Amazing Performances Under 10 Minutes Of Screentime

Amazing Performances Under 10 Minutes Of Screentime


You give Cher seven minutes, and she’ll give you the world.

1.

Viola Davis as Mrs. Miller in Doubt (2008)


Miramax / Courtesy Everett Collection

Onscreen for just shy of eight minutes, Davis appears in a single scene as Mrs. Miller, the mother of a Catholic school’s first Black student, Donald Miller.

In her scene, Mrs. Miller meets with the school’s principal, Sister Aloysius Beauvier, who suspects that Donald is being abused by the new priest in the parish. Sister Beauvier is played by Meryl Streep.

Viola Davis was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in Doubt.


Miramax / Courtesy Everett Collection

2.

Zendaya as Chani in Dune (2021)


Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Fans were shocked when they discovered that Zendaya, who has been heavily promoted as a main character in Dune, was only onscreen for seven minutes, “or 4.5% of the film.”


Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

However, Chani, a Fremen, or native to the desert planet Arrakis, is an essential character; she just so happens to be introduced more than halfway into the source material. Zendaya will be way more prominent in Dune‘s (recently confirmed) sequel, which will cover the latter half of the novel of the same name.


Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

3.

Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love (1998)


Miramax / Courtesy Everett Collection

Judi Dench’s royal performance clocks in at around eight minutes, and she doesn’t waste a single second of it.

When Dench accepted the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance, she joked in her acceptance speech, “I feel for eight minutes on the screen, I should only get a little bit of him.”

Nevertheless, they let her bring home the whole statue.


Courtesy Everett Collection

4.

Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)


New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

Englund and director Wes Craven were downright efficient when it came to making Freddy Krueger one of the most recognizable horror movie villains ever.


New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

Krueger is only onscreen for roughly seven minutes, but with every second he proves that you just don’t need all that much time to give nightmares to an entire generation.


New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

5.

Jonathan Groff as King George III in Hamilton (Disney+ recording, 2020)


Disney+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

With only three brief musical numbers that take up less than eight minutes, Groff establishes King George III as a manchild who doesn’t let his buffoonery get in the way of his desire to crush any resistance to his rule.

His fondness for threats of violence doesn’t make him any less fun to watch, and once America wins the Revolutionary War, he settles into the role of jilted ex perfectly. Naturally, Jonathan Groff was nominated for an Emmy for his performance in the recorded Disney+ version.

6.

Beatrice Straight as Louise Schumacher in Network (1976)


United Artists / Courtesy Everett Collection

7.

Kimberly Adair Clark as Honey in The Incredibles (2004)


Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for Disney

Honey is famously unseen in both The Incredibles and its sequel, so here’s a red carpet photo of the character’s voice actor, Kimberly Adair Clark, instead.

With a handful of exceptionally memeable lines, Honey easily secures her place in Pixar (and cinematic) history.

Honey is the real hero in this movie.

8.

Alec Baldwin as Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)


New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

Baldwin only appears in a single scene, during which he repeats, over and over again, the line “Always be closing.” The scene lasts a little over eight minutes.

Apparently, David Mamet added Baldwin’s scene to the movie, which was an adaptation of his play, because the producers at New Line Cinema wanted an “explosion” with which to start the story.

9.

Billy Crystal and Carol Kane as Miracle Max and Valerie in The Princess Bride (1987)


20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

This dynamic duo only get around five minutes of screentime, but Crystal was apparently so funny during his three days on set that he kept making cast and crew members burst out in laughter.

In Cary Elwes’ memoir As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride, he wrote, “For three days straight and ten hours a day, Billy improvised thirteenth-century period jokes, never saying the same thing or the same line twice.”

10.

Estelle Reiner as Unnamed Diner Patron in When Harry Met Sally… (1989)


Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

With only a few words, Estelle Reiner (the mother of director Rob Reiner) established her place in film history.

“I’ll have what she’s having” is ranked at #33 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes ranking.


Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

11.

Bill Murray as Bill Murray in Zombieland (2009)

In a brief cameo appearance, Bill Murray plays critically acclaimed and beloved actor Bill Murray, who disguises himself as a zombie during the apocalypse in order to live his life unbothered by the undead.

Which works just fine, until Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) accidentally shoots him.

12.

Ruby Dee as Mama Lucas in American Gangster (2007)


Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

Dee was onscreen for “less than ten minutes” as the mother of Denzel Washington’s character, Frank Lucas. Her performance ends with a “climactic slap across her son’s face.”


Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

For this role, Dee was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and she won a Screen Actors Guild Award in the same category.


Vince Bucci / Getty Images

13.

Meat Loaf as Eddie in Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)


20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

He only lasts for a single musical number (“Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul”) before being killed off by a jealous Dr. Frank-N-Furter, but as soon as he is gone, he is dearly missed.

And then, just like that, he’s dinner.

14.

Kenneth Tigar as the German Old Man in The Avengers (2012)

This old German guy has the distinction of being one of the few non-superheroes to tell Loki to go directly to hell, and for that, we honor him.

In fact, I like to think that this man is hidden somewhere in this picture.


Marvel / Courtest Everett Collection

15.

Gwyneth Paltrow as Beth Emhoff in Contagion (2011)


Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Paltrow’s character, Patient Zero of a deadly pandemic (because hey, in 2011, that was all just fun thriller fodder), dies in the first 10 minutes of Contagion.

16.

Drew Barrymore as Casey Becker in Scream (1996)


Dimension Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

Casey lasts only a few seconds over 10 minutes before she is brutally murdered at the beginning of the movie.

Barrymore spent five days on set to film the scene.


Dimension Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

17.

Cher as Ruby Sheridan in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)


Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Cher is onscreen for “seven and a half minutes” as Ruby, who is the mother of Donna (Meryl Streep) and the grandmother of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried).


Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

Fun fact: In real life, Cher is only three years older than Meryl Streep.


Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

18.

David Reale as Glen Coco in Mean Girls (2004)

I think Glen Coco technically gets no time onscreen, but he lives eternally online (and in our hearts) for this moment:

19.

And finally: James Sie as the Cabbage Merchant from Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005–8)

Only appearing in a handful of episodes for a few seconds at a time, the Cabbage Merchant is the unluckiest vegetable seller in the extended Avatar universe.

This is the only entry from a TV show, not a movie, but the Cabbage Merchant has become one of the most iconic memes from a show overflowing with them, and he can’t go unmentioned.

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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