19 Famous Actors In Their Big Movie Debuts You’ll be amazed at the change!

Before they were known worldwide as big stars, these celebrities had to start with a very small and almost insignificant role in which they showed their talent for acting. Some were extras and others were simply part of a huge crowd that could not even be seen on the screen, but that didn’t matter to them, the fact was to make the most of that opportunity.

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And although they had to work hard to become the best actors on the big screen, the next celebrities we will show you, had their first appearance in cinema playing unimportant supporting roles.


1. Elijah Wood – Back to the Future II

Elijah Wood
© Amblin Entertainment

Known especially for his role as Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Elijah made his big screen debut at the age of nine with a supporting role in the film Back to the Future II. As time went by, he continued to participate in other projects, being nominated several times for the Young Artist Awards.

2. Angelina Jolie – Lookin’ to Get Out

Angelina Jolie
© Lorimar Productions

Angelina, at just six years old, made her first film appearance as the daughter of Voight’s character, almost as the film was about to end. Over the years, Jolie became a great actress.

3. Jake Gyllenhaal – City Slickers

Jake Gyllenhaal

At 11 years old, little Jake made his debut in 1991 as Billy Crysta’sson in the comedy film City Slickers. A year later, in 1992, Gyllenhaal’s parents did not allow him to appear in the film The Mighty Ducks because the production required the boy to leave home for two months.

4. Robert Downey Jr. – Pound

Robert Downey Jr
© Floyd L. Peterson Productions

In 1970, at just five years old, Robert made his debut in the film Pound directed by his father and in which he worked together with his brother. Between the 1970s and 1980s he continued to appear in his father’s productions, but it wasn’t until 1982 that Downey decided to drop out of high school to travel to New York and formally begin his acting career.

5. Christian Bale – Empire of the Sun

Christian Bale
© Consolidated Entertainment

Hand in hand with Stephen King, Christian Bale debuted at the age of 13 in the film Empire of the Sun in 1987, after going through a long casting with more than 400 children, the young Bale managed to stand out and win the role.

6. Scarlett Johansson – North

Scarlett Johansson
© Castle Rock Entertainment

When she was just nine years old, Scarlett made her film debut as John Ritter’s daughter in the 1994 fantasy comedy, North. He then went on to play minor roles in films such as Just Cause.

7. Antonio Banderas – Labyrinth of Passions

Antonio Banderas
© Alphaville S.A.

The stage name of Antonio Banderas and his debut in cinema is due to Almodóvar, with whom he made five well-known films of his time, among which stand out: Labyrinth of Passions, The Law of Desire and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

8. Orlando Bloom – Casuality

Orlando Bloom
© BBC Television Centre

Bloom began acting professionally on television, in a few episodes of Casuality and Midsomer Murder. Subsequently, in 1997 he made his big screen debut in Wilde, starring Stephen Fry, in which Orlando played a surrogate child.

9. Kristen Stewart – Panic Room

Kristen Stewart
© Columbia Pictures

In 2002, Stewart landed the key role in his career, playing Sarah Altman, a girl with diabetes in the film Panic Room. Due to her excellent performance, Kristen became one of the most acclaimed actresses in the film, which led to her first nomination for the Young Artist Awards.

10. Ryan Reynolds – Hillside

Ryan Reynolds
© Nickelodeon

Ryan’s career began with television productions such as Hillside in 1993 where he appeared in 13 episodes, and was distributed on Nickelodeon under the name Fifteen.

11. Brad Pitt – Dallas

Brad Pitt
© Lorimar Telepictures

The famous and handsome actor, Angelina Jolie’s ex-husband, first appeared in front of the cameras in the television series Dallas in 1987.

12. Reese Witherspoon – The Man in the Moon

Reese Witherspoon
© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

In 1991, Reese, accompanied by some friends, went to audition for the film The Man in the Moon. She didn’t expect to get more than an extra role, however she was cast in the lead role of Dani Trant, a 14-year-old country girl who first falls in love with her 17-year-old neighbor.

13. Jim Carrey – Rubberface

Jim Carrey
© By Laurentiis Entertainment Group

Carrey made his film debut in Rubberface in 1981. She went on to have supporting roles in films such as Peggy Sue Got Married, Earth Girl Are Easy, and The Blacklist. But it wasn’t until 1994 that Jim experienced true stardom after starring in Ace Adventure.

14. Joseph Gordon Levitt – Dark Shadows

Joseph Gordon Levitt
© Allied Filmmakers

At just six years old, Joseph began his career by appearing in several television movies and two episodes for the series Family Ties. After having a starring role in the 1991 series Dark Shadows as David Collins, he made his debut with a supporting role in the 1992 film Beethoven.

15. Tom Cruise – Endless Love

Tom Cruise

After a brief role in the film Endless Love, he was cast in Taps alongside another promising young filmmaker, Sean Penn. In his early years, Tom starred in teen films such as The Outsiders and Risky Business.

16. Leonardo DiCaprio – Critters 3

Leonardo DiCaprio
© New Line Cinema

His film debut was in the science fiction horror film Critters 3, in which he played the stepson of an evil landlord. A year later, DiCaprio achieved success on the big screen when he was selected by Robert De Niro from more than 400 young people to play the lead role in This Boy’s Life.

17. Ryan Gosling – Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Ryan Gosling
© Cinar Animation Inc.

Ryan appeared in Canadian television series and films including Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Breaker High and in 1998 moved to New Zealand to film Young Hercules.

18. Nicolas Cage – Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Nicolas Cage
© Refugee Films

Although he had a small role in the series The Best Of Times playing a surfer, it was not until 1982 that he made his film debut with a small role in the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High alongside Sean Penn.

19. Jared Leto – How to Make an American Quilt

Jared Leto
© Amblin Entertainment

Jared’s film debut was in How to Make An American Quilt in 1985. He later co-starred with Christina Ricci in the film The Last of the High Kings.




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