Time to take a deep dive into the movie industry, where success is certainly not easy, and everyone is required to appear in their share of bad movies before making a name for themselves in the box office hits. This article is going to cover those precise moments. The films that celebrities appeared in when they were still getting started, and we still didn’t really know who they were. This type of list is cool because for many of them, you probably forgot about the way their careers were back then – because you saw them way differently then.
Take an A-list actor such as Ryan Gosling, for instance. This is one actor that can pretty much accept or reject any role he wants – he simply has that level of respect. Now, remember when he appeared in Remember The Titans, back in the early 2000s. He was a scrawny kid back then who was given a supporting role, and while he certainly did his job well… he wasn’t the Ryan Gosling we know today. And he’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve got plenty more just like him, and try not to be completely shocked when you find out the lesser known past roles of some of these current stars.
Mila Kunis in Gia
The common word on the street is that before Mila Kunis was the well known actress known for dramatic roles on critically acclaimed films such as Black Swan, she originally got her start on That ’70s Show when she was a mere 16 years old. But the truth is is that she had already had some acting experience, when she appeared in Gia at 11 years old. In the movie, she portrays a young version of Angelina Jolie, an actress who she underratedly strongly resembles. But it’s obvious that even though she was only 11 years old, the amount of experience she gained by doing that role gave her the professionalism she needed to wow fans years later.
Julianne Hough in Harry Potter
The world of Harry Potter is so vast and magical that it can be easy for some people to lost in the translation sometimes. When you’re required to cast actors and actresses to fill an entire school, there’s a good chance that you might have some hidden gems in the mix. This was certainly the case with Julianne Hough, who played an obscure Hufflepuff girl cheering wildly at a Hogwarts quidditch match. Considering how popular she is today, we think it goes without saying that this is one girl who was a diamond in the rough. She is now well known for appearing in films such as Safe Haven, Rock of Ages, and the modern adaptation of Footloose.
Natalia Dyer in Hannah Montana: The Movie
When the Netflix original series Stranger Things started tearing up the charts as one of the more popular shows around, many of the younger cast members were people that none of us recognized. No one can deny that for these rising stars, Stranger Things was their big break. That being said, Natalia Dyer, who played the role of the timid yet daring Nancy Wheeler, actually appeared in a small role in Disney’s Hannah Montana: The Movie.
Brad Pitt in True Romance
Good old Brad Pitt. What hasn’t he appeared in, right? From Troy, to Ocean’s Eleven, to Inglourious Basterds, Pitt truly does have a vast catalog of films to his name. However, there is one notable film that you may have forgotten his appearance in. True Romance, which is also the first film that was written by Quentin Tarantino, sported a long list of well known actors, so many in fact, that it’s easy to overlook that Brad Pitt was nonchalantly in the movie as well.
Kirsten Dunst in Jumanji
For kids growing up in the modern day, they’ll sadly only associate Jumanji with The Rock, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart. While those actors are certainly great, the rest of us know how good the original Jumanji was, starring Robin Williams, and… a young Kirsten Dunst. That’s right… the woman who played Mary Jane Watson in Spiderman is well known for a lot of different movies she’s appeared in, but one of her first big roles was her much younger appearance in this classic film.
Jake Gyllenhaal in City Slickers
Before Jake Gyllenhaal was exercising his bravery in The Day After Tomorrow, along with many other films, he was taking care of business as a pretty solid child actor. But if you’re wondering what movies he actually appeared in when he was that young, we can give you one that will certainly blow your mind – City Slickers. That’s right, Gyllenhaal appeared one of the 90s classics when he was just a young child, when folks may not have expected him to get this big.
Taryn Manning in Crossroads
The thing is about movies with a star studded cast, it can be easy to overlook the supporting actors or actresses that weren’t so famous at the time. But it truly wonderful when they come out of the woodworks and make us all turn our heads around and say, “wow!” This was definitely the case with Taryn Manning, who may have been overshadowed by pop star Britney Spears and Zoe Saldana in Crossroads, but is now a leading star in the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black.
