When we think of today’s A list actors we think of multi-million dollar blockbusters, red carpets and lavish lifestyles. Yet some of our favourite stars had very inauspicious starts to their careers, and while some struck gold relatively quickly, others struggled and have an early CV they would rather forget. Here are some of our favourite actors and the first films they appeared in.
This charismatic heart throb is known the world over as Capt. Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, but he has worked long and hard to achieve his position amongst Hollywood’s elite.
Way back in 1984 he auditioned for, and got a small part in a low budget horror film called A Nightmare on Elm Street. Yes it’s true; our favourite pirate was one of Freddie Krueger’s first victims. He played a friend of the female lead who met an untimely end by being sucked through his own bed.
Famed as one half of the super couple Brangelina, Brad Pitt is another star who served a long apprenticeship to receive the worldwide recognition he enjoys today. It is quoted on many websites that his first film appearance was as the cowboy who got down and dirty with Geena Davis in Thelma and Louise, but he made his first film 3 years prior to this 1991 appearance.
His first role was in a small film that was a US/Yugoslav production called The Dark Side of the Sun. This told the tale of a young American boy (Pitt) who goes to the Adriatic with his family to try and find a cure for his chronic skin condition. However, due to the war that broke out in Croatia, the film’s release was shelved and didn’t see the light of day until 1997.
Sir Anthony Hopkins
This highly revered and respected British actor was a bit of a late starter and didn’t get his first part in a film until 1968 when he was 31 years old. This was in the role of Richard l in the historical drama The Lion in Winter. Although a relatively small part, his talent shone through and from then on his career made a steady ascent and he is the proud owner of an Academy Award for his outstanding portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in the Silence of the Lambs.
The tall and handsome actor is instantly recognisable today, but it wasn’t always so. Way back in 1981, the struggling young actor from Mount Vernon, NYC, won his first role in the George Segal comedy Carbon Copy. Denzel played the part of a boy whose father, Segal, was unaware of his existence until he turns up one day and wants to live with his dad in the Caucasian dominated community of San Marino. A far from earth shattering debut from one of our best loved actors.
Quite simply one of the biggest stars ever in the motion picture industry, Thomas Cruise Mapother VI, actor, producer and scientologist is known the world over for his impressive list of films and reputation for doing his own stunts.
He appeared in many teen movies in the 1980’s, but very few remember his first appearance as Billy in the 1981 Brooke Shields vehicle Endless Love. Playing the part of one of the jock friends of Brooke’s love interest, he hardly set the screen alight but his performance obviously impressed the right people as the rest, as they say, is history.
Singer, actor, director, producer, Oscar nominee, everything Will Smith touches seems to turn to gold, but anyone watching his film debut back in 1992 would have been thought crazy had they then predicted the success this young kid from Philadelphia would go on to achieve.
Where The Day Takes You is the dark and gritty tale of a group of runaways trying to make a living on the mean streets of L.A. Will’s name was way down the cast list and although a TV star he took film acting seriously and honed his craft through bit parts and B movies. The success he enjoys today proves it was all worth it.
No, splash was not the first film role of the legend we call Tom Hanks, this debut came 4 years earlier in the little known thriller/horror He Knows Your Alone in 1980.What he went on to achieve from such humble beginnings should be a lesson for all young and aspiring actors, even our heroes had to work damned hard to achieve fame, fortune and success.