Here's What 27 Actors Looked Like In Their First Big Role, An Iconic Role, And Their Most Recent One

·14 min read

1.Kristen Stewart in her first role as "Girl in Fountain Line" in The Thirteenth Year in 1999:

  Disney Channel
Disney Channel

Kristen Stewart in her most notable role as Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga from 2008 to 2012:

  Summit Entertainment
Summit Entertainment

Kristen Stewart in her most recent role as Princess Diana in Spencer in 2021:

In 2022, Kristen was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her work as Princess Diana in Spencer.

In 2022, Kristen was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her work as Princess Diana in Spencer.

Neon

2.Meryl Streep in her first big role as Linda in The Deer Hunter in 1978:

  EMI
EMI

Meryl Streep in (one of) her most notable roles as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada in 2006:

Meryl's work as Miranda in The Devil Wears Prada is just one of her many notable roles. She currently holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations of any actor and has been nominated 21 times. She's won three Academy Awards for her work in Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie's Choice, and The Iron Lady.

Meryl's work as Miranda in The Devil Wears Prada is just one of her many notable roles. She currently holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations of any actor and has been nominated 21 times. She's won three Academy Awards for her work in Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie's Choice, and The Iron Lady.

20th Century Fox

Meryl Streep in her most recent role as President Janie Orlean in Don't Look Up in 2021:

  Netflix
Netflix

3.Chris Evans in his first role as Cary in Opposite Sex in 2000:

  Fox / Via youtu.be
Fox / Via youtu.be

Chris Evans in his most notable role as Steve Rogers/Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from 2011 to 2019:

  Marvel
Marvel

Chris Evans in his most recent role as Lloyd Hansen in The Gray Man in 2022:

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, The Gray Man will hit Netflix in July 2022. Chris stars alongside Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Regé-Jean Page, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfred Woodard, Jessica Henwick, and more.

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, The Gray Man will hit Netflix in July 2022. Chris stars alongside Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Regé-Jean Page, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfred Woodard, Jessica Henwick, and more.

Netflix / Via youtu.be

4.Viola Davis in one of her first roles as "Woman" in NYPD Blue in 1996:

  ABC
ABC

Viola Davis in her most notable role as Annalise Keating in How to Get Away With Murder in 2014 to 2020:

Alongside her work as Annalise in How to Get Away With Murder, which earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2015, she's also had so many iconic film performances. In 2016, she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Fences.

Alongside her work as Annalise in How to Get Away With Murder, which earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2015, she's also had so many iconic film performances. In 2016, she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Fences.

ABC

Viola Davis in her most recent role as Michelle Obama in The First Lady in 2022:

Viola's next role will be playing Michelle Obama in the upcoming TV series The First Lady, which will premiere on April 17, 2022. She'll star in the show alongside O.T. Fagbenle, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning, Gillian Anderson, and more.

Viola's next role will be playing Michelle Obama in the upcoming TV series The First Lady, which will premiere on April 17, 2022. She'll star in the show alongside O.T. Fagbenle, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning, Gillian Anderson, and more.

Showtime / Via youtu.be

5.Elizabeth Olsen in her first role as "Girl in Car" in How the West Was Fun in 1994:

  Dualstar Productions / Warner Bros.
Dualstar Productions / Warner Bros.

Elizabeth Olsen in her most notable role as Wanda Maximoff in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from 2014 to present:

Elizabeth's work as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch on WandaVision received critical acclaim in 2021 and earned her Emmy, Golden Globe, and Critics' Choice Award nominations. She'll reprise the role again in 2022 in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Elizabeth's work as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch on WandaVision received critical acclaim in 2021 and earned her Emmy, Golden Globe, and Critics' Choice Award nominations. She'll reprise the role again in 2022 in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Marvel / Via youtu.be

Elizabeth Olsen in her most recent role as Candy Montgomery in Love and Death in 2022:

In 2022, Elizabeth will star as Candy Montgomery, a Texas housewife who brutally murdered her friend in 1980, in the HBO Max series Love and Death.

In 2022, Elizabeth will star as Candy Montgomery, a Texas housewife who brutally murdered her friend in 1980, in the HBO Max series Love and Death.

