You gotta start somewhere.
Many of our most iconic Hollywood stars started off small. They say there are no small parts, only small actors, but you gotta admit—playing Jason Bourne is a lot more appealing than playing Frightened Inmate #2. Here are ten celebrities and the first acting gigs they landed.
George Clooney: Roseanne. It was worth sitting through Roseanne Barr’s screeching voice to catch a glimpse of Booker Brooks, played by George Clooney. He’s praised for his rugged good looks and salt-and-pepper hair, but George Clooney looked damn good in his younger days, too.
Matt Damon: Mystic Pizza. If you think this movie is about some sort of supernatural, magical fast food, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. But one redeeming quality? Matt Damon and his only line: “Mom, do you want my green stuff?”
Leonardo DiCaprio: Growing Pains. Even on a cheesy nineties sitcom, Leo killed it. His role of Luke Brower, a homeless teenager, in the final season was heartbreaking. Who knew he’d go from working with Kurt Cameron to being Martin Scorsese’s muse? DiCaprio nailed the role so well; he was nominated for a Young Artist Award.
Sarah Silverman: Star Trek. In her small role on Voyager, Sarah Silverman jumps out of a van to avoid getting plowed by a semi. Insert Jimmy Kimmel joke here. Silverman also guest starred on an episode of Seinfeld, where she played Kramer’s girlfriend.
Brad Pitt: Growing Pains. Another Growing Pains graduate, Brad Pitt only had a small role, but of course, he played a heartthrob and stole the scene. I wonder how pissed off Kurt Cameron is that he starred on the show and only went on to the Jesus channel, while Brad Pitt became a superstar and bagged Angelina Jolie.
Mila Kunis: 7th Heaven. If you’re like me, you didn’t have cable growing up and were forced to watch this show, which is where Jessica Biel got her start. Mila Kunis made a couple of appearances as one of the kid’s friends.
Jennifer Lopez: In Living Color. When she was Jenny from the block, she still had moves. Lopez joined In Living Color as one of the Fly Girls—the dancers that performed during the show. She was so good; it was almost as entertaining as watching Homey D. Clown.
Courteney Cox: Family Ties. You remember Family Ties. It’s the show that wasn’t Growing Pains. Courtney had a reoccurring role at the end of the series as the girlfriend of Alex P. Keaton, played by Michael J. Fox. Other celebrity guest stars include: River Phoenix, Tom Hanks, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Christina Applegate and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Denise Richards: Saved by the Bell. In one of the show’s episodes, A.C. Slater rescues his secret admirer, who is played by Denise Richards. Mario Lopez wishes!
Sylvester Stallone: Porn. An actor’s gotta pay his dues. And if that means having simultaneous sex with three women, then so be it. Stallone’s first acting role was the 1970 porno, Party at Kitty and Stud’s. I’m guessing its plotline wasn’t much worse than Tango & Cash.
10 Celebrities' Surprising First Acting Roles
You gotta start somewhere.