Before They Were Famous

(And Their Not So Famous Quotes!)

Because we love movies so much, in honor of celebrating the filmmakers and stars that make it all possible we wanted to create a showcase of their work in small indie films, or even big films, before they hit it big time. We’re all curious to know what these now well-known people appeared in before they were famous.

It’s all listed here with the name of the movie and the famous person attached to it and some sample quotes from the movie.

This is really for those die-hard fans that want that little bit extra!

Actors List


Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999) – Amy Adams


Amy Adams first movie role where she plays Leslie Miller, the harebrained cheerleader competing against Kirsten Dunst’s character in the small-town beauty pageant. The film follows the contestants in a beauty pageant held in the small fictional town of Mount Rose, Minnesota, in which various contestants begin to die in suspicious ways as the former winner Gladys Leeman (Kirstie Alley) wants to make sure her daughter, Rebecca (Denise Richards), follows in her footsteps, but her main rival Amber Atkins (Kirsten Dunst) just won’t be stopped. The cast includes Ellen Barkin, Allison Janney and Brittany Murphy.


Voice of Documentarian: So, just, uh…introduce yourself and tell us why you’re signing up for the pageant.
Leslie Miller: Okay. Hi. Um…I’m Leslie Miller. I’m signing up cause…oh, you know, I always watch the pageants on TV and my boyfriend thinks I’ll win.
[cuts to Leslie standing by a tree being interviewed]
Leslie Miller: So my talent, I’m gonna be doing…
[her boyfriend, Pat comes up to her and starts kissing her and whispers to her]
Leslie Miller: Pat, I’m trying to tell…
[she turns to stop him but ends up making out with him as the camera films them, then it cuts back to Leslie’s original interview]
Leslie Miller: Hi, Pat. Go Muskies, wooh!


Harold Vilmes, Judge #2: If you could be any tree in the woods, what kind of tree would you be?
Leslie Miller: Green.
Harold Vilmes, Judge #2: Who would you pick to be the President, dead or alive?
Leslie Miller: Brett Favre. Arrr!




Mio in the Land of Faraway (1987) – Christian Bale


Although Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun is the movie everyone will remember as Christian Bale’s first role of significance it was actually this fantasy film which marked Bale’s first appearance in a feature film which is based on the Swedish novel “Mio, My Son” by Astrid Lindgren. The story is about a boy named Mio (Nick Pickard) who is transferred from his dull life with his adoptive parents to an otherworldly fantasy realm where his real father is the king and there is an evil Knight Kato (Christopher Lee) who enslaves the children of this magical kingdom. The story then follows Mio as he sets out on a quest, together with his new friend Jum-Jum (Christian Bale), to destroy the evil Knight Kato and free the land from his oppression. The cast also includes Timothy Bottoms and Susannah York.


Mio: I’m frightened, Jum-Jum. Why me?
Jum-Jum: Only a male child of royal blood can fight the evil knight. Only a king’s son.


Mio: It felt like we were flying! I didn’t know that Miramis could do that!
Jum-Jum: You don’t know all that much, Mio.




Wet Hot American Summer (2001) – Bradley Cooper


Bradley Cooper’s film debut was in this satirical comedy cult hit which is set at a fictional Jewish summer camp in 1981 before closing for the summer and centers on a group of counselors who have one last chance to have a romantic encounter with another person at the camp. Bradley played Ben, a repressed but dapper young man who is the summer camp’s talent show producer along with Susie (Amy Poehler), but Cooper’s character is likely most remembered for the best makeout scene with co-star Michael Ian Black. The ensemble cast includes Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Marguerite Moreau, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, Christopher Meloni, Elizabeth Banks, Zak Orth and A.D. Miles.


[Ben and Susie enter the counselors dinner hall]
Susie: Hey, you guys. Everybody focus up, okay. All eyes here.
[she points to herself, Ben points to the group and then at Susie]
Susie: I would like to announce that Ben and I are planning to produce a musical number from Godsville for the talent show tonight.
[Ben loudly clears his throat]
Susie: Oh, I’m sorry. Ben is producing, I’m directing slash choreography.
Ben: And I’m only speaking from personal experience, but if you can’t carry a tune, don’t come into the audition environment and waste our time. We’re serious, okay?
Susie: Okay, and bring a lot of movement clothes, AKA jazz shoes, dance belts, lycras, et al. And seriously FYI, you guys, this is not an excuse to get out of your regular activities. This is an excuse to do some good musical theater. So be prepared, be enthusiastic, and leave your bullshit attitude and baggage at the door, cause we don’t need it!