Brie Larson in Right On Track
Here’s another one of the actresses who slowly but surely turned herself into a megastar, but when we look back at her history of films, she was no stranger to paying her dues. Take the lovely Brie Larson for example. This girl is well known for appearing in films such as 21 Jump Street and Trainwreck, but she also was a child star in a Disney Channel Original Movie, Right On Track – a film about female drag racers.
Nicole Kidman in BMX Bandits
Nothing like a good old blast from the past to prove us how little we remember about the early lives of certain celebrities. When it comes to Nicole Kidman, sometimes it’s hard to see past her Academy and Emmy awards, and easy to forget that there was a time where she was also a small name on the big screen. Well… she was the leading role in the movie BMX Bandits, but was virtually unknown at the time – and many people have forgotten about it.
Ryan Gosling in Remember The Titans
One of the most classic movies of all time was Remember The Titans, especially for the message it stood for – a time in history that fought racial discrimination, and celebrated integration and unity. Now, Ryan Gosling was not even close to the “main character” of the movie. He had a number of good lines, but he certainly wasn’t the Ryan Gosling as you know him today. The man went from a superb supporting actor to a bonafide superstar.
Jessica Alba in Camp Nowhere
There was a time somewhere between 2004 and 2006 where you couldn’t get into any conversation about women in Hollywood without bringing up Jessica Alba a time or two. There was just something about her that people couldn’t shake. In other words, they loved her – and they still do! That being said, if we go even further back in the time, we’d find a Jessica Alba that many of you probably forgot existed – a young version of her who appeared in the comedy film Camp Nowhere.
Lena Headey in St. Trinian’s
Ever since Game of Thrones has dominated the world of television, each and every actor and actress that has appeared on the show has gotten a lot more famous than they were before – there’s simply no way around it – the show is too great. A good example is Lena Headey, who plays the role of Cersei. It may be hard to separate her from the character she plays, but you may have to when we show you this picture of her in a film called St. Trinian’s.
Tom Felton in The Borrowers
For many of the child actors and actresses that appeared in Harry Potter, their appearance in the movie was pretty much their first big role in any major film. One of the exceptions to that rule was Tom Felton, the actor who played Draco Malfoy. You may be interested to know that he also played a young child in the iconic hit film The Borrowers, where he was a part of a physically miniature sized family. In addition, his Borrowers co-star Jim Broadbent also appeared in Harry Potter, as Professor Slughorn.
Lino Facioli in Get Him to the Greek
Here’s one that is sure to take you for a ride – whether you’ve seen Get Him to the Greek or not. Lino Facioli is known nowadays for his portrayal of Robin Arryn on Game of Thrones, but he was also once known as Naples, the meek and neglected son of Aldous Snow. He certainly gets overlooked in the movie, which makes it nice to know that he’s doing so well for himself now. Perhaps all he needed was some “furry walls,” if you catch our drift.
Joe Manganiello in Spiderman
In the first Spiderman movie adaptation, the one with Tobey Maguire, there is a classic event that occurs in Peter’s high school, where he’s still discovering his powers. Intent on winning Mary Jane, he challenges a bully to a fight and pretty much lays him out. This bully was played by Joe Manganiello, who you may not have known then, but may do a double take when you realize that he’s one of the main characters from Magic Mike.
Kerry Washington in Save The Last Dance
A very popular film that came out at the start of the new millennium was Save the Last Dance, starring Julia Stiles. But Julia’s character’s best friend is actually played by none other than a young Kerry Washington, who had yet to really break out as one of the premier actresses in Hollywood. Nowadays, she’s well known for her exceptional performances in drama films such as Ray, Django Unchained, and more – so it’s pretty crazy to be reminded about her roots.
