What the 2019 Golden Globe nominees looked like when they first started acting

Fine Line Features and BBC America/Sid Gentle Films LtdSandra Oh is nominated and co-hosting the event.
  • The Golden Globes honour the best movie and TV performances.
  • Some of the nominees have been in the industry for decades, while some are newcomers.
  • All of them have paid their dues with smaller roles through the years.

Many of today’s A-list celebrities worked hard for their success. They paid their dues with hundreds of auditions, lots of smaller roles, and plenty of commercials, too.

The Golden Globes honour the best movie and TV performances of the year, and before these stars are rightfully honored, INSIDER wanted to take a look back on some of their earliest roles that introduced them to the world.

From Constance Wu on “Law and Order: Special Victim’s Unit” to Julia Roberts in 1988’s “Mystic Pizza,” take a look back on some of these actors’ first roles.

Watch the Golden Globes Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.


Nicole Kidman’s career started with a series of small Australian films, like “BMX Bandits,” in 1983.

Umbrella Entertainment and Annapurna Pictures‘BMX Bandits’ and ‘Destroyer.’

She’s nominated for her lead role in “Destroyer.”


Bradley Cooper made his TV debut with a guest spot on season two of “Sex and the City” in 1999.

HBO and Warner Bros. Pictures‘Sex and the City’ and ‘A Star Is Born.’

He’s nominated for “A Star Is Born.”


Lady Gaga performed for years before releasing her debut album in 2008.

Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images and Warner Bros. PicturesLady Gaga in 2005 and in ‘A Star Is Born.’

She is nominated for “A Star Is Born.”


Rami Malek made his on-screen debut on an episode of “Gilmore Girls” in 2004.

Warner Bros. Television and 20th Century Fox‘Gilmore Girls’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’

He’s nominated for “Bohemian Rhapsody.”


Emily Blunt was on an episode of “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” in 2004.

ITV and Walt Disney Studios‘Agatha Christie’s Poirot’ and ‘Mary Poppins Returns.’

She’s nominated for her lead role in “Mary Poppins Returns.”


John David Washington’s first major role was on “Ballers” starting in 2015.

HBO and Focus Features‘Ballers’ and ‘BlacKkKlansman.’

He is nominated for “BlacKkKlansman.”


Constance Wu’s career started with a guest appearance on an episode of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” in 2006.

NBC and Warner Bros. Pictures‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians.’

She is nominated for “Crazy Rich Asians.”


Viggo Mortensen made his debut in “Witness” in 1985.

Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures‘Witness’ and ‘Green Book.’

He is nominated for “Green Book.”


One of Melissa McCarthy’s earliest roles was on “Gilmore Girls” starting in 2000.

Warner Bros. Television and Fox Searchlight Pictures‘Gilmore Girls’ and ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’.

She is nominated for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”.


One of Lucas Hedges’ first parts was in “Moonrise Kingdom” in 2012.

Focus Features‘Moonrise Kingdom’ and ‘Boy Erased.’

He is nominated for “Boy Erased.”


Glenn Clos began her career on-stage before acting in TV movies including, “The Elephant Man” and “Something About Amelia” in the 1970s and ’80s.

ABC via Getty Images and Sony Pictures Classics‘Something About Amelia’ and ‘The Wife.’

She is nominated for starring in “The Wife.”


Mahershala Ali’s first role was on “Crossing Jordan” starting in 2001.

NBC/Getty Images and Universal‘Crossing Jordan’ and ‘Green Book.’

He is nominated for “Green Book.”


Before starring as a Bond girl in “Die Another Day,” Rosamund Pike starred on shows including “Wives and Daughters” in the late ’90s.

BBC One and Aviron Pictures‘Wives and Daughters’ and ‘A Private War.’

She is nominated for “A Private War.”


Willem Dafoe starred in Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Loveless” in 1982.

Atlantic Releasing and CBS Films‘The Loveless’ and ‘At Eternity’s Gate.’

He is nominated for “At Eternity’s Gate.”


One of Charlize Theron’s earliest roles was in “That Thing You Do!” in 1996.

