We love seeing stars without make-up, going grocery shopping, or having meltdowns. Every time they exhibit traits of human-osity, we simpletons rejoice. And these small acting roles show that the top celebs weren’t always at the top — they had to hustle and play Girl #1 or Dead Guy like the rest of ‘em. And so without further ado, here are celebrities’ small roles from before they got famous.
Before J-Law hit it big in franchises like The Hunger Games and X-Men, she was just hustlin’ to get those IMDB credits. In 2006, she booked the role of “Mascot” on the acclaimed USA dramedy Monk. Today, when you Google the show, the first suggestion that comes up is “Monk Jennifer Lawrence”. Damn girl, started from the bottom now you HERE.
Five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams put in WORK before she hit it big in films like Catch Me If You Can and Enchanted. Her guest role on Smallville was just one of many roles she had in the early years of her career. Adams had small parts on That 70s Show, Charmed, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, just to name a few. But her role in Smallville really stood out because she wore a fat-suit and played a girl who ate people. Now that’s dedication.
Back in ’06, Chris Pratt played “Ché” on The O.C., and that name should give you a pretty good idea of what kind of character he was. Granted, this was no small role — Pratt was in nine episodes of the mid-2000s hit. However, we had to call out this part because a video exists called “Naked Ché Sings a Song for Seth” that’s pretty great.
Law and Order is the holy grail for new actors — book a role on that and you have joined the ranks of thousands of other actors before you. Zoe Saldana is no different. The Star Trek star was on Law and Order twice, once in 1999 and again in 2004. Next time you watch Law and Order, pay close attention to who’s in the body bag — it could be the next sci-fi superstar.
Remember when you watched Big Fish thinking you were being all indie and hipster? Yo gurl Hannah Montana was all up in that sh*t. In the role of “Ruthie Age 8”, Billy Ray Cyrus’ spawn was credited as “Destiny Cyrus” cuz that’s her real name y’all. Learn something new every day!
Way before Wizards of Waverly Place, Selena Gomez was bringing home the bacon with small roles like in movies like Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over where she played “Waterpark Girl”. You know someone’s payed their dues when they’ve played a character without a real name.
Kaley Cuoco makes $1 million per episode of Big Bang Theory, but Penny wasn’t always rolling in the big bucks. In 1996, she played “Little Ellen”, as in Little Ellen Degeneres. Yup, the hottie across the hall played Dory’s mini-me on Ellen, the sitcom best known for having a main character come out as gay.
And finally, Mila Kunis seemed to be famous from the start with her role in That 70s Show, but she was on her grind way before that. The voice of Meg Griffin on Family Guy, Kunis got her first role in H-wood as “Young Hope” on the soap Days of Our Lives back in 1994. She was also in Lisa Frank commercials which just goes to show that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
What’s your favorite small-time role of a celeb from before they hit it big? Let me know on Twitter @andihester!