Most famous actors have to make their way to the top of acting and become a star through many auditions, countless rejections, accepting very small and marginal roles.
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To show you the journey some of Hollywood's biggest names have taken to get to where they are now, we've compiled a list of 15 actors who played before landing their roles. Mainly, they have played roles in cinema and television as black characters or minor actors. As you read the names on this list, you'll see which of your favorite stars took very small sideline roles over the years, and in which movies you can see these now-famous faces in lesser roles.
15. Javier Bardem (Javier Bardem)
Javier Bardem, who is known for his outstanding role in the Oscar-winning film "A place for "No Country For Old Men" (No Country For Old Men) is known for the role of a psychopathic serial killer, when he was a child he started his acting career by appearing in the role of black Army in his native Spain.
Bardem's first role dates back to 1974 and appearing in an episode of the TV series El Pcaro. He continued the following years with a series of small roles in Spanish cinema. This process eventually led to a role in the 1990 film The Ages of Lulu, which put her on the path to stardom. Bardem did not play the main role in this film, but he was no longer a marginal actor in small and unimportant roles.
About two years later, the Spanish director Bigas Luna gave him the leading role in the movie "Jamn Jamn". ) suggested. A romantic tragedy-comedy that put Bardem next to Penelope Cruz and was an important growth point for this actress in her career. This Spanish actor was the lead role in many movies From this movie onward, and during the following decades, his fame continued to increase with outstanding roles and winning major awards.
14. Viola Davis (Viola Davis)
Viola Davis in 1993 after graduating From the Juilliard School acting in roles He discovered the big and the small on and off Broadway. His television career began with small roles in police TV shows. But after winning the first Tony Award for his performance in "King Hedley III" by August Wilson, different film and television roles were offered to this talented theater actor.
Now, Davis instead of playing minor roles And Kokok starred in more famous films such as "Solaris" by Steven Soderbergh and "Syriana" by George Clooney. Despite the fact that Davis gradually played a role in more significant works, he was still an actor for a long time in short but effective roles or played bolder roles in works that did not receive much attention. This actor was finally able to get the recognition and attention he deserved with the movie "The Help" and since 2011, he has played the main role in many movies and has risen to the status of a star. Davis is the first black actor to win all three Oscar, Emmy and Tony awards (related to cinema, television and theater).
13. Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio, who is now one He is one of the most famous and well-known actors in the world, he had a very humble beginning. Born in Los Angeles in 1974, DiCaprio began acting as a child by appearing in a number of television commercials. After graduation, he appeared in TV shows such as "The New Lassie", "Santa Barbara", "Parenthood" and "Roseanne" played small and insignificant roles.
More serious attention to DiCaprio happened with his appearance in the series "Primary Matters" during 1991 and 1992. ; The TV series for which he was nominated for the award of the best young actor in a TV series. In 1993, the 19-year-old DiCaprio received his first Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for his supporting role in the film "What's Wrong with Gilbert Grape?" (What's Eating Gilbert Grape) and it can be claimed that From this point on he entered a new era of his career. This well-known American actor gained international fame four years later by appearing in the movie "Titanic".
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12. Robert Downey Jr. (Robert Downey Jr.)
During the childhood of the boy who was supposed to become the Iron Man of the Marvel superhero universe in the comedy movie " Pound" (Pound) made in 1970, directed by his father, played a small role. In 1972, he appeared again in another work directed by his father called "Greaser's Palace" to play a small role. Brat Pack acquired during the 1980s. Brat Pack was the name of a group of teenage actors who generally acted together in films related to teenagers, and most of their prominent and famous works were released in the 80s. (The Pick-up Artist) directed by James Tubuck opposite Molly Ringwald played the main male role. Although the professional life of Robert John Downey Jr. was basically full of ups and downs, the late eighties and early nineties were the era that made him known as a powerful actor. In 1992, Downey Jr. played the role of Charlie Chaplin in the biopic "Chaplin" and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. He was imprisoned for several years for issues related to addiction and drug trafficking, and then spent a period of treatment.
