Has a stellar TV guest star ever driven you to IMDb or Netflix?

Careymulligan_lA couple of days ago, I gave my husband rare control of the DVR decided to catch up on some backlogged hours of Doctor Who, and caught a particularly awesome (albeit atypically structured) episode called "Blink." The plotline centered on a young woman named Sally Sparrow, who had to solve the mystery of her best friend’s disappearance with help from the Doctor (who happened to be trapped in 1969 and transmitting messages through DVD "Easter eggs"). The episode was riveting — filled with romance and thrills and terrifying stone-angel statues — and hinged entirely on the star-making performance of the actress playing Sally. Thanks to the power of IMDb, I found her name (Carey Mulligan, pictured) and a list of her credits within seconds of shutting off my TV, then added her 2005 miniseries Bleak House to my Netflix queue. (I’d been meaning to watch it anyhow, and now I’ve got the perfect excuse.)

All this got me wondering: Who was the last unfamiliar actor you became obsessed with thanks to a TV guest spot? And did your fascination continue after you’d seen them in a followup role? All must be revealed, PopWatchers!


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  • Court

    I just wanted to reiterate how fantastic this episode of Doctor Who is. Everyone knows I am a massive fan (I was one of the first people to have my name on the Must List, yay!), but even a viewer tuning in for the first time may find themselves hooked with this one, in which the Doctor actually makes scant appearances. It may actually be the best episode of “new” Who–it was just nominated for a Hugo award, which is a very prestigious science fiction award. Fans loved Carey Milligan so much that a lot of them wanted her to be the next companion. I wouldn’t go that far, but I did check out her other roles. You won’t be disappointed by Bleak House.

  • Court

    Carey Mulligan, sorry. I wish we could edit comments.

  • Jenny

    Bleak House is fantastic. So many wonderful performances. I especially enjoy Gillian Anderson as Lady Dedlock. Just beautiful.
    Also? Whoo-hoo for watching Doctor Who, Slezak! Everyone should know the awesomeness that is The Doctor.

  • JMC

    Bleak House was pretty good, albeit a bit long. Lots of recognizable faces if you watch BBCTV at all. Extra sci-fi geekiness: Denis Lawson also stars, better known to me as Wedge Antilles in the original Star Wars movies and uncle of Ewan MacGregor as well. Check out Jekyll for him as well (which was written by the writer of Blink)…. My what a limited but excellent talent pool!
    PS. Shame for using “Easter Eggs” in quotation marks. Am I the only one who was surprised they had to explain this in the show? I thought it was common knowledge.

  • Tara

    Dennis the Beeper King (Dean Winters). His latest turn on 30 Rock made me run to IMDB. He’s genius.

  • Snsetblaze

    Lee Tergeson – Toby from Oz. Saw him in a few other things and couldn’t place him at first. Loved him in the short-lived show Wanted.

  • joy

    Yay for getting on the DW wagon!
    Carey Mulligan was just on last night’s My Boy Jack…she’s quickly becoming the next Hey, it’s that girl! for me.
    I do have to say, though, my sister and I have been conducting NetflixOeuvreMarathons for ages now – where we glom on to someone’s performance and then *run* to our Netflix queue to add every single piece of work in their oeuvre. Delays the rest of your queue, but fun to have a mini-obsession.
    And, no, I generally don’t keep up the fascination afterward, particularly as they were actors like Brendan Fehr, Josh Duhamel, and Joshua Jackson. After you’ve seen the first 10 minutes of Turistas, you’re pretty much done with the JD oeuvre. No offense, JD.

  • Snsetblaze

    And to my previous comment re Lee Tergeson, where I saw him as a guest star was Desperate Housewives as Peter last season. I also saw him on The 4400.

  • Snsetblaze

    And to my previous comment re Lee Tergeson, where I saw him as a guest star was Desperate Housewives as Peter last season. I also saw him on The 4400.

  • Silv

    I check imdb.com constantly – but the one time I had to locate a familiar actor and verify his name was when I was convinced that Justin Bruening (now on Knight Rider) was the same actor as “Massimo” in “The Wedding Planner.” Of course, it’s not, it’s Justin Chambers, but I thought they shared quite a resemblance.

  • donner

    you will LOVE Bleak House…i’ve watched it at least 3 times, its wonderful…and yes, last night on Masterpiece I spotted her right away on “My Boy Jack” about Rudyard Kiplings son who was sent into WW1…(Daniel Radcliffe stars)…good eye, Slezak!!!

  • Verity

    First of all, Carey Mulligan is one of those actresses we’re going to see a lot more of in the future. She’s been the stand out in everything I’ve seen her in (Bleak House, Pride and Prejudice, My Boy Jack, Northanger Abbey – one of the few things I actually liked about that adaptation) and Blink was by far one of the best Doctor Who episodes in Season 3. I hope we get to see Sally Sparrow again.
    Next, to answer your question. I do the imdb.com/Netflix hunt and gather all the time. My most recent obsession is Charlie Cox. After seeing him in Stardust, I immediately researched him and rented copies of Casanova and Merchant of Venice. He doesn’t have much else available but I pop in every once in a while to see if he has anything new on his resume.

  • Alli

    OK, this is creepy because I lost my weekend to Series 3 and wondered the exact same thing when watching that episode (and being scared sh*tless by the Weeping Angels) at 1AM last night. I’d also like to add Tom Ellis, who played Thomas Milligan in the finale “Last of the Time Lords” – nothing on his IMDB resume jumps out at me, but that guy is SO FAMILIAR and it’s driving me insane wondering where I’ve seen him before!

  • Heather

    Brian McNamara – Thanks to an 80s Disney sci-fi adventure that I can’t name now to save my life.

  • Ceballos

    “Has a stellar TV guest star ever driven you to IMDb or Netflix?”
    …only every time I watch an episode of “The Wire” or “The Shield.”
    To be more specific, the unfamiliar guest star who made me dash to IMdB was Michael Weston. He played “Jake”, the guy who abducts David in the “That’s My Dog” episode of “Six Feet Under”, which was probably the series’ most polarizing hour. Personally, I thought the episode was brilliant, and it was in no small part due to Weston’s work with Michael C. Hall. Weston was terrifying, funny, charismatic and insane.
    I’ve actually kept up with his career, and he’s been pretty solid in other stuff I’ve seen him in (mostly small roles in Zach Braff projects like “Garden State”, “The Last Kiss” and a recurring role as Private Dancer in “Scrubs”)

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