Watching the original “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie on Amazon Prime over the weekend (because it was the weekend), I was startled out of my sweatpants-and-potato-chips-induced semi-conscious state when I saw that Sam Rockwell was in it.
One of my favorite actors as an adult in one of my favorite movies as a kid. Granted, not an outstanding performance, but there was potential even then.
This realization set off a chain reaction of Internet-ery, the result of which is this.
Here are several early roles from future stars.
Note: A few of these videos have a little language. So headphones maybe.
Kerry Washington in “Save the Last Dance” (2001)
“Slammin'. Slammin' outfit.”
Daniel Craig in “A Kid in King Arthur's Court” (1995)
Even the man who would be Bond and Blomkvist started small. After about five years of knocking around TV, Craig got a pretty substantial role in a pretty bad Disney movie. But there are no small roles for a great actor. “Kid” also starred a pre-”Titanic” Kate Winslet.
Michelle Williams on “Baywatch” (1993)
The future three-time Oscar-nominee had her acting debut on an episode of “Baywatch.”
Matthew McConaughey in “Angels in the Outfield” (1994)
A year after “Dazed and Confused” and a few before “A Time to Kill,” McConaughey had a small role as one of the Angels players in “Angels in the Outfield.” You can see him here (shirtless) in the background of Danny Glover's tantrum.
Chiwetel Ejiofor in “Love Actually” (2003)
The “12 Years a Slave” star was the husband of Keira Knightley, whom Rick from “Walking Dead” was in love with and kept video tapes of.
Jennifer Lawrence on “Monk” (2006)
Lawrence's very first role, according to IMDB, was as a mascot on an episode of “Monk.”
Bryan Cranston on “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” (1997)
The “Breaking Bad” star's been working consistently since the early '80s, and you could highlight any one of the countless bit roles from his oeuvre. I'm particularly fond of his role as a witch lawyer in an episode of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.” He shows up about 8 minutes into the video.
Michael Fassbender in “Band of Brothers” (2001)
In fact, the HBO miniseries was packed with before-they-were-famous-ers, including Damian Lewis, Tom Hardy (pictured with Fassbender above), Simon Pegg, James McAvoy and Dominic Cooper.
Bradley Cooper in “Sex and the City” (1999)
In his first on-screen role, the sexiest man alive has a bad, greasy haircut and needs some smokes. He would shortly follow this tour de force performance by getting cast in "Alias."