Three movie works "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", "Zodiac" ) and "Tropic Thunder" were among the most prominent films of the 2000s in Downey Jr.'s career; He was once again nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor for Tropical Thunder. In 2010, Downey won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for playing the role of Sherlock in the film "Sherlock Holmes" by Guy Ritchie.
Finally, fame The popularity of this Hollywood star is related to the start of his career in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and playing the role of Tony Stark/Iron Man in 10 movies of this cinematic universe; The activities that started with the movie "Iron Man" in 2008 and continued until 2019 and appearing in the movie "Avengers: Endgame".
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11. Cuba M. Gooding, Jr.
Cuba Gooding Jr.'s career as a dancer It started when he was a teenager; In 1984, he performed as a breakdance artist on Lionel Richie's show, which was part of the special show for the 1984 Summer Olympics. Gooding Jr. also participated in a high school play, where acting observers discovered his talents and led him down a path that led to television commercials. He appeared in TV shows such as "Hill Street Blues" and "MacGyver". The marginal presence of this American actor continued in other works until 1991 when he was offered the lead role in a movie that changed his acting destiny. John Singleton's acclaimed coming-of-age film Boyz n the Hood. A landmark, best-selling film that was well received by critics and even screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
From this point onward, Cuba Gooding Jr. was on the rails again, and only five years later, to play a supporting role in the film. "Jerry Maguire" received an Oscar award.
10. Taraji P. Henson (Taraji Penda Henson)
After receiving a degree From Harvard University, Taraji P. Henson earned a Screen actors Guild card by playing three minor background roles. During those years, Henson could be seen in small roles in series such as "Smart Boy", "Sister, Sister" and "House". We saw his more serious flourishing in the movie "Baby Boy" in 2001. Although he did not play the main role in this movie, but this movie directed by John Singleton was where he played a more important role and received serious attention.
Taraji P. In the following years, Henson appeared in more well-known works such as "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" by David Fincher, and in A number of films such as "I Can Do Bad All by Myself" (I Can Do Bad All by Myself) reached the main role and received prestigious awards such as the Golden Globe Award. Henson's brilliance has continued in recent years; He also experienced a commercial success at the box office by playing the lead role in the movie "Hidden Figures".
9. Samuel L. Jackson (Samuel L. Jackson)
Samuel L. Jackson is a prolific actor and he is known for playing memorable roles. We remember many. Among his many notable roles, he is best known for his fine performance as Jules Winfield in Quentin Tarantino's 1994 film A Popular Story. Samuel L. Jackson was nominated for the Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA acting awards for this role and finally won the BAFTA award. He was just a marginal figure in the background of the movies. He started his career as a black character in films like Ragtime and The Exterminator during the 1980s. This famous actor in the late eighties managed to upgrade his position From the black character to the actor of small roles and in two Spike Lee films, "School Daze" and "Do the Right Thin" in the roles appear small Jackson eventually gained much attention for his talents during the early 1990s when he starred as Gator in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever.
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8. Lucy Liu (Lucy Liu)
Lucy Liu before playing the role of Alex in the series "Charlie's Angels" (Charlie's Angels) conquered the cinema screen, playing small and insignificant roles. He began his acting career on the sidelines of television programs such as "Beverly Hills 90210" in 1992 and "Home Improvement" in 1995.
Liv Roy's first acting in a movie was in the movie "Jerry Maguire". It was released in 1996. But the role that really drew attention to him was his successful appearance as Ling Wu in the television series "Ally McBeal". Her performance as Wu earned Liu an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and a Screen actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Comedy Series.
7. Eva Longoria
Just like the previous actress in this list, Eva Longoria is also an actress with roles Marginal and small started in an episode of "Beverly Hills 90210" series. The following year, she played the role of Isabella Branagh in The Young and the Restless. After her successful run on the series, Longoria was offered other small television roles until she finally rose to fame in 2004 with her breakout performance as Gabrielle on Desperate Housewives. This series followed the lives of four women and their families, and the actress Longoria was one of the four main characters of the series. Two decades later provided for this actor. Longoria has been nominated for the Golden Globe Award and won the Screen actors Guild Award.
