Every actor has to start off somewhere. For most people, that means taking any role that they can land their hands on. Many of the actors we know and love today have gone to more auditions than they can count, and have wasted many hours in waiting rooms waiting for their names to be called. In the end, a handful of these actors have managed to slowly work their way up Hollywood’s ladder and become stars.
When you first decide that you want to pursue acting, you can spend months or even years trying to land a role. When you do finally get cast, it isn’t always for the role you had hoped for.
Have you ever watched an older movie and been surprised to see one of your favourite celebs acting out a small and insignificant role? Well, you’re not alone. Many Hollywood actors have spent their childhoods acting in sitcoms, movies, and even commercials in order to make their resumes stand out against others. Eventually, after growing older and gaining some on-screen experience, they were given lead roles in movies that allowed them to get recognized.
If you think about it, it must be quite funny to go from getting cast as a nameless barista to landing a lead role. But in the end, all it takes is for one director to see some potential in you and decide to take you on board. Like in many businesses, people are required to start at the bottom and work themselves up. Sure, there are some exceptions, but only for the exceptional.
15. Emma Stone – Malcolm In The Middle
Emma Stone is the perfect example of a celebrity who knew what she wanted and went after it at a young age. In fact, this beautiful lady started acting when she was under 18-years-old. Nowadays, Stone is one of the most recognizable celebs in the world, and has managed to land the lead role in many different movies.
If you were a fan of the TV show Malcolm In The Middle, then you might be surprised to find out that that this popular actress was actually cast as Diane in the hilarious episode Lois Strikes Back, over 10 years ago. Stone went on to act in Superbad alongside famous actor Jonah Hill, and ultimately started becoming more recognized as an actress. After the movie’s success, Stone began to land many more roles by charming the public with her good looks, acting skills, and inviting personality. Stone has also acted in the family channel show The Suite Life of Zach And Cody.
14. Brittany Murphy – Boy Meets World
If you love Brittany Murphy, then her name probably still has the ability to bring tears to your eyes. The beloved actress was found dead in 2009 after suffering from pneumonia and anemia. Her sudden death took the world by surprise and left behind a trail of devastation. Although she was taken before her time, Murphy was well known for playing diverse roles, and will always be remembered as a spectacular actress.
Murphy started acting when she was fourteen-years-old, and went on to appear in a variety of different shows and movies. She is well known for her blonde hair, so when it is dyed another colour, she is hardly recognizable. In 1995, the young actress made two appearances in the TV show Boy Meets World. Murphy played the role of the annoying and weird Trini in the episodes The Last Temptation of Cory and My Best Friend’s Girl. Murphy also appeared on the hit TV show Clueless, playing the role of Jasmine in the episode Driving Me Crazy.
13. Chris Brown – The O.C
Chris Brown is well known for his sweet voice and spectacular performances. The singer has danced his way into the hearts of many fans, but has not always managed to remain there. The singer lost most of his popularity when he physically assaulted his ex-girlfriend Rihanna, severely bruising her face. Brown has been known for his abusive tendencies, which is quite hilarious because he sings songs about love and treating people “right.”
Back in 2006, Brown decided to put his acting skills to the test. He took on the role of a band geek in the once popular TV series The O.C. The R&B artist ended up acting in seven episodes of the fourth season, proving that he makes a better actor than he does a boyfriend. Brown received a role in the movie Stomp The Yard later that year, and showed off his dance moves alongside Ne-Yo, Columbus Short and Meagan Good.
12. Aaron Paul – Veronica Mars
Aaron Paul is an amazing actor who was first recognized by the mainstream for his role as Jesse Pinkman in the drug-filled TV series Breaking Bad. Paul started acting professionally when he was 19-years-old and has been cast in many different movies and TV shows. The actor is currently working on a handful of movies that will come out in the next two years. Being cast as Jesse Pinkman allowed Paul to really show off his acting talents. In fact, the role ended up landing him 18 Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
Before Paul was Jesse Pinkman, he bounced back and forth between a dozen different TV shows. In 2005, Paul was cast as Eddie Laroche in the high school detective TV series Veronica Mars, acting alongside actress Kristen Bell in the episode Silence Of The Lamb. Paul also acted in an episode of the TV series 3rd Rock From The Sun back in 1999.
