Before They Were Stars (2-for-1 Special): Michael Madsen and John Spencer in “Wargames”

If you grew up in the 1980s, chances are that you are very nostalgic about the Cold War thriller, Wargames, and used to think that the World War III-starting military supercomputer they featured was as state-of-the-art as technology gets. Anyway, the film has a very memorable and gripping opening sequence inside a missile silo involving two technicians who have to decide whether or not they’re willing to launch a nuclear attack. Well, it turns out these technicians are played by a young Michael Madsen and future Emmy Award winner John Spencer of The West Wing fame. These two minor characters are not seen again for the rest of the movie, but the scene is incredibly crucial to establishing the story, so that’s probably why they had the instinct to cast these small roles with two unknown actors who would go on to much bigger things.

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