How 15+ Celebs Got a Head-Start to Their Career and Ascended to Stardom

7 months ago

Growing up, we’ve watched these celebs blossom into the amazing people that they are. Singers, actors, actresses, and more — their work always inspires us. And we’re even more inspired when we think about the long journey they’ve gone through to get to where they are now.

Inspirational stories are something we strive for at Bright Side, and this compilation is full of them.

1. Brad Pitt

Best known for his roles in movies such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Moneyball, Brad Pitt had his first gig on a TV show. And not just any TV show, that is. Among his first appearances, he played a part in Dallas, a very well-known series.

However, the first time Pitt grabbed audiences’ attention was with a small part in the movie, Thelma and Louise. Since then, Pitt went on to win an Oscar for the acclaimed movie, Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood.

2. Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling made his first TV appearance on The Mickey Mouse Club in 1993, together with a few other well-known celebs that we adore today.

Gosling’s career skyrocketed when appeared in the hit flicks, The Notebook, along with his beautiful co-star, Rachel McAdams. His most recent roles have been in Blue Valentine, Crazy, Stupid, Love, and The Big Short.

3. Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera was also part of The All New Mickey Mouse Club. There are even pictures of the entire cast, and we can’t get enough of them.

After her on-screen debut, Aguilera released her hit song, “Genie in a Bottle,” for which she earned a Grammy. Her other hits include “What a Girl Wants,” “Come on Over,” and the famous track from the Burlesque movie, “Lady Marmalade.”

4. Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore was only 7 years old when she acted in E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, which was the movie that paved her way to success, and at such a young age, as well!

After her amazing performance, she went on to co-found a production company. She also starred in movies such as Scream, Everybody Says I Love You, and Charlie’s Angels. She even became the youngest host of Saturday Night Live.

5. The Jonas Brothers

Formed in 2005, the band saw its first success in 2007. Their single, “Year 3000,” premiered on the Disney Channel and proved to be a huge first step for the boys.

After the success of their single, the boys went on to guest-star on Hannah Montana and even released their own TV Show with Disney in 2009. The most notable gig though was the well-known film series, Camp Rock, which began in 2008 and starred Demi Lovato as well.

6. Julia Roberts

The actress started her career in the late 1980s with the TV series, Crime Story. But it wasn’t until 1988 that she would really catch audiences’ attention when she played a part in a movie called Mystic Pizza. This is what truly gave her a head start in the Hollywood film industry.

Following her roaring success in the aforementioned movies, the actress got yet another major role, only this time, it would be in the acclaimed movie, Pretty Woman, in 1990. It’s safe to say that this is the role that defined her career as an actress, even to this day.

7. Justin Timberlake

The singer started his career on The New Mickey Mouse Club alongside our previously-mentioned co-stars.

What really made his career take off though was joining the famous pop group, *NSYNC, in 1995. This propelled him into popularity, eventually leading him to go solo in 2002, becoming the artist we know him as today. His hit songs include “SexyBack,” “Rock Your Body,” and “4 Minutes,” which also featured Madonna.

8. Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio started off his career with a role in the drama, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, in 1993. 4 years later, his biggest role to date would come. He played the role of Jack Dawson in Titanic, which defined his career as a top-tier actor. He also played the role of Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet.

Some of his most notable movies include The Wolf of Wall Street, The Aviator, and The Revenant, for which he won an Oscar.

9. Raven-Symoné

Raven-Symoné’s first Disney gig was in 1990 when she appeared on The Muppets at Walt Disney World. Following this, she got cast as the protagonist in the That’s So Raven show, which is what took her career as an actress to a whole new level.

Her other works include Disney series, such as Raven’s Home, Just Roll With It, and the critically acclaimed The Cheetah Girls movie, in which she let her vocal talent shine.

10. Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez started off her career on the kids’ show, Barney and Friends. After guest-starring on other Disney shows, such as The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Hannah Montana, she got cast as the witty Alex Russo in the well-known Disney show, Wizards of Waverly Place.

Acting is not the only thing that made her ascend to stardom, though. She released a series of albums, the most memorable being Revival and Rare. As of late, she also has her own cosmetics brand.

11. Will Smith

Will Smith was only 16 years old when he started off his career as a rapper in the duo, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. After this, he acted in his own show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which established him as a staple in the Hollywood scene.

As his career blossomed, he managed to earn an Oscar nomination for the film, Ali, and he acted in many other films, such as Independence Day, The Pursuit of Happyness, and Concussion.

12. Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds’ first time handling a big role was in the show, Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place, which helped him transition to some major roles that would turn him into the actor we know today.

Following this, one such major role was in the film, The Proposal, in which he acted alongside Sandra Bullock. One of his most acclaimed and famous movies though would be the Deadpool franchise, which earned Reynolds a Golden Globe nomination.

13. Megan Fox

Megan Fox started out as a model, after which she moved on to the film industry. Her first-ever movie was called Holiday in the Sun from 2001. Bigger roles would soon follow, earning her a great career.

She acted in the movie, Transformers, which brought her the breakthrough of a lifetime, and soon after she got the biggest role of her career, for which she is still recognized today, the main character in Jennifer’s Body in 2009.

14. Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston’s story is a little different. After doing a few minor gigs here and there, she landed the iconic role of Rachel Green in the famous sitcom, Friends, for which she is still appreciated today. She even got an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe for her amazing performance.

After the show ended, Aniston moved on to films such as Marley & Me, The Break-Up, and We’re the Millers.

15. Morgan Freeman

After about 4 years of military service, Morgan Freeman had his big breakthrough in the movie, Hello, Dolly! in 1967.

His most memorable movies include Million Dollar Baby, for which he won an Oscar, along with The Dark Knight Trilogy, Bruce Almighty, and Evan Almighty. In 2012, he won a Golden Globe Award for his everlasting talent and charisma over the years in the film industry.

16. Tobey Maguire

Most known for his role as Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire started off his career in the film industry by doing minor gigs here and there, just like most of the celebs we’ve mentioned so far. These included films like The Ice Storm, Pleasantville, and The Cider House Rules.

He played the iconic role of Spider-Man in 2002, as well as other major ones in films like Brothers and The Great Gatsby.

17. Dwayne Johnson

Unlike the other celebs mentioned, Dwayne Johnson started out as a wrestler under the iconic name, “The Rock.” His first major role was in the film, The Mummy Returns, which aired in 2001. And it turned out to be a great success! He also acted in the famous film, Fast & Furious 6.

His most recent gigs include voicing a character in the popular Disney movie, Moana, and the Jumanji film series.

Which celebrity inspires you the most? Do you know any other actors that had major breakthroughs in their careers?

Leonardo DiCaprio, a household name, has a life filled with lesser-known facts. Named after Leonardo da Vinci, he faced early career challenges due to his unique name. DiCaprio has battled Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, made eco-friendly investments, and has a history of dating younger women. Notably, he and Kate Winslet assisted the last living Titanic survivor, showcasing his compassionate side.


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