Since the invention of the television in 1927, people have been treating their boredom with hysterical comedies, heart-wrenching dramas, and spine-tingling thrillers. Actors have the ability to pluck people from their common lives and place them into unknown lands of mystery, romance, and excitement. Thanks to this ability, people tend to pick out their favorite actors and actresses to watch. While you may remember when you saw your favorite actor perform for the first time, you most likely don't remember, or even know, where they got their start. Keep reading to discover where some of your favorite unforgettable actors found their permanent place in Hollywood.

#1. Ryan Gosling

Before Ryan Gosling was standing up for love in The Notebook, he was standing up for something a bit more important. In the movie Remember the Titans, Gosling played Alan Bosley, a young football player who understood the importance of equality. When his football team experienced de-segregation, Bosley faced adversity as he welcomed the new members of the team with open arms, even though most of the other players did not.

Ryan Gosling

Remember the Titans

#2. Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman was just 13 years old when she made her film debut as Mathilda in Leon the Professional with Jean Reno in 1994. In 1995, Portman joined the field with big players, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, in the movie Heat. Her role, which was the daughter of Al Pacino's girlfriend, was quite small, but it opened up major doors for her in the future.

 Natalie Portman

Leon the Professional

#3. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp will always be known as that teenage heartthrob from the movie, Cry Baby. What most people don't realize is that Depp's career started 6 years before his leather jacket and teardrop days. In 1984, Depp had his first acting role in the slasher film A Nightmare on Elm Street. Two years later, Depp played a small role in the timeless classic Platoon, as a soldier in the military.

Johnny Depp

A Nightmare on Elm Street

#4. Vin Diesel

Most people think that Vin Diesel got his start with the role in played in the Fast and the Furious franchise, but all of those people are wrong. Vin Diesel actually got his start in 1998 with the heartbreaking film, Saving Private Ryan. In Stephen Spielberg's life-changing film about World War II, Diesel plays the role of Private First Class Adrian Caparzo, who was sent on the journey to find Private Ryan.

Vin Diesel

Saving Private Ryan

#5. Zoe Saldana

Before Zoe Saldana became a part of the incredible movie Avatar, she played a sidekick to a well-known pop star. In 2002, Saldana played the role of one of Britney Spears' best friends in the coming-of-age movie, Crossroads. The movie was supposed to launch Britney Spears into the world of acting, but it proved to be much more helpful to Saldana's career, instead.

Zoe Saldana

Crossroads

#6. Kristen Stewart

Before she was an obsessed teenager in the movie Twilight, Kristen Stewart showed her love for an entirely different kind of man. At just 16 years old, Stewart's character, Tracy, fell for Emile Hirsch's character, Chris McCandless, in the 2007 film, Into the Wild. Before his passing at the end of the movie, Chris and Tracy become close friends as he travels around the country searching for his purpose.

 Kristen Stewart

Into the Wild

#7. Seth Rogan

Funny man, Seth Rogan, will be immortalized by his hilarious roles in films such as Pineapple Express, Knocked Up, and Neighbors, but Rogan hasn't always been the comedian we know today. In fact, Rogan's debut role was in the dramatic movie, Donnie Darko. Even though Rogan plays a bully in this cult classic, he was able to show his redeeming qualities later in life once he started making people laugh.

Seth Rogan

Donnie Darko

#8. Eva Mendes

Before she played Will Smith's counterpart in the movie, Hitch, Eva Mendes played a much smaller role in an even bigger movie. In 2001, Eva Mendes stood by Denzel Washington's side in the movie, Training Day. In the movie, Mendes played the girlfriend of Washington, who won an Oscar award for Best Actor for his role as a cop who had questionable methods of getting the job done.

Eva Mendes

Training Day

#9. Vanessa Hudgens

You may recognize Vanessa Hudgens from her role as Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical series, but her acting career started long before she started singing on the Disney Channel. In 2003, Hudgens played the role of the nerdy ex-best friend of a girl gone bad in Thirteen. Who would have thought that Miss Teenage pop star started out as a lonely science nerd?

Vanessa Hudgens

Thirteen

#10. Abigail Breslin

Now known for her Oscar-nominated performance in the movie, Little Miss Sunshine, Abigail Breslin could be seen on the big screen way before she was dancing to inappropriate music in front of the judges. In the 2002 movie, Signs, Breslin played the role as Mel Gibson's daughter, Bo Hess.

 Abigail Breslin

Signs

#11. Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith can now be seen on the arm of Hollywood actor, Will Smith, but she did much bigger things before she became a wife. In 1993, Jada Pinkett Smith broke social barriers as she played the role of Ronnie in the infamous movie, Menace II Society. As Ronnie, Pinkett-Smith did everything she could to try to get the film's protagonist, Caine, to move away for a chance at a better life, allowing her to show audience members the struggles of Black America in the process.

Jada Pinkett Smith

Menace II Society

#12. Michael Fassbender

You may remember this unforgettable actor from his role as Magneto in the action-packed X-Men movies. What most people don't realize, though, is that he was seen on the big screen long before then. In the movie 300, which is a creative take on the Battle of Thermopylae in the Greco-Persian War, Fassbender plays the warrior, Stelios.

Michael Fassbender

300

#13. Alexander Skarsgard

Before he was a vicious vampire on the hit HBO show True Blood, Alexander Skarsgard played an entirely different type of role. Coming from Sweden, Skarsgard was able to use his natural accent in the 2001 movie Zoolander. Playing the male model Meekus, Skarsgard made the world laugh with the infamous "Earth to Brint" line. But what most don't know is when he was just 13, Skarsgard had a breakthrough role in The Dog That Smiled in 1989.

