MCU: 30 sets of actors and crew who have worked together outside the franchise

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Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER
L to R: Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)
Photo: Matt Kennedy
©Marvel Studios 2018

The MCU has large roster of actors who starred alongside each other in non-Marvel films. Can you remember whom you’ve seen in other movies?

Hollywood seems large with all the films and television shows released each year. When you look at the twenty-three films released in the MCU, you might think you’re seeing double. It’s easy when you realize the franchise’s stars have appeared together outside our favorite superhero flicks.

We’ve compiled a list of 30 sets of actors and crew members who have worked in unison before and after their time in the MCU. Actors may appear in more than one film together but might not share scenes. Many of these may surprise you.


PARIS, FRANCE – MARCH 17: (L-R) Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson attend the ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Paris Premiere at Le Grand Rex on March 17, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

1. Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans

They entered the MCU as Natasha Romanov and Steve Rogers but, before this, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans starred in the film The Nanny Diaries in 2007. Johansson played Annie, a college graduate who saves a child from being run over and ends up as his nanny. Evans plays Hayden a guy that the protagonist has a crush on. And even before joining the rom-com, they both starred together in the 2004 teen comedy The Perfect Score.

It’s weird that the future Black Widow and Captain America (and Johnny Storm) kissed in a movie. Also, what makes this strange is how young they were.


CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 15: (from left to right) Actors Ian McDiarmid, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman and Samuel L. Jackson attend a photocall promoting the film “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” at the Palais during the 58th International Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2005 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

2. Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman, Andy Serkis and Lupita Nyong’o

Now, you’re probably thinking, what film did Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman, Andy Serkis and Lupita Nyong’o do? Well, they’ve all appeared in at least two Star Wars films.

Jackson appeared alongside Portman in the Star Wars Prequels. The Nick Fury actor was Jedi Master Mace “I got thrown out a window” Windu. Jane Foster herself played Padmé Amidala, the mother of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. Portman and Jackson didn’t share much screen time in Attack of the Clones. They appeared in a couple of scenes in the first film, The Phantom Menace though they never interacted. No interaction took place in Revenge of the Sith, either.

Serkis’s Ulysses Klaue debuted in Avengers: Age of Ultron, while Nyong’o’s Nakia has only appeared in Black Panther. Their characters in Star Wars are Supreme Leader Snoke and Maz Kanata.


LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 19: (L-R) Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman attend a screening of the Sherlock 2016 Christmas Special at Ham Yard Hotel on December 19, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

3. Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis and Benedict Cumberbatch

If you’re a fan of Middle Earth, you may remember Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, and Benedict Cumberbatch appearing.

Freeman and Cumberbatch worked on the series Sherlock as Watson and Holmes, respectively. They worked together again on The Hobbit trilogy with Peter Jackson. Freeman and Serkis star in Black Panther, while Cumberbatch stars in Doctor Strange.

Now, where does Serkis fit in? The King of Motion Capture is best known for his role as the riddle-loving Gollum in which he shares a scene with Freeman in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first film in the trilogy. Cumberbatch stars in the second film, The Desolation of Smaug, where he plays the titular dragon Smaug.


BERLIN – FEBRUARY 15: Actresses Natalie Portman (R) and Scarlett Johansson attend the ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ Photocall as part of the 58th Berlinale Film Festival at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on February 15, 2008 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

4. Natalie Portman, Benedict Cumberbatch and Scarlett Johansson

What do Jane Foster, Doctor Strange, and Black Widow all have in common? They all jumped back in time to Tudor England to play Anne Boleyn, William Carey, and Mary Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl.

This isn’t odd, as none of the actors were in their MCU roles. Portman’s Jane Foster would appear in Thor, released in 2011, three years after The Other Boleyn Girl. Johansson’s Black Widow appeared Iron Man 2 in 2010, while Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange got his first solo movie in 2016.


LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 07: (L-R) Brie Larson, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo and Don Cheadle speak onstage during Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Endgame” Global Junket Press Conference at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown on April 7, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

5. Judy Greer, Mark Ruffalo, Brie Larson and Andy Serkis

You might remember Judy Greer for her role as the quirky best friend. Or you might recall her as Queen of the Apes, Cornelia in the recent Planet of the Apes reboot films. In the MCU, she’s Maggie Lang, the ex-wife of Scott Lang/Ant-Man and the mother his daughter, Cassie.

Fans may recall Mark Ruffalo became Edward Norton’s successor as the Hulk, who first appeared in the role in the first Avengers film.

Brie Larson is best recognized as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel.

As mentioned earlier, Andy Serkis played Ulysses Klaue in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Black Panther. So what’s the connection between the four? They all appeared in the romantic-comedy 13 Going On 30 (Suddenly 30 in other countries). He also played Greer’s husband, Caesar, in the Planet of the Apes films.

Greer played Lucy Wyman, the best friend to Jennifer Garner’s Jenna, in an alternate universe.

Serkis played Richard Kneeland, who is the Editor-in-Chief of the fashion magazine they work at.

Ruffalo played Matt, the former best friend of Jenna, whom she abandoned to be popular when she was 13. He later becomes her love interest.

Larson played a Six Chick in the early part of the film.

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