A-List Stars In Tiny Roles

As an add-on to the Oscars Live Blog, this is a post that resulted from a deep and miserable procrastination spiral I had over the summer. In case you’re worried that we’re turning into TMZ, we’ll be back to normal posts on Tuesday, March 11th.


My dad told me, “It takes fifteen years to be an overnight success,” and it took me seventeen and a half years. –Adrien Brody


You know how if you scroll down to the bottom of a movie star’s IMDB filmography, you get to a bunch of movies you haven’t heard of?

That’s the eating shit section. Almost every star ate an incredible amount of shit for years before anyone ever heard of them. And if you dig hard enough, you can watch it happening. Let’s give it a try:


Stars as Extras

It’s especially weird to watch a megastar play an extra, but it happened a lot:
Robert De Niro

Deniro played a number of small weird roles, but this one was certainly one of the smallest.

Brad Pitt

Skip to 1:58 and check out the waiter. Not a large part for Brad.

And here’s another Pitt background role.

Stars in Commercials

Ben Affleck

Jason Alexander

Pretty dark. Jason Alexander has to be pleased with where his career ended up, given that this is where it once was.

Elijah Wood

What an incompetent family.

Matt Le Blanc

One of the least plausible commercials I’ve seen.

Brad Pitt

He’s not even the guy in the Pringles commercial. He’s Guy #2 in the Pringles commercial. Definitely still waiting on the big break.

Leonardo DiCaprio

That handsome fuck. Also, really unimpressed by the mom’s lack of self-control. One bite of shitty cheese and she does a 180 on her whole stance.


Stars in Tiny Roles

Tom Cruise

Weird choice by Tom Cruise to inhale helium before going on camera.

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford’s first screen appearance. Also, no one today looks as awesome and old-timey as that man sitting at the table.

Brad Pitt

Look at our boy, moving up the ladder with a speaking role!


Stars When They Were Kids

(Lest you think any successful actor had a normal childhood.)

Robert Downey, Jr.


Scarlett Johannson

Not super impressed with that acting. But highly adorable.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Both an intensely cute and supremely weird performance by Sarah. And apparently Burger King is the primary springboard to stardom for any aspiring actor.

Natalie Portman

Oldest-looking 12-year-old ever.

Drew Barrymore

That is not yet a sentient person.

Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling

Well didn’t these two needledicks end up doing just fine for themselves. Watching this led to an internal debate about who ended up with a bigger career. JT by a hair?


Stars with Big Parts in Obscure Movies

George Clooney

Clooney toiled away in obscurity for the first 17 years of his acting career before breaking out, and this immensely 80s TV show is no exception.

Nicole Kidman

She’s made nice progress since this first role in a depressing Australian TV movie.

Jennifer Aniston

Ferris Beuller the TV show was canceled after one season, despite clearly being an amazing show.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Al Pacino

His first role—a one-time appearance on a 1960’s TV show.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Everyone’s gotta start somewhere.

And finally, I’ll leave you with this TREAT:

Dr. Dre

  • Am I wrong, or is Daniel Stern (The Wonder Years, Home Alone…)the narrator of the Ben Affleck commercial?

    • I think you’re right. I was shocked when I first learned he was the Wonder Years narrator.

  • Audrey Hepburn appears for about three seconds at the tail end of “The Lavender Hill Mob.” And Robert Duvall appears in a brief, non-speaking role at the tail end of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

  • Anonymous

    Matt Damon was in Mystic Pizza. I believe it was his first acting role while in high school.

  • JayCeezy

    “It takes 15 years to become an overnight success. And it takes exactly the same amount of time to become a bitter failure!” – Marc Maron

  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe you missed Evangeline Lilly’s phone sex ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1eflhwFS9M

  • KJK

    All that plastic surgery and Jennifer Aniston is just as ugly as she was then.

  • Kevin

    So, when do we get to see the second round of Presidents? I’ve been really looking forward to that and was kind of hoping this post which was promised after a down week would be, you know, a real post and not just a bunch of ancient youtube clips with a pinch of snark. Your material is excellent but you have created a monster in that your audience is addicted to your wit and seriously jonsing for more of what which you have led us to believe would be forthcoming. C’mon man! Make with the real material! Or at least take the “new post every Tuesday” off the banner and put up “gone procrastinatiin'”sign or something.

    • wobster109

      GONE PROCRASTINATIN’ would be an awesome sign lol

      But yes, I also vote for another 75 years of presidents!

    • Wait But Why

      I’m with you. This post is very, very useless.

      As for presidents, the intention wasn’t to do those consecutively—the second and third rounds will be out, but probably not for awhile.

      At the moment, I’m mired in research on a whole other topic for next week.

  • Mike

    Not the greatest post to read/watch on my phone…

  • KC

    That was Frances Conroy as the mom in the Natalie Portman clip.

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