Love Potion No. 9 (1992) – Sandra Bullock


Romantic comedy which was Sandra Bullock’s first major film role following a lonely biochemist Paul Matthews (Tate Donovan) with a crush on his unavailable co-worker, biologist Diane Farrow (Sandra Bullock). His friends persuade him to visit a gypsy, Madame Ruth (Anne Bancroft), who after reading his palm and seeing no romance in his life decides to give him “Love Potion No. 8”, an elixir which forces anyone of the opposite sex to instantly fall in love with him. So in the name of science Paul shares the potion with Diane, but soon things start to get out of hand. The cast also includes Dale Midkiff, Dylan Baker and Adrian Paul.


Enrico Pazzoli: Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?
Diane Farrow: No. No one in their right mind.


Diane Farrow: You know, all my life, I’ve felt ugly, and now I have the worlds most desirable man telling me that I am beautiful. I have the Prince of England at home pining for me. I mean, Paul, this is like a dream come true. I could be a princess.




A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – Johnny Depp


Depp’s feature film debut was co-staring as Glen, the main heroine’s boyfriend. Wes Craven’s classic horror revolves around a group of teenagers Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp), Tina Gray (Amanda Wyss), Rod Lane (Jsu Garcia) and Glen Lantz (Johnny Depp), who are stalked, tormented and killed in their dreams by a clawed killer named Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). The teenagers are unaware of the cause of this strange phenomenon, but their parents hold a dark secret from long ago. Depp doesn’t get to do much except exit the movie in the most memorable way!


[as Glen tries to sleep on the couch the sound of Tina and Rod having sex is keeping him up]
Glen Lantz: Morality sucks.


Glen Lantz: I’m going to punch out your ugly lights, whoever you are!




The Mask (1994) – Cameron Diaz


Cameron Diaz’s first movie role for which she amazingly auditioned 12 times for and only landed the role 7 days before shooting began! This fantasy comedy which is based on a series of comic books published by Dark Horse Comics, centers on nice guy bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) who after having one of the worst days of his life, finds the mask of Loki, the Norse night god of mischief. When he puts it on, he becomes his inner self: a cartoony romantic wild man, uninhibited by anything, including physical reality. The rubber-faced Mask possesses the courage to do the wild, fun things that Stanley fears, including romancing Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz). But things get complicated for Stanley when Tina’s gangster boyfriend, Dorian Tyrel (Peter Greene) comes across The Mask and wants to destroy Stanley and use the mask’s powers for evil.


[to Tina]
The Mask: Kiss me, my dear, and I will reveal my croissant. I will spread your pate. I will dip my ladle in your vichyssoise.
[Tina kicks him and runs away]
The Mask: She is so coy… I love it!


[referring to the mask]
Stanley Ipkiss: It’s like it brings your innermost desires to life. If deep down you’re a little repressed, and a hopeless romantic, you become some kind of love-crazy wild man.
Tina Carlyle: And if you’re someone like Dorian?
Stanley Ipkiss: Then we’re all in big trouble.




Critters 3 (1991) – Leonardo DiCaprio


DiCaprio’s big screen debut is in this third installment of tongue-in-cheek horror series which actually never made it to the theaters! The story follows a family who unknowingly pick up one of the Crites eggs laid under the family’s car when they stop at a rest stop, although they are warned by Charlie (Don Opper), the veteran of the creatures earlier attacks. Once widower Clifford (John Calvin) and his kids Annie (Annie Brooks) and Johnny (Christian and Joseph Cousins) return home to their apartment building, the critter begins to reproduce, and the tenement becomes overrun with fast-multiplying beasties. DiCaprio plays Josh the stepson of the corrupt landlord and love interest of Annie.


Annie: Hey, you! Hands off! Some kind of a pervert or something?
[to her little brother, Johnny]
Annie: John, you know better than that, you don’t even know this guy.
Josh: Hey, hey, wait a minute! I don’t know you either, okay? He almost went over the edge. There could be badgers or something down there.


Mr. Briggs: You’re not a cry baby, are you, sport? Huh?
Josh: I hate you! I wish you were dead!




Frankenstein and Me (1997) – Ryan Gosling


Comedy fantasy which follows teenager Earl Williams (Jamieson Boulanger) who is a dreamer and fantasizes his life as if he were living in the world of the monsters of the Universal Studios. After his father, Les Williams (Burt Reynolds), also a dreamer, dies Earl finds “Frankenstein” lost by a Carnival, and decides to bring the monster back to life. A young Ryan Gosling co-starred as Kenny, Earl’s fearful best friend who helps Earl achieve his monster dreams.


[to his sons, Earl and Larry]
Les Williams: You know, you got a dream, you gotta stick with it.


