Before They Were Famous: Big Stars In Pre-Fame Minor Roles


Everyone has had to start small somewhere, and it’s no different in the case of the big Hollywood stars. What’s amusing though, is how much they escape our attention from the shows we’re all pretty familiar with – just because they’re not a big a name yet at the time. Here are some of examples of popular actors playing parts from shows and films we’re all familiar with:



Zac Efron

More Popularly Known From His Role As: Troy Bolton – High School Musical


Zac Efron is one of the most popular heartthrobs for the tween demographic from his hit series High School Musical on Disney Channel a couple years back. He has since transitioned into more mature character roles in such productions as 17 Again, Charlie St. Cloud, and New Year’s Eve.


Also Apparently Played: Younger Simon Tam – Firefly


One Zac Efron role fans may have missed from his earlier days would be his short-lived stint as a younger Doctor Simon Tam from the equally short-lived sci-fi fan-favorite space-western (that’s a lot of hyphens!) Firefly. Efron played the Doctor in flashbacks telling of his childhood, even calling for Efron to speak in Chinese as was one of the more common languages in the show’s setting.



Ryan Reynolds

More Popularly Known From His Role As: Van Wilder – Van Wilder / Hal Jordan – Green Lantern


Fast mouthed and fabulously fit, Ryan Reynolds made a name for himself as a fun-loving wisecracker in most of his films, but his prowess for action scenes also paved the way for roles such as Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity as well as Wade Wilson aka Deadpool in the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine  which had already also announced its spinoff sequel, Deadpool, with Reynolds in the titular role.


Also Apparently Played: Seth – Sabrina The Teenage Witch (TV Movie)


Sporting a magnificently wavy blonde hairdo parted 90s-style at the middle that would put Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger to shame; Ryan Reynolds looked awkwardly goofy at the time, with his lanky frame and up-and-coming acting skills.



Jack Black

More Popularly Known From His Role As: JB – Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny / Dewey Finn School of Rock


Larger than life comedian/musician Jack Black has had so many major projects under his belt, bringing his energetically over the top performance to the silver screen with such characters as Ignacio Libre in Nacho Libre, Jeff Portnoy in Tropic Thunder, even as a dramatic actor in King Kong as Carl Denham.


Also Apparently Played: Slip – The Neverending Story III


Aptly enough one of the biggest characters to ever slip past most people is Black’s character of Slip in The Neverending Story III. Black played Slip, leader of the Nasties, and main antagonist to Bastian Bux both in real life and in the book.



January Jones

More Popularly Known From Her Role As: Betty Draper – Mad Men / Emma Frost – X-Men: First Class


This hottie from South Dakota had long been playing supporting roles in a slew of other projects, but her biggest break came in the form of the 60s drama Mad Men where Jones played the cold, selfish, and rather unstable Betty Draper, housewife to ad exec Don Draper.


Also Apparently Played: Gina – Anger Management


From before she was able to break into the big leagues, January also apparently played the role of Gina – a porn star who along with her lesbian lover and fellow porn star  Stacy (played by Krista Allen) were also part of the anger management group Adam Sandler’s character is forcibly subscribed to.