20 Celebs Who Appeared In Commercials Before They Hit It Big

Many of the most famous performers were not born into a life of celebrity and renown. You may not know it, but most celebrities have odd jobs or even commercials before becoming A-listers.
For actors new to Hollywood, advertising is always a good starting point. The reason is simple and clear: a commercial is a reputable credit that performers can include on their résumé, it gives on-set experience, and it may provide legitimate networking opportunities. Therefore, it is not surprising when you find out today's most famous and successful stars appeared in a certain commercial for a long time.
From washing powder, snacks, and morning cereal to fizzy beverages, here are 20 adverts starring some of your favorite stars before they were famous… Keep reading for more details!

#1 Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence wasn't truly on MTV's My Super Sweet 16 reality program. She did, however, appear in a series promotions, which earned her a SAG membership. Despite the show's title, Lawrence was just 14 years old at the time. Lawrence arrives at her birthday party atop a chaise lounge chair, carried by a group of men who immediately dump her on the ground. We're curious if anyone on site predicted Lawrence would become the Academy's second-youngest Best Actress winner.

#2 Ben Affleck
One of Ben Affleck's earliest acting roles was in this Burger King commercial, in which he is quickly picking up a salad from the fast food chain after a sexy voice misidentifies his phone number as the restaurant's. He drops off the salad to the girl's residence, only to be called back home by his father. In his letterman jacket, Affleck resembles his role as Fred O'Bannion in Dazed and Confused, which he would portray four years later.

#3 Elijah Wood
In 1990, the young Frodo volunteered his skills to America's Dairy Farmers to persuade children that veggies were hip. Are you not a fan of broccoli? Just add melted cheddar! This ancient commercial may not have had the cultural influence of the Lord of the Rings series, but the tagline "Cheese Makes All the Difference" is very accurate.

#4 Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Gordon-Levitt was 10 years old when he starred in a Pop Tarts ad in 1991. The ad is narrated from the perspective of his busy businessman father, who is instructed to have breakfast before leaving for work by his little son. Gordon-Levitt also starred in 10 episodes of the Gothic horror soap opera "Dark Shadows" that year. It wasn't long before he became a huge star, appearing in films like "Angels in the Outfield" and "10 Things I Hate About You."

#5 Morgan Freeman

Source: Metaweb / CC-BY

The actor, whose credits include Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, and, oh yeah, God, also played a construction worker in this Listerine commercial. Also, the mouthwash brand's advertisement touting "the taste that people hate" is an intriguing approach.

#6 Jordan Peele
Anyone who has watched Jordan Peele's horror flicks knows he enjoys a good societal allegory, and the tobacco business was allegedly his cause celebre in the 1990s. He featured in this PSA when he was 16 years old, sitting backwards on his chair at one point to demonstrate that he was not a square.

#7 Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt was already being singled out for his California good looks at the start of his career. Pitt, 26, rides around in a convertible, flirts with a beachy, blonde model, and munches on the renowned potato-based crisps in this 1989 commercial for Pringles. Pitt was working as an extra around the same period, trying to get his SAG card - you can see him as a partygoer in Less Than Zero and a server in No Man's Land.

#8 Stephen Colbert
Maguire is having a lot of fun on his Atari Lynx in the boy's toilet, but his instructor has Spidey Sense and attempts to find him out. Years after appearing in this ad, Tobey Maguire went on to star in films such as Pleasantville and The Cider House Rules before taking on the title role in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy.

#9 Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis was a 12-year-old girl educating young audiences about Lisa Frank just two years before she got the role of Jackie Burkhart on That '70s Show. A cheerful Kunis and her pals, dressed in tie-dye, denim, and oversized sweaters, enthusiastically tell the camera about their lovely sleepovers, spectacular parties, and exclusive Club Lisa Frank memberships.

#10 Steve Carell
Steve Carell is a master of the direct address to camera, as seen by his use of it in practically every episode of The Office. He broke the fourth wall in this advertisement for Brown's Chicken in 1989. Carell, a pleasant Brown's Chicken employee, informs us about the cholesterol-free oil and batter used to fry the delicious chicken. Surprisingly, Carell's employee has the same jittery energy as Michael Scott - and it completely works.

#11 Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul, Cranston's Breaking Bad co-star, also got his start in ads. In this classic 1999 Corn Pops commercial, Paul's character is craving the breakfast cereal. In the advertisement, he's not precisely Jesse Pinkman, but there are some definite parallels (particularly in the mannerisms), and you can see how this Corn Pops-loving boy might slide into someone far less benign.

#12 Courteney Cox
Courteney Cox was "telling it to us straight" in this ad for Tampax tampons long before she became known as Monica from Friends. Because of this commercial, she is also credited with being the first person to speak the term "period" on American television.

#13 Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston is quite soothing in this '80s commercial for Preparation H. Cranston would have to wait years before proving how hilarious he could be on Malcolm in the Middle—and how frightening he could be on Breaking Bad. But the commercial makes one thing clear: He's always been totally dedicated to every role, even if it's peddling hemorrhoid cream.

#14 Megan Mullally
Because we know how he turned out, this heartfelt McDonald's ad from 1983 is doubly funny. Is anyone else craving an Egg McMuffin right now? Can you lend me 99 cents? And maybe another two dollars? And could someone please contact John Goodman to see if he wants one?

#15 Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis had it all in 1987, just before he was ready to explode up. The next year, a major part in Die Hard, all of the girls, and the ability to sing into a Seagram's wine cooler bottle without seeming like a fool. He also pulls off another Seagram's ad in which he wears a white suit and appears alongside some of the models from the "Addicted to Love" video. Bruce Willis doesn't care what anyone thinks, so he played harmonica in the end in a sleeveless t-shirt.

#16 Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves was already showing off his various abilities in this 1987 Corn Flakes commercial before he was picked. (His dance abilities foreshadowed the stunt work that would come to characterize his career.

#17 Jason Alexander
Unlike many others on this list, Jason Alexander was well into adulthood by the time he featured in this McDonald's commercial. Alexander, with his gorgeous hair, dances and sings about the new McDLT, a cheeseburger that was later withdrawn in the late 1990s. When the advertisement debuted in 1985, Alexander was 26 years old and working on Broadway.

#18 Matt LeBlanc
If you ever wanted to see LeBlanc seductively eating a hot dog, then here you go. The commercial aired in 1987, three years after he left high school to pursue modeling. Much like Joey, he continued to land bit roles throughout the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, including “Married...with Children,” where he dated Christina Applegate’s Kelly.

#19 Sarah Michelle Gellar
This actress has been in front of a camera since she was able to speak. A talent agent found Gellar in a Manhattan diner when she was four years old. Soon after, she appeared in a shockingly contentious Burger King ad, in which she is heard slamming McDonald's little burgers and praising Burger King.

#20 Britney Spears
I knew Britney Spears had been on shows like Star Search and The Mickey Mouse Club as a youngster, but I had no idea she had made commercials. However, she appears in an ad for Maull's Barbecue Sauce at the age of 11, and the advertisement closes with a horrifying freeze frame of her appearing WAY too delighted to be eating it.
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