Actors and actresses don’t become these monumental stars in one night. Acting is something they’ve put tons of hours towards, all so they can portray someone else on the big screen and satisfy millions of others. Their first roles might not be their most significant, but it helps put them in positions to land that career-changing character. For example, did you know Vince Vaughn was in the sports classic, Rudy? Not many know that, but if you continue reading, you’ll find out way more surprising facts about the first films your favorite stars played in and what their latest is.
Will Smith: 1992/2020
Will Smith’s first introduction to the big screen came in 1992 when he played Manny in the drama Where the Day Takes You. He was a legless cripple in this role, something you wouldn’t imagine Smith doing today.
As of 2020, he starred in the third and possibly final entry of the Bad Boys series. Bad Boys For Life stars Smith and Martin Lawrence as they try and find out who’s out to kill Will’s character, Mike Lowrey.
Jamie Lee Curtis: 1978/2019
Jamie Lee Curtis is one of the original scream queens. In 1978, she helped launch the Halloween franchise, which would continue on for decades to come. Curtis versus Michael Myers is always a great matchup.
Her latest role was in 2019’s Knives Out. She plays Linda Drysdale, a real estate mogul running a company with the support of her husband. Two very different characters, but still an optimal performance from her end as the great actress she is.
Robert Downey Jr: 1970/2020
Robert Downey Jr. was only five-years-old when he appeared in his first film. He played the role of Puppy in the 1970 comedy Pound, starring Lawrence Wolf, Stan Gottlieb, and Charles Dierkop. He would later become one of the most famous superheroes, but his most recent role has nothing to do with saving the universe.
In 2020, Downey starred in the movie Dolittle. Yes, it’s a reboot of the original Doctor Dolittle film so he’s able to communicate with animals of all sorts.
Charlize Theron: 1996/2019
If there’s anyone that’s been around the block a few times, then it’s Charlize Theron. At age 21, she played Helga Svelgen in 2 Days in the Valley. The film depicts the lives of a group of people drawn together in a 48 hour period thanks to a murder.
In 2019, Theron starred in Bombshell, a biographical comedy-drama. The movie revolves around a slew of newscasters, including Theron and Nicole Kidman. Theron’s character is the most popular in the bunch, playing Megyn Kelly, as she interviews one of the most controversial presidents ever.
Leonardo DiCaprio: 1991/2019
Leonardo DiCaprio is another actor that’s provided fans with countless great performances for decades. He first appeared in 1991’s Critters 3 as Josh. The movie went straight to video, but that doesn’t discredit his effort.
Fast forward to 2019 and he’s starring in a Quentin Tarantino film called Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It’s as imaginative as you would expect coming from Tarantino and DiCaprio amazes once again. One can only wait for his next movie.
Scarlett Johansson: 1994/2020
Did the young Scarlett Johansson ever dream that she would become one of the most admired heroes ever when she filmed for North in 1994? She played little Laura Nelson in the comedy, a friend to Elijah Wood’s character.
In 2020, Johansson stars in Black Widow, as she finally has her solo film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They killed her off in the blockbuster Endgame, so this is more a flashback of her origins.
Keanu Reeves: 1986/2020
Keanu Reeves played a hockey goalie named Heaver in the 1986 film Youngblood. He acted alongside Robe Lowe, but Reeves still had plenty of screen time for his first major role.
In 2020, Reeves once again stepped into the role of Theodore “Ted” Logan in Bill & Ted Face the Music. The plot is quite obscure, but we wouldn’t expect anything less from this series. Reeves needs to make a song that will save all life on Earth in this science-fiction comedy.
Anne Hathaway: 2001/2019
Anne Hathaway stole hearts in 2001 when she starred in The Princess Diaries. The coming of age film portrays an awkward, oft-bullied Hathaway who later discovers she’s the sole heir to a kingdom. She then gets one of the best makeovers ever and has to learn how to lead a new life.
In 2019, she starred in the thriller Dark Waters with Mark Ruffalo. She’s come a long way and her acting portfolio is now very diverse.
Idris Elba: 1999/2019
Idris Elba started his acting career on the big screen came in 1999 in a comedic French film about an ideal dysfunctional family. He didn’t have a primary role, but he still made some appearances.
As for lately, Elba appeared in the catastrophic film Cats in 2019. Critics destroyed the movie and it received one of the lowest rankings ever. Based on the stage musical, many felt this movie shouldn’t have even come out due to how bad it was.
