15 Marvel Stars Before The MCU: What Were They Doing?

Before our favorite Marvel heroes landed these roles, they came from different places with different fates. Some started easily as bright stars, some found it hard to keep up with their jobs. But thankfully, today they have earned whatever they deserve after all these hard works, including our love and respect.
So, what exactly were our beloved Marvel stars doing before becoming parts of the magical MCU? Let's scroll down and find out with us.

#1. Tom Holland

Tom Holland might seem much younger than other stars when he joined Marvel, but actually he had been acting for nearly ten years. When Holland was only 12 years old, he took part in the cast of "Billy Elliot the Musical" as the protagonist's best friend. Four years later, the young boy voiced the leading role of Sho in Studio Ghibli's "Arrietty" and later went on to his breakout role in "The Impossible" (pictured above).

#2. Scarlett Johansson

Just like Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson started her career as a child star when she was 10 years old with several hit movies like "North", "The Horse Whisperer" and "Home Alone 3" (pictured above). But it wasn't until 2003 when the actress got her breakout role as Charlotte in "Lost in Translation" that she truly became a huge star of Hollywood.

#3. Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. opened the MCU with the first "Iron Man" movie in 2008, but long before that, he was already a teenage star during the 80s with remarkable performances in different works like "Weird Science", "Less Than Zero" and "Back to School" (pictured above). In 1992, he earned his first Oscar nomination after starring in "Chaplin". The actor's career faced a huge problem due to addiction afterward, but thankfully he finally got clean in 2003.

#4. Chris Evans

Before the MCU, Chris Evans was already a Marvel star by portraying Johnny Storm in the "Fantastic Four" movies (pictured above). The actor already took part in a few films before and after that, but it wasn't until being cast as Steve Rogers that he truly shined on the big screen.

#5. Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth was already a big star in his home country of Australia before joining Marvel as the God of Thunder. Back then, his most memorable role was character Kim Hyde in the soap opera "Home and Away" (pictured above), which appeared on the small screen in a total of 185 episodes.

#6. Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo used to be an unfortunate newbie with a few bad movies when he started his acting career, for instance the 1990 horror "Mirror Mirror" (pictured above). A decade afterward, he finally began to get on track by starring in several notable works like "View from the Top" (2003), "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004), or "13 Going on 30" (2004).

#7. Jeremy Renner

Jeremy Renner first appeared on the big screen in 1995 with the teen comedy "National Lampoon's Senior Trip" (pictured above), which was sadly a huge box office bomb. However, his career still took off afterward with a series of critically acclaimed works, including "North Country" (2005) or "The Hurt Locker" (2008), which gave him two Oscar nominations. Renner also joined the "Mission Impossible" franchise as IMF Secretary William Brandt.

#8. Tom Hiddleston

Before officially becoming one of the most iconic villains of the MCU, Tom Hiddleston was only an unknown actor who mostly took part in small TV series and movies in the early 2000s, including "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby" (pictured above), "The Gathering Storm", and "Miss Austen Regrets".

#9. Paul Rudd

As PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive 2021, Paul Rudd has been a huge star for over two decades. In 1995, he got his breakout role as Josh in "Clueless" (pictured above), and later he starred in numerous smash hits viewers can hardly forget like "Wet Hot American Summer" (2001), "The Baxter" (2005), "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" (2005) and "Role Models" (2008). The actor also joined one of the most iconic sitcoms of all time "Friends" as Phoebe's love interest and third husband Mike Hannigan.

#10. Chadwick Boseman

Before becoming the Black Panther of the MCU, Chadwick Boseman mostly guest-starred in some TV series like "CSI: NY", "Law & Order" and "Castle". He also appeared in several movies, including "Draft Day" (2014) as the linebacker prospect who played for the Ohio State University (pictured above).

#11. Elizabeth Olsen

Elizabeth Olsen first appeared in 1994 with two projects, both starring her big sisters: "The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley" (pictured above) and "How the West Was Fun". After then the young actress took a break and only appeared again as the leading role Martha in "Martha Marcy May Marlene" (2011).

#12. Paul Bettany

Before eventually appearing in flesh and blood as the red-skinned alien, Paul Bettany already took part in four Marvel films, including three "Iron Man" movies and "The Avengers" as the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S. The actor got his first start in 1997 by starring in the British-Japanese drama "Bent" and later became well-known to the audience with big movies like "A Beautiful Mind" (2001) or "The Da Vinci Code" (2006).

#13. Don Cheadle

Don Cheadle had a rough start with several pitiful projects when he began acting in the 80s, but later in the 90s he slowly built his career with roles in "Devil in a Blue Dress" (1995), "Rebound: The Legend of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault" (1996), Rosewood (1997), and Boogie Nights (1997). In 1999, he won his first Golden Globe Award with the drama film "The Rat Pack" and six years later, Cheadle was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor thanks to his excellent performance in "Hotel Rwanda".

#14. Anthony Mackie

Not many people know that Anthony Mackie actually started his career as an understudy to Don Cheadle himself in the 2002 play "Topdog/Underdog", so it's safe to say that the role of Falcon just naturally came to him. In the same year, he played the main antagonist Papa Doc in "8 Mile", which stars Eminem in his film debut. The actor later also worked with many future Marvel stars in other projects, such as Chris Evans in "What's Your Number" (2011), Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Fifth Estate" (2013), and Josh Brolin in "Gangster Squad" (2013).

#15. Samuel L Jackson

There's nothing much to say about Samuel L Jackson, because this man has always been a superstar himself. Seriously, could we ever name all of the movies and series that he has taken part in? However, despite such fame, Samuel L Jackson used to struggle as a newbie like many other actors out there. In fact, in several 80s movies like "Coming To America" (pictured above), he wasn't even credited. It wasn't until 1991 when Jackson got his breakout role as an addict in "Jungle Fever" that he finally gained public attention.
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