It's always a joy to look back on the early movies from your favorite actor's career and marvel (no pun intended) at how far they've come. Especially the struggling young actors of the world who would go on the become the personification of our most favorite Marvel heroes and villains.
The Hulk started his career with cute and cheesy skincare commercials, our very own Captain America had whipped cream placed strategically on his body in an equally as cute and cheesy venture on the screens of the world.
And that's cool! I mean everybody has to eat, right? So let's have a look now at some of the funniest, cutest and most downright awesome early roles of a few of the heroes of the MCU:
MCU Character - Ronan the Accuser (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Early Role - Roy Walker/The Black Bandit (The Fall)
If you haven't seen The Fall, you owe to yourself to see this labor of love. The movie took four years to complete, spanning 20 countries! Which is ridiculous. Set in 1900s Los Angeles, Pace plays a stuntman named Roy Walker who, after a stunt gone wrong, is hospitalized. He befriends a young girl there and recounts a tale of a fantastic adventure.
It truly is a sight to behold:
MCU Character - Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes/War Machine (Iron Man 2 & 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Early Role - Ice Tray (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
The brilliant Cheadle turned up as one of Will's old friends from back in Philly, in the episode "Homeboy, Sweet Homeboy" from the seminal Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. That's not a bad way to kick off a staggeringly great career.
MCU Character - Nebula (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Early Role - Various characters on The Kevin Bishop Show
GotG and Doctor Who fans will love this one. Gillan made a number of early appearances in the incredibly British sketch show The Kevin Bishop Show, where she would go on to "take the mickey" out of Katie Perry, and play an air stewardess who is all about the customer experience...:
Warning: this video is very tongue in cheek, and contains a few funny sexual references...
MCU Character - Drax the Destroyer (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Early Role - Cameo (Neighbors)
Who would've thought the past WWE Superstar of the Year would've turned up in one of Australia's most renowned soap operas! The giant, appearing as himself, puts in a super cute turn as he teaches a star struck kid his new favorite move:
Benicio del Toro
MCU Character - The Collector (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Early Role - Duke the Dog-Faced Boy (Big Top Pee-Wee)
Not afraid of playing rather eccentric characters, one of del Toro's most, erm, interesting roles came in 1988's Big Top Pee-Wee, where he donned some crude facial hair to become Duke the Dog-Faced Boy. Was that his application for The Wolfman?
MCU Character - Rocket Raccoon (Voice-over, Guardians of the Galaxy)
Early Role - Jake (Sex in the City)
Iconic series Sex in the City had a plethora of now famous actors passing through its hallowed halls, none more so than Bradley Cooper. Appearing in the episode "They Shoot Single People, Don't They" as the "sexy smoker" Jake. He didn't even get to rub face with Sarah Jessica Parker, because she swiftly runs off after he shows her a magazine with her on the cover.
MCU Character - Bruce Banner/The Hulk (The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Early Role - Lead in teen skin care ad
Here's a super fresh faced Mark Ruffalo being all quintessentially '80s in this brilliant advert, Double Zapping the zit outta oily skin. Make sure to turn the volume down when watching this, I just managed to scare the crap out of myself:
MCU Character - Clint Barton/Hawkeye (The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Early Role - Penn (Angel)
Jeremy Renner and Joss Whedon go way back. Back into the early 2000s, back to the brilliant Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff Angel. The 11th episode of the show's inaugural season sees Renner's character Penn, return to visit his father, of sorts, Angel. Leaving a veritable trail of carnage in his wake. It's worth it for the Renner frosted tips alone.
Look at '90s Jeremy Renner!
MCU Character - Groot (Voice, Guardians of the Galaxy)
Early Role - VHS Breakdance instructor
So. Back in the '80s, when tracksuits were all the rage, Vin Diesel used to participate in breakdancing 101 videos. I kid you not. The man who would go on to drive the world crazy, with a great family behind him, used to b-boy and body pop with the best of them. Now that's pretty dope:
MCU Character - Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Early Role - Charlie Chaplin (Shanghai Knights)
Ready for a barrage of feels? Here's little Aaron Taylor-Johnson in one of his earliest roles, playing Charlie Chaplin in Shanghai Knights. Who would've thought he'd grow up to play two superheroes:
Samuel L. Jackson
MCU Character - Nick Fury (Iron Man 1 & 2, Thor, Captain America 1 & 2, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Early Role - Stick-up Man (Coming to America)
Before the iconic combo of jheri curl and black ties, Sam Jackson wasn't a household name! I know, crazy to consider right? Here he is moonlighting as a stick-up guy in the seminal Coming to America starring an Eddie Murphy in his prime.
MCU Character - Thor (Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Early Role - King Arthur (Guinevere Jones)
Blink and you miss it, but here's the God of Thunder and heir to the throne of Asgard, playing a famous English king on an Australian kids show. Hemsworth has always been a badass, right?
MCU Character - Loki (Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World)
Early Role - Chris Vaughn (Casualty)
Casualty, the famous springboard for nearly every single actor and screenwriter to ever grace British lands, was treated to an appearance from the future Loki as a daredevil painter and decorator. Also well known for its terrible (see: hilarious) setups of injuries, this one is particularly, as the Brits say, "mint." Mint means good.
MCU Character - Steve Rogers/Captain America (Captain America 1 & 2, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Early Role - Jake Wyler (Not Another Teen Movie)
You may be forgiven for not knowing that Chris Evans is a very, very good comedic actor, as evidenced in this ridiculous clip from Not Another Teen Movie. With movies that span him attempting to nuke the sun to get it firing again, to kicking Chitauri arse, there's nothing quite like seeing the Captain America covered in whipped cream. Cannot... unsee...
MCU Character - Peter Quill (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Early Role - Bright Abbott (Everwood)
You wouldn't, however, be forgiven for not realizing Chris Pratt's comedic talents. The man is a genius, and has seen a deserved astronomical rise in cinematic stature. Back in the early 2000s, he starred in the series Everwood as Bright Abbott, and was typically as sweet and goofy back then:
Robert Downey Jr.
MCU Character - Tony Stark/Iron Man (Iron Man trilogy, The Avengers, Avengers, Age of Ultron)
Early Role - Puppy (Pound)
Time for Iron Kid to take the floor, just how Stark likes it. RDJ's very first role arrived when he was at the tender age of 5! Starring in his father Robert Downey Snr.'s movie Pound, Jr. plays a tiny little puppy. What would Cap think of his language in this clip?
MCU Character - Maria Hill (The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Early Role - Exotic Beauty (Walking Tall)
The wonderful Cobie Smulders hasn't been on the radar of casting agents for long, making the jump from model to actress in 2001. Her first cinematic role being that of the, ehem, "exotic beauty," in Walking Tall (fun fact: this was also one of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's earliest roles).