20th Century Fox and Focus Features‘That Thing You Do!’ and ‘Tully.’

She is nominated for “Tully.”


Adam Driver’s first role was on “The Unusuals” in 2009.

Sony Pictures Television and Focus Features‘The Unusuals’ and ‘BlacKkKlansman.’

He is nominated for “BlacKkKlansman.”


Elsie Fisher voiced Agnes in “Despicable Me” in 2010.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images and A24Elsie in 2010 and in ‘Eighth Grade.’

The 15-year-old is nominated for “Eighth Grade.”


Christian Bale made his debut in “Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna” in 1986.

NBC and Annapurna Pictures‘Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna’ and ‘Vice.’

He is nominated for “Vice.”


Emma Stone competed on the reality show “In Search of the New Partridge Family” in 2004 to play Laurie Partridge on a series that never aired the pilot.

VH1 and Fox Searchlight Pictures‘In Search of the New Partridge Family’ and ‘The Favourite.’

She is nominated for “The Favourite.”


Timothée Chalamet made his debut on an episode of “Law and Order” in 2009.

NBC and Amazon Studios‘Law and Order’ and ‘Beautiful Boy.’

He’s nominated for “Beautiful Boy.”


One of Rachel Weisz’s first roles was on an episode of “Inspector Morse” in 1993.

ITV and Fox Searchlight Pictures‘Inspector Morse’ and ‘The Favourite.’

She is nominated for “The Favourite.”


Lin-Manuel Miranda was on an episode of “The Sopranos” before his show “In the Heights” opened on Broadway in 2008.

HBO and Walt Disney Studios‘The Sopranos’ and in ‘Mary Poppins Returns.’

He’s nominated for “Mary Poppins Returns.”


Regina King’s career started with a role on “227” starting in 1985.

NBC and Annapurna Pictures‘227’ and ‘If Beale Street Could Talk.’

She is nominated for “If Beale Street Could Talk” and her lead role on Netflix’s limited series “Seven Seconds.”


Robert Redford’s career started with a series of guest appearances on a number of shows, including “Maverick” and “Perry Mason” in 1960.

CBS and Fox Searchlight Pictures‘Perry Mason’ and ‘The Old Man & the Gun.’

He is nominated for “The Old Man & the Gun.”


Amy Adams made her on-screen debut in “Drop Dead Gorgeous” in 1999.

New Line Cinema and Annapurna Pictures‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ and ‘Vice.’

She is nominated for “Vice” and “Sharp Objects.”


Sam Rockwell made his film debut in the horror movie “Clownhouse” in 1989.

Vision International and Annapurna Pictures‘Clownhouse’ and ‘Vice.’

He is nominated for “Vice.”


One of Claire Foy’s earliest roles was on “Little Dorrit” in 2008.

BBC One and Universal Pictures‘Little Dorrit’ and ‘First Man.’

She is nominated for “First Man.”


John C. Reilly made his debut in the war film “Casualties of War” in 1989.

Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Classics‘Casualties of War’ and ‘Stan & Ollie.’

He is nominated for “Stan & Ollie.”


Olivia Colman made her debut on sketch show “Bruiser” in 2000.

BBC Two and Fox Searchlight Pictures‘Bruiser’ and ‘The Favourite.’

She is nominated for “The Favourite.”


Richard E. Grant’s first movie was “Withnail and I” in 1987.

Cineplex Odeon Films and Fox Searchlight Pictures‘Withnail and I’ and ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’.

He is nominated for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”.


Elisabeth Moss got her start as a child on TV movies and shows, including “Midnight’s Child” in the early ’90s.

Lifetime and HBO‘Midnight’s Child’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’

She is nominated for her lead role on “The Handmaid’s Tale.”


Richard Madden got his start as a child actor in 1999 and was in the movie “Complicity.”

Avalanche Home Entertainment and Netflix‘Complicity’ and ‘Bodyguard.’

He is nominated for “Bodyguard.”


Sandra Oh earned praise for one of her earliest roles in “Double Happiness” in 1994.

