46 Celebrity Acting Roles Before They Were Famous

I will never see these TV shows and movies the same way again.

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which actors they were surprised to learn were in ~that~ TV show or movie before they became famous. Here are the wild results.


Ashley Tisdale was a student in Donnie Darko:

Pandora Cinema/ Disney Channel

Suggested by hopestyles

What you know her from: The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, the High School Musical series, and Merry Happy Whatever


Scarlett Johansson was Kevin’s older sister in Home Alone 3:

Hughes Entertainment / Marvel

Suggested by Shubham Deo Pujan, Facebook

What you know her fromJojo Rabbit, the Avengers series, Lost in Translation, and Marriage Story


Octavia Spencer was the check-in lady at the wrestling arena in Spider-Man:

Sony / ABC

Suggested by siverth

What you know her from: Hidden Figures, Fruitvale Station, The Help, and The Shape of Water


Leonardo DiCaprio was an extra as one of Darlene’s classmates in Roseanne:


Suggested by jordans431

What you know him from: Titanic, The Revenant, The Great Gatsby, and Inception


Zachary Quinto played a TV commercial director in an episode of Lizzie McGuire:

Disney Channel / NBC

Suggested by brieannad

Where you know him from: Heroes, the Star Trek series, American Horror Story, and The Boys in the Band


Ryan Gosling was in an episode of both Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark? in the ’90s:

Fox Kids / Summit Entertainment

Suggested by wtfxalicia

What you know him from: La La Land, Half Nelson, The Notebook, Drive, and Blue Valentine


Aubrey Plaza had one line as an NBC page on 30 Rock:

NBC / Hulu

Suggested by notetonotehourtohour

What you know her from: Parks and Rec, Happiest Season, Ingrid Goes West, and The To Do List


Kaley Cuoco played Elisa in the Disney Channel movie Alley Cats Strike:

Disney Channel / HBO Max

Suggested by spenceralthouse

What you know her from: 8 Simple Rules, The Flight Attendant, and The Big Bang Theory


Kevin McHale was a student at PCA in two episodes of Zoey 101:

Nickelodeon / @kevinmchale / instagram.com

Suggested by goodgurl

Where you know him from: Glee, The Office, and The X Factor: Celebrity


Ben Affleck played an uncredited basketball player in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie:

20th Century Fox

Suggested by sineadf4

What you know him from: Gone Girl, Argo, Good Will Hunting, and The Town


Jennifer Lawrence’s first acting role was as a school mascot in one episode of Monk:

USA Network / CBS

Suggested by alixlund

Where you know her from: Joy, the Hunger Games series, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle


James Marsden was in two episodes of The Nanny:


Suggested by rachelc43

What you know him from: 30 Rock, the X-Men series, Westworld, and Hairspray


Jon Huertas was Brad, a witch hunter, in Sabrina the Teenage Witch:

The WB / NBC

Suggested by sarahwainschel

What you know him from: This Is Us and Castle


Adam Scott was Griff Hawkins, the new kid/bully, in a few episodes of Boy Meets World:


Suggested by fredzesty

What you know him from: Parks and Rec, Big Little Lies, and Party Down


Dianna Agron played a girl who could fit her whole fist in her mouth on Drake & Josh:

Nickelodeon / Fox

Suggested by dawnraenicolec

What you know her from: Glee, I Am Number Four, and The Family


Amy Adams was on a single episode of Charmed in one of her very first acting credits:

The WB / NBC

Suggested by nerinarciso

What you know her from: Enchanted, Sharp Objects, Arrival, and Doubt


John Cho played a parking valet in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas:

Universal Pictures / ABC

Suggested by seansean3769

What you know him fromSearching, the Star Trek series, Harold and Kumar, and Selfie


Rachel McAdams played Riley’s sister in a single episode of Disney Channel’s The Famous Jett Jackson:

Disney Channel / Warner Bros. Pictures

Suggested by laurengarafano

What you know her from: Game Night, Mean Girls, Red Eye, The Notebook, and Spotlight


Kevin Hart played a cameraman in Along Came Polly:

Universal Pictures / NBC

Suggested by acole3077

What you know him fromJumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Ride Along, Central Intelligence, and Get Hard


Jessica Alba was a school bully in The Secret World of Alex Mack:

Nickelodeon / NBC

Suggested by dougfancy101

What you know her fromNever Been Kissed, the Fantastic Four series, and Sin City


Sara Ramírez was the cashier in You’ve Got Mail:

Warner Bros. Pictures / People / youtube.com

Suggested by adityaaswaminathan

What you know them fromGrey’s Anatomy, Sofia the First, and Madam Secretary


Elijah Wood is credited as “video game boy” in Back to the Future Part II:

Amblin Entertainment / Warner Bros. Pictures

Suggested by cinnamonrolls

What you know him fromWilfred, the Lord of the Rings series, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over


Simon Helberg was a nerd in A Cinderella Story:

