57 Shocking Acting Roles Celebrities Had Before They Became Really, Really Famous

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.

1.Austin Butler got his start as an uncredited extra (later called "Zippy Brewster") in Nickelodeon's Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.

Austin at a party in a scene of "Ned's Declassified"

What you know him from: Elvis, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, The Carrie Diaries, Zoey 101, and Ruby & the Rockits


Here's what Austin Butler looks like now:

Austin on Jimmy Kimmel's talk show

2.Glen Powell's first acting credit ever was as "long-fingered boy" in Spy Kids 3: Game Over.

Glen and Daryl Sabara in "Spy Kids 3"

What you know him from: Top Gun: Maverick, Hidden Figures, Set It Up, Everybody Wants Some!!, and Scream Queens

Dimension Films

Here's what Glen Powell looks like now:

Glen on "The Tonight Show"

3.Tyler James Williams' first TV appearance ever was on Sesame Street.

Tyler and Ernie on the computer

What you know him from: Abbott Elementary, Everybody Hates Chris, and Dear White People


Here's what Tyler James Williams looks like now:

Tyler on Jimmy Kimmel's talk show

4.Elisabeth Moss made her big-screen debut — opposite Hulk Hogan — as a girl whose cat got stuck in a tree in Suburban Commando.

Hulk Hogan holding Elisabeth as a child

What you know her from: Mad Men, The Handmaid's Tale, The Square, and Shirley

New Line Cinema

Here's what Elisabeth Moss looks like now:

Elisabeth on "The View"

5.Jason Momoa's first acting gig ever was as Jason Loane in 44 episodes of Baywatch, starting in Season 10.

Jason on the beach in "Baywatch"

What you know him from: Aquaman, Dune, and the Justice League series


Here's what Jason Momoa looks like now:

Jason on "The Late Late Show"

6.Ashley Tisdale played a student in Donnie Darko when she was 16 years old.

Ashley Tisdale at a school assembly in "Donnie Darko"

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

Pandora Cinema

Here's what Ashley Tisdale looks like now:

Ashley Tisdale in her home talking to the camera

7.Rainn Wilson played Lahnk in Galaxy Quest, his first movie ever.

Rainn as an alien in "Galaxy Quest"

What you know him from: The Office, Juno, The Rocker, and The Meg

DreamWorks Pictures

Here's what Rainn Wilson looks like now:

Rainn being interviewed on "The Late Late Show"

8.Scarlett Johansson played Molly, Alex's older sister, in Home Alone 3.

ScarJo at the dinner table in "Home Alone 3"

What you know her from: Jojo Rabbit, the Avengers series, Lost in Translation, and Marriage Story

Hughes Entertainment

Here's what Scarlett Johansson looks like now:

Scarlett Johansson in a recent interview on "The Drew Barrymore Show"

Suggested by Shubham Deo Pujan, Facebook


9.Cameron Monaghan played a blink-and-you'll-miss-it traffic cop elf in The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.

Cameron as an elf

What you know him from: Shameless, The Giver, and Gotham

Walt Disney Pictures

Here's what Cameron Monaghan looks like now:

Cameron being interviewed

10.Molly Shannon's second TV gig ever was in a few episodes of In Living Color.

Molly and Jim Carrey dressed as cops in "In Living Color"

What you know her from: The Other Two, Other People, SNL, I Love That for You, and Never Been Kissed


Here's what Molly Shannon looks like now:

Molly on "The Late Late Show"

11.Octavia Spencer played Cynthia, one of Drew Barrymore's coworkers, in Never Been Kissed.

Octavia in at the office in "Never Been Kissed"

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

20th Century Fox

Here's what Octavia Spencer looks like now:

Octavia Spencer being interviewed on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show at Christmastime

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

Zac Efron as a young teen at the beach

What you know him from: The Greatest Showman, the High School Musical series, Hairspray, Baywatch, and 17 Again

The WB

Here's what Zac Efron looks like now:

Zac Efron on Jimmy Fallon's show

Suggested by jbmasta


13.Leonardo DiCaprio was an uncredited extra in Roseanne, playing one of Darlene's classmates for a single episode.

