When They Were Young... (Actors' Breakout Roles)

Discuss all the finest actors, living or dead -- their films, their talents, and their weird, drug-related escapades.

When They Were Young... (Actors' Breakout Roles)

Postby Doc Holliday on Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:01 am

"The first time........I saw your face"

Trying to shut my mind off to commuter-horror this morning, I found myself remembering various breakout performances- you know, "I remember the first time I saw you on the big screen" type stuff.

Even if the films weren't that great...even if things weren't quite up to the level these stars now operate at - they still just stood out, for whatever reason. Perhaps they haven't been that good since!

It doesn't necessarily have to be their actual first role - more the first time you saw them and thought "Yup - they got something going on, what was their name again? I'll look out for them in the future".

So this morning I dwelled on the first time I saw Cameron Diaz doing that dance in THE MASK. I remember genuinely not being convinced Nicole Kidman would ever make it out of the BANGKOK HILTON. I hate to admit it - but I even found myself thinking of how Brad Pitt helped put the "O" in THELMA AND LOUISE.

What early performance put what star on the map for you?
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Postby doglips on Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:15 am

Well I know I tend to defend her but that's cos I actually like her as an actress - I can remember watching Reese Witherspoon in Fear and thinking she was pretty good.

Then came Pleasantville which I love, Cruel Intentions, Election (one of my favourite movies) Best Laid Plans, American Psycho and she's great in all of them. Sure, she seems to have taken a different path now ( she is actually pretty funny as Elle Woods ) but with performances like she gave in Walk The Line, hopefully her future career will be peppered with gems amongst the Hollywood fare.
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Postby Ribbons on Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:28 am

Jude Law in GATTACA. His career began about 4 years prior, but that was my introduction to him. He was a complete, dissolute jerk, but I felt like I could sense the undercurrent of misery and self-loathing that made his character so tragic.
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Postby doglips on Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:33 am

Gael García Bernal in Amores perros, he definitely came good on his initial promise as an actor.
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Postby Cpt Kirks 2pay on Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:03 am

I have a bit of an absolute fucking hatred for Cameron Diaz. Ever since that shite overrated entrance (some twats voted it the best entrance - EVVVAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! gentlemen. Look at the effort she went to, to stuff her tits into her bra, only to give her a tiny bust at best anyway) since she came into The Mask, I just crossed my fingers saying 'please be a one hit wonder, please be a one hit wonder' and for her to dissapear off the screens again. Why did you use her as an example, Doc. WHHHHYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!??!??!?!??!

Talking about that same virtual year, Natalie Portman in Leon. The whole world knew straight away, that a Star Is Born. Shame that Star in Wars didn't make her shine so bright eh? Then Closer put her back on again. Yaaaaaaayyyy!!!!! Then that dodgy accented poorformance in V (Can't believe so many of you voted that as best film) threatened to be the final nail in the coffin of how talented she actually may not be. Here's hoping the next few films change all that.
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Postby Doc Holliday on Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:25 am

Cpt Kirks 2pay wrote:I have a bit of an absolute fucking hatred for Cameron Diaz. Ever since that shite overrated entrance (some twats voted it the best entrance - EVVVAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! gentlemen. Look at the effort she went to, to stuff her tits into her bra, only to give her a tiny bust at best anyway) since she came into The Mask, I just crossed my fingers saying 'please be a one hit wonder, please be a one hit wonder' and for her to dissapear off the screens again. Why did you use her as an example, Doc. WHHHHYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!??!??!?!??!


It just stuck in my mind whilst watching the film I guess. Thats not to say its a great film necessarily, nor that she is a great actress. In fact I think she's quite hit and miss myself - excellent in Being John Malkovich, harmless in The Sweetest Thing and rubbish in Gangs of New York.

But it was a memorable entrance and she has gone on to become an actress of prominence.

