10 films that launched multiple careers at once

Many of Hollywood’s biggest names start out as struggling artists. It can take years, even decades to get that big break. But with enough talent, time, and luck (yes, that’s a factor), they get the movie that launches their career to the next level.

It’s fun to go back and watch the movies that gave our favorite stars a big break, long before they were ever popular. Seeing fresh-faced youngsters trying to make their mark, oblivious to the illustrious careers ahead of them, adds another layer of entertainment. Most of the time, a film catapults the career of a single person. But every now and then, several stars emerge in the same movie, not just actors and actresses, but also writers and directors. At the time of release, these films mostly had buzzy names, but when we look at these films today, we see nothing but an all-star cast. Here are ten movies that launched multiple careers at once.


10 The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Diesel walker fast furious 2001 universal
Universal Pictures

When it was released in 2001, The Fast and the Furious It became a box office smash and a pop culture sensation. It was so popular that it spawned a franchise of nine films with a tenth due out in May 2023. In addition to its motoring feats, the films are known for their star-studded casts, which now include the likes of Jason. Momoa, Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren and Brie Larson. But nine movies ago, it was a simple race car movie with a cast of unknowns. The Fast and the Furious it spawned multiple careers, notably those of Vin Diesel, the late Paul Walker and Michelle Rodriguez. Diesel became a major action star, Rodriguez, on the other hand, took over the roles Avatar and the television show lost

Related: Fast & Furious: All the Movies in the Franchise, Ranked

9 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Harry potter and the sorcerer's stone minerva and draco
Warner Brothers Pictures

Being a child star in Hollywood is not easy. Many of them struggle to find work as adults, starting their careers groomed by famous roles. However, it did not happen for the three main stars Harry Potter film franchise Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone It saw three unknown children playing the roles of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson respectively. The franchise established them as icons and movie stars. And since Harry Potter finished, all three have had successful careers in Hollywood. Radcliffe has appeared in several films, including the 2022 release Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. Grint recently appeared in the new M. Night Shyamalan film, Play in the Cabin. is Emma Watson, however, has seen the most success. A regular activist and celebrity, she has appeared in many films, including the 2017 live-action Disney adaptation. Beauty and the Beast

8 Too Bad (2007)

Super bad
Sony Pictures

Very bad it was one of those movies that everyone talked about, everyone watched and everyone mentioned. It has since become the defining film for Millennials and one of the best comedies ever made. But one of the film’s greatest achievements was launching multiple careers. Although Jonah Hill appeared in previous films, Very bad It was his first starring role. It made him an A-list star and established him as the wise-cracking funny guy that audiences love today. It launched a film career for TV star Michael Cera, who has since starred in several films, including an Oscar nomination. Juno Very bad It was also the film debut of Christopher Mintz-Plasse and, most notably, Emma Stone. Stone’s career has since exploded Very bad. She has participated in several films, and in 2017, she won the Oscar for Best Actress for her musical masterpiece. La La Land.

7 Black Hawk Down (2001)

Eric-bana-black-hawk-down (1)
Columbia Pictures

War movies usually come with big crews, and Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down is not an exception. Some of the cast included established actors such as Ewan McGregor, Josh Hartnett and the late Tom Sizemore. But the film also featured several promising names and is considered the film that launched their careers. Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom and Jeremy Piven kicked it off Black Hawk Down. It was also the film debut of Tom Hardy, who has since been nominated for an Academy Award and appeared in numerous critically acclaimed films.

Related: Ridley Scott’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked

6 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)

40 year old virgin mary
Universal Pictures

He produced many memorable comedies in the early 2000s, and 40 year old Virgin Mary is one of them. Packed with quotable lines and iconic hilarious moments, the film was a pop culture sensation. It established Steve Carell as a leading actor (he had supporting roles before this) and launched the careers of Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks and Jane Lynch. It was also the directorial debut of legendary Hollywood funnyman Judd Apatow. 40 year old Virgin Mary It put Apatow’s name on the map and paved the way for his future hits, for example beaten, bridesand those mentioned Very bad. In the late 2000s, Apatow did comedy in Hollywood, and it all started 40-year-old Virgin Mary, which is still there considered his best comedy.

5 Mean Girls (2004)

Mean-girl trade
Paramount Pictures

Mean Girls was has Early 2000s teen comedy. It was a typical high school story of queen bees, crushes and popularity contests. The film catapulted multiple careers to superstardom. Mean Girls It made Lindsay Lohan the “It Girl” of the 2000s and made Rachel McAdams a Hollywood star. It was also the film debut of Amanda Seyfried, who has since earned Oscar nominations for her performances. Mean Girls It was written by Tina Fey, who also starred in the film. And though Fey was already a regular SNL, was The Mean Girls a success that launched his career to the next level.

4 The Outsiders (1983)

Cast of the outsiders
Warner Bros.

by Francis Ford Coppola The outsiders is a coming-of-age story based on the novel of the same name. It captures the rivalry between two groups from two different social groups: the poor Greasers and the rich Socs. It was a cultural landmark for the impressive collection of A-listers it is now known for: Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Diane Lane, Emilio Estevez and Ralph Macchio. But the biggest star to come out of this movie was none other than Tom Cruise. By the end of 1983, Tom Cruise would be one of Hollywood’s leading men, thanksThe outsiders and another coming-of-age classic came out later that year, Dangerous Business

Related: Foreign Actors: Where Are They Today?

3 Do the Right Thing (1989)

Do the right thing
Universal Pictures

Before 1989, Spike Lee was an auteur in New York City, trying to make a name for himself in film. Do the right thing put the director on the map and today it is considered to be his best film. Since then, he has directed other critically acclaimed films such as Malcolm X, Inside Man, and BlackKkKlansman. But Do the right thing it didn’t launch Spike’s career. It also launched the careers of several actors. It was the debut of comedian Martin Lawrence and helped establish future A-listers such as Samuel L. Jackson and John Turturro.

2 Platoon (1986)

Three military actors from platoon dressed up, dirty and beaten up
Orion Photos

Since its release in 1986, Platoon it has become a classic war film. It was well received by audiences and critics and won four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Oliver Stone. Its all-star cast is one of the most impressive in Hollywood, even though at the time, none of its actors were famous yet. Charlie Sheen had supporting roles in previous films (remember him Ferris Bueller’s day off?), but Platoon It marked his first major role and established him as a leader. Classical warfare is also popular For launching the careers of other actors such as Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker.

1 The Godfather (1972)

Marlon brando, al pacino, james caan and john cazale the godfather 1972
Paramount Pictures

Since its release in 1972, by Francis Ford Coppola godfather It is considered one of the greatest films ever made. Based on Mario Puzo’s novel, it tells the story of the famous Corleone crime family. godfather it is known for many things: famous scenes, quotable lines and, of course, its star cast. At the time, only Marlon Brando, who played the iconic Vito Corleone, was famous. Everyone else was just starting out. Studio heads wanted a well-known figure to portray the role of Michael Corleone and were annoyed when Coppola cast Al Pacino — though they didn’t stay upset for long. Pacino’s performance received critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination, paving the way for him to become one of Hollywood’s greatest actors.

godfather it was also Diane Keaton’s first major film role and made her a star. Despite their middling roles in previous films, James Caan and Robert Duvall both found their first critical hits. godfather It was also the film debut of John Cazal, whose next four films would be nominated for Academy Awards. Barring Cazale’s untimely death, he may have joined co-stars Pacino and Robert De Niro as one of Hollywood’s greatest actors.

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