Taylor Momsen in How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Here’s one that is absolutely sure to ruffle your feathers… it sure has ruffled many others. Taylor Momsen is currently known as a singer, and an actress who portrayed a vulturous vixen on Gossip Girl. Of course, this goes in complete contrast with another character she played in the past…. Cindy Lou Who from Whoville in the Grinch Stole Christmas. In that movie, she is practically the embodiment of goodness and light – talk about a change of character!
Emmy Rossum in A Songcatcher
One of the most popular cult shows on the air today is Shameless, and there is one lady who leads their ship – Emmy Rossum, who plays the role of Fiona Gallagher. But here’s an interesting fact about. Not only is she a pretty awesome singer, but she used those talents when she appeared in the movie Songcatcher as a child, playing the role of Deladis Slocumb. For those of you who may have forgotten about that… you’re welcome!
Tobey Maguire in The Wizard
Good old Mister Tobey Maguire. It’s hard to really pin this actor down… Just when we think that we have him all figured, he proves us quite hard wrong we all are. He’s obviously best known for his notable work as Peter Parker in the original Spiderman films, but he also appeared in the children’s gamer movie The Wizard as a kid. He doesn’t have any lines, but you can tell in this picture that his boyish grin has that Tobey authenticity about it etched pretty clearly.
Miley Cyrus in Big Fish
Miss Hannah Montana was actually in show business long before she was gracing the stage as a small screen actress, a singer, and an Instagram social media persona as well. Have you ever seen the movie Big Fish, starring Ewan McGregor? Well, if you haven’t, you definitely should, because it’s an excellent and inspiring film. And when you do, keep your eyes peeled for a low key appearance of an extremely young Miley Cyrus, with a deer-in-the-headlights look in her eye.
Hugh Laurie in Stuart Little
Another extremely popular medical drama television show is that of House, starring the notable actor Hugh Laurie. Laurie has garnered a lot of positive recognition for his role as Dr. House, a snarky genius doctor. But in the past, he’s played the roles of characters who were actually not snarky at all, but kind and empathetic – such as Mr. Little in Stuart Little. Just look at how different he looks in that picture! Pretty amazing to say the least.
Matt Damon in Mystic Pizza
Matt Damon is one of the most well known actors in Hollywood, and one of the most beloved as well. We loved him in Good Will Hunting, and we loved him in The Martian, and honestly, it’s kind of hard to think of something we didn’t love him in. Then again, there may be a movie that you don’t even remember him in. One of his smallest ever roles was in 1988, when he appeared in a movie called Mystic Pizza – interesting outfit, Matt!
Selena Gomez in Spy Kids 3D Game Over
Most people know that before Selena Gomez was a pop singer loved by girls around the world, she was a Disney channel actress on the children’s show Wizards of Waverly Place – where she was also loved by girls around the world. But something that many people didn’t realized was a minor role she played in the children’s action film, Spy Kids 3D Game Over. She played a minor role of a wealthy young girl, but she wasn’t too well known at the time.
Angela Bassett in Kindergarten Cop
Angela Bassett is a very well respected actress of the modern day, known for countless roles. In fact, you may know her from a role she appeared in very recently, as the Queen of Wakanda in Marvel’s Black Panther. But in order to get to that point, she had to pay her dues just like everyone else. In Kindergarten Cop, a movie known for its memorable quotes, she was practically an afterthought, playing a stewardess on a plane.
Kristen Stewart in The Thirteenth Year
We all know Kristen Stewart – some people know her best for her role as Bella from the popular Twilight series, and the rest of us know her for her portrayal of Em in the comedy film Adventureland. But wherever it is that you know her best, it doesn’t change the fact that you probably didn’t know she was a child star – or at least, she appeared in a movie as a child. In her case, young Kristen played a random bystander in the Disney channel original film, The Thirteenth Year.
Christian Bale in The Land of Faraway
Talk about gargantuan levels of transformation, right? We’re talking about a child version of Christian Bale – just look at him in this picture! Do you really expect us to believe that the little boy we’re looking at is in fact a young Bruce Wayne? Well, apparently it is. Of course, the role that he portrayed in that movie wasn’t for Bruce Wayne – it was the role of Jum Jum, in the drama fantasy film that came out way back in 1987.
