Pegg  ©HBO
Simon Pegg may be a big Hollywood star now, but he was not yet a famous actor when he starred in Band of Brothers. (HBO)

While Simon Pegg had his breakout with Shaun of the Dead and has gone on to become a Hollywood mainstay thanks to the Mission: Impossible franchise, the actor's early career saw him star in Band of Brothers. He played William S. Evans in the first two episodes of the HBO series.

Dexter Fletcher

Band of Brothers TV series 2001. Dexter Fletcher ©HBO
Dexter Fletcher as John W Martin in Band of Brothers. (HBO)

Now a well-established director, Dexter Fletcher is also known for his acting work. He played John W Martin in nine episodes of Band of Brothers, playing a key supporting role in the series. Since appearing on the show he has directed films like Rocketman and Wild Bill.

Masters of the Air premieres on Friday, 26 January on Apple TV+.

Watch a trailer for Masters of the Air: