20 Celebrities Who Were Featured In Music Videos Before They Were Famous

Before celebrities were household names, a common way many of them started out is through roles in music videos. And looking back at these videos featuring celebs prior to fame will definitely make you do a double take.

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Here are 20 celebrities who began their careers appearing in music videos that you might remember.

1.Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum plays a bartender in the "She Bangs" music video

Channing got his start as a dancer in Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" music video in 2000. This was his first-ever role.

When he was on The Late Late Show With James Corden in 2017, Channing recalled that the video was shot in The Bahamas when he was 18 years old.

"We partied a little ... we got down," Channing said about hanging out with other actors from the video.

Sony Music Entertainment / Via youtube.com

2.Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez talks to Janet Jackson in her "That's the Way Love Goes" music video

In 1993, Jennifer appeared in Janet Jackson's music video for her track "That's the Way Love Goes."

In a 2018 MTV interview following her MTV Video Vanguard Award win, Jennifer discussed how artists like Madonna and Janet have influenced her work.

"They were my inspirations to even get into the music business, to do what I did," she said. "Their videos inspired me to do the videos that I did, and so now, to be 20 years in and here and winning this award, it's ... mind-blowing."

LatinAutor / Via youtube.com

3.Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc walks amonst a crowd in the "Miracles" music video

Before he would score the role of Joey Tribbiani in Friends in 1994, Matt was in Jon Bon Jovi's 1990 "Miracle" music video. He was also in Alanis Morissette's "Walk Away" music video in 1991 and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Into the Great Wide Open" video that same year.

The Island Def Jam Music Group / Via youtube.com

4.Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell is tucked in by Bob Marley along with another child in his music video for "Is This Love"

Naomi was just 7 years old when she was in Bob Marley's "Is This Love" music video. She remembered the experience in an article for the Guardian in 2016.

"Of all the videos [I did], Bob Marley’s 'Is This Love' was the most exciting. Our family loved reggae," she said. "I didn’t realise Bob Marley would be standing right next to me, tucking me under a blanket. He was the most handsome man, with beautiful bone structure; mellow, too, and soft-spoken, with a strong Jamaican accent, the kind I already knew from home."

Universal Music Group / Via youtube.com

5.Christina Hendricks

Christina Hendricks appears on a game show during the "One Hit Wonder" music video

When she starred as Loopy, a game show contestant, in Everclear's 1998 video for the song "One Hit Wonder," Christina was 23 years old and only had one previous acting credit on her resume.

Universal Music Group / Via youtube.com

6.Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey leans against a car as Walkaway Joe

In 1992, Matthew starred in the Trisha Yearwood music video for the song "Walkaway Joe." He opened up about filming the video while he was in college during a 2021 interview.

"'Walkaway Joe' was my first time in front of the camera," he said on The Kelly Clarkson Show. "'And I still don't believe I've met Trisha in person."

The Orchard Music / Via youtube.com


RuPaul dances in the "Love Shack" music video

The B-52's "Love Shack" music video was RuPaul's first-ever acting appearance. B-52's member Cindy Wilson revisited the experience of filming the video in a 2017 Billboard interview.

"Ru was a drag queen in Atlanta, and a bunch of people came up to New York and we all started hanging out," she said. "That was a cool era for us, as well as a really hard time: the AIDS crisis, and losing so many friends back in the mid-’80s, in the early days of New York. It was really wonderful, because it was love and friends, and there was a wonderful sense of coming together, being silly and hoping for the future. It was really special."

Warner Music Group / Via youtube.com

8.Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel stands in an elevator in the "She's Got Issues" video

Zooey starred in the Offspring's "She's Got Issues" music video in 1999. This was her third acting role, and four years before she would get one of her first big breaks playing Jovie in Elf.

Universal Music Group / Via youtube.com

9.Benicio del Toro

Benicio del Toro sits on a car as Madonna dances in her "La Isla Bonita" music video

Benicio, an unknown at the time, was briefly shown as an extra in Madonna's 1987 "La Isla Bonita" music video, which was filmed in Madrid.

Warner Music Group / Via youtube.com

10.Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie reads a letter in Antonello Venditti's music video

Angelina started out in numerous videos, including this one for Antonello Venditti's 1991 rendition of "Don't Dream It's Over," called "Alta Marea." She later appeared in Lenny Kravitz's music video for "Stand by My Woman" and two Meat Loaf music videos.