Ellen Pompeo in Catch Me If You Can
Perhaps what Ellen Pompeo is best known for is her consistent role on the hit medical drama series, Grey’s Anatomy. And for those who have a strong affinity for comedy films, she also played the role of Nicole, a love interest of Luke Wilson’s character in Old School. But not everyone remembers her for yet another role she played, alongside Leonardo Dicaprio where she plays his temporary love interest in Catch Me If You Can.
Kelly Bishop in Dirty Dancing
Some actresses just have a certain vibe about them that remains pretty consistent within all of the roles their play. Such is the case with Kelly Bishop, who plays the uptight grandmother Rory Gilmore on the hit television show Gilmore Girls. But she also gives off the same uptight impression in minor role she played in Dirty Dancing. A younger Kelly Bishop plays Marjorie Houseman, who gets very upset at times, and controlling with the people around her.
Abigail Breslin in Princess Diaries 2
Yet another well known actress who you may have forgotten a movie she appeared in is Abigail Breslin, who was in Princess Diaries 2. These days, she’s well known for her work in a number of movies, such as Little Miss Sunshine, Zombieland, and modern adaptation of Dirty Dancing. In Disney movie Princess Diaries 2, she played the role of a measly parade girl, which is probably one of the smallest roles she’s ever done.
Jack Black in Demolition Man
Who doesn’t love Jack Black? Even if you’re not particularly akin to his style of comedy, it’s unlikely that there isn’t a movie we could find that you didn’t like him in. After all, he is the man who brought us the sensational film, School of Rock. But of course, it would be ignorant of us to assume that we know about all of his appearances, and when he appeared in Demolition Man in a brief scene, we never could have predicted how far he would go from that moment.
Kevin Bacon in Friday the 13th
Mr. Kevin Bacon, the guy who taught us how to loosen up a bit in the original Footloose, has been a staple actor in Hollywood for years. Even when he has a minor role, like that of David Lindhagen in Crazy, Stupid, Love, people just love him. But here’s a movie that we’re betting you don’t remember he appeared in – the very first Friday the 13th. His character doesn’t live long, but as we know, the actor himself would go on to do great things.
Stanley Tucci in Beethoven
An extremely beloved actor for his eclectic abilities, Stanley Tucci is an absolute gem, showing off his serious side in The Core, and his wackiness as Caesar Flickerman in The Hunger Games series. But in the picture you see here, he plays a henchman in the movie Beethoven. They only give the roles of henchmen to actors who haven’t yet established themselves yet, and clearly Tucci had a long way to go – but we thought you’d appreciate seeing him doing his thing way back then.
Viola Davis in Kate and Leopold
In 2011, a very popular movie hit the box office. It was called The Help, and it was based off of a historically fictional book which focused on racial segregation in the early 20th century. The star of the movie was Viola Davis, who played the role of Abeleen. But we’d be willing to bet that no one who saw that movie remembers a small screen appearance of Davis in Kate and Leopold, where she briefly played a police officer who scolded a character played by Hugh Jackman.
Jonathan Banks in Airplane!
Attention all Breaking Bad fans! Just kidding, you don’t have to like Breaking Bad… we just figured it would be relevant to you because one of the main characters of the show, Mike Ehrmantraut, pretty much steals every scene he’s in with his rigid and tough demeanor. And while his role in Airplane! was actually a pretty big one, we’re betting to believe that many of you forgot about how different he looked back then!
Samuel L. Jackson in Coming To America
This guy is truly one of the all time greats, mainly due to his outstanding ability to deliver unique and memorable performances. Many of his roles are generally depicting characters that are rough around the edges, and not the kind you want to get on their bad side. Even though you probably don’t remember his brief portrayal of a burglar in the 80s film Coming To America, it’s interesting to note that is role was pretty similar to that of most of the others he plays.