[Earl goes to pick up Kenny late at night]
Earl Williams: Get in!
Kenny: Man, are you crazy?!
Earl Williams: I need your help.



Star Trek (2009) – Chris Hemsworth


This was Chris Hemsworth’s first feature film and first American production, not a bad start for a newcomer! In this reboot of the Star Trek film franchise, directed by J. J. Abrams, the story takes place in an alternate reality due to time travel by the original Spock (Leonard Nimoy). The alternate timeline was created in an effort to free the film and the franchise from established continuity constraints while simultaneously preserving original story elements.


The film begins on the day of James Kirk’s birth when his father George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) dies on his ship in a last stand against a mysterious alien time-traveling vessel looking for Spock, who, in this time, is also a child on Vulcan. Years later, the troublemaking adult Kirk (Chris Pine) is then challenged by Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) to join Starfleet after which begins the new adventures in the final frontier. The cast also includes Zachary Quinto, Eric Bana, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Ben Cross and Winona Ryder.


[as Robau is preparing to leave to get onto Nero’s ship]
Captain Robau: Walk with me. If I don’t report in fifteen minutes, evacuate the crew.
George Kirk: Sir, we could issue…
Captain Robau: There is no help for us out here. Use autopilot and get off this ship.
George Kirk: Aye, Captain.
Captain Robau: You’re captain now, Mr. Kirk.


[as the ship is being evacuated Winona, who’s about to give birth contacts George]
Winona Kirk: George!
George Kirk: You’re okay. Thank God. l have medical shuttle 37 standing by. Get to it now. Can you do that?
Winona Kirk: Yes.
George Kirk: Everything’s gonna be okay. Do exactly as I say. Shuttle 37.
Winona Kirk: George, it’s coming. Our baby, it’s coming now.
George Kirk: I’m on my way.




Manny & Lo (1996) – Scarlett Johansson


This is Scarlett Johansson’s first major lead role in a film but because this was a limited release it is probably more widely noted that The Horse Whisperer was her first leading role of significance. The film follows two sisters, 11 year-old Amanda, nicknamed Manny (Scarlett Johansson) and 16 year-old Laurel, nicknamed Lo (Aleksa Palladino), as they run away from several foster homes, sleeping wherever they can. But when Lo becomes pregnant, in an act of desperation the two decide to kidnap Elaine, (Mary Kay Place), a clerk at a baby supply store, but soon they discover that Elaine needs them just as much as they need her.


Manny: [voice over] The day our mother died Lo hid the station wagon behind the garbage dump, just in case. That summer she ran away from her foster family, and so called kidnapped me from mine. She said it was up to her to save me from low quality families like the Gordons. I didn’t think they were that bad, except for making me sleep in the garage. But I’d rather be with Lo any day. She’s my sister, and she’s good people.


Manny: [voice over] Lo used to say there were people who were born the family type and people who weren’t, and there’s no use feeling bad about it if you weren’t. She said that since our mother was never the mother type, that just meant me and her were the naturally independent type, with a special knack for traveling. That’s why she planned on becoming a stewardess. Luckily she had a natural gift for turbulence.




Lookin’ to Get Out (1982) – Angelina Jolie


Comedy directed by Hal Ashby, co-written and starring Jon Voight and was also the acting debut of then 7 year-old Angelina Jolie. The story is about two gamblers, Alex Kovas and Jerry Feldman (Jon Voight and Burt Young), on the run from their debts who try to score big in Las Vegas. Jolie’s character (Tosh) briefly appears at the end. The cast also includes Ann-Margret.


Tosh: Okay?
Alex Kovac: Yeah, I’m okay. You know what happened to me? I was crossing against the light. You don’t want to ever do that, you don’t want to ever cross against the light.
[to Tosh]
Patti Warner: Remember that.
Alex Kovac: Where are you from, honey?
Tosh: Las Vegas, Nevada.
Alex Kovac: Las Vegas, Nevada! You know where I’m from, Jerry and me? We’re from New York City.
[they hear an ambulance siren as it goes by]
Alex Kovac: You that ambulance siren? They have a lot of sirens like that in New York City. Noise all the time. That’s why they have all the tall buildings in New York City.
Tosh: My daddy goes there all the time.
Alex Kovac: Daddy goes there, huh? You’re daddy’s a…he’s a nice man.
Tosh: You are too.



The Poker House (2008) – Jennifer Lawrence


Autobiographical film based on the teenage life experiences of actress Lori Petty, who also wrote and directed it, and features Jennifer Lawrence in her first major leading role and one of her best performances. Lawrence plays Agnes, a tough as nails, small town teenage girl in the 70’s who is raising her two younger sisters, Bee (Sophi Bairley), and Cammie (Chloë Grace Moretz), in their mother’s (Selma Blair ) whorehouse. The story revolves around one day particular day which is marked by both tragedy and triumph.


