From Jennifer Lawrence to Anne Hathaway, the very first film and TV roles of your favourite stars

They're some of the most recognisable faces on our screens, yet it's funny how often a desultory flick through random films one bored Sunday afternoon results in a lot of rewinding and exclamations of “I never knew she was in that!”

Here, we've discovered the very first acting jobs of 25 big name stars and collected them into one handy gallery for your perusal. Don't pretend you're not interested in a 21-year-old Helen Mirren's bikini-clad appearance in a Norman Wisdom film, or Jennifer Lawrence's Super Sweet 16. We won't tell anyone.

Check out the film and TV debuts of the rich and famous in our gallery below.

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    In her 2013 SAG Award acceptance speech, Lawrence revealed her first ever professional acting job was at the age of 14 in adverts for MTV's My Super Sweet 16, which involved getting covered in birthday cake and falling off a sedan chair.

    Images: MTV

  • Reese Witherspoon

    Fourteen-year-old Witherspoon starred in 1991's coming-of-age film The Man in the Moon, beating “several thousand kids” to land the role of Dani. Director Robert Mulligan said of her screen test, “She just jumped off the screen, simply as a personality. I couldn’t tell whether she could act or not, but she’s got a wonderful face and there’s a brightness and intelligence there.”

    Image: Rex Features

  • Ryan Gosling

    Before any film roles, Ryan Gosling was part of TV show The All New Mickey Mouse Club in the golden years of 1993 to 1995 – that is, the years with Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears of course.

    Image: Rex Features

  • Angelina Jolie

    Seven-year-old Jolie popped up in dad Jon Voight's film Lookin' to Get Out in 1982 – looking super cute and now proving her own daughter Shiloh is her double.

    Image: Rex Features

  • Natalie Portman

    Portman's first major film role was in 1994's Léon: The Professional as a hitman's apprentice, Mathilda. Her audition at the age of 11 was the beginning of a stellar, award-strewn career.

    Image: Rex Features

  • Helen Mirren

    Mirren's first ever film role was uncredited. She played Penelope Squires, a beauty contest hopeful, in Norman Wisdom film Press for Time in 1966, which would make her about 21 at the time.

    Image: Press for Time / Youtube

  • Anne Hathaway

    Before The Princess Diaries, Hathaway starred in Get Real, a 1999 TV show that also starred Jesse Eisenberg and Christina Pickles (now perhaps best known as Ross and Monica's mum Judy on Friends). She wore baggy trousers All Saints would be proud of.

    Image: Getty

  • Hayden Panettiere

    Panettiere got her start aged just five, appearing on long-running American soap One Life to Live from 1994 to 1997. She went on to do tonnes of TV, including Malcolm in the Middle and Ally McBeal, before Heroes kicked off in 2006. In case you hadn't guessed, she's the small one in the flowery frock.

    Image: Getty

  • Channing Tatum

    Channing Tatum's first TV role was on CSI: Miami in 2004, but as a model he appeared in Ricky Martin's She Bangs video, having fun getting his face painted and taking his shirt off behind a bar. As you do.

    Image: Ricky Martin / EOnline

  • Emma Stone

    Turns out Emma Stone's first foray into acting was going for the part of Laurie Partridge in VH1's reality show In Search of the Partridge Family in 2004. Singing such classics as Meredith Brooks' Bitch, 15-year-old Stone (then known as Emily, not Emma) managed to win the role, but the show wasn't picked up.

    Image: VH1

  • Scarlett Johansson

    The star-studded 1994 film North may have been absolutely panned by critics, but at least it brought us the big screen debut of Johansson, who thankfully went on to bigger and better things.

    Image: North / Youtube

  • Jennifer Aniston

    Aniston took off with Friends in 1994, but made her screen debut on another American sitcom first – Molloy, with Blossom's Mayim Bialik. But Bialik was in demand and when Molloy's success didn't mirror that of Blossom, the pilot of which she'd filmed around the same time, the series was pulled. Lucky for Aniston, she had other stuff to look forward to.

    Image: Rex Features

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Eleven-year-old Gyllenhaal's first time on screen was opposite Billy Crystal in 1991 film City Slickers. Following that, he was offered a part in Disney's The Mighty Ducks franchise – a part his parents made him turn down because he'd miss too much school. Seemed to turn out alright.

    Image: City Slickers / Youtube

  • Natalie Imbruglia

    Poised pop star she may be, it's easy to forget Imbruglia's big break was on Neighbours (left image). She starred as Beth Brennan (later Beth Willis) from 1992 to 1994, but before that came a TV commercial for Twisties around 1989.

    Images: Rex Features / Youtube

  • Keira Knightley

    Knightley was about eight when she appeared in a Screen One production called Royal Celebration in 1993, before more high profile roles in The Bill, Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace, and Bend it like Beckham.

    Image: BBC / Youtube

  • Daniel Radcliffe

    Before jumping headfirst into the world of wizarding, Radcliffe starred in the BBC's 1999 TV adaptation of David Copperfield at the age of 10.

    Image: Rex Features

  • Kate Winslet

    Her first film role was Heavenly Creatures in 1994, but Winslet had a couple of TV parts before that. We couldn't track down 1991's Shrinks, as listed on IMDb, but she appeared in Dark Season the same year, a BBC sci-fi series written by Russell T Davies.

    Image: BBC / Youtube

  • Kylie Minogue

    We all know her Aussie soap past, but Minogue had TV roles before Ramsay Street, including this appearance on Australian drama series The Sullivans in 1980, aged about 12. Yep, it's fuzzy and dark, but unmistakably Kylie.

    Image: The Sullivans / Youtube

  • Tom Hardy

    In 2001, Hardy was in HBO TV mini-series Band of Brothers (pictured), and later that year, also appeared in his first film, Black Hawk Down. We'll go with Band of Brothers as his first screen role, despite a star turn on The Big Breakfast in 1998 as a model. Definitely worth a look though.

    Image: Band of Brothers / Youtube

  • Jessica Chastain

    Chastain struggled to pick up work at the beginning of her career, but credits a 2004 appearance as “a psychotic woman” on medical drama series ER as opening the door, saying: “After that got a lot of jobs in TV where I wasn't the normal one; I played a lot of girls who had something off.”

    Image: ER / Youtube

  • Miley Cyrus

    Miley, at the time known by her birth name of Destiny Hope, first appeared as an actress in an American TV show her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, starred in called Doc in 2001. However the wonder of Youtube reveals her first time on screen was actually as a toddler taking over one of her dad's interviews.

    Image: Doc / Youtube

  • Winona Ryder

    She became the queen of dark teen flicks with Heathers and Edward Scissorhands, but Ryder's film debut was a best-friend stint in Lucas (also starring Charlie Sheen, Corey Haim and Jeremy Piven), released in 1986 when she was 15.

    Image: Rex Features

  • Megan Fox

    In 2001, Fox turned up aged 15 in an Olsen twins vehicle called Holiday in the Sun, complete with highlights that certainly look like someone's had a run in with the Sun-In.

    Image: Holiday in the Sun / People

  • Charlize Theron

    The actress made her screen debut with a non-speaking part in 1995's Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, as one of the followers of evil Eli. The film also saw Buffy's Nicholas Brendon in a minor role.

    Image: Children of the Corn III / Youtube

  • Isla Fisher

    Not looking hugely different 22 years down the line, this is Isla Fisher's first TV appearance, as Robyn Devereaux Barsby in soap Paradise Beach, 1993.

    Image: Paradise Beach / Youtube

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