8 Insane Early Roles Famous Actors Don't Want You To See
Almost every famous actor started out in roles they're not too proud of, such as Annoying Fast Food Worker, Fat Man in Tunnel, or Racist #2. However, some actors began their careers in strange fringe projects or even in entirely different industries before getting their big break -- and as it turns out, these previous jobs can range in quality from "embarrassing" to "worthy of song and legend."
The Force Awakens Cast Were Stock Photo Models
Much like the original Star Wars, The Force Awakens used mostly unknown actors for its three lead roles, because when you're starting a new franchise, it's best to secure actors that you don't have to pay a whole lot. Their previous credits were sparse; John Boyega (Finn) had a lead role in the indie British sci-fi movie Attack The Block, Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) had a supporting role on Girls, and Daisy Ridley (Rey) only had a handful of television episodes to her name.
You'd think that random television cameos would be the smallest start you can get, but Ridley has the bizarre resume distinction of being the heroine in an interactive video designed to teach people about CPR. It's basically role-playing a driver's education course, with periodic choose-your-own-adventure breaks to allow students to make split-second decisions that will either save a person's life or doom them to die in a cold, concrete tomb while two grown men stare helplessly on like they got lost on their way to Chili's.
Meanwhile, John Boyega spent the early days of his career playing the parts of Student Sitting on Bench, Student Sitting at Computer, and Student Unusually Happy to Be in Line.
One Imgur user discovered that a suspiciously Boyega-esque person had shown up in a number of stock photos around the University of Nebraska campus, filling the auspicious role of The Only Black Guy at the University of Nebraska. Boyega later confirmed that it is indeed him in the photos, and that he had used the money he earned from the session to buy new shoes, which is more than any of us have ever received to pose for photographs that we didn't really want to be in.
Adam Driver, however, had his first brush with fame in high school, where the South Bend Tribune photographed him complaining about mayonnaise:
Apparently, Driver's school was levying an outrageous 50 cent upcharge to any student who wanted the condiment on their sandwiches, and he volunteered to become the face of the student body's dissent. Judging by his role in The Force Awakens, time has done nothing to diminish his anger.
Jason Statham Was A Naked Music Video Backup Dancer
Jason Statham today is what Jean-Claude Van Damme was decades ago -- the ultimate symbol of detached, manly badassitude. His venomous, British voice makes it seem like he might want to rip your heart out at any moment, and the fact that he does most of his own fighting and stunts means that holy shit, he probably could. This is not a human that you want to fuck with at any point, in any way. So it may come as somewhat of a shock that Statham began his career as a dancing underwear model gyrating his statuesque physique in '90s dance music videos. Here he is, towering over a landscape of mushrooms with his identical twin like a pair of mythological titans:
As an actor in the the music video for "Comin' On" by the Shamen, Statham got himself oiled up, donned a pair of leopard-print trunks, and proceeded to Chippendale's the living hell out of everything around him.
Statham sexed himself up a second time for the "Run To The Sun" video by Erasure, covered in chrome body paint to bring all of us to the gates of Valhalla with his clearly improvised dance moves.
If The Expendables 4 doesn't end with Statham crushing his enemies in a vicious dance-off, there is no justice in this universe.
Matt Dillon Ad-Libbed His Way Through A Documentary About Roller Coasters
The inexplicable VHS roller coaster documentary Wild Rides, produced in 1982, promises at least 3 percent of the excitement of being on a real roller coaster, and 100 percent of the excitement of watching a pre-fame Matt Dillon struggle to speak off-the-cuff about roller coasters because he is clearly being given no meaningful direction from the other side of the camera.
Decades before appearing in such successes as There's Something About Mary and Crash (for which he received an Academy Award nomination), Dillon spends the entirety of this video stumbling over his own words as if his teleprompter has broken and he can no longer remember what roller coasters are. The rest of the video is filled with clips of actors riding various roller coasters to a thoroughly bitchin' soundtrack of soft rock from the 1970s. This might be a worse first job than cleaning toilets at McDonald's, but Dillon bravely soldiers through it, despite the fact that he has no idea who this video could possibly be for, and that is plainly written across his face.
Wild Rides is available in six different parts on YouTube, just in case you simply cannot go on living your life without watching it in its entirety, and as it goes on you can see Dillon get more and more excited for how awesome roller coasters are and have less and less of a grip on what he's actually supposed to be saying about them. The whole thing ends with Dillon climbing a roller coaster, which is then ridden by a married couple, marking the exact point that nobody involved knew what the hell this movie was about anymore.
Aaron Paul Was The Most Excited Price Is Right Contestant In History
Aaron Paul might be one of the luckiest actors in Hollywood. As Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad, he was supposed to be killed off in the first season, but a writer's strike saved his role and made him into one of the most well-known characters on television. We've already talked about his past acting experience as a fast food junkie, but it turns out he was on television even before then. In 2000, Paul was a contestant on The Price Is Right, and appropriately, he acted like he was on all of the methamphetamine in the world.
The whole thing is undeniably glorious from start to finish. From the moment his name is called, it is clear that Aaron Paul has never been more excited to be anywhere in his entire life. He sprints down to Contestant's Row like the studio behind him is collapsing into the earth, and he shouts explosions of pure joy at Bob Barker.
Even when he loses, it's amazing, as he puts his hands on his head with an adorable look of disbelief like a cartoon character who just dropped a carton of milk on the floor.