Breast size seems a bit of a tenuous reason to like or dislike someone though. Ellen Page's girlfriend certainly disagrees :P
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Postby Cpt Kirks 2pay on Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:36 am

Breast size has nothing to do with it. This is irrelevant. You can put anything of yours into my mouth, Doc, but try not to put your words there. I never said or implied anything that breast size was the factor. CAMERON DIAZ SUX!!!!! - and that's that. Well, most of the time. She is mediocre at best, most of the time. Oh, and why did she catch YOUR eye then?!?!?!

I was certainly gonna mention Ellen Page as she did stick right out in X3. She has some kind of presence about her, like she had something better to be getting on with, and that this film was only done for the money. I noticed that about her from the very first scene. Then of course she was in Hard Candy, and that was the final stamp of approval. From there you know that this actress could have an incredible career ahead of her.

Who's Ellen Page's girlfriend anyway, and why does she disagree?

I thought Nick Stahl showed terrific exceptional promise in The Man Without A Face, and he followed through with that. Even in trash like Terminator 3, his sensitivity was the only thing that really brought any sense of dignity and realism to that whole waste of $150 million+. Don't forget to spot him in The Thin Red Line, SPOILERS dying before out very eyes - oh and yours too, Doc! Seeing as you look just like Elias Koteas, the Captain that witnessed his death.
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Postby TonyWilson on Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:39 am

Jeremy Piven, I saw him in PCU and Very Bad Thjings and always wondered why he wasn't a bigger star, now, well he aint doing movies but I'd say being the real star of a HBO seires and getting Golden Globe noms is pretty damn amazing.

Christian Bale, I remember Empire of The Sun and Treasure Island and then not seeing him again for about a decade the he came back with Velvet Goldmine in which he was fucking excellent, after that I hoped he end uo with some great roles and eventually he got to be Patrick Bateman I was ecstatic, he was the perfect choice and he's by far the best actor of his generation in my opinion.
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Postby Cpt Kirks 2pay on Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:02 am

Christina Ricci definitely in Addams Family Values.
Scarlett Johanson in The Whorse Whisperer. Still to this day, is the best and most raw emotional work I've seen her do.

Aaah Gaard, why are my choices virtually just young females? I tried to think of child male actors but TonyWilson beat me to Christian Bale, who would have been the biggest choice of all, and the likes of Elijah Wood, Haley Joel Osmont in Forrest Gump, well, they just never shined enough for me to think that they could be big stars.
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Postby Doc Holliday on Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:30 am

TonyWilson wrote:Jeremy Piven, I saw him in PCU and Very Bad Thjings and always wondered why he wasn't a bigger star, now, well he aint doing movies but I'd say being the real star of a HBO seires and getting Golden Globe noms is pretty damn amazing.


Much love for Teh Piven - I wish he did more big screen stuff (he's got a part in Smokin Aces though, so I'll be seeing that sometime soon).

First film I noticed him in was Grosse Point Blank - his whole routine regarding Jenny Slater at the Reunion was hilarious ("Just looking for a little validation of my life....guess I came up SHORT"). He was the best thing about that Estevez film, JUDGEMENT NIGHT.

Didn't he do one of those films that came out about a Stag Night gone horribly wrong (there were two that came out soon after one another, I always get their names mixed up).

I've only seen a couple of episodes of ENTOURAGE - but its twice the show for having him in it.
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:38 am

Reservoir Dogs was my first experience of both Madsen and Buscemi - and the pair of them just oozed class and talent, wasn't at all surprised to see them get plenty of work after that...

David Duchovny in Twin Peaks - I was only a youngster, but there was something about him which stuck inthe mind (probably the fact he played a transvestite)
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Postby colonel_lugz on Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:38 am

Doc Holliday wrote:Didn't he do one of those fils that came out about a Stag Night gone horribly wrong (there were two that came out soon after one another, I always get their names mixed up).


Very Bad Things - Bloody good film. All the cast, including Piven, are great in it.
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Postby Doc Holliday on Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:55 am

That's the one - thanks Colonel
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Postby thebostonlocksmith on Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:18 am

I remember Russel crowe was in neighbours...

