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Dax
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Moss on Invasion... Christina... only 5 episodes, but she was really good... got pregnant... here's a couple clips - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMynGpnD3JU

Cranston - Malcolm in the Middle, not The Middle... yeah, it was very fortunate that Cranston and Gilligan met on one of VG's X-Files episodes...

I knew Paul a wee bit from Big Love, but (while everybody on that show was generally really good) the role wasn't anything to prepare us for how awesome he was...

Giancarlo Esposito was always Buggin' Out from Do the Right Thing to me, until Gus...

Jonathan Banks (Mike) was a favorite on Wiseguy, a show that was a major influence on many great things to come, and what launched Kevin Spacey's career...

I was very familiar with Bob Odenkirk's comedy career. Prior to Saul, he had a recurring 'acting-not-just-comedy' role on The Larry Sanders Show, but sure, still nothing on the same level as he's got now...

I agree with you that it's often an advantage for a show to have an un-or-lesser-known cast over a bunch of people that are already stars... makes us easier to invest in the characters when we don't have a huge familiarity with the actors playing them...

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Mad Men · Primetime Shows