Fine Line Features and BBC America/Sid Gentle Films Ltd‘Double Happiness’ and ‘Killing Eve.’

She is nominated for “Killing Eve.”


One of Matthew Rhys earliest roles was the BBC drama “Backup” in 1997.

BBC One and Patrick Harbron/FX‘Backup’ and ‘The Americans.’

He is nominated for “The Americans.”


Keri Russell was on the “Mickey Mouse Club” before making her feature film debut in “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid” in 1992.

Buena Vista Pictures and Patrick Harbron/FX‘Honey, I Blew Up the Kid’ and ‘The Americans.’

She is nominated for “The Americans.”


Jason Bateman was a child actor, making his acting debut as James Cooper Ingalls on “Little House on the Prairie” starting in 1974.

NBC and Netflix‘Little House on the Prairie’ and ‘Ozark.’

He is nominated for “Ozark.”


Julia Roberts broke out thanks to one of her earliest roles in “Mystic Pizza” in 1988.

The Samuel Goldwyn Company and Amazon‘Mystic Pizza’ and ‘Homecoming.’

She is nominated for “Homecoming,” an Amazon series.


Stephan James had a recurring role on “Degrassi: The Next Generation” in 2010.

Program Partners and Amazon‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’ and ‘Homecoming.’

He is nominated for “Homecoming.”


Caitriona Balfe has starred on “Outlander” since 2014 but had small roles before that, including one in JJ Abrams’ “Super 8” in 2011.

Paramount Pictures and Starz‘Super 8’ and ‘Outlander.’

She is nominated for “Outlander.”


Billy Porter played Teen Angel in the 1994 Broadway revival of “Grease!” and performed on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images and FXBilly Porter with Jay Leno in 1994 and on ‘Pose.’

He is nominated for “Pose.”


Kristen Bell had a number of small TV and movie roles before starring on “Veronica Mars,” which premiered in 2004.

FX and NBC‘The Shield’ and ‘The Good Place.’

She is nominated for “The Good Place.”


Donald Glover was in a number of short internet videos and was a writer for “30 Rock” in 2006, where he also made some cameos.

NBC and Quantrell D. Colbert/FX’30 Rock’ and ‘Atlanta.’

He is nominated for “Atlanta.”


Alison Brie’s first TV role was on “Hannah Montana” in 2006 before she was cast on “Mad Men” a year later.

Disney Channel and Netflix‘Hannah Montana’ and ‘Glow.’

She is nominated for “Glow.”


Bill Hader made his TV debut in 2005 when he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live.”

NBC and HBO‘Saturday Night Live’ and ‘Barry.’

Hader is nominated for his role on “Barry.”


Rachel Brosnahan was cast in Michael Bay’s “Unborn” when she was in high school in 2009 and then had some small TV roles on shows like “Gossip Girls” and “The Good Wife” when she was in college.

Warner Bros. Television and Amazon‘Gossip Girl’ and’The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel.’

She is nominated for her lead role on “The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel.”


Daniel Brühl was in a few German films before breaking out in “Good Bye, Lenin!” in 2004.

X Verleih AG and Paramount Television‘Good Bye, Lenin!’ and ‘The Alienist.’

He is nominated for “The Alienist.”


One of Debra Messing’s first roles was a short arc on “NYPD Blue” in 1994.

ABC and NBC‘NYPD Blue’ and ‘Will & Grace.’

She is nominated for “Will & Grace.”


Sacha Baron Cohen was a presentor before he became known for his character Ali G around 2000.

Fred Duval/FilmMagic and ShowtimeSacha Baron Cohen as Ali G in 2000 and on ‘Who Is America?’.

He is nominated for “Who Is America?”.


Laura Dern made her film debut in “Foxes” in 1980.

MGM and HBO Films‘Foxes’ and ‘The Tale.’

The actress is nominated for “The Tale.”


Benedict Cumberbatch’s on-screen career began with a number of small TV appearances, including on the British drama “Heartbeat” in the early 2000s.

ITV and Ollie Upton/Showtime‘Heartbeat’ and ‘Patrick Melrose.’

