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TV Stars Who Made It Big In Movies

TV stars who made it big in movies

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie started out in Neighbours in 2008 and portrayed the character of Donna Freedman until 2011. It wasn’t until she starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street (2013) that she got her big Hollywood break. The star portrayed real life person Naomi Lapaglia, the ex-wife of Jordan Belfort in the film adaptation of Belfort’s memoir.

Chris Hemsworth

Before Chris Hemsworth became the God of Thunder, he played Kim Hyde in the Australian soap opera Home and Away. He joined the cast in 2004 and left the series in 2007. Just four years later, he scored the role of Thor in the MCU and has since taken on several roles where he plays the lead. He is set to reprise his role of Thor in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok and will reunite with his fellow Avengers in Infinity War Part’s 1 & 2!

Liam Hemsworth

Like his older brother, Liam Hemsworth also starred in an Australian soap before heading to Hollywood. The actor played Josh Taylor in Neighbours from 2007-2008. In 2010, he portrayed Miley Cyrus’ love interest in Nicholas Sparks’ The Last Song. He then went on to play Gale Hawthorne in The Hunter Games series, starred in The Expendables 2 and will play Jake Morrison in Independence Day: Resurgence (2016). Fun fact: Did you know Liam auditioned for the role of Thor but his brother Chris became the God of Thunder instead?!

Pierce Brosnan

Before Bond came about, Pierce Brosnan started out in the 1982 TV series Remington Steele. He portrayed the character of Steele until the show ended in 1987 and became famous after the success of Mrs. Doubtfire (1993). However, it wasn’t until Brosnan became the fifth actor to play James Bond in the 007 franchise that he scored global success. 

Mike Myers

Mike Myers starred in Saturday Night Live form 1989-95 but it was when he portrayed Wayne Campbell in Wayne’s World (1992) that his film career kicked off. The film was adapted from one of Myers’ sketches on SNL and he even wrote the screenplay for the film! Following the film’s success, a sequel came about in 1993 and Myers has since taken on many notable roles such as Shrek, Austin Powers and The Cat in the Hat!

Chris Pratt

Most people know Chris Pratt as the guy from Jurassic World or as Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy but before he hit the big screen, he starred in the TV series Everwood and Parks and Recreation! From 2002-2006, Chris portrayed Bright Abbott in Everwood and then went onto Parks and Recreation where he played Andrew “Andy” Dwyer from 2009-2015!

Melissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy first found fame when she portrayed Sookie St. James in Gilmore Girls from 2000-2007 but her breakthrough role was when she played Megan Price in Bridesmaids (2011)! Since then, she has starred alongside Sandra Bullock in The Heat (2013), and has been the female lead in Tammy (2014), Spy (2015) and The Boss (2016)! She is also set to play Abby Yates in the 2016 all female Ghostbusters reboot!

Blake Lively

Blake Lively started her career as Serena van der Woodsen in the TV series Gossip Girl from 2007-2012. Although the role gave her lots of success, she made it big in films when she starred opposite her now husband Ryan Reynolds as Carol Ferris in Green Lantern (2011).

Steve Carell

A lot of people will recognise Steve Carell from The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) or Evan Almighty (2007) but he actually gained fame from his role as Michael Scott in the TV series The Office! He even regularly worked as a director and writer of the show until ended in 2013. Despite his fame from TV and the success of previous films, he made it even bigger when he voiced Gru in Despicable Me (2010), its sequel in 2013 and its prequel Minions (2015)!

Jamie Dornan

Before Jamie Dornan became Mr. Christian Grey, the actor portrayed The Huntsman in ABC series Once Upon A Time from 2011-2013. Since leaving the show, he has taken on the role of Paul Spector in BBC’s The Fall but it’s his dominant role in the Fifty Shades of Grey series that he’s most know for!

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling stole every girl’s heart when he played Noah Calhoun in The Notebook (2004) but he actually started his career as a child star! The now Hollywood heartthrob first gained little stardom when he starred in the Mickey Mouse Club from 1993-1995!

Bradley Cooper

Before The Hangover series, Bradley Cooper’s first ever acting role was in an episode of TV series, Sex and the City in 1999! From 2001-2006 he took on the role of Will Tippin in the TV series Alias before gaining global success in the first The Hangover film! Since then, he has scored Oscar nominations for his performances in Silver Linings Playbook (2012), American Hustle (2013) and American Sniper (2014).

John Travolta

We all know John Travolta from his dancing skills in Saturday Night Fever (1977) and his talent of singing in Grease (1978) but before he became a global success, Travolta started out in an episode of TV series, Emergency! in 1972. By 1975, Travolta began portraying Vincent “Vinnie” Barbarino in the TV series Welcome Back, Kotter and played the character until 1979 when the show ended. 

Will Smith

Will Smith started out as the famous Fresh Prince where he played himself in the TV Series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air from 1990-1996. The role has given him ongoing success and his breakthrough films wer Bad Boys (1995) and Independence Day (1996)! 

Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox is best know for playing Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy but before his success from Back to the Future, Fox played the lead role of Alex P. Keaton in the TV series Family Ties from 1982-1989! Since his breakthrough film, he has played Scott Howard in 1985’s Teen Wolf and has voiced the character of Stuart Little in the family film series!

George Clooney

George Clooney first broke into acting when he starred in the TV series ER from 1994 until 1999 and returned in 2009 in the shows final season as a guest star. After leaving the series, Clooney went on to play Danny Ocean in Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and the two sequels that followed its success!

Jennifer Aniston

Hollywood’s sweetheart Jennifer Aniston first gained fame in the popular TV series Friends where she played Rachel Green throughout the show’s run from 1994-2004! Following the show’s global recognition, Aniston went on to play the wife of Jim Carrey’s character in Bruce Almight (2003), starred alongside Vince Vaughn in The Break-Up (2006), played Dr. Julia Harris in Horrible Bosses (2011) and its sequel, and most recently portrayed Sandy in Mother’s Day (2016)!

James Franco

Before James Franco became Harry Osborne in the Spider-Man trilogy, he played James Dean in the TV movie where he went on to win a Golden Globe Award! But even before that, he portrayed Daniel Desario on the TV series Freaks and Geeks from 1999-2000!

Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig first started his career in various television films (rather than a series) such as; Sharpe’s Eagle (1993), The Ice House (1997) and Copenhagen (2002) just to name a few. In 2001, he took on the role of Alex West in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider before becoming the sixth actor to play James Bond in 2006! He received international success following his role as 007 and has starred in four James Bond movies. Whether we’ll see Craig reprise the role of Bond in the future, we hope we get to see him for at least one more film in the franchise!

Bruce Willis

Before receiving global success for playing John McLane in the five Die Hard movies, Bruce Willis starred in an episode of Miami Vice in 1984! He hit it big with Die Hard in 1988 and his career kicked off ever since!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

In 1999 Joseph Gordon-Levitt starred in 10 Things I Hate About You and since then he has taken on roles in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009), The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and most recently the biographical film The Walk (2016). However, before his success in film, Gordon-Levitt played George in Roseanne in 1993 and went onto portraying Tommy Solomon in 3rd Rock from the Sun from 1996-2001!

Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig’s most recognised role is for her portrayal of Annie Walker in Bridesmaids (2011) but long before she went into film, Wiig started out on Saturday Night Live in 2005! She stayed with the cast until 2012 and has since starred in The Martian (2015), voiced Miss Hattie in Despicable Me and its sequel and will star alongside Melissa McCarthy and her former SNL stars in Ghostbusters (2016).

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner started her career in acting as guest roles in several TV shows before taking on the role of Sydney Bristow in Alias from 2001-206. Whilst starring in the TV series, she gained success from her tole in 2003’s Daredevil and even went onto making a spin-off solo film as her character Elektra!

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams took on the role of Jen Lindley in Dawson’s Creek from 1998-2003 but she gained global success after she starred in Brokeback Mountain alongside Anne Hathaway, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen started his career in Freaks and Geeks from 1999-2000 portraying Ken Miller in 18 episodes. His feature film came 7 years later when he starred in Knocked Up (2007) playing Ben Stone opposite Katherine Heigl.

Shailene Woodley

Whilst Shailene Woodley is best known for her portrayal of Tris in The Divergent Series, the actress started out as Kristin Debreno in the TV show The District from 2001-2003. She then moved onto the role of Amy Juergens in The Secret Life of the American Teenager from 2008-2013 all before she hit the big screen!

Johnny Depp

Long before Johnny Depp became the great actor he is today, the star portrayed Officer Tom Hanson in the TV series 21 Jump Street from 1989-1990. Following his departure from 21 Jump Street, Depp went on to play Edward Scissorhands in the 1990 film and has since portrayed some of the most iconic character such as; Jack Sparrow (in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise), Willy Wonka (in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Sweeney Todd and the Mad Hatter (in Alice in Wonderland) just to name a few!

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the most respected actors in Hollywood today but before he received recognition for his roles in Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Titanic (1997), he actually started out as on the small screen! From 1990-91, DiCaprio plaued Gary Buckman in Parenthood and then went on to starring in Growing Pains as Luke Brower from 1991-92. His film career kicked off after that and the rest is history!

Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis’ acting career kicked of when she scored the role of Jackie Burkhart in That ’70s Show from 1998-2006. Whilst portraying the character alongside Ashton Kutcher, she began voicing Meg Griffin in Family Guy and is still the voice of the animated character today! Her breakout film was Forgetting Sarah Marshall in 2008, 2 years after That ’70s show ended. She has starred alongside Natalie Portman in The Black Swan (2011) and Channing Tatum in Jupiter Ascending (2015)!

Shia LaBeouf

To a lot of people, Shia LaBoeuf is Sam Witwicky from Transformers (2007) and its two sequels that followed, but before he met the Autobots LaBeouf started out as Louis Anthony Stevens in the TV series The Even Stevens from 2000-2003! Following the success from the series and his role in Transformers, he went on to star in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) opposite Harrison Ford, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) with Michael Douglas and Fury (2014) alongside Brad Pitt!

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