The first time i saw Jack lemmon was in Glenngarry glenn ross, i loved it so much i bought loads of his films and he remains one of my favourite actors ever... that's probably the biggest introduction that was made to me by any actor...

Jean Claude Van Damme was in some homosexual drama thing and was set in his native tounge... he had a scene in a shower with some other guy in it... i knew even then he was a little Struggling Background Artist... and you saw it too...
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Postby silentbobafett on Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:19 am

The first time........I saw your face


I still fear the day! :-)
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Postby Carolian on Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:25 am

The only one I can seem to think of right now is Jake Gyllenhaal in DONNIE DARKO. I was totally blown away, and I kept thinking throughout that this was someone I'd have to look out for. He's really skyrocketed since then, even more than I thought he would.

I'm sure there are more, I just can't think of them right now, dammit!
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:26 am

Piven: I remember seeing him first in Lucas and One Crazy Summer. I LOVE VERY BAD THINGS! Thats one of the best black comedies.

- Jane Krakowski in National Lampoons Vacation

- Nicole Kidman in BMX Bandits/Dead Calm

- Tom Cruise in TAPS

- Nic Cage in Fast Times at Ridgemont High

- Laura Dern in White Lightning

- Jeff Goldblum in Death Wish

- Brian Dennehy in 10

- Sofia Coppola in The Outsiders

- Lawrence Fishburne in Cornbread Earl and Me

- Keanu Reeves in Youngblood
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:27 am

thebostonlocksmith wrote:I remember Russel crowe was in neighbours....


Sod Crowe - what about Guy Pearce, who was a Neighbours stalwart, in the show for years. Jim Robinson too - who now seems to be in just about every major US tv show going! Lost, 24, Ugly Betty - that guy's career has sky rocketed over the last 5 years!
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Postby silentbobafett on Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:34 am

Nic Cage in Fast Times at Ridgemont High


Fast Times featured the first or near first for EVERYBODY!!! :-)

Look:

Sean Penn .... Jeff Spicoli
Jennifer Jason Leigh .... Stacy Hamilton
Judge Reinhold .... Brad Hamilton
Robert Romanus .... Mike Damone
Phoebe Cates .... Linda Barrett
Forest Whitaker .... Charles Jefferson
Eric Stoltz .... Stoner Bud
Nicolas Cage .... Brad's Bud (as Nicolas Coppola!!!!) :-)
Anthony Edwards .... Stoner Bud
Martin Brest .... Dr. Miller (YES THE DIRECTOR OF GIGI!) :-)
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Postby Doc Holliday on Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:52 am

silentbobafett wrote:
The first time........I saw your face


I still fear the day! :-)


Heh - I still hope that the day will come! I'm as mild as the day in real life :D
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:54 am

silentbobafett wrote:
Nic Cage in Fast Times at Ridgemont High


Fast Times featured the first or near first for EVERYBODY!!! :-)

Look:

Sean Penn .... Jeff Spicoli
Jennifer Jason Leigh .... Stacy Hamilton
Judge Reinhold .... Brad Hamilton
Robert Romanus .... Mike Damone
Phoebe Cates .... Linda Barrett
Forest Whitaker .... Charles Jefferson
Eric Stoltz .... Stoner Bud
Nicolas Cage .... Brad's Bud (as Nicolas Coppola!!!!) :-)
Anthony Edwards .... Stoner Bud
Martin Brest .... Dr. Miller (YES THE DIRECTOR OF GIGI!) :-)


Yep, I knew that but I didnt want to turn it into a big Fast times cast list. haha.
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Postby Doc Holliday on Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:01 am

ThisIsTheGirl wrote:
thebostonlocksmith wrote:I remember Russel crowe was in neighbours....


Sod Crowe - what about Guy Pearce, who was a Neighbours stalwart, in the show for years. Jim Robinson too - who now seems to be in just about every major US tv show going! Lost, 24, Ugly Betty - that guy's career has sky rocketed over the last 5 years!