HBO Max

6.Leonardo DiCaprio in his first big role as Glen in The New Lassie in 1989:

  MCA TV / Via youtu.be
MCA TV / Via youtu.be

Leonardo DiCaprio in his most notable role as Jack Dawson in Titanic in 1997:

Leo's work as Jack in Titanic is one of his many notable roles over the years. He's been nominated for seven Academy Awards for his work in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, The Wolf of Wall Street, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and more. In 2016 he finally won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in The Revenant.

Leo's work as Jack in Titanic is one of his many notable roles over the years. He's been nominated for seven Academy Awards for his work in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, The Wolf of Wall Street, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and more. In 2016 he finally won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in The Revenant.

Paramount Pictures

Leonardo DiCaprio in his most recent role as Dr. Randall Mindy in Don't Look Up in 2021:

  Netflix
Netflix

7.Reese Witherspoon in her first role as Dani Trant in The Man in the Moon in 1991:

  Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Metro Goldwyn Mayer

Reese Witherspoon in her most notable role as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde in 2001:

Alongside her absolutely iconic work in Legally Blonde, Reese also won an Academy Award in 2006 for her work as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line. She's also had amazing performances in Wild and Big Little Lies.

Alongside her absolutely iconic work in Legally Blonde, Reese also won an Academy Award in 2006 for her work as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line. She's also had amazing performances in Wild and Big Little Lies.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer

Reese Witherspoon in her most recent role as Bradley Jackson in The Morning Show from 2019 to present:

Reese's work in The Morning Show has earned her Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.

Reese's work in The Morning Show has earned her Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.

Apple TV+

8.Tom Holland in his first role as Lucas Bennett in The Impossible in 2012:

  Warner Bros
Warner Bros

Tom Holland in his most notable role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from 2016 to present:

  Sony / Marvel
Sony / Marvel

Tom Holland in his most recent role as Nathan Drake in Uncharted in 2022:

  Sony Pictures / Via youtu.be
Sony Pictures / Via youtu.be

9.Rita Moreno in her first role as Dolores Guererro in So Young, So Bad in 1950:

  United Artists / Everett Collection
United Artists / Everett Collection

Rita Moreno in her most notable role as Anita in West Side Story in 1961:

Rita's work as Anita in West Side Story earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1961. She's one of the few people who has an EGOT, meaning she's won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, AND Tony Awards.

Rita's work as Anita in West Side Story earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1961. She's one of the few people who has an EGOT, meaning she's won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, AND Tony Awards.

United Artists / Everett Collection

Rita Moreno in her most recent role as Valentina in West Side Story in 2021:

  20th Century Fox / Everett Colllection
20th Century Fox / Everett Colllection

10.Robert Pattinson in his first role as Giselher in Ring of the Nibelungs in 2004:

  Tandem Communications / Via youtu.be
Tandem Communications / Via youtu.be

Robert Pattinson in his most notable role as Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga from 2008 to 2012:

  Summit Entertainment
Summit Entertainment

Robert Pattinson in his most recent role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Batman in 2022:

  Warner Bros / Everett Collection
Warner Bros / Everett Collection

11.Selena Gomez in her first role as Gianna in Barney & Friends from 2002 to 2004:

  PBS
PBS

Selena Gomez in her most notable role as Alex Russo in Wizards of Waverly Place from 2007 to 2012:

  Disney Channel
Disney Channel

Selena Gomez in her most recent role as Mabel Mora in Only Murders in the Building from 2021 to present:

Selena's work alongside Steve Martin and Martin Short has earned her critical acclaim and even a Critics' Choice Television Award nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy Series in 2022.

Selena's work alongside Steve Martin and Martin Short has earned her critical acclaim and even a Critics' Choice Television Award nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy Series in 2022.

Hulu

12.Andrew Garfield in his first role as Tom in Sugar Rush in 2005:

  Channel 4 / Via youtu.be
Channel 4 / Via youtu.be

Andrew Garfield in his most notable role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012:

Of course, Andrew reprised his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man alongside Tobey Maguire and Tom Holland in Spider-Man: No Way Home in 2021. While Spider-Man made Andrew a household name he's also given iconic performances in The Social Network, Hacksaw Ridge, and more. Hacksaw Ridge earned Andrew his first Academy Award nomination in 2017.

