Everybody’s career has to start somewhere, even for Hollywood royalty. You know the faces, but do you know where they started out? Take a look and find out!
1) Ryan Gosling – Sean Hanlon, Breaker High
Before Baby Goose became Hollywood royalty and an internet darling, he starred in this bizarre Canadian teen sitcom about kids who go to high school on a cruise ship.
The show ran for 44 episodes and ultimately didn’t amount to much, but much like Drake’s role on Degrassi, Canadians have never let Gosling live this one down.
2) Michelle Pfeiffer – Stephanie Zinone, Grease 2
A year before she played Al Pacino’s wife in Scarface, and years before she’d don a leather catsuit and fight Michael Keaton in Batman Returns, Michelle Pfeifer starred as one of the Pink Ladies in this little-known sequel to Grease.
Pfeiffer essentially plays the main character, who is honestly a much better role model than Olivia Newton-John’s Sandy from the first movie. She is the leader of the Pink Ladies and isn’t afraid to go against tradition to live her own life. Her trademark sass and amazing acting chops make her the absolute highlight of the movie.
3) Jack Nicholson – Wilbur Force, Little Shop of Horrors
Long before he was quoting Johnny Carson and questioning our abilities to handle the truth, Jack Nicholson had a role in the original 1960s adaptation of the hit musical.
His character, Wilbur Force, is a masochistic dental patient who loves having his teeth examined. Would you believe this is one of the least unsettling roles he’s had?
4) Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson – Kyle and Francesca, The Perfect Score
We know them best these days as costumed superheroes Captain America and Black Widow, but Chris and Scarlett first teamed up in the teen comedy The Perfect Score.
The movie is about a group of teens who try to break into Princeton and steal the answers to their upcoming SATs. Chris plays the charming leader of the group, while Scarlett is the haughty daughter of the owner of the building.
5) Laurence Fishburne – Cowboy Curtis, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse
You probably remember Laurence Fishburne best as the stoic Morpheus from The Matrix, so would you believe he got his start in kids shows?
That’s right, Fishburne regularly appeared on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse as Cowboy Curtis, Pee-Wee’s cowboy friend who dressed like a parody of John Wayne while also sporting a jheri curl mullet.
Those aren’t the only early roles you’ll wish you’d known sooner…
6) Morgan Freeman – Easy Reader, The Electric Company
A man with a voice so smooth and distinctive that he’s even played God in more than one movie, Morgan Freeman needs no introduction. Much like Laurence Fishburne though, one of his earliest big roles was in a children’s TV show.
Freeman played several roles on The Electric Company, but the one most people remember is Easy Reader, a Jimi Hendrix-lookalike who sang about how great reading was. Why they felt naming him after a biker drug trip movie starring Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda was appropriate for a kids show is anyone’s guess.
7) Jennifer Aniston – Tory Reding, Leprechaun
Before Rachel Green would define her as an actress, Jennifer Aniston had her first film acting role in the the so bad it’s somehow amazing “horror” movie, Leprechaun.
Watching a future member of Hollywood’s elite trying to flee from a killer leprechaun (played by Star Wars veteran Warwick Davis) is never not funny, and I’m pretty sure Aniston hopes everyone has forgotten this role.
8) Daniel Craig – Master Kane, A Kid In King Arthur’s Court
Before he incited rage amongst James Bond fans for being too blonde, and then causing audiences everywhere to swoon over his abs when he first popped out of the water, Craig was another Brit trying to make a name for himself.
His performance as Master Kane is one of the few memorable bits from this forgotten family film, but it’s nowhere near as notable as his hair. I mean, just look at it.
9) Ryan Reynolds – Michael “Berg” Bergen, Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place
The other famous Canadian Ryan on this list, Ryan Reynolds has been enjoying something of a career renaissance thanks to toning up and taking on the role of the foul-mouthed Wade Wilson in Deadpool.
Years ago though, he starred alongside fellow Canadian nerd hero Nathan Fillion in this comedy about a group of friends living in Boston and working at a pizza shop. It even lasted for 4 full seasons!
10) Megan Fox – Stars-and-Stripes Bikini Kid Dancing Under Waterfall, Bad Boys II
In possibly the most hilariously specific acting credit of all time, the future star of other Michael Bay endeavors such as Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared as a club dancer at the age of 17.