When it comes to being successful professionally, we all have to start somewhere, including at the bottom. This is especially true if you’re a famous actor, having to appear in less than stellar movies and TV shows in order to build your resume, and make a living so that you can keep auditioning for that big break.
Take for example, In Living Color, which was actually a groundbreaking sketch comedy show showcasing a mainly African-American cast. It launched Jennifer Lopez’s acting/singing/mogul career (and before she was pranking Leonardo DiCaprio on Carpool Karaoke), with her appearing on the show as a “Fly Girl” dancer. Lopez herself says she didn’t know that the show would be such a launchpad. “Just give me the job on the show,” she recalls of her feelings at the time. In Living Color also introduced America to Jamie Foxx and Jim Carrey, who was one of two white actors in the original cast.
Here are some other surprising first roles. Jason Segel was in Can’t Hardly Wait, which is at least a cult classic. As for Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey, they both owe their early career success to Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. Even worse, Jennifer Aniston was in the horror movie Leprechaun, and her ex-husband Brad Pitt started on the soap opera Another World. All these stars have definitely come a long way since then.