Get Your Fresh Intelligence Daily

SUBMIT

Look Back In Time: 20 Hollywood Stars — When They Made Their First Big Films

//child stars first big roles leonardo dicaprio drew barrymore pp sl

Dec. 18 2015, Updated 12:05 p.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to Email

From Leo to Drew, check out this collection of A-listers to be as they got their feet wet in the wacky world of show business.

Article continues below advertisement
//child stars first big roles leonardo dicaprio drew barrymore pp sl

From Leo to Drew, check out this collection of A-listers to be as they got their feet wet in the wacky world of show business.

anna paquin the piano

//anna apquin the piano
Source: Getty

Anna Paquin hit all the right notes with her first film role. She won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress at just 11-years-old in the 1994 drama The Piano.

Article continues below advertisement

dakota faning sean penn i am sam

//dakota faning sean penn i am sam
Source: Getty

Dakota Fanning got her big break at age 7 when she starred opposite Sean Penn in the 2001 film I Am Sam.

Article continues below advertisement

drew Barrymore ET

//drew barrymore et
Source: Getty

Drew Barrymore was the envy of kids everywhere at just 7-years-old when she befriended an extraterrestrial in Steven Spielberg's 1982 blockbuster ET.

Article continues below advertisement

elijah wood Forver young

//elijah wood
Source: Getty

Elijah Wood began his eclectic career growing up before audience's eyes in films that included 1992's Forever Young and 1993’s The Good Son.

Article continues below advertisement

jody foster taxi driver

//jody foster taxi driver
Source: Getty

Jodie Foster was hailed as an amazing actress at age 14 for her first star vehicle, Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.

Article continues below advertisement

joseph gordon levitt 3rd rock

//joseph gordon levitt
Source: Getty

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's first big part as Tommy Solomon on the television hit 3rd Rock From The Sun, which ran from 1996 to 2001, helped rocket him to success.

Article continues below advertisement

kristen stewart panic room

//kristen stewart panic room
Source: Getty

Kristen Stewart could run but she couldn't hide from fame after starring opposite Jodie Foster in 2002's Panic Room. Today, Stewart cringes whenever she looks at photographs taken around that time, saying she resembled "a boy."

Article continues below advertisement

leonardo dicaprio

//leonardo dicaprio
Source: Getty

Leonardo DiCaprio’s career began with a series of TV roles on Growing Pains, Parenthood and Roseanne, before a pair of high-profile spots in What's Eating Gilbert Grape and This Boy's Life put him on the fast track to superstardom.

Article continues below advertisement

christian bale empire of the sun

//christian bale empire of the sun
Source: Getty

Playing an English schoolboy taken prisoner in China, a 13-year-old Christian Bale impressed critics in Empire of the Sun, the film based on J.G. Ballard's autobiographical novel. "I'd nothing to lose, I wasn't thinking in terms of a career. I wasn't really thinking about the consequences at all," he has said of his first big break.

Article continues below advertisement

jason bateman little house on the prairie

//jason bateman little house on the prairie
Source: Getty

Way before the movie Horrible Bosses and TV show Valerie, Jason Bateman played little James Cooper Ingalls in the early '80s on Little House on the Prairie.

Article continues below advertisement

natalie portman the professional

//natalie portman the professional
Source: Getty

Natalie Portman played an orphan who is taken in by a hitman in 1994's The Professional. "They hold the keys to wisdom in their innocence, or are so creepily adult they make us reflect on how creepy adults are," she once said of precocious children.

Article continues below advertisement

nicholas hoult about a boy

//nicholas hoult about a boy
Source: Getty

Before he became known as all about his off-on girlfriend Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult was the 12-year-old star of About a Boy. After all these years as an actor he can finally deal with "turning round and seeing people staring," though, he adds, "occasionally you get followed — which is slightly odd."

Article continues below advertisement

sean astin goonies

//sean astin goonies
Source: Getty

When Goonies came out in June 1985, it instantly made Sean Astin a star. But, Astin reveals, "The only reason I got Goonies is because my dad worked with me for six hours on the audition. I'm very grateful to him for my career."

Article continues below advertisement

neil patrick harris doogie howser

//neil patrick harris doogie howser
Source: Getty

Playing a genius teenage doctor on Doogie Howser from 1989 to 1993 catapulted Neil Patrick Harris to fame. "I've managed to get to do lots of amazing, great things from it," notes the actor. "Certainly people still call me Doogie. But in a weird way, it's beneficial, because I can play wildly against that image, and people think it's funny."

Article continues below advertisement

kirsten dunst interview with a vampire

//kirsten dunst interview with a vampire
Source: Getty

Kirsten Dunst had her first big role, and kiss, at 11 years of age in 1994's Interview with a Vampire. "It was just a peck," Dunst explains of smooching her costar Brad Pitt onscreen. "Everyone at the time was like, 'You're so lucky you kissed Brad Pitt,' but I thought it was disgusting. I didn't kiss anyone else until I was 16, I think. I was a late bloomer."

Article continues below advertisement

taylor lautner sharkboy and lava girl

//taylor lautner sharkboy and lava girl
Source: Getty

Vampires were still far off in the future when a then 13-year-old Taylor Lautner starred in the 2005 3-D movie The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl.

Article continues below advertisement

scarlett johansson manny and lo

//scarlett johansson manny and lo
Source: Getty

In 1996, years before she starred as the voice in Her, Scarlett Johansson, then 11, narrated Manny & Lo as the character Manny. Her twin brother Hunter also appeared in the movie.

Article continues below advertisement

shia labeouf the christmas path

//shia labeouf the christmas path
Source: Getty

Shia LaBeouf was still more nice than naughty when he starred in 1998's The Christmas Path at age 12.

Article continues below advertisement

taylor momsen how the grinch stole christmas

//taylor momsen how the grinch stole christmas
Source: Getty

In 2000 Taylor Momsen was just 7, but she stole the spotlight in her breakout role as Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Article continues below advertisement

ethan hawke explorers

//ethan hawke explorers
Source: Getty

Ethan Hawke discovered fame at 14 in his first feature, the 1985 sci-fi fantasy film Explorers. "You're thinking like a professional before you know yourself as a human being," says Hawke, of becoming a child star alongside River Phoenix, thanks to the film. "The real job of an artist is bigger than being successful, and young people can't see that yet. The road is littered with casualties."

Advertisement

© Copyright 2021 Radar Media Group LLC. Radar and RadarOnline are registered trademarks. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.