Hard work pays off! Just look at how many Hollywood stars started with a few minutes of screen time and a couple of years of hustling. We all start somewhere. Did you ever wonder what these celebrities first roles were? Let’s take a deep dive into the past of some of our favorite actors and actresses to see how it all began. While some started in television, we shall look at their first appearance on the big screen today.
Matt Damon: Mystic Pizza
This blue-eyed cutie played a minor role in the 1988 romantic comedy Mystic Pizza. It wasn’t until nine years later that acclaimed director Francis Ford Coppola gave him his first big break as The Rainmaker. Later that same year, the role he co-wrote in Good Will Hunting would launch him into superstardom. The famous actor has also famously played an undercover agent in the Bourne series and, in recent years, was cast as Carroll Shelby in Ford vs. Ferrari. He designed the GT-40 that led Ken Miles to win the 1966 Le Mans. That car is now up for a 12-million-dollar auction.
Ryan Reynolds: Ordinary Magic
The Canadian actor was in a TV series called Fifteen before his first film role, a Canadian drama called Ordinary Magic. In recent years, Reynolds has become a household name, thanks in no small part to his hilariously dark performance as the unconventional titular superhero in the Deadpool films, making us laugh even as he amazes us with his powers.
Kate Winslet: Heavenly Creatures
We hear the name Winslet, and we instantly see this stunning red-haired beauty who looks longingly across a body of water. Either that, or we can envision her with different hair colors from Clementine. And if you thought Titanic was dark, then you probably haven’t seen her first big film, Heavenly Creatures. Directed by future Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, the film was about a real-life murder committed by smitten teenage girls in 1950s New Zealand. Kate Winslet has been very candid about the “kind of wrinkles that are here to stay.”
Keanu Reeves: Youngblood
We’re always taken aback and amazed by Keanu Reeves’ inability to age. While you may have thought he came to film prominence as a goofball in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, he first played an innocent goaltender for the Hamilton Mustangs in Youngblood. And in the John Wick franchise, he locks and loads and uses his fists to disarm his enemies. Decades and several Matrix installments later, he doesn’t appear to be slowing down.
Tom Hanks: He Knows You’re Alone
Listed as one of the most trustworthy contemporary actors, Tom Hanks perfectly plays the role of Mr. Rogers, an equally beloved individual, in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Forty years back, he was a psychology student in a slasher film, He Knows You’re Alone, and his first film role was drastically different. Since then, his roles have been softer, gentler, and much more lovable. Why do we adore this two-time Oscar winner so much? Because apart from getting us all to cry over a bloodstained volleyball, he’s got a sterling reputation for being generous and kind to his fans.
Scarlett Johansson: North
Who would have thought the Black Widow would look like this as a child? At just 9, Scarlett Johansson landed a role in the 1994 film North, directed by comedy monolith Rob Reiner. Unfortunately, the film received rather unflattering reviews. Johansson’s true breakthrough came when she was 18 when she starred in Lost in Translation. In Marriage Story, she plays a theater actress who splits from her husband. Confrontations become caustic and real, with both characters divulging their discontentment about their relationship. It garnered her much acclaim, and she seems closer to nabbing her own Oscar win.
Angelina Jolie: Lookin’ to Get Out
Jolie’s child, Shiloh, totally resembles her in this throwback picture. Seven-year-old Angelina made a screen debut in a comedy co-written by her Oscar-winning actor father, Jon Voight, the movie Lookin’ to Get Out. During her marriage to Brad Pitt, she created one of the most famous families in Hollywood. Beyond her acting career, Jolie has famously taken up humanitarian causes, empowering women in impoverished countries and bringing awareness to cancer.