Of course, Andrew reprised his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man alongside Tobey Maguire and Tom Holland in Spider-Man: No Way Home in 2021. While Spider-Man made Andrew a household name he's also given iconic performances in The Social Network, Hacksaw Ridge, and more. Hacksaw Ridge earned Andrew his first Academy Award nomination in 2017.

Sony Pictures / Via youtu.be

Andrew Garfield in his most recent role as Jonathan Larson in Tick, Tick...Boom! in 2021:

In 2022, Andrew was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in Tick, Tick...Boom!

In 2022, Andrew was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in Tick, Tick...Boom!

Netflix

13.Zendaya in her first role as Rocky Blue in Shake It Up from 2010 to 2013:

  Disney Channel
Disney Channel

Zendaya in her most notable role as Rue Bennett from Euphoria from 2019 to present:

Zendaya won an Emmy Award in 2020 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Rue in Euphoria. She became the youngest actor to ever win in the category.

Zendaya won an Emmy Award in 2020 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Rue in Euphoria. She became the youngest actor to ever win in the category.

HBO

Zendaya in her most recent role as MJ in Spider-Man: No Way Home in 2021:

She's also currently wrapping up another outstanding performance on Euphoria Season 2 in 2022.

She's also currently wrapping up another outstanding performance on Euphoria Season 2 in 2022.

Sony / Marvel / Everett Collection

14.Anna Chlumsky in her first big role as Vada Sultenfuss in My Girl in 1991:

  Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures

Anna Chlumsky in her most notable role as Amy Brookheimer on Veep in 2012 to 2019:

Amy's work on Veep earned her six Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Amy's work on Veep earned her six Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

HBO

Anna Chlumsky in her most recent role as Vivian Kent in Inventing Anna in 2022:

  Netflix
Netflix

15.Michael B. Jordan in his first role as "Rideland Kid" in The Sopranos in 1999:

  HBO
HBO

Michael B. Jordan in his most notable role as Erik "Killmonger" Stevens in Black Panther in 2018:

Alongside his work in Black Panther, Michael has also given us several other iconic performances in Friday Night Lights, Fruitvale Station, and Creed.

Alongside his work in Black Panther, Michael has also given us several other iconic performances in Friday Night Lights, Fruitvale Station, and Creed.

Marvel

Michael B. Jordan in his most recent role as Charles Monroe King in A Journal for Jordan in 2021:

  Sony Pictures / Everett Collection
Sony Pictures / Everett Collection

16.Hailee Steinfeld in her first role as "Little Girl" in Back to You in 2007:

  Fox
Fox

Hailee Steinfeld in her most notable role as Mattie Ross in True Grit in 2010:

Hailee earned an Academy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2011 for her work in True Grit. She was only 14 years old at the time and is still one of the youngest Oscar nominees ever.

Hailee earned an Academy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2011 for her work in True Grit. She was only 14 years old at the time and is still one of the youngest Oscar nominees ever.

Paramount Pictures

Hailee Steinfeld in her most recent role as Kate Bishop in Hawkeye in 2021:

Alongside starring as Kate in Hawkeye, Hailee was also starring as Emily Dickinson in Apple TV+'s Dickinson. She was also an executive producer on the series.

Alongside starring as Kate in Hawkeye, Hailee was also starring as Emily Dickinson in Apple TV+'s Dickinson. She was also an executive producer on the series.

Marvel / Disney+

17.Steven Yeun in his first role as Chaz in My Name Is Jerry in 2009:

  Clothespin Films / Via youtu.be
Clothespin Films / Via youtu.be

Steven Yeun in his most notable role as Glenn Rhee in The Walking Dead in 2010 to 2016:

Alongside his work in The Walking Dead, Steve also received critical acclaim for his role in Minari. It even earned him an Academy Award nomination in 2021. 

Alongside his work in The Walking Dead, Steve also received critical acclaim for his role in Minari. It even earned him an Academy Award nomination in 2021.

AMC

Steven Yeun in his most recent role as Brian in Nope in 2022:

In 2022, Steven will star in Jordan Peele's latest horror film Nope alongside Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Barbie Ferreira, and more.

In 2022, Steven will star in Jordan Peele's latest horror film Nope alongside Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Barbie Ferreira, and more.