11. Mila Kunis – 7th Heaven
Mila Kunis is an actress who rose to popularity by being cast as Jackie Burkhart in the stoner TV series That 70’s Show. Kunis was cast as Jackie at the age of 15, and managed to keep the role despite the protest of many staff members who believed her to be too young. Kunis is a gorgeous actress well-recognized for her dark, wavy hair and bright green eyes. She is currently expecting a baby with fellow actor Ashton Kutcher, who happens to have played her love interest in That 70’s Show.
Before Kunis landed the role of Jackie, she was able to score many different types of roles despite her young age. At only 11-years-old, Kunis was cast as Young Hope on the daytime drama Days Of Our Lives. Only two years later, Kunis was given the opportunity to play the role of Ashley on 7th Heaven, which she jumped at.
10. Leo DiCaprio – Roseanne
Leonardo DiCaprio is known throughout the world as one of the best actors of all time. His career has been close to spectacular, and despite all the fame, he has managed to remain well-respected and level-headed. DiCaprio has had the type of career that many actors would die for. Instead of wasting his money on poor choices, he has shown interest in the world, pouring his money into conserving it.
Because of DiCaprio’s success, it is sometimes hard to imagine him struggling to get roles. Yet at one point in his life, this is exactly what he did. DiCaprio knew from a young age that he wanted to become an actor, so his parents brought him to many different auditions in which he poured his little heart out. Back in 1991, DiCaprio was given a small role on the TV series Roseanne, where he played the part of Darlene’s classmate.
9. Amy Adams – Smallville
Amy Adams is a beautiful and talented actress who is well known for her petite frame and bright red locks. When it comes to fame, Adams did not have to try too hard before she started getting cast in movies and TV shows. This is due to her obvious beauty and charm. Adams started off her acting career in 1999 and began picking up small roles in shows like That 70’s Show and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
In 2001, Adams landed the role of Jodi Melville in the TV series Smallville, where she donned a fat suit and acted out the role of a hungry, kryptonite-infested high school student. Adams landed her first big role in the classic movie Catch Me If You Can in 2002, acting alongside actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Adams has had a successful career as an actress and has even managed to land the role of Lois Lane in 2013’s Man Of Steel.
8. George Clooney – Golden Girls
George Clooney is a name that nearly every English-speaking citizen has heard of. This great actor has been acting since 1978 and has since played in over 50 productions. He is one of the most successful and handsome actors in Hollywood, managing to keep a good reputation throughout his career. Nowadays, Clooney is still very present in the Hollywood scene, well known for his silver hair and exceptional acting skills.
Like most great actors, Clooney had to start at the bottom of the food chain and work his way up. In 1987, Clooney was given the role of Bobby Hopkins in an episode of Golden Girls. Just one short year later, Clooney landed the role of Booker Brooks in the TV series Roseanne. Clooney’s acting career really began to take off when he was offered the role of Bruce Wayne in Batman & Robin, back in 1997.
7. Hilary Duff – Gossip Girl
Hilary Duff is a rare breed because she has managed to remain decent, drug-free and successful despite having been a child star. Duff began acting when she was only 10-years-old, acting in a couple of TV movies before landing the role of Lizzie McGuire. The Lizzie McGuire show lead her to fame, and by the time the show was cancelled, she had begun working on movies and a new CD.
Duff is a successful business woman who started a clothing company called Stuff By Duff in 2004. Since then, Duff has landed the lead roles in movies like The Perfect Man, Raise Your Voice and A Cinderella Story. After getting married and having children, Duff settled down and started acting in TV series again. In 2009, Duff took on the role of Olivia Burke in the dramatic TV series Gossip Girl, in which she played in 6 different episodes.
6. Kesha – The Simple Life
Kesha is an American singer who rose to fame back in 2009. She is well known for her fun attitude and profound love of partying. At the age of 18, Kesha signed a contract with the Kemosabe Records Company and began working on what would be her breakthrough album. In 2010, Kesha released her album, Animal, which soon became the number-one album in the United States of America. Kesha gained popularity by releasing her hit songs Tic Tok and We R Who We Are, receiving the MTV Europe Music Award for Best New Act shortly after.