6. Eva Mendes
Eva Mendes grew up in Los Angeles. He dropped out of college to pursue his acting career. While struggling to land a major role, Mendes began her career in 1997 with small, uncredited roles in music videos such as Will Smith's "Miami" and Aerosmith's "Hole in My Soul." He is also seen as Sahi Lashkar in one of the episodes of "Emergency Department" (ER) series in 1998.
Mendes had an absolutely marginal status until the early years of the new century. But the year 2001 was an important point for this actor. Her appearance as the mistress of a corrupt policeman in the 2001 film "Training Day" finally showcased the actress' talents in a more appropriate way than before. Since then, Mendes has starred in blockbusters such as 2 Fast 2 Furious, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and Hitch. The 2005 production of Mendes co-starred with Will Smith; An actor who once had a marginal role in Will Smith's clips, less than a decade later, he took one of the main roles opposite him.
5. Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn Monroe)
Marilyn Monroe, who is now considered one of the most famous female actresses of all time He spent his early life in a series of orphanages. He made a name for himself with modeling until 1948, when he was used as a black man in films such as "Green Grass of Wyoming" and "You were Meant for Me".
In 1950, Monroe had two successful performances with small but significant roles in the films "All About Eve" and "The Asphalt Jungle". In the following years, Monroe became one of the most popular media figures. By mid-decade, he established his iconic status with his most memorable roles in films such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, and Some Like It. Hot) stabilized.
4. Brad Pitt (Brad Pitt)
Brad Pitt has been nominated four times for the Oscar for acting. And he's been in some of the biggest blockbusters of recent years and some of the most acclaimed films of the last 30 years.
But when Pitt first started acting, the black cast of movies like Hank, No Way ", "No Man's Land" and "Less Than Zero" (all produced in 1987). From 1987 to 1991, in addition to appearing as the main character in television series, Pitt also accepted small and insignificant roles to eventually pave the way for his more prominent appearance. Famously, it was directed by Ridley Scott. This well-known American actor finally played a relatively more important role in 1991 with his role as a hitchhiker in the crime road movie "Thelma and Louise" and was noticed as an actor. A year later, Pitt was offered one of the main roles in the film "A River Runs Through It" by Robert Redford, and by accepting this role, he established himself as a leading actor in Hollywood. p>
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3. Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart received her first Oscar nomination last year for playing the role of Princess Diana won in the movie "Spencer" but before that she was already known as a star. But the starting point of this actor's activities was years ago as a child and adolescent actor. Stewart traced his childhood by playing the role of black Army in the movies "The Thirteenth Year" and "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas".
This actor in 2004 in The movie "Speak" presented a more outstanding performance than the previous years of his career and was somewhat noticed. Shortly after that, Stewart won the role of Bella Swan in the television series "Twilight" and through this role she achieved fame that ensured her professional future.
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2. Benicio del Toro
Benicio del Toro can be seen in 1987 during his early career in He saw the background of Madonna's hit music video for "La Isla Bonita". He played small roles in TV shows such as "Miami Vice", "Ohara" and "Private Eye". He was able to shine in the role of a criminal named Fred Fenster in the movie "The Usual Suspects". With this role, he won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor. From that date onward, this well-known Hollywood figure began his progress in a more serious way, and six years later, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic" in 2001.
1. Rene Kathleen Zellweger (Rene Kathleen Zellweger)
Many remember Rene Kathleen Zellweger as Bridget Jones; A popular and familiar face whose series of films are memorable for many audiences. But before reaching the fame of this actress, she also played many minor marginal roles and it took many years for her to become an actress who was a highly paid star during a period of Hollywood history. The 1990s were the darkest years of cinematographic works; An outstanding example of the films in which he had a marginal presence was the movie "Dazed and Confused" by Richard Linklater in 1993.
Zellweger in the miniseries "Murder in the Heartland) also played an insignificant role. This actress managed to capture the hearts of critics and audiences by playing the role of Dorothy Boyle in the movie "Jerry Maguire". Since then, Zellweger has won a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award.