Universal Pictures / Via youtu.be

18.Sarah Paulson in her first role as Maggie Conner in Law & Order in 1994:

  NBC / Via youtu.be
NBC / Via youtu.be

Sarah Paulson in her most notable roles as Billie, Lana, Cordellia, and more in American Horror Story in 2011 to present:

Alongside her numerous Emmy Award nominations for American Horror Story, Sarah finally won an Emmy in 2016 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her work in The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story.

Alongside her numerous Emmy Award nominations for American Horror Story, Sarah finally won an Emmy in 2016 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her work in The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story.

FX

Sarah Paulson in her most recent role as Linda Tripp in Impeachment: American Crime Story in 2021:

  FX / Via youtu.be
FX / Via youtu.be

19.Harrison Ford in his first role as "Bellhop" in Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round in 1966:

  Columbia Pictures / Via youtu.be
Columbia Pictures / Via youtu.be

Harrison Ford in his most notable role as Han Solo in the Star Wars films from 1977 to 2019:

Of course, at the same time he was playing Han Solo in Star Wars, Harrison was also leading another iconic franchise: Indiana Jones. He will also be reprising his role as Indiana Jones in the untitled fifth film.

Of course, at the same time he was playing Han Solo in Star Wars, Harrison was also leading another iconic franchise: Indiana Jones. He will also be reprising his role as Indiana Jones in the untitled fifth film.

Lucasfilm

Harrison Ford in his most recent role as John Thornton in The Call of the Wild in 2020:

  20th Century / Everett Collection
20th Century / Everett Collection

20.Sandra Oh in one of her first roles as "Waitress" in Degrassi High: School's Out in 1992:

  CBC / Via youtu.be
CBC / Via youtu.be

Sandra Oh in her most notable role as Dr. Cristina Yang in Grey's Anatomy from 2005 to 2014:

Sandra's work as Cristina Yang earned her five Emmy Award nominations from 2005 to 2009. She also won a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress in 2005.

Sandra's work as Cristina Yang earned her five Emmy Award nominations from 2005 to 2009. She also won a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress in 2005.

ABC

Sandra Oh in her most recent role as Eve Polastri in Killing Eve from 2018 to 2022:

Sandra's amazing role as Eve on Killing Eve has earned her five Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and as a producer on the series. She also won a Golden Globe award in 2019 for Best Actress in a Television Series, Drama.

Sandra's amazing role as Eve on Killing Eve has earned her five Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and as a producer on the series. She also won a Golden Globe award in 2019 for Best Actress in a Television Series, Drama.

BBC America

21.Florence Pugh in her first role as Abbie Mortimer in The Falling in 2014:

  Metrodome UK
Metrodome UK

Florence Pugh in her most notable role as Amy March in Little Women in 2019:

In 2019, Florence starred in several amazing movies such as Fighting with My Family, Midsommar, and Little Women. Her work as Amy March earned her her first Academy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2020.

In 2019, Florence starred in several amazing movies such as Fighting with My Family, Midsommar, and Little Women. Her work as Amy March earned her her first Academy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2020.

Sony Pictures

Florence Pugh in her most recent role as Yelena Belova in Hawkeye in 2021:

In 2021, Florence also played the role of Yelena Belova in Black Widow opposite Scarlett Johansson.

In 2021, Florence also played the role of Yelena Belova in Black Widow opposite Scarlett Johansson.

Marvel / Disney+

22.Denzel Washington in his first role as Roger Porter in Carbon Copy in 1981:

 
Embassy Pictures / Everett Collection

Denzel Washington in his most notable role as Private Silas Trip in Glory in 1989:

Over the course of his career, Denzel has been nominated for nine Academy Awards and has won twice. Once for his work in Glory in 1990, a role that effectively put him on the map, and then again in 2002 for Training Day.

Over the course of his career, Denzel has been nominated for nine Academy Awards and has won twice. Once for his work in Glory in 1990, a role that effectively put him on the map, and then again in 2002 for Training Day.

TriStar / Everett Collection

Denzel Washington in his most recent role as Lord Macbeth in The Tragedy of Macbeth in 2021:

In 2022, Denzel was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in The Tragedy of Macbeth.

In 2022, Denzel was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in The Tragedy of Macbeth.