Leo as a child in school on "Roseanne"

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


Here's what Leo DiCaprio looks like now:

Leo being interviewed

14.Jena Malone played Susan Sarandon's daughter in the iconic movie Stepmom.

Jena, Susan Sarandon, and the rest of their family taking a picture together on the couch

What you know her from: The Hunger Games series, The Neon Demon, Pride & Prejudice, and Nocturnal Animals

Sony Pictures Releasing

Here's what Jena Malone looks like now:

Jena being interviewed in 2022

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

Zachary Quinto on "Lizzie McGuire" vs. being interviewed in 2020

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

Disney Channel

Here's what Zachary Quinto looks like now:

Zach being interviewed via Zoom in his own home office in 2021

16.Ryan Gosling's first two acting credits were in an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? (in 1995) and an episode of Goosebumps (in 1996).

Ryan Gosling on the phone as a kid in "Are You Afraid of the Dark" and "Goosebumps"

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

Fox Kids

Here's what Ryan Gosling looks like now:

Ryan being interviewed

Suggested by wtfxalicia


17.Aubrey Plaza's TV debut was as an NBC Page with one line in 30 Rock.

Aubrey as an NBC page in "30 Rock"

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


Here's what Aubrey Plaza looks like now:

closeup of Aubrey on SNL

18.Alanna Ubach made her big-screen debut as Maria in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.

Maria and the other students from class in "Sister Act 2"

What you know her from: Euphoria, Legally Blonde, Coco, and Bombshell

Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Here's what Alanna Ubach looks like now:

Alanna in "Euphoria" as Suze Howard

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

Kaley Cuoco bowling as a teen

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

Disney Channel

Here's what Kaley Cuoco looks like now:

Kaley Cuoco being interviewed in front of a black backdrop in 2021

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

Kevin as a kid on "Zoey 101"

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


Here's what Kevin McHale looks like now:

Kevin being interviewed from home

21.Emmy Rossum played Claire in the Disney Channel movie Genius.

Emmy ice skating in "Genius" in the late '90s

What you know her from: Shameless, Angelyne, The Phantom of the Opera, Poseidon, and The Day After Tomorrow

Disney Channel

Here's what Emmy Rossum looks like now:

Emmy on Seth Meyers' talk show

Suggested by spenceralthouse


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

Ben Affleck playing basketball in the "Buffy" movie

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

20th Century Fox

Here's what Ben Affleck looks like now:

Ben Affleck being interviewed in front of a white backdrop in 2022

23.Jennifer Lawrence's first acting role was as a school mascot in one episode of Monk.

Jennifer Lawrence in a bear costume on "Monk"

What you know her from: Don't Look Up, Joy, the Hunger Games series, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle

USA Network

Here's what Jennifer Lawrence looks like now:

Jennifer Lawrence being interviewed

24.James Marsden was in two episodes of The Nanny.

James at the movies in "The Nanny"

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


Here's what James Marsden looks like now:

James being interviewed by James Corden

Suggested by rachelc43


25.Jon Huertas played Brad, a witch hunter/Harvey Kinkle's best friend on Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Jon as Brad in the cafeteria in "Sabrina"

What you know him from: This Is Us, Castle, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch

The WB

Here's what Jon Huertas looks like now:

Jon being interviewed on "The Real" in 2022

Suggested by sarahwainschel


26.Adam Scott played Griff Hawkins, the new kid/bully, in a few episodes of Boy Meets World.

Adam Scott as Griff in "BMW"

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


Here's what Adam Scott looks like now:

Adam Scott being interviewed on Colbert in 2022

Suggested by fredzesty


27.Danielle Fishel played Jennifer P., one of Stephanie Tanner's classmates, in two episodes of Full House.