I've noticed the Jim Robinson explosion - was commenting on this only last night to my girlfie! I remember at one point somebody theorising that basically all of Ramsay St had something to do with Jim Robinsons roving libido - a big chart drawn up of all the illegitmates, ex wives, affairs - not to mention waifs and strays he put up along the way - was very funny (and true as well).

I remember 'Mike' as the jilted lover - possibly by the once plain Jane - going over all drunk and unshaven and ruining the engagement party. classic stuff "Good to see you're all here...having a good time....without me of course......HE STOLE MY GIRL" or something like that....

Hmm - back on-topic.

first I saw of Nic Cage was WILD AT HEART. That film alone gave him three credits in my book. Of course, he's used them up by now :wink: (though it is good to see him getting back on track more recently)

Definitely Russell Crowe - the first thing I saw him in was some dodgy Virtual Reality action pic with Denzel Washington I think it was. VIRTUOSITY? Something like that. Crowe was the archetypal bad guy in it - but fromt hat poitn on I looked out for him - whilst simultaneously forgetting everything else about that film. Next thing I saw him in was THE QUICK AND THE DEAD and I was a fan from that point on.
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Postby tapehead on Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:11 am

thedoglippedone wrote:Well I know I tend to defend her but that's cos I actually like her as an actress - I can remember watching Reese Witherspoon in Fear and thinking she was pretty good.

Then came Pleasantville which I love, Cruel Intentions, Election (one of my favourite movies) Best Laid Plans, American Psycho and she's great in all of them. Sure, she seems to have taken a different path now ( she is actually pretty funny as Elle Woods ) but with performances like she gave in Walk The Line, hopefully her future career will be peppered with gems amongst the Hollywood fare.


I saw her in Freeway, which I think pre-dates Fear - it is quite the breakout performance - and very different from most of what she's done since. I was actually fairly disappointed by her until Election came along. Brittany Murphy has a very small role in Freeway too - first time I laid eyes on her, as well as Keifer Sutherland playing against his predominant type as a spectacular gentleman.

Doc Holliday wrote:Didn't he do one of those films that came out about a Stag Night gone horribly wrong (there were two that came out soon after one another, I always get their names mixed up).
Pretty sure this was Very Bad Things, with Christian Slater and that bloke who did The Wonder Years narration. I've loved watching Piven ever since I saw him (I'm ashamed to admit) on Ellen, Ellen Degeneres' sitcom. You brought up most of his standout performances I can think of in your original post, Doc.

edit: One Crazy Summer! Of Course!
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Postby Carolian on Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:19 am

tapehead wrote:
thedoglippedone wrote:Wel l I know I tend to defend her but that's cos I actually like her as an actress - I can remember watching Reese Witherspoon in Fear and thinking she was pretty good.

Then came Pleasantville which I love, Cruel Intentions, Election (one of my favourite movies) Best Laid Plans, American Psycho and she's great in all of them. Sure, she seems to have taken a different path now ( she is actually pretty funny as Elle Woods ) but with performances like she gave in Walk The Line, hopefully her future career will be peppered with gems amongst the Hollywood fare.


I saw her in Freeway, which I think pre-dates Fear - it is quite the breakout performance - and very different from most of what she's done since. I was actually fairly disappointed by her until Election came along. Brittany Murphy has a very small role in Freeway too - first time I laid eyes on her, as well as Keifer Sutherland playing against his predominant type as a spectacular gentleman.