Agnes: [voice over] I race the sun home in the morning, and the moon up at night. There’s just today, and then there’s tonight. Anything can happen, then anything does. You get through it.


[referring to the ‘John’ at her mother’s house who’s looking for his clothes]
Agnes: [voice over] I ain’t seen this one before. He probably won’t kill me. It ain’t happened yet. But, it’s like when people tell you that their dog doesn’t bite. How do they know? Oh, and nobody’s coming to save my ass. It took me a minute to get that. The man in the white hat, the man on the white horse…yeah, he ain’t coming.




Dazed and Confused (1993) – Matthew McConaughey


Comedy drama written and directed by Richard Linklater featuring a large ensemble cast some of whom have since become famous actors including Matthew McConaughey in his first film role. The story follows various groups of teenagers during the last day of school in the summer of 1976 where everyone is trying to get stoned, drunk, or laid, even the football players that signed a pledge not to. McConaughey plays Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey), a post-grad who still loves high school girls. The cast includes Jason London, Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Cole Hauser, Parker Posey, Adam Goldberg, Joey Lauren Adams, Nicky Katt, Rory Cochrane, Michelle Burke and Shawn Pickford.


McConaughey has stated that his “alright, alright, alright” line which he included in his speech for winning best at the 2014 Golden Globes and Oscars actuall originated from this movie as it was his first line ever spoken on camera in the first scene of his entire film career. The line was improvised by McConaughey and it was taken from Jim Morrison during a performance on his The Door Live album. The infectious line was also apparently repeated during production by the entire crew and has been one of McConaughey’s trademark slogans.


Wooderson: All right, all right, all right.


Wooderson: That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.




Cutting Class (1989) – Brad Pitt


Slasher movie which was Brad Pitt’s first major film role, the story revolves around the return of a problem teen Brian Woods (Donovan Leitch) to high school after his release from an institution where he was admitted for the suspicious death of his father. He falls in love with classmate Paula Carson (Jill Schoelen), but she’s already dating the local basketball star Dwight Ingalls (Brad Pitt) and trying to deal with the lecherous school principal Mr. Dante (Roddy McDowall). Then horrible murders start happening with the main suspects being Dwight and Brian. The cast also includes Martin Mull.


Dwight Ingalls: You know, Your father’s a lot bigger than I am. Of course, I’m bigger where it really counts!


Shultz: I’m the custodian of your fucking lives!
[to Paula]
Dwight Ingalls: That guy is fried.




Carbon Copy (1981) – Denzel Washington


This is Washington’s first feature film role in a comedy which follows a successful businessman named Walter Whitney (George Segal) who learns out-of-the-blue that he has a black son, Roger Porter (Denzel Washington), from a past relationship. When Walter finally confesses to his wife Vivian (Susan Saint James), his world is turned upside down, he loses his job, his credit cards are revoked, and Vivian throws him out of the house. Without the white man’s trappings, he is forced to accept the help of downtrodden minorities. When he is compelled to manual labor, Walter comes to understand the troubles his son goes through. The cast also includes Jack Warden, Dick Martin, Paul Winfield Macon McCalman and Vicky Dawson. 


A bit of a woeful comedy but worth a look just to see Washington in his first ever role!


Walter Whitney: Stop following me.
Roger Porter: Isn’t a son supposed to follow in his dad’s footsteps?


Roger Porter: You can teach me how to build a model airplane, I’ll show you how to pick a lock. You take me to a Chamber of Commerce meeting, I’ll take you to a Third World Liberation meeting.
Walter Whitney: Why are you doing this to me, God?




BMX Bandits (1983) – Nicole Kidman


Nicole Kidman’s first ever movie role, the film follows Two BMX expert bikers PJ (Angelo D’Angelo), and Goose (James Lugton) who after getting their bikes totaled set off on a fishing trip with their friend Judy (Nicole Kidman) but on their way they stumble upon a carton of stolen police walkie-talkies, which they decide to sell for new BMX gear. However, as the radios had originally been swiped by a group of bank robbers they soon find themselves becoming entangled in their mess


Judy: Now do you believe in miracles?
Goose: This wasn’t a miracle, it was being in the right place at the right time. Like getting hit by a truck. Now if you could produce a BMX track that would be a miracle.
PJ: Sorry, only one a day. Union Rules.


[to PJ and Goose]
Judy: Well, you know what they say. Two’s company, three gets us talked about.


Judy: Your little walkie talkies…have gone walkies.


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