Warner Bros. Pictures / CBS

Suggested by amberb4c

What you know him from: The Big Bang TheoryFlorence Foster Jenkins, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip


Julie Bowen played Virginia in Happy Gilmore:

Happy Madison Productions / ABC

Suggested by annf42805

What you know her from: Modern Family, Horrible Bosses, Boston Legal, and Hubie Halloween


Don Cheadle was in a single episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:

NBC / Marvel

Suggested by hasenaa

What you know him from: Hotel Rwanda, the Avengers series, House of Lies, and Crash


Hugh Laurie was actually in Spice World:

Columbia Pictures / HBO

Suggested by innaa4e7

What you know him from: House, Veep, and Stuart Little


Laurence Fishburne played a soldier in Apocalypse Now, even though he was only 14 and lied about his age to get the part:

United Artists / Columbia Pictures

Suggested by Kathy Balis, Facebook

What you know him from: Black-ish, the Matrix series, What’s Love Got to Do With It, and 21


Taran Killam was Frankie Muniz’s bully in Big Fat Liar:

Universal Pictures / TBS

Suggested by chrisa443

What you know him from: Saturday Night Live, 12 Years a Slave, and Stuck in the Suburbs


Michael Cera was in Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s iconic movie called Switching Goals:

Dualstar / STXfilms

Suggested by annakopsky

What you know him from: Molly’s Game, Superbad, Juno, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World


Maggie Wheeler was the camp counselor in The Parent Trap:

Disney / NBC

Suggested by annee4b1c

What you know her from: Friends, Archer, and Everybody Loves Raymond


Eric Stonestreet played a hotel receptionist in 10 seconds of Almost Famous:

DreamWorks Pictures / ABC

Suggested by spenceralthouse

What you know him from: Modern Family, American Horror Story, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation


Johnny Galecki was Rusty in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation:

John Hughes Entertainment / CBS

Suggested by lino2939

What you know him from: The Big Bang Theory, Roseanne, and The Conners


Steve Carell played a security guard in the iconic movie Sleepover:


Suggested by emilyk4723

What you know him from: The Office, Foxcatcher, Little Miss Sunshine, and The Big Short


Adam Sandler got his start as Smitty on The Cosby Show:


Suggested by jessiep4a1

What you know him fromClick, Saturday Night Live, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, and Uncut Gems


Katherine Heigl was in Disney’s TV movie Wish Upon a Star:

Disney / youtube.com

Suggested by sac9488

What you know her fromGrey’s Anatomy, 27 Dresses, Knocked Up, and Life as We Know It


Noel Fisher played the bully in Max Keeble’s Big Move:

Walt Disney Pictures / Showtime

Suggested by casbag

What you know him fromShameless, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn


Kristen Stewart was an extra in Disney Channel’s The Thirteenth Year:

Disney Channel / Sony Pictures Releasing

Suggested by abbyv40

What you know her from: Happiest Season, the Twilight series, Still Alice, and Into the Wild


Joe Manganiello was Peter Parker’s bully in the original Spider-Man:

Sony Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures

Suggested by amandat4

What you know him from: True Blood, the Magic Mike series, One Tree Hill, and How I Met Your Mother


Abigail Breslin was the little girl at the parade in The Princess Diaries 2:

Walt Disney Pictures / Fox

Suggested by Kirsty L. Powell, Facebook

What you know her from: Little Miss Sunshine, Scream Queens, New Year’s Eve, and My Sister’s Keeper


Mike O’Malley was the host of Nickelodeon’s Global Guts:

Nickelodeon / Fox

Suggested by spenceralthouse

What you know him fromGlee, The Good Place, and Yes, Dear


Nikki Cox played Eric Matthews’ girlfriend in a single episode of Boy Meets World:


Suggested by tessafahey

Where you know her from: Las Vegas, Baywatch, General Hospital, and Unhappily Ever After


Selena Gomez played a kid for two years on Barney & Friends:


Suggested by dkman

Where you know her fromWizards of Waverly Place, The Fundamentals of Caring, Spring Breakers, and The Dead Don’t Die


Emmy Rossum played Claire in the Disney Channel movie Genius:

Disney Channel / CBS

Suggested by spenceralthouse

Where you know her from: ShamelessThe Phantom of the Opera, Poseidon, and The Day After Tomorrow


Zac Efron was on the short-lived WB series called Summerland:

The WB / ABC

Suggested by jbmasta

Where you know him fromThe Greatest Showman, the High School Musical series, Hairspray, Baywatch, and 17 Again


Angela Bassett was a flight attendant in about two seconds of Kindergarten Cop:

Universal Pictures / Fox

Suggested by Allyson Guy, Facebook

What you know her from: What’s Love Got to Do With It, 9-1-1, Black Panther, and the Mission: Impossible series


And Ryan Reynolds was the love interest in the Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV movie:

Showtime / NBC

Suggested by j4aca54

What you know him fromGreen Lantern, the Deadpool series, The Proposal, and Buried

Did we miss your favorite early role of a famous person? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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