There are actors in Hollywood who’ve been active for decades, but are known mainly for who they’re friends with. Busy Philipps easily qualifies for this, as her high-profile friendships with many A-listers in Hollywood have kept her in the public eye.
On the performing front, Busy repeatedly plays pretty much the same role in every film – the silly, blunt, but ultimately well-meaning friend who never runs out of things to say. Over the long course of her career, Philipps has been seen in several dozens of TV shows and films, but it’s hard to remember if she was in these releases at all years later. The Busy Tonight host has been busy with her chat show as of late, but it’s worth taking a look at 10 films and series’ she was in and you totally forgot or never knew about.
10 White Chicks
If you watch Philipps’ talk show, then you would’ve become aware of her White Chicks role, as the host had a revival of a famous dance scene from the movie. However, since a lot of us aren’t even aware of Busy Tonight’s on-air run, many won’t know she got one of her first exposures on this film.
She was part of a trio of dumb but lovable girls who befriends the main characters – both of whom are men posing as women. It’s easy to forget she was in this film since she’s always in the group of three and doesn’t have much to offer on her own. Even Jennifer Carpenter of Dexter fame goes unnoticed as part of this trio.
9 Made of Honor
Another high-profile film that features Busy as part of a friend group, Made of Honor was squarely focused on Patrick Dempsey’s character trying to sabotage the wedding of the friend he’s in love with.
Busy’s role consists of her usual antics, this time showing her out of place with the Scottish setting. Her one scene of note had her catch the bouquet at the end, implying she would be Bride no. 7 for the main character’s father. As you can see, filling out the friend group doesn’t really give her a chance to stand out here, does it?
8 A Case of You
People who’ve watched A Case of You agree that it’s a sweet film that deals with love and its accompanying insecurities, but they’ll also tell you it’s impossible to recall Busy ever being in it, not when you look at the all-star cast.
You’ve got Justin Long, Evan Rachel Wood, Sam Rockwell, Peter Dinklage, Vince Vaughn, and Brendan Fraser rounding out the cast; how is one supposed to remember Philipps in between these names? Her role did pop up a bit onscreen, though, as she played the girlfriend of the main character’s friend. Everyone delivered well in this film, but there’s no question Philipps was lost in the mix.
7 How I Met Your Mother
To be fair, she was pretty good in her appearance on How I Met Your Mother, but she was easily overshadowed by her competition for the night, who was a long-known flame of main character, Ted Mosby.
Another problem with the role was that it was classic Busy Philipps we saw, where her character made flirtatious conversation all the while swinging one drink down after another. The episode had her in a starring capacity, as the main story involved her vying for the affections of Ted. But the generic role she had to play made it very easy to forget who it was playing the character a few episodes down the line.
6 Love, Inc.
Perhaps in the landscape of today, there might be a place for an original story like Love, Inc., but back in 2006, the show was canceled due to its low ratings. The show’s premise saw Philipps’ character and three other women work in a dating agency, where their own lack of love lives clashes with their jobs.
As the sitcom landscape is littered with one series after another (and the perception of multi-cam sitcoms now being mainly negative), barely anyone remembers this show being on TV anymore. It’s a shame, though, since the show had a diverse cast and a storyline that hasn’t been seen on television before.
5 He's Just Not That Into You
When you think of He’s Just Not That Into You, you think of Jennifer Anistion, Bradley Cooper, or Scarlett Johansson; the mind doesn’t wander off to the supporting characters. In this film, Philipps kept showing up at regular intervals, but it wasn’t a character that had any layers.
She played the friend and employee of Justin Long’s character, and would throw in some well-meaning shots at him for being clueless over his love for Ginnifer Goodwin’s character. The role was similar to her usual work, but was dosed with a nicer personality than what she usually plays with. But you can’t blame anyone for forgetting she was in this film, not when there are several acting heavyweights involved.
4 Cougar Town
You know, this show has the least chance of being forgotten by viewers, but since everyone just wants a Friends reunion, Courtney Cox’s solo sitcom effort isn’t remembered much as the years move forward.
Cougar Town was a success; having a six-season tenure and ending on its own terms. Busy played the most outrageous version of her usual schtick, by being the loud and provocative assistant to Courtney Cox’s character. She meant well, but the role was easily the most annoying one out of every other person featured on the show. Looking back, the stars of the whole thing were Cox and the boys of the group rather than Busy, so people don’t immediately recall her having been on Cougar Town.
3 I Don't Know how She does it
Busy was given a star-cast billing for the Sarah Jessica Parker-led film I Don’t Know How She Does It, but her role really wasn’t that significant. The movie was mainly anchored by Parker, along with two hunky men in Greg Kinnear and Pierce Brosnan, that kept the interest ticking.
Philipps’ role was basically what every other person in the film did, and that was to question how Parker’s character kept up with the demand of being a career woman and a mother. The movie didn’t do well critically or commercially, with people generally not able to recall this release in the first place.
2 Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
It looks like Busy is forever meant to play the part of a friend regardless of the genre she appears in, with her role in Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles having her play the friendly landlady of Sarah and John.
Can anyone recall the supporting actors who didn’t get into the action for a science fiction show? Of course not, and that’s why Philipps’ time on The Sarah Conner Chronicles goes totally ignored when considering her filmography. And it wasn’t even a single appearance; she as present in multiple episodes and had a direct relationship with the main protagonists. But if someone were to tell you Busy of all people was in a Sci-Fi show, they’ll think you’re messing with them.
1 Made in Cleveland
Ensemble movies aren’t made to showcase just the one actor, but the most popular actor can be used the most to promote the movie. However, Busy’s top-billed appearance in Made in Cleveland is a forgotten piece of trivia.
The film is an anthology effort, with several stories folding out, but Philipps and Gilian Jacobs were easily the best-known of the cast that included up to thirty people billed on the poster! And yet, when people recall the film, they can’t generally name anyone who was featured in it. Maybe the producers should’ve sprung for a more well-known city like New York.