According to a 2013 interview with CBS, Paul admits that he had drank about six Red Bulls before entering the audience, because, he says, "I knew they wanted people with energy. It worked, but I could not sit still. It was not healthy." This is another way of saying that he and Bob Barker got into a gunfight in the New Mexico desert with a rival daytime game show host.
Jennifer Connelly Was A Pop Musician In Japan
Jennifer Connelly is responsible for convincing two consecutive generations of adolescent boys that girls don't have cooties and probably never did. She was the teenage heroine in Labyrinth, the Timothy Dalton-punching heroine in The Rocketeer, the journalist heroine in Blood Diamond, and the heroin heroine in Requiem For A Dream. She eventually won an Oscar for her role as Alicia in A Beautiful Mind:
With a resume like that, you would think that she starred in some bizarre stuff in the early years of her career. And you'd be right, because it's hard to get much more bizarre than providing the singing for a Japanese stereo commercial.
Yes, that's Connelly using her surprisingly good singing voice to hawk products for Japanese Technics, who apparently made a combination CD player/telephone/fruit plate back in the day. The song she's singing is actually her own Japanese single from 1986, "Ai No Monologue" (which translates to the highly romantic "Love Monologue"), a song that frankly could have been the entire soundtrack to Requiem by itself.
This commercial might have been lost to the tides of time if not for Stephen Colbert, who surprised Connelly with it on The Late Show, because sometimes there is joy in this world after all. Neither of them commented on the breathy and sensual way she utters the line "This is Jennifer" for the commercial, which probably sold thousands of units to single Japanese men all on its own.
Jon Hamm Was A Creepy Dating Show Contestant
It's a well-documented fact that some men will say and do almost anything if the vague promise of sex is on the table. So it's no surprise that when the female contestant on the 1995 dating show The Big Date mentioned she had a foot fetish, the contestants all claimed to be graduates of Jules Winnfield's Academy of Foot Fucking Mastery -- particularly Jon Hamm, sporting a set of aggressive '90s hair drapes years before he became Mad Men's Don Draper.
Hamm promises contestant Mary "an evening of total fabulosity," which our research confirms is not actually a real word, although we have no doubt that Jon Hamm could will it into existence. After a night on the town with a delicious dinner, Hamm says, the evening would end with a "fabulous foot massage," which is code for "a bite of the ol' Hamm sandwich," which is code for "sex with Jon Hamm."
Sadly, Hamm was not chosen, although it seems like that might have been the best possible outcome for everyone involved.
Jason Bateman Made Bizarre PSAs And A Super Mario Bros. Ice Capades
In the years between his role as a child star on Little House On The Prairie and Silver Spoons and his starring role as Michael Bluth on Arrested Development, Jason Bateman was staying afloat in the entertainment industry by acting in several PSAs designed to keep the youth of America from exploding into clouds of reckless irresponsibility.
This first one is from a show called One To Grow On, where he warns against the evils of ... playing music too loud on the bus.
That's ... that's it. Jayce Bates doesn't want any of you to grow up to become public nuisances with your jamboxes, so he made this video to ensure that that never happens.
Moving on, we find Bateman co-starring in a PSA entitled "How Can I Tell If I'm Really In Love?" wherein he talks about the nature of love and sex with his sister, Justine (also a sitcom star), which certainly puts a more terrifying spin on the whole thing. You can see a handful of clips from the PSA in the video below, and the whole thing is so bizarre and off-putting we have no idea how it could possibly make any more sense in context. Ted Danson has never seemed so menacing.
Lastly, it seems that Bateman loves Nintendo games in much the same way that Matt Dillon loves roller coasters. Back in 1989, he showed up to film a special segment with Alyssa Milano for Super Mario Bros. At The Ice Capades, in which he cringingly refers to himself as the "Video Prince" and King Koopa appears as Mr. Belvedere in a budget Halloween costume.
Vin Diesel Was Super Into Street Sharks
Vin Diesel is famous for being a giant mountain of muscular destruction with an impossibly deep voice, but as we've previously discussed, it turns out that the star of XXX and the Fast And The Furious films is also a big-time nerd. Not only is he a lifelong fan of Dungeons & Dragons, but he founded a game development studio that created the well-received The Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay, which was an adaptation of the somewhat less-well-received space opera he wrote and produced. So while it may not come as a total surprise that his early work included some nerdy stuff, like repping Street Sharks toys at Toy Fair 1994, it is no less delightful to see Vin Diesel, in full Vin Diesel mode, geeking out over humanoid shark action figures and daring the rest of us to match his excitement. (We cannot. Indeed, no one can.)
Acting gigs were hard for him to find back before he broke through with Saving Private Ryan, but if you think he's just collecting a paycheck, you are dead wrong: Vin Diesel fucking loves these Street Sharks. He knows how to use their articulated arms and projectile heads to make them look their best, and he delivers undeniably terrible lines, such as "round mound of pound" and "fin-tastic detail" with such conviction that they go full circle and become awesome again. Make sure you watch that video all the way to the end, when he introduces the hand puppet shark man and proceeds to go totally apeshit with it.
After watching that performance, we will never again wonder how he was able to become an international film star. Clearly, he was destined for greatness from the very beginning.
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While we're talking about people who never expected to be famous, check out 5 Hilarious Early Roles Of 'Game Of Thrones Actors' and 5 Hilariously Bizarre Early Careers Of Famous People.
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