What many people do not know about Kesha is that she and her mother actually appeared in an episode of The Simple Life starring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. In this episode, Hilton and Richie stay with Kesha’s family while attempting to plan a wedding. Kesha is described as a future pop singer and the girls try to set her mom up with a hot date.
5. Hayden Panettiere – Malcolm In The Middle
Hayden Panettiere is a lovable American actress who started acting in 1989 — the year she was born. She has appeared in over 50 commercials and has spent most of her early life auditioning for movie roles. Panettiere’s mother is a former opera actress who no doubt wanted her daughter to follow in her footsteps — luckily she felt the same. Despite being 5 feet tall, Panettiere has been known to have a large presence and a bubbly personality.
In 2004, the young actress landed the role of Audrey Davis in the movie Raising Helen. She was given the chance to work alongside Kate Hudson. Afterwards, life got a little easier for the blonde bombshell and she was accepted into Hollywood’s elite crowd. But before that, Panettiere appeared in the TV series Malcolm in the Middle for a number of years, taking on the role of a bushy-haired and opinionated student named Jessica.
4. Naya Rivera – The Bernie Mac Show
Naya Rivera is a gorgeous American actress who has been deemed a jack of all trades. This actress is the embodiment of talent; she can do just about anything she puts her mind to. Rivera is an amazing singer, dancer and actress, which she has clearly showcased by playing on the musical TV series Glee. Rivera has been married to actor Ryan Dorsey since 2014 and the couple have one child together.
Rivera has been acting since 1992, and has played a dozen small roles in many different sitcoms. She has appeared on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Smart Guy, Even Stevens and many more. One of her most reputable roles was the one of Donna on The Bernie Mac Show (RIP Bernie Mac), which she played for 4 years back in 2002. Rivera is currently working on a movie called Mad Families which will be released by the end of 2017.
3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt – That 70’s Show
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an American actor who has basically grown up in front of a camera. By the time he was 6 years old, he had already begun shooting commercials and playing small parts in TV movies. In 1993, Gordon-Levitt landed the role of George in the TV series Roseanne, appearing in random episodes for the next 2 years. In 1996, Gordon-Levitt was cast as Tommy Solomon in the TV show 3rd Rock From The Sun.
Once Gordon-Levitt evolved from the cute kid to a good-looking fellow, he began to see his career take off when he started landing roles in movies like Inception, Don Jon and Premium Rush. But before this could happen, Gordon-Levitt appeared in the TV show That 70’s Show, playing the role of Buddy Morgan in the episode Eric’s Buddy. Gordon-Levitt is a successful actor who has had the opportunity to work with many A-list stars.
2. Ryan Gosling – Are You Afraid Of The Dark
Ryan Gosling is a Canadian actor who started acting at the young age of 15 and has been getting cast ever since. His acting career took a steer in the right direction when he auditioned for the role of Noah from the movie The Notebook. Gosling was immediately cast for the role which allowed him to show off his boyish charm. From then on he began to receive large amounts of praise from his fans, who are very unsurprisingly women who find him to be extremely dashing.
From that point, Gosling became a much loved celebrity, going on to play in movies like The Big Short and Gangster Squad. But before Gosling could become the actor he is today, he had to start off small, and play in a variety of Canadian TV Shows. Gosling’s first role ever was the one of Jamie Leary on the TV series Are You Afraid Of The Dark.
1. Chris Pratt – The O.C
Some of Chris Pratt‘s fans can say that he literally came out of nowhere and took the world by storm, but this wouldn’t be too accurate. Pratt is the type of actor who has gone through many different phases and looks. He is naturally hilarious,and isn’t afraid to show it. But on top of that, he is an actor who is extremely versatile. He has appeared in many different shows and movies, being consistently able to change his profile on many accounts. Pratt has been known as the chubby funny guy as well as the fit smart guy and anything in between.
Most people can say that they started to love Pratt when he was cast as Andy in the TV series Parks and Recreation, but what many people do not know is that Pratt started acting 11 years before that. Pratt was actually on the once popular TV show The O.C. He played the role of Ché, and appeared in over 9 episodes.