Halle Berry: 1991/2019
In her first role, Halle Berry played a lady of the night alongside a star-studded cast of Samuel L. Jackson, Wesley Snipes, and even Spike Lee. The title of the film was Jungle Fever, so that pretty much explains the premise.
In 2019, Berry joined forces with Keanu Reeves to co-star in the third John Wick film. She’s an ex-assassin and former friend to Wick, so she plays an action-packed role, much like her X-Men days.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus: 1986/2020
In 1986, Julia Louis-Dreyfus found herself in her first movie – the cult classic Troll. It was a dark humor film directed by John Carl Buechler and produced by Charles Band, but Noah Hathaway was the leading star.
In 2020, the Veep actress stars alongside Will Ferrell in another dark comedy titled Downhill. It’s a remake of the movie Force Majeure where a married couple reevaluates feelings for one another after getting scarred by an avalanche.
Vince Vaughn: 1993/2019
Something you might not know about Vince Vaughn unless you’re a huge fan is that he co-starred in the classic film Rudy in 1993. It was the first movie that he received acting credits, and he looks completely different at such a young age.
In 2019, he wasn’t the lead but had a decent role in the thriller Seberg. The movie is about the FBI targeting a fictional movie star due to her association with someone they deem suspicious.
Kevin Hart: 2002/2019
“Comedic Rockstar,” as he likes to call himself, Kevin Hart made his movie debut in 2002. The movie’s title was Paper Soldiers and it was an urban crime comedy that even had Jay-Z playing the role of himself.
Today, Hart participates in blockbuster films, including his last of 2019, Jumanji: The Next Level. The first sequel to the Robin Williams classic had Hart and The Rock star and did well enough at the box office the first time that they had to release a part two.
Jennifer Aniston: 1993/2019
We’ll preface this one by saying Jennifer Aniston appeared in a film as a dancer in a McDonald’s ad before landing her Leprechaun role in 1993, but her previous work wasn’t credited. That was in 1988, so only a few years later she landed a leading part in a classic movie.
As the years passed, she became more and more iconic. Her latest act is with Adam Sandler in his Netflix original, Murder Mystery. It was the most streamed Netflix film of 2019.
Daniel Craig: 1992/2020
Daniel Craig began his movie career in 1992 when he had a role in the drama The Power of One. That film is about an English South African boy who’s in the heat of apartheid that struggles with the relationships he has because of race.
No Time To Die marks the last time Craig suits up as James Bond and is the fifth movie in his era of the series. There was much controversy that leaked into the news while filming the movie, and Craig almost didn’t commit to playing in it at all!
Ryan Gosling: 1997/2018
Ryan Gosling is one of those stars who had the spotlight on him from a young age. You might remember him from the Micky Mouse Club, but his first movie role was in Frankenstein and Me from 1997.
His most recent project, First Man, is the retelling of Neil Armstrong’s life. Fans get to see the iconic space mission that made him become the first man to step foot on the moon. Gosling landed the role after working with the same director on La La Land.
Johnny Depp: 1984/2019
A Nightmare on Elm Street was the first time fans would get to see Johnny Depp in action. The Wes Craven film came out in 1984 and would spawn many movies after it, including a spin-off where he faces off against Jason Voorhees.
In 2019, Depp took the lead role in a film called Waiting for the Barbarians. It’s based on the novel of the same name by J.M. Coetzee and is Italian drama. Depp can pretty much play any type of role.
Denzel Washington: 1981/2018
Denzel Washington has a long list of films he’s been in and put on a show for the viewers. His journey on the big screen started in 1981 in the movie Carbon Copy. He was only 27 at the time.
In 2018, he starred in The Equalizer 2, which was a pretty big deal because Washington never does sequels. It was his first time doing a part two, as he played the role of Robert McCall, the vigilante.
Meagan Good: 1995/2019
In 1995, Meagan Good made her debut on the big screen in the comedy Friday. She was still very young, so she didn’t have a big role, but her scenes were memorable and helped her to grab more significant parts in films.
Her latest feature was the 2019 thriller, The Intruder. This creepy movie follows the life of a thriving young couple who move into a home that the homeowner can’t seem to let go of, even after selling it to them.
Eddie Murphy: 1982/2019
A comedic legend, Eddie Murphy started in films way back in 1982. He starred as Reggie Hammond in 48 Hrs and even received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year.
After a four-year break that started in 2012, Murphy came back to movies slowly but surely with Mr. Church. His latest starring role is a Netflix original, Dolemite Is My Name. It’s a biographical comedy, so you can expect some decent laughs while enjoying it.