Hollywood Stars’ Breakthrough Roles That Made Them Famous

Published on 10/04/2018
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Today, Hollywood is such a major part of the entertainment industry, with so many actors displaying their incredible talents in multiple movies and TV shows. But where did they begin? Or rather, at what point did they suddenly become mega-stars? We’re here to list some of the most known actors today and see when they made it from just being an actor to becoming a famous movie star.

Emma Stone

Before she became the famous movie star we know her as today, Emma Stone had an anonymous beginning, just like most actors in Hollywood. Her film debut was the movie Superbad released in 2007, playing alongside Michael Cera and Jonah Hill. Up until then, Stone had done several minor TV roles, but nothing stuck. Superbad was a major commercial success, resulting in her making a name for herself in Hollywood in a short amount of time. Since then, Stone has been in many movies, including starring in Easy A and playing Gwen Stacey in The Amazing Spider-Man movies.

Emma Stone

Emma Stone

Steve Carell

Many people know Steve Carell as a great comedic Hollywood actor. But until around 2004, not many people knew of him at all. That year, after years of attempting to launch his acting career, Carell landed a role in a major film called Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. With the movie being a success, Carell became one of Hollywood’s stars. After this initial launch, Carell landed the role of Michael Scott in the TV show The Office in 2005, and ever since his career flourished.

Steve Carell

Steve Carell

Keira Knightly

A stunning and talented actress, Keira Knightly had a bit of a rocky beginning to her acting career. While she started working towards it from a very young age, her major breakthrough wasn’t until 2003, when she got a role in the now-famous movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Even though she played in a successful movie just a year prior, Pirates of the Caribbean is the franchise that really got her name on the Hollywood map. Since then she went on to play in many roles in movies and some TV shows as well.

Keira Knightly

Keira Knightly

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence may be a major movie star today, but before she made her Hollywood breakthrough in 2010 with the movie Winter’s Bone, Jennifer Lawrence went through ups and downs in her acting career. While Winter’s Bone did become a success, Lawrence wasn’t dubbed a major movie star until she starred in The Hunger Games movie trilogy in 2012, even after playing in the X-Men movies. Her acting has always been impressive, and after The Hunger Games was released, Lawrence established her place in Hollywood stardom, going on from there to work on large-scale projects and develop her career.

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence

Anne Hathaway

With Anne Hathaway, breaking into the world of acting wasn’t a very long process. Her very first film was also her breakthrough into Hollywood fame: The Princess Diaries which was released in 2001. A massive commercial success, the movie became iconic as the years passed, with it being today an iconic 2000’s movie. From there, Hathaway went on to star and act in more successful films such as The Devil Wears Prada and more.

Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway

Matt Damon

One of the most well-known actors today, Matt Damon had a few years of struggle before making it as a Hollywood star. Having had a difficult time getting recognized as an actor, after several years of this, Damon decided to finish a script he and fellow movie star Ben Affleck had been working on and make it a movie. This script that became a movie was none other than Good Will Hunting. When the movie came out in 1997, it became a massive success and went on to win Oscars and more. With his movie blowing up, Damon instantly became a famous actor and won a few awards himself for the movie. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Matt Damon

Matt Damon

Hailee Steinfeld

Starting her acting career at age 10, Hailee Steinfeld didn’t get her big break until three years later, with the movie True Grit. Since the movie’s release in 2010, she has gone on to play in more movies such as Pitch Perfect, and also release her own music.

Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld

Tom Hanks

These days, Tom Hanks is one of Hollywood’s most known stars, but like most actors, the beginning of his acting career was full of ups and downs until he made a name for himself. Starting his career in 1979 in New York City, Hanks played in a low-budget film. Up to 1988, Hanks played in various movies and made appearances on TV shows but never made it big. That is until he starred in his first successful role in the movie Big which launched him into stardom. As time went on, he continued to develop his acting career with little success. Once he starred in the movie A League of Their Own, his status rose back up again and got his career back on track. From then on he had some more famous releases such as Forrest Gump, Toy Story, and You’ve Got Mail.

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks

Sandra Bullock

In Hollywood today, Sandra Bullock is a famous name, with many films and some TV show appearances under her belt. Before 1994, Bullock hadn’t yet gotten her rise to fame. With several movies not doing well up till then, Bullock went on to play in the movie Speed. The movie took off and raised her to movie star status. Over the years, she proceeded to star and act in greatly successful movies such as Miss Congeniality and The Proposal, leading her to become the world-famous actress she is today.

Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock

Scarlett Johansson

One of the many child stars to evolve in Hollywood, Scarlett Johansson has made a serious name for herself as an actress over the years. She started acting at a young age, playing in her first film at age nine. Not till 2001 did she make a breakthrough in her acting career when she took a role in the movie Ghost World. From that point, Johansson has played in many major movies including multiple Marvel Cinematic Universe films as Black Widow.

Scareltt Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

Lupita Nyong’o

Now an Oscar-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o has made an incredible name for herself in Hollywood. Just after she graduated from Yale in 2013, she got her breakthrough role in the extremely successful movie 12 Years a Slave. In the past several years, she continued her now thriving acting career and played in major films such as Black Panther which grossed over $1.34 billion. An immensely talented actress, Nyong’o is now in the midst of multiple exciting projects.

Lupita Nyongo

Lupita Nyongo

Noah Centineo

A recent rise to fame put Noah Centineo on the Hollywood radar. An aspiring actor from 2009, Centineo appeared in several TV shows and films along the years. However, until the Netflix teen comedy To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was released in 2018, he wasn’t so known in the entertainment industry. As the movie released, it received an incredible response from its audiences all over the world, making Centineo an international star overnight. Centineo’s stardom has only been gaining momentum, as Sierra Burgess Is a Loser was released soon after his first Netflix movie.

Noah Centineo

Noah Centineo

Cameron Diaz

While she might not appear in Hollywood as much as she used to, Cameron Diaz is still a major name in the entertainment industry. Diaz began her career as a model in 1988 at age 16 and went on to model for big brands such as Clavin Klein and Levi’s. In 1994 she made her debut as an actress in the hugely successful film The Mask. As a result, Diaz continued her newborn acting career and became a successful Hollywood star.

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz

Michael B. Jordan

Making his way through a series of twists and turns in his acting career, Michael B. Jordan didn’t get his big break until 2013 when he played in the movie Fruitvale Station. Up until then, he played in many movies and TV shows as he was working as an actor from 1999. Since his serious breakthrough role, he has become a well-known and respected Hollywood actor, with roles in major films like Creed and Black Panther.

Michael B. Jordan

Michael B. Jordan

Reese Witherspoon

It may have taken her some time to break out as an actress in Hollywood, but to this day, Reese Witherspoon is a world-famous successful actress. With the release of her hit movie Legally Blonde in 2001, this role catapulted Witherspoon into major stardom. Since then she has starred in films such as Just Like Heaven and Sweet Home Alabama. Even though her career took a slight downturn a few years later, she managed to make an incredible comeback and work her way back up.

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon

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