Danielle in the Tanner household

What you know her from: Boy Meets World, Girl Meets World, and Boiling Point


Here's what Danielle Fishel looks like now:

Danielle over Zoom in 2022

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

Dianna Agron at the movie theater on "Drake & Josh"

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


Here's what Diana Agron looks like now:

Dianna being interviewed over Zoom in her home

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

Amy Adams on "Charmed"

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

The WB

Here's what Amy Adams looks like now:

Amy Adams being interviewed over Zoom in her apartment

Suggested by nerinarciso


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

John Cho in the Flintstones movie

What you know him from: Searching, the Star Trek series, Harold and Kumar, and Selfie

Universal Pictures

Here's what John Cho looks like now:

John Cho being interviewed on "The View" in 2022

Suggested by seansean3769


31.Rachel McAdams played Riley's sister in a very emotional episode of Disney Channel's The Famous Jett Jackson.

Rachel with poofy hair on Disney in 2001

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

Disney Channel

Here's what Rachel McAdams looks like now:

Rachel being interviewed

32.Kevin Hart played a cameraman in Along Came Polly.

Kevin Hart as an extra holding a boom mic in "Along Came Polly"

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

Universal Pictures

Here's what Kevin Hart looks like now:

Kevin Hart being interviewed by Ellen

Suggested by acole3077

Warner Bros.

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

Jessica Alba on a Nickelodeon show in the early '90s

What you know her from: Never Been Kissed, the Fantastic Four series, and Sin City


Here's what Jessica Alba looks like now:

Jessica Alba being interviewed

Suggested by dougfancy101


34.Sara Ramírez was the cashier in You've Got Mail.

Sara as a cashier in "You've Got Mail" vs. Sara in an interview in 2008

What you know them from: And Just Like That..., Grey's Anatomy, Sofia the First, and Madam Secretary

Warner Bros. Pictures

Here's what Sara Ramírez looks like now:

Sara being interviewed

35.Elijah Wood is credited as "video game boy" in Back to the Future Part II.

Elijah Wood as a kid wearing a funny hat in "Back to the Future Part II"

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

Amblin Entertainment

Here's what Elijah Wood looks like now:

Elijah being intereviewed

36.Simon Helberg played a nerdy student who had a crush on Hilary Duff's character in A Cinderella Story.

Simon at the Halloween party in "A Cinderella Story"

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

Warner Bros. Pictures

Here's what Simon Helberg looks like now:

Simon being interviewed

37.Kat Dennings played Claire in the spooky Disney Channel movie The Scream Team.

Kat as a child wearing all black in "The Scream Team"

What you know her from: The Thor series, Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist, 2 Broke Girls, and The House Bunny

Disnet Channel

Here's what Kat Dennings looks like now:

Kat being interviewed over Zoom by Ellen DeGeneres
The WB

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

Don Cheadle in "Fresh Prince" with his arm around Hilary

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


Here's what Don Cheadle looks like now:

Don being interviewed

39.Maggie Wheeler was a camp counselor — aka Marva Jr. — in The Parent Trap.

Maggie as the camp counselor in "The Parent Trap"

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


Here's what Maggie Wheeler looks like now:

Maggie at the "Friends" reunion

Suggested by annee4b1c


40.Hugh Laurie was actually in Spice World.

Hugh with a mustache in "Spice World"

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

Columbia Pictures

Here's what Hugh Laurie looks like now:

Hugh being interviewed in 2022

Suggested by innaa4e7


41.Julie Bowen played Virginia in Happy Gilmore.

Julie Bowen in a vest on the golf court in "Happy Gilmore"

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

Happy Madison Productions

Here's what Julie Bowen looks like now:

Julie being interviewed

Suggested by annf42805


42.Laurence Fishburne was 14 when he lied about his age to get the part of a soldier in Apocalypse Now.

Laurence Fishburne in "Apocalypse Now" holding a machine gun vs. him being interviewed in 2018

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

United Artists

Here's what Laurence Fishburne looks like now:

Laurence being interviewed

Suggested by Kathy Balis, Facebook


43.Taran Killam was Frankie Muniz's bully in Big Fat Liar.