Alexander Skarsgard

The Dog That Smiled

#14. Philip Seymour Hoffman

Like any other actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman had to take on some small roles before he got something iconic, like his role in Capote. And Hoffman sure did start at the bottom of the barrel. In the 1992 film, Scent of a Woman, Hoffman plays George, a classmate of Charlie, a boy who is trying to get out of trouble by ratting out all of his friends. Even though he will always be remembered by the world for his bigger roles, Hoffman will forever be known for "hiding in big daddy's pockets" by the great Al Pacino.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Scent of a Woman

#15. Vince Vaughn

You may not recognize this man without his sidekick, Owen Wilson, but this studly fellow is actually a young Vince Vaughn. While he can typically be seen playing comedic roles, Vaughn started off his career with a role in the dramatic movie, Rudy. In the movie, Vaughn plays a selfish halfback, named Jamie O'Hara, who consistently makes fun of the hero of the movie. Luckily, Vaughn's character changes his mean ways by the end of the movie, which is more like the funny man we adore.

Vince Vaughn

Movieclips / YouTube

#16. Steve Buscemi

The unforgettable face of Steve Buscemi can be seen in an incredible number of movies, but did you know that he began starring in movies during the '80s? One of Buscemi's first big roles came in the form of Mr. Pink in the Quentin Tarantino's cult classic, Reservoir Dogs. Buscemi can also be seen in Pulp Fiction, playing the role of an unenthusiastic Buddy Holly impersonator/waiter.

Steve Buscemi

Reservoir Dogs

#17. Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken is known for the tough-guy routine he plays in many of his movies, but he hasn't always been the take-no-crap type of man we all know him to be today. In 1977, Walken played the role of Diane Keaton's younger brother in the movie, Annie Hall. During the movie, while Walken is on the way to the airport with Woody Allen, he confesses that he dreams of pulling his car into oncoming traffic. Definitely a different perspective of the man who typically plays the tough guy.

Christopher Walken

Annie Hall

#18. Jonah Hill

Jonah Hill had audience members rolling on the floor after his inappropriately funny role in Superbad, but Jonah Hill actually started his career long before then. In 2004, Jonah Hill played the role of Stephen's adopted brother, Ger Duany, in the comedy, I Heart Huckabees, Jonah Hill also did a cameo as a very strange shopper in the 2005 movie 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Jonah Hill

I Heart Huckabees

#19. Jack Black

Many people would consider Jack Black to be one of the funniest men in the world, and they would definitely be right, but he didn't start out that way. Even though he made a small appearance as a tree-loving hippie in Bio-Dome, Jack Black played much stranger roles before then. In 1995, Jack Black appeared as Craig Poncelet in the movie, Dead Man Walking, which is a film about a man fighting for his life on death row.

Jack Black

Dead Man Walking

#20. Scarlet Johansson

Scarlet Johansson has captivated her audiences as a strong female actress, but she hasn't always been the woman that we love today. In 1998, Johansson stole hearts as she played the role of a young girl in the movie, The Horse Whisperer. Audience members couldn't help falling in love with the young actress, whose character, Grace, bravely gets back on the horse after losing her leg in an accident.

Scarlet Johansson

The Horse Whisperer

#21. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is now what many would consider a lady's man, but he certainly didn't start out that way. Considering that he was a young boy when he hit the big screen in 1992, the women who are drooling over him today don't even realize who he once was. When he was just 10 years old, Gordon-Levitt played the role of a child in a fly fishing family in the movie, A River Runs Through It. How could anyone ever forget that adorable bowl cut?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

A River Runs Through It

#22. Amy Adams and Ellen Pompeo

Amy Adams and Ellen Pompeo have a bit more in common than just being stars in Hollywood. In fact, thanks to Steven Spielberg's movie, Catch Me If You Can, both of these women are now well-known actresses. As they both played the roles of women seeking the attention of Leonardo DiCaprio's character, Frank Abagnale, their first big appearance is certainly one for the books.

Amy Adams and Ellen Pompeo

Catch Me If You Can

#23. Bill Paxton

Before he scarred the nation with his surreal role in the movie, Twister, Bill Paxton played a much smaller role in a movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 1984, Paxton joined Schwarzenegger's side in the hit movie, The Terminator. The third person from the left, Paxton played the role of an early victim of the infamous cyborg, who had just arrived and was looking for some clothes. Just a year before that, Paxton's character, Chet Donnellyin, harassed teen misfits Gary and Wyatt in Weird Science.

Bill Paxton

The Terminator

#24. Jake Gyllenhaal

Women consider Jake Gyllenhaal to be one of the most handsome men in the world, but that hasn't always been the case. This is especially true once you realize that Gyllenhaal appeared in his first film when he was only 10 years old. In 1991, Gyllenhaal played Billy Crystal's son, who was completely embarrassed by his father during career day, in City Slickers.

Jake Gyllenhaal

City Slickers

#25. Brad Pitt

You may have forgotten about the rest of these actors, but there's a good chance you haven't forgotten about this one. When Brad Pitt hit the big screen as a lazy stoner in the 1993 movie, True Romance, audience members became starstruck. After all, who couldn't love him after his experience with his Fritos and honey bear bong?

Brad Pitt

True Romance

#26. Will Ferrell

Fans of comedy will never forget Will Ferrell's commitment to making the best Catalina Wine Mixer ever in the movie, Stepbrothers, but his acting career started long before his unforgettable drum set scene. After he made audience members laugh while he was a part of the Saturday Night Live crew, Will Ferrell moved onto the big screen. Taking a role from his SNL co-star Mike Myers, Farrell appeared in the hilarious comedy, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, in which he played Mustafa, one of Dr. Evil's henchmen.

Will Ferrell

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

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