Sony Music Entertainment / Via youtube.com

11.Alek Wek

Alek Wek poses in purple lighting in Tina Turner's "Golden Eye" music video

Supermodel Alek Wek's first gig was a part in Tina Turner's 1995 "Golden Eye" music video, per her IMG Models page.

"This Tina Turner video was one of my very first jobs and I thought it was pretty fabulous!" Alek said. She also played a role in Janet Jackson's video for “Got Til It’s Gone” in 1996.

Virgin UK / Via youtube.com

12.Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone sits in a movie theater as she acts in the "Cryin'" music video

Alicia starred in the "Cryin'" music video for rock group Aerosmith in 1993, just two years before she would get her breakout role of Cher in Clueless.

She later performed a routine with the song on Lip Sync Battle in 2018.

UMG Recordings, Inc. / Via youtube.com

13.Josh Duhamel

Josh Duhamel appears with a woman in a 1999 Donna Summer music video

Josh got his start in the business acting in Donna Summer's music video for her 1999 track "I Will Go With You (Con Te Partiró)."

ASCAP / Via youtube.com

14.Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes stares down Michael Jackson in the "Bad" music video

This appearance in Michael Jackson's 1987 "Bad" music video was one of Wesley's early acting breaks. In 2017, Wesley told Conan O'Brien that one reason Michael chose him to be in the video is he thought he was in a gang in real life.

"Unfortunately, [Michael] ... really thought I was in a gang. He didn't know that I was a trained thespian," Wesley said.

Sony Music Entertainment / Via youtube.com

15.Courteney Cox

Courteney Cox dances with Bruce Springsteen and watches him sing "Dancing in the Dark"

Courteney, who isn't a trained dancer, was up against professional dancers for a part in Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" music video, she told Howard Stern in March 2022. She still scored the role, which was one of her first big breaks.

"I thought I was in the wrong place," Courteney said of the audition for the video. "I was like, I don't know what they're doing, but I can't even bend my leg ... I think that's what they wanted, a fan that just couldn't believe it."

Sony Music Entertainment / Via youtube.com

16.Eva Mendes

Eva Mendes lounges in a pool in the music video for "Se A Vida E (That's the Way Life Is)"

In 1996, Eva appeared in the music video for "Se A Vida E (That's the Way Life Is)" by the Pet Shop Boys. She was then in the Aerosmith video for "Hole in My Soul" in 1997.

In addition, seven years before she would star alongside Will Smith in Hitch, Eva played a role in his 1998 "Miami" music video.

EMI Records Ltd / Via youtube.com

17.Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze appears in the "Rosanna" music video

One of Patrick's early roles was a dancer in Toto's music video for their 1982 song "Rosanna."

Sony Music Entertainment / Via youtube.com

18.Wentworth Miller

Wentworth Miller stars opposite Mariah Carey in her "We Belong Together" video

Wentworth was featured in Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" music video in 2005. He was also in another video of hers that same year, for the song "It's Like That." He took on these parts just months before he started playing the role of Michael Scofield in Prison Break, which began in August 2005.

Universal Music Group / Via youtube.com

19.Kim Kardashian

Pete Wentz and Kim Kardashian are shown in the "Thnks fr th Mmrs" music video

Kim starred in Fall Out Boy's music video for their hit "Thnks fr th Mmrs" in 2007, just months before the first episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians was released. She played Pete Wentz's love interest in the video.

"I ran into her, and she was probably the nicest person ever," Pete told People in 2018 about seeing Kim again years after the video shoot. "She’s exactly the same as she was then, except she’s, like, a trillion times more famous.”

The Island Def Jam Music Group / Via youtube.com

20.And finally, Elijah Wood.

Ellijah Wood sits at a desk in the "Forever Your Girl" video

Elijah was one of the kids featured in Paula Abdul's 1989 video for "Forever Your Girl."

"Literally, the first thing that I ever did as an actor was with you," an adult Elijah later said to Paula when Entertainment Tonight spoke to the two at an event.

"I'm very proud of it," he added.

Universal Music Group / Via youtube.com