He is nominated this year for his lead role on the limited series “Patrick Melrose.”


Connie Britton’s first movie was “The Brothers McMullen” in 1995.

20th Century Fox and Bravo‘The Brothers McMullen’ and ‘Dirty John.’

She is nominated for “Dirty John.”


One of Jim Carrey’s first roles was on “The Duck Factory” in 1984.

NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images and Showtime‘The Duck Factory’ and ‘Kidding.’

He is nominated for “Kidding.”


Michael Douglas earned a Golden Globe Award for most promising male newcomer for starring in “Hail, Hero!”in 1969.

Bettman/Getty Images and NetflixMichael Douglas on the set of ‘Hail Hero’ and on ‘The Kominsky Method.’

He is nominated for “The Kominsky Method.”


Candice Bergen made her on-screen debut in “The Group” in 1966.

United Artist and Warner Bros. Television‘The Group’ and ‘Murphy Brown.’

She is nominated for “Murphy Brown.”


Patricia Arquette’s first movie was “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors” in 1987.

New Line Cinema and Showtime‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors’ and ‘Escape at Dannemora.’

She is nominated for “Escape At Dannemora.”


Antonio Banderas’ career began after he was cast in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Laberinto de pasiones” (“Labyrinth of Passion)” in 1982.

Alphaville and Dusan Martincek/National Geographic‘Laberinto de pasiones’ and ‘Genius.’

He is nominated for playing Pablo Picasso on the second season of “Genius.”


Darren Criss got his start in theatre but broke out on-screen with a role on “Eastwick” in 2009.

ABC and FX‘Eastwick’ and ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.’

He is nominated for playing real murderer Andrew Cunanan on “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.”


Penélope Cruz was on one episode of “Série rose” before breaking out as the star of “Jamón Jamón” in 1992.

United States Academy Entertainment Inc and FX‘Jamón Jamón’ and ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.’

The Oscar-winning actress is nominated for portraying Donatella Versace on “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.”


One of Hugh Grant’s first movies was “Maurice” in 1987.

Cinecom Pictures and BBC One‘Maurice’ and ‘A Very English Scandal.’

He is nominated for “A Very English Scandal.”


Thandie Newton made her film debut in the Australian teen movie “Flirting” in 1992.

Warner Bros. and HBO‘Flirting’ and ‘Westworld.’

She is nominated for playing Maeve on “Westworld.”


Édgar Ramírez starred on the Venezuelan telenovela “Cosita rica” in 2003.

Venevisión International and Jeff Daly/FX‘Cosita Rica’ and ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.’

He is nominated for playing Gianni Versace on “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.”


One of Yvonne Strahovski’s earliest roles was on the Australian drama “HeadLand” in 2005.

Seven Network and Hulu‘HeadLand’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’

She is nominated for playing Serena Joy on “The Handmaid’s Tale.”


Alan Arkin’s role in “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” in 1966 earned him an Oscar nomination.

United Artists and Netflix‘The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming’ and ‘The Kominsky Method.’

He is nominated for “The Kominsky Method.”


Patricia Clarkson made her film debut in 1987’s “The Untouchables.”

Paramount Pictures and HBO‘The Untouchables’ and ‘Sharp Objects.’

She is nominated for “Sharp Objects.”


Kieran Culkin starred in “Home Alone” with his brother, Macaulay Culkin in 1990.

20th Century Fox and HBO‘Home Alone’ and ‘Succession.’

He is nominated for “Succession.”


Alex Borstein was a writer and voice actor before she began acting on the sketch series “MADtv” starting in 1997.

Warner Bros. Television and Amazon‘MADtv’ and ‘The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel.’

She is nominated for her supporting role on “The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel.”


Ben Whishaw’s first movie was war film “The Trench” in 1999.

Arts Council of England and BBC One‘The Trench’ and ‘A Very English Scandal.’

He is nominated for “A Very English Scandal.”


Henry Winkler broke out as Fonzie on “Happy Days” starting in 1974.

CBS Television and HBO‘Happy Days’ and ‘Barry.’

He’s nominated for his supporting role on “Barry.”

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