April 13, 2024

Ah, the Oscars. It is the most prestigious acting award and almost every actor is after it, whether they admit it or not. We all know actors who have won or been nominated (and have been nominated many times without winning). But often when an actor wins an Academy Award, many past roles that were not recognized by the Academy are passed over in favor of those who do. And unless you’re doing deep dives into an actor’s filmography, you probably wouldn’t know how many got their start in horror.


Horror is notorious for being snubbed by the Academy, and while every film in the genre deserves an Oscar, as with every other genre, there have been many instances where a horror film delivers a performance so brilliant that it’s disappointing. see that he is applauded. So it’s not entirely surprising that those who started in the genre and have won Oscars since then often talk about the horror era. But without giving the phantasm and horror genres a shot at stardom, they might not be where they are today. And some famous stars who got their start in horror movies will surprise you.

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Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger

Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey in Texas Chainsaw Massacre The Next Generation
Image via Cinépix Film Properties/Columbia Pictures

In 1995, the horror genre paved the way for two Hollywood heavyweights. Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger both starring Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, with Zellweger playing the film’s final girl, and McConaughey as one of the villains. Meanwhile The next generation It may not have been very well received, but it’s interesting to see two actors known for different genres now in a sequel to one of the major horror franchises.

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks knows you're alone in the movie
Image via United Artists

We all know him and love him, whether he’s playing Woody or not Toy Story or the headline in Forrest Forrest Gumpthere is no denying it Tom Hanks He is one of the greatest actors in Hollywood. So many movies come to mind when thinking about him, but how did he get his start in cinema? Well, surprisingly, it was in the 1980 horror film He knows you’re lonely. Hanks plays Elliot, a college student, and while he has minimal scenes, he steals the ones he has, setting the stage for a deep and brilliant career in the future.

Hilary Swank

Hilary Swank in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Image via 20th Century Fox

Before winning Oscars for his roles as Brandon Teena Boys Don’t Cry and Maggie Fitzgerald Million Dollar Baby, Hilary Swank In 1992 he had a supporting role Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She played Kimberly, one of Buffy’s best friends. His role isn’t very big here, but looking at his deep career now, it’s clear that he had that x-factor from the start. And hey, who doesn’t love a 90s movie? Especially one starring Swank.

Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Connelly in Phenomena
image via New Line Cinema

As far as early horror roles go, perhaps none on this list are as impressive Jennifer Connelly. He got his first leading role in the horror film Dario Argento‘s The phenomena. Connelly plays Jennifer Corvino, a young student who discovers that she has the power to telepathically connect with insects. It’s an odd premise, sure, but how many actors can say they got to work with such an acclaimed horror creator? She would later win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2001 A Beautiful Mind.

George Clooney

George Clooney Back in Horror High
Image via New World Pictures

Before stealing everyone’s hearts Dr. Doug Ross entered ER, George Clooney He played Oliver in 1987 Back to Horror High. Although he may be the first casualty of the film, he had a successful career as a leading man. Be it romances, dramas or action films, she has done it all and cemented herself as a beloved star in Hollywood. Clooney has two Oscars, one for Best Supporting Actor Syrian and he also took one home to produce Argowhich received the best film award.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio in Critters 3
Image via New Line Home Video

Oh, Leo. He’s a true heartthrob in every sense of the word, whether he’s playing the villain Jack Dawson or not. Titanicor the charming Jay Gatsby the great gatsby. Although many may credit Leonardo DiCaprio’s 1993 What is Gilbert Grape eating? for starting his acting career, he actually started two years earlier Animals 3 When he was only 17 years old. Dicaprio plays Josh, the stepson of a corrupt landlord, and unlike some of the actors on this list, he survived the end of his film. He later said that this movie was one of the worst, but hey, everything seems to have worked out for him. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Hugh Glass The Revenant.

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt cutting glass
Image Republic Pictures Home Video

Although he achieved heartthrob status after starring in the lead role Thelma and Louise, Brad Pitt He made his film debut in the 1989 film Cutting Class. Pitt played Dwight Ingalls, a high school student who becomes a suspect after a series of murders. It’s not a great movie, but it’s one of Pitt’s first, and it works well with what it’s got. She would later win her first Oscar in 2020 (after 5 nominations, mind you) Quentin Tarantino‘s Once upon a time in Hollywood.

Patricia Arquette

Patricia Arquette Dream Warriors A Nightmare On Elm Street 3

When it comes to franchises, sequels are almost always criticized for their weakness compared to the original. And again, none of the films A nightmare on Zumar street franchise will be as influential and acclaimed as the first, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors considered by many to be one of the best. Not only did it stand as a sequel, but by doing something new and interesting with its plot, it also marked the beginning of the film’s career. Patricia Arquette, who played the final girl in the film, Kristen Parker. Arquette won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2015 childhood.

Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson in The Little Shop of Horrors
Image via The Filmgroup

Although it may not be technically was his first film role, Little Shop of Horrors was one of those who started it Jack Nicholsonthe route of He plays a small part in the film, but it was enough to catapult his career into superstardom, as he is now regarded as one of the greatest actors of all time. Unlike others on this list, Nicholson has returned to the horror genre a few times, most famously as Jack Torrance. Stanley Kubrick‘s shine. Today he has 12 Oscar nominations, 3 of them winners, and is the most nominated male actor to date.

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