A24 / Everett Collection

23.Timothée Chalamet in his first role as Eric Foley in Law & Order in 2009:

  NBC
NBC

Timothée Chalamet in his most notable role as Elio Perlman in Call Me by Your Name in 2017:

Timothée's breakthrough performance as Elio in Call Me by Your Name earned him critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in 2018. He became the third-youngest nominee ever in the category.

Timothée's breakthrough performance as Elio in Call Me by Your Name earned him critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in 2018. He became the third-youngest nominee ever in the category.

Sony Pictures Classics / Everett Collection

Timothée Chalamet in his most recent role as Yule in Don't Look Up in 2021:

In 2021, Timothée also starred as Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve's remake of Dune.

In 2021, Timothée also starred as Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve's remake of Dune.

Netflix

24.Samuel L. Jackson in one of his first roles as Sulk in The Displaced Person in 1977:

  American Masters / Via youtu.be
American Masters / Via youtu.be

Samuel L. Jackson in his most notable role as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction in 1994:

Before Pulp Fiction, Samuel appeared in a lot of big movies such as Coming to America, Goodfellas, and Jurassic Park, however it was this Quentin Tarantino-directed film that put him on the map. His work in Pulp Fiction earned him an Academy Award nomination in 1994 for Best Supporting Actor.

Before Pulp Fiction, Samuel appeared in a lot of big movies such as Coming to America, Goodfellas, and Jurassic Park, however it was this Quentin Tarantino-directed film that put him on the map. His work in Pulp Fiction earned him an Academy Award nomination in 1994 for Best Supporting Actor.

Miramax / Everett Collection

Samuel L. Jackson in his most recent role as Ptolemy Grey in The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey in 2022:

In 2022, Samuel will receive an honorary Academy Award for his achievement in film. 

In 2022, Samuel will receive an honorary Academy Award for his achievement in film.

Hopper Stone / Apple TV+

25.Linda Cardellini in her first role as Sarah in Bone Chillers in 1996:

  ABC / Via youtu.be
ABC / Via youtu.be

Linda Cardellini in her most notable role as Lindsay Weir in Freaks and Geeks from 1999 to 2000:

While TV fans likely know her from Freaks and Geeks and ER, Linda's other notable role is her portrayal of Velma in the Scooby-Doo films. She's also appeared in Legally Blonde and Brokeback Mountain.

While TV fans likely know her from Freaks and Geeks and ER, Linda's other notable role is her portrayal of Velma in the Scooby-Doo films. She's also appeared in Legally Blonde and Brokeback Mountain.

Fox

Linda Cardellini in her most recent role as Laura Barton in Hawkeye in 2021:

Linda has been playing the role of Laura Barton in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. She's also been playing the role of Judy Hale on Dead to Me for three seasons and the role earned her an Emmy award nomination in 2020.

Linda has been playing the role of Laura Barton in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. She's also been playing the role of Judy Hale on Dead to Me for three seasons and the role earned her an Emmy award nomination in 2020.

Marvel / Disney+

26.Oscar Isaac in his first role as "Pool Boy" in Illtown in 1998:

  TSG Pictures
TSG Pictures

Oscar Isaac in his most notable role as Poe Dameron in the Star Wars films from 2015 to 2019:

Prior to becoming a household name in the Star Wars universe, Oscar received critical acclaim for his work in Inside Llewyn Davis in 2013. 

Prior to becoming a household name in the Star Wars universe, Oscar received critical acclaim for his work in Inside Llewyn Davis in 2013.

LucasFilm

Oscar Isaac in his most recent role as Marc Spector/Moon Knight in Moon Knight in 2022:

  Marvel / Disney+ / Via youtu.be
Marvel / Disney+ / Via youtu.be

27.Joshua Jackson in his first big role as Charlie Conway in The Mighty Ducks in 1992:

  Buena Vista Pictures
Buena Vista Pictures

Joshua Jackson in his most notable role as Pacey Witter in Dawson's Creek from 1998 to 2003:

  Warner Bros
Warner Bros

Joshua Jackson in his most recent role as Dr. Christopher Duntsch in Dr. Death in 2021:

  Peacock / Via youtu.be
Peacock / Via youtu.be