It’s hard to imagine our favorite actors in roles other than the ones they are famous for. But before these stars were well known, they had to start somewhere. Some even played characters that became synonymous with their careers, while others went off in entirely different directions.Let’s see if you can recognize your favorite actors from when they first got into show-business.
Christopher Walken – Wonderful John Acton
Christopher Walken is a well-known actor, but he was actually a dancer before his rise to fame. Walken took his first leap into acting by joining many musicals before making his way into the world of television in the 1950s.His first role was in the 1953 television show Wonderful John Acton. Walken has had an incredible career and even won an Oscar for the film The Deer Hunter.
Matthew McConaughey – Dazed and Confused
Matthew McConaughey is one of the most famous actors in the world for his roles in Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, Wolf of Wallstreet, and countless more.But before that, he featured in the movie Dazed and Confused, which premiered on January 17th of 1993. Dazed is one of McConaughey’s first acting credits to go public. However, his earliest professional role came from an advertisement for Levi Strauss & Co., where he appeared alongside actress Brenda Strong as part of its launch campaign to promote its new Mad Dog Classics line.
Tom Hanks – Bosom Buddies
Tom Hanks has starred in some of the biggest Box Office hits of all time. The actor is best known for films such as Saving Private Ryan, Philadelphia, and the Academy Award-winning Forrest Gump.But before that, he starred in a television show called Bosom Buddies, which premiered on September 16th of 1980. Hanks played an advertising copywriter named Rick Davis who was unhappy with his job at Jumbo Plastic Moulders, so he switched careers to become a female impersonator.The show only lasted one season because of poor ratings but is now on Hulu!
Michael B. Jordan – The Sopranos
Before Michael B. Jordan starred in films such as Creed and Fantastic Four, Michael B. Jordan had a successful career as a child actor. While many think that Michael B. Jordan’s career began when he was in the hit TV show The Wire, he actually had a small appearance on an even more notable television series; The Sopranos. Jordan has had an incredible career so far, playing iconic roles and earning recognition along the way, exemplified by countless award nominations.
Chris Hemsworth – Home and Away
His iconic role now defines Chris Hemsworth as Thor, the god of thunder in the Marvel Universe.But before becoming an icon of power, fitness, and strength, Chris Hemsworth was known for playing a geeky kid by the name of Josh on Home and Away, and this was the only role he was known for before landing his big break as Thor. He continues to find success with the Marvel franchise by starring as Thor in 7 more movies between the Thor and the Avengers Universe.
Ryan Reynolds – Fifteen
Ryan Reynolds is a household name and unanimously loved in the film and television industry. But what was Reynolds doing before he was starring in box office hits such as Deadpool, Van Wilder, and Blade?Like many actors, Reynolds began in the world of television. He made his first appearance on the TV show Fifteen and was a Canadian teenage soap opera. After his opening role, it took Ryan two years before he had found his way into the film industry by playing a role in the movie The Odyssey, and the rest is history.
Joe Manganiello – Spiderman (2002)
Over the last couple of years, Joe Manganiello has made waves in Hollywood, best known for his incredible physique as the titular character in HBO’s True Blood, as well as taking on a leading role in the film Magic Mike.But before being recognized as one of the biggest hunks in Hollywood, Manganiello played a role in one of the most successful box office films of all time, but one you may not remember. Manganiello appeared in the original Spiderman series playing Peter Parker’s bully.
Leonardo DiCaprio – Critters 3
Leonardo DiCaprio got his first acting job when he played a small role in Critters 3.Fast Forward six years, and Leo was clinging to a floating door as he starred in the legendary Titanic, which changed his career forever.
Brie Larson – 13 Going on 30
Brie Larson now plays arguably the most powerful female character in the Marvel Universe, Captain Marvel. But before her career took off, Larsen played minor roles and filled in as extras when she was just a teen.Her first role in an actual movie came in 2004 was when she played a Young Six Chick in 13 going on 30.
Ashley Tisdale – Donnie Darko
Ashley Tisdale got her most recognizable roles as Maddie on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Sharpay in the Disney Channel Original Movie, High School Musical.But before she was a star to tweens everywhere, Tisdale played minor roles in countless TV shows such as Smart Guy, 7th Heaven, and Beverly Hills 90210.Yet, Tisdale’s first movie appearance was a brief stint in the Cult Classic, Donnie Darko.
Elijah Wood – Back to the Future Part II
Elijah Wood is one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, and for a good reason. Elijah was the one that carried the Ring to Mordor and saved all of Middle Earth.Of course, this took place in his leading role as Frodo in “The Lord of the Rings franchise. But what was Elijah doing before playing one of the most iconic roles in Hollywood?At eight years old, Elijah Wood began his acting career with a brief appearance in Back to the Future Part II, playing a little kid.
Charlize Theron – Children of Corn III: Urban Harvest
Charlize Theron’s career is impressive for someone her age. Theron has three Academy Award nominations, where she won Best Actress for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster and won many other awards along the way, including a Golden Globe Award.But before all the success, Charlize Theron was a high-level ballerina and moved to New York to join the Joffery Ballet. After a knee injury, she made the leap into acting and had a cameo in the film Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest.
Denzel Washington – Carbon Copy
Denzel Washington is without a doubt one of the most well-known and talented actors in Hollywood, having won two Academy Awards for Glory and Training Day. But he didn’t just start on the top.Washington was an extra in a few films before landing his first significant role as Tod Fletcher in Carbon Copy. He was 27 years old at the time.
Ryan Gosling – Frankenstein and Me
By the time Ryan Gosling starred in his breakout role as Noah in The Notebook at the age of 22, Gosling had already had nearly twenty professional acting gigs under his belt.However, his first screen appearance took place in a film called Frankenstein and Me, where he acts alongside well-known actor Burt Reynolds.