Maaaaaaaan! I can't believe someone else has seen FREEWAY! I just re-watched that a month or two ago, for the first time in years and years. What a fucked up little movie that is.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:19 am

Tobey Maguire: This Boys Life

Halle Berry - The Program

Jake Gyllenhaal - City Slickers

Kevin Costner - Fandango

Sean Young - Stripes

Johnny Depp - Nightmare on Elm Street

Robert DeNiro - Greetings

Matt Dillon: Over the Edge

Kathleen Quinlan/Suzanne Somers: American Graffiti

Pee Wee Herman: Cheech and Chong's Next Movie

John Travolta: The Devils Rain
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Postby Carolian on Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:21 am

Shit, I forgot Crispin Glover in BACK TO THE FUTURE and (especially) RIVER'S EDGE! Great stuff.
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:23 am

Ooo! I remembered another one.

Nic Cage and Chris Penn in Rumblefish.
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:27 am

How bout Edward Norton in Primal Fear...I believe it was his first performance - and was quite impressive and noticeable...

Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct - it wasn't her first - but it was her first worthwhile...
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Postby tapehead on Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:28 am

Carolian wrote:Shit, I forgot Crispin Glover in BACK TO THE FUTURE and (especially) RIVER'S EDGE! Great stuff.


River's edge is also STILL Keanu Reeves best performance up until Scanner Darkly. Both he and Dennis Hopper are excellent in this movie, but Glover transfixes your attention and captivates every moment he is on the screen - good one Carolian.
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Postby Cpt Kirks 2pay on Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:32 am

Actually when I first saw Sharon Stone in the awful King Solomon film, I knew even then, that despite the rest of the film and her character being a bit annoying as far as I remember, this actress could well be a BIG star. Yes, even then.

I hope you guys are making this list not just in terms of what big actors were in what film when they first started, but more in terms of them actually standing out and grabbing your attention, I think this is what the thread is supposed to be about, right?
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Postby Doc Holliday on Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:43 am

Cpt Kirks 2pay wrote:I hope you guys are making this list not just in terms of what big actors were in what film when they first started, but more in terms of them actually standing out and grabbing your attention, I think this is what the thread is supposed to be about, right?


You got it Kirk - B4N away!


Whaddya mean I'm first?

*runs*
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:49 am

Cpt Kirks 2pay wrote:Actually when I first saw Sharon Stone in the awful King Solomon film, I knew even then, that despite the rest of the film and her character being a bit annoying as far as I remember, this actress could well be a BIG star. Yes, even then.

I hope you guys are making this list not just in terms of what big actors were in what film when they first started, but more in terms of them actually standing out and grabbing your attention, I think this is what the thread is supposed to be about, right?


Both Edward Norton and Sharon Stone reached out and grabbed my nuts in my aforementioned choices...

Albeit, there were in slightly different ways...

Okay Kirk, here's another one...



Ellen Page, in The Trailer Park Boys TV Show up here in Canada...she played Mr. Lahey's daughter Treena...when she was 14/15...
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:03 am

First movie with Sharon Stone was Stardust Memories. Shes one of the people on the train Woody Allen is looking at in the beginning. She looks at him and the train rolls out.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:06 am

Clint Eastwood inna the "Revenge of a the Creature," eh? He botched a the gag, but still, I knew he was a gonna to strike it big a one day, no?
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:09 am

Sly in Bananas, Chris Walken and Jeff Goldblum in Annie Hall.

Charles Buchinsky aka Charles Bronson in House of Wax
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Postby Vegeta on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:21 am

Was it my imagination or is Clive Owen the "Flock of Seagulls" kid in Pulp Fiction?
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:24 am

"You, Flock O' Seagulls, where ya got that shit hid?"

"Its in the cupboard......no the one by your knees"
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Postby Ribbons on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:26 am

WinslowLeach wrote:Piven: I remember seeing him first in Lucas and One Crazy Summer. I LOVE VERY BAD THINGS! Thats one of the best black comedies.