Taran Killam asleep in school in "Big Fat Liar"

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

Universal Pictures

Here's what Taran Killam looks like now:

Taran being interviewed from home

44.Kristen Stewart was in an extra for .3 seconds in Disney Channel's The Thirteenth Year.

Kristen Stewart as a kid by the lockers

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

Disney Channel

Here's what Kristen Stewart looks like now:

Kristen Stewart on Jimmy Kimmel's talk show

Suggested by abbyv40


45.Michael Cera was in Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's iconic movie Switching Goals.

Michael Cera as a kid

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


Here's what Michael Cera looks like now:

Michael being interviewed

Suggested by annakopsky


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

Eric Stonestreet as a hotel clerk in "Almost Famous"

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

DreamWorks Pictures

Here's what Eric Stonestreet looks like now:

Eric on "The Ellen Show" in 2022

Suggested by spenceralthouse

The WB

47.Steve Carell played a security guard in the super underrated movie Sleepover.

Steve as a security officer

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


Here's what Steve Carell looks like now:

Steve on "The Tonight Show"

Suggested by emilyk4723


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

Abigail as a kind in "Princess Diaries 2"

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

Walt Disney Pictures

Here's what Abigail Breslin looks like now:

Abigail on Kelly Clarkson's talk show

Suggested by Kirsty L. Powell, Facebook


49.Noel Fisher played the bully in Max Keeble's Big Move.

Noel Fisher as punk bully

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

Walt Disney Pictures

Here's what Noel Fisher looks like now:

Noel on the red carpet in 2022

50.Joe Manganiello was Peter Parker's bully in the original Spider-Man.

Joe in a fight with Peter Parker at school

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

Sony Pictures

Here's what Joe Manganiello looks like now.

Joe on Jimmy Kimmel's show

Suggested by amandat4


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

Angela Bassett as a flight attendant

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

Universal Pictures

Here's what Angela Bassett looks like now:

Angela being interviewed in 2023

Suggested by Allyson Guy, Facebook


52.Mike O'Malley was the host of Nickelodeon's Global Guts.

Mike hosting "Guts" on Nick in the '90s

What you know him from: Glee, The Good Place, and Yes, Dear


Here's what Mike O'Malley looks like now:

Mike on a Zoom podcast

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

Selena Gomez on "Barney" as a kid

What you know her from: Only Murders in the Building, Wizards of Waverly Place, The Fundamentals of Caring, Spring Breakers, and The Dead Don't Die


Here's what Selena Gomez looks like now:

Selena on "The Tonight Show"

Suggested by dkman


54.Kate Berlant had one line as "Student #2" in her first acting gig ever on Lizzie McGuire.

Kate in the hallway in "Lizzie McGuire"

What you know her from: A League of Their Own, The Other Two, Would It Kill You To Laugh?, and Don't Worry Darling

Disney Channel

Here's what Kate Berlant looks like now:

Kate being interview on Seth Meyers' show

55.Ryan Reynolds was the love interest in the Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV movie.

Ryan Reynold with Sabrina at a party

What you know him from: Green Lantern, the Deadpool series, The Proposal, and Buried


Here's what Ryan Reynolds looks like now:

Ryan on Jimmy Fallon's talk show

Suggested by j4aca54


56.Katherine Heigl was in Disney's TV movie Wish Upon a Star.

Katherine Heigl as a teen at a school dance

Here's what Katherine Heigl looks like now:

Katherine on The View in 2022

Suggested by sac9488


57.And Adam Sandler got his start as Smitty on The Cosby Show.

Sandler in his early 20s on "The Cosby Show"

What you know him from: Hustler, Click, Saturday Night Live, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, and Uncut Gems


Here's what Adam Sandler looks like now:

Adam Sandler on Jimmy Kimmel's show

Suggested by jessiep4a1