- Jane Krakowski in National Lampoons Vacation

- Nicole Kidman in BMX Bandits/Dead Calm

- Tom Cruise in TAPS

- Nic Cage in Fast Times at Ridgemont High

- Laura Dern in White Lightning

- Jeff Goldblum in Death Wish

- Brian Dennehy in 10

- Sofia Coppola in The Outsiders

- Lawrence Fishburne in Cornbread Earl and Me

- Keanu Reeves in Youngblood


So is this a list of movies you liked these people in, or just some of the first movies they were ever in?
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Postby tapehead on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:27 am

Vegeta wrote:Was it my imagination or is Clive Owen the "Flock of Seagulls" kid in Pulp Fiction?



nah..... well if it is, I would be very, very surprised




Nawwww.
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Postby godzillasushi on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:28 am

Kevin Smith sort of got big off of Clerks.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:28 am

Ribbons wrote:
WinslowLeach wrote:Piven: I remember seeing him first in Lucas and One Crazy Summer. I LOVE VERY BAD THINGS! Thats one of the best black comedies.

- Jane Krakowski in National Lampoons Vacation

- Nicole Kidman in BMX Bandits/Dead Calm

- Tom Cruise in TAPS

- Nic Cage in Fast Times at Ridgemont High

- Laura Dern in White Lightning

- Jeff Goldblum in Death Wish

- Brian Dennehy in 10

- Sofia Coppola in The Outsiders

- Lawrence Fishburne in Cornbread Earl and Me

- Keanu Reeves in Youngblood


So is this a list of movies you liked these people in, or just some of the first movies they were ever in?


Both.
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Re: When they were young...

Postby Doc Holliday on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:33 am

Doc Holliday wrote:It doesn't necessarily have to be their actual first role - more the first time you saw them and thought "Yup - they got something going on, what was their name again? I'll look out for them in the future".


What early performance put what star on the map for you?
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Re: When they were young...

Postby havocSchultz on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:36 am

Doc Holliday wrote:
Doc Holliday wrote:It doesn't necessarily have to be their actual first role - more the first time you saw them and thought "Yup - they got something going on, what was their name again? I'll look out for them in the future".


What early performance put what star on the map for you?




havoc wrote:Hey Doc...fuck off...










































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Postby Doc Holliday on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:38 am

Hey - the dude asked - whaddya want from me - pudding?

:P
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Postby Fried Gold on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:39 am

Jennifer Connelly in Labyrinth.


And It obviously wasn't the first time I'd seen him but an earlier performance by William Shatner in Judgement at Nuremberg was interesting. You can see in his eyes that all he's thinking is "OMG I'm working with Spencer Tracy!111".
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:43 am

The first movie I ever saw her in was Once Upon A Time In America (1984)

- Dennis Hopper in Rebel Without A Cause

- Jack Nicholson in Cry Baby Killer

- John Cassavetes in Edge of The City

- Robert Blake in Treasure of the Sierra Madre
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Postby Vegeta on Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:47 am

tapehead wrote:
Vegeta wrote:Was it my imagination or is Clive Owen the "Flock of Seagulls" kid in Pulp Fiction?



nah..... well if it is, I would be very, very surprised




Nawwww.


I did some checking into it... turns out it's a guy named Burr Steers. He went on to write and direct "Igby goes down"
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:13 pm

Doc Holliday wrote:Hey - the dude asked - whaddya want from me - pudding?

:P



Yorkshire...?


Vegeta wrote: turns out it's a guy named Burr Steers.




Sounds like a porn star name...



How 'bout Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting?

He hadn't done anything too noticeable before that...

And Matthew McConaughey in A Time to Kill...

Sandra Bullock in Demolition Man...?



Were any of these mentioned yet...?
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Postby Doc Holliday on Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:34 pm

havocSchultz wrote:
Doc Holliday wrote:Hey - the dude asked - whaddya want from me - pudding?

:P



Yorkshire...?


Sure - what garnish would you like - Jam, custard or Apple Sauce?
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:40 pm

Doc Holliday wrote:
havocSchultz wrote:
Doc Holliday wrote:Hey - the dude asked - whaddya want from me - pudding?

:P



Yorkshire...?


Sure - what garnish would you like - Jam, custard or Apple Sauce?


Kirk recommends the special sauce...
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