20 Embarrassing Photos Of A-Listers Before They Were Famous

As popular as certain celebrities can be, many of them did not grow up famous. There are many cases where celebrities start off as child actors, but most of the time famous actors do not rise to the top of Hollywood until they become a bit older. 

People often forget, but celebrities are normal people just like everyone else. There always seems to be some type of special aura around famous people but there really is nothing that special about them besides having a lot of money and starring in some of our favorite movies. 

They all celebrate birthday’s with loved ones, go on vacations, and act weird in the privacy of their homes just like everybody else in the world. Some celebrities keep their personal and family lives away from the public eye but sometimes photos from their past find their way onto the internet. 

They can be sometimes hard to find but there are the occasional photos of celebrities out there that show what the actors and actresses were like before they were famous.

Often times, these pictures can be quite embarrassing but most people in Hollywood are well off so they probably don’t care what people think of their awkward former-selves.

Here are the 20 Embarrassing Photos Of A-Listers Before They Were Famous.

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20 Adam Driver

Adam Driver has been acting for about nine years but quickly rose to the top of Hollywood in 2015. If there is one way to get yourself to the top of Hollywood and to get the title A-lister, it is to star in a Star Wars movie. 

Star Wars has been big ever since the first movie came out in 1977. Some fans love all of the movies, some people hate the prequels, but almost everyone has at least heard of the franchise.

While Star Wars has always been popular, the series gained a whole new generation of fans when Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released. 

Episode VII was announced shortly after Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion. With every new Star Wars film, it needs to have an incredible villain. Adam Driver as Kylo Ren was chosen as the big baddie for the sequel trilogy. 

As seen in the picture above, a young Adam Driver is holding a mayonnaise packet in his school cafeteria at Mishawaka High School in Indiana.

The young teen was a junior when this photo was taken and thought that having to pay an extra 50 cents for an extra mayonnaise packet was ridiculous. Who can blame him?

19 Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller was and still is one of Hollywood’s greatest funnymen. Depending on what generation you grew up in, you might recognize Jerry Stiller in this picture rather than his son Ben. 

Jerry was a well-known comedian far before Ben was. Jerry and his wife Anne Meara were quite popular in the 1960s and the 1970s and also two of the first graduates from Second City to make it big.

Even if you grew up watching material with Ben Stiller rather than Jerry, you still might not recognize Ben in this picture. 

The picture was taken in June 1978 in New York City and features Jerry Stiller and his son Ben who was twelve-years-old at the time. Since then, Ben has starred in several movies and became just as famous as his old man. 

Ben Stiller has starred in too many comedies to list, but some of his most famous works are Dodgeball, Tropic Thunder, and Zoolander. Stiller has also lent his voice to animated films such as Madagascar in which he voices the lion named Alex. 

His famous movie Zoolander may have gotten a less than well-received sequel in 2016 but it did feature Derek Zoolander’s son who looks an awful lot like Ben Stiller from 1979. 

18 Brad Pitt

It certainly is not uncommon for an athlete to become a movie star. We have seen it time and time again with wrestlers like The Rock and John Cena as well as other former athletes such as Terry Crews and Jason Statham. 

While Brad Pitt did not quite make it into the NBA before Hollywood, he was on the school basketball team in Springfield Missouri in 1977, well sort of. 

Brad Pitt and the other kids in the image were not good enough to make the final cut of the eighth-grade basketball team so Pitt decided to create his own team called the “Rejects.”

He even got his father, Bill, to coach the team. 

Pitt was only fourteen-years-old when the photo was taken and can be seen sporting a “Rejects” jersey and a very '70s looking haircut.

He is also holding a trophy which he would later swap out in 2013 for an Oscar which he accepted alongside the filmmakers for 12 Years a Slave. 

Thankfully, Pitt went for an acting career rather than a basketball career. Brad Pitt has starred in many popular movies during his career. He also married and divorced Angelina Jolie and won People’s Sexiest Man Alive contest twice. 

17 Charlize Theron

She may be an amazing actress today, but that was not always the case for Charlize Theron. Before she was playing Furiousa or Lorraine Broughton, she was just another teenager trying to make her way through high school.

Many people hate their pictures from high school. Whether it was long hair on guys that they thought looked cool or too much make up for girls, headshots from high school are probably not something you would want to put on your LinkedIn account. 

In Theron’s case, her high school photo includes a pair of huge granny-type glasses.

While being interviewed for the film Young Adult back in 2012, Charlize Theron noted, “I had these big nerdy round glasses that I cannot believe my mother sent me to school with.” She admitted that no boy even wanted to look at her and that she did not even have teeth until she was eleven-years-old. 

People maybe did not want anything to do with her in her school days, but Theron has certainly ended up on top. 

16 Chris Pratt

The year 2014 was great for Chris Pratt. Not only was he playing Andy Dwyer in the NBC favorite Parks and Recreation, but he also had two solid blockbusters come out as well.

Chris Pratt voiced the character Emmet Brickowoski in Chris and Phil Lord’s The Lego Movie but also joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

If you snag a role in a Marvel movie, you are obviously doing something right with your acting career. Chris Pratt did not just have a small role in the background of a Marvel movie, though. Pratt was the main character, Peter Quill/Star-lord, in Guardians of the Galaxy. 

As if being a Marvel star was not enough, Pratt also led the third Jurassic Park sequel called Jurassic World the following year. While Hollywood has certainly been good to Chris Pratt the last few years, things used to be a lot different.

Prior to starting his acting journey, Pratt was living in Maui in a van that had Shaggy and Scooby-Doo painted on the side.

Pratt worked very minimal hours at his job at Bubba Gump: Shrimp; only about 15-20 hours per week.

His acting debut was in a short film called Cursed Part 3 by Rae Dawn Chong but has since grown to become one of the biggest celebrity A-listers. 

15 Emma Stone

At the age of fourteen, Emma Stone convinced her family to move to California so that she could pursue her acting career. She even made a Powerpoint presentation, titled "Project Hollywood," which explained to her parents all of the reasons why it was a great idea.

Not only did she convince her parents to move to Los Angeles, she also began to get roles relatively quickly. Emma Stone landed her first role in 2005 when she was only seventeen-years-old on the TV movie called The New Partridge Family.

Throughout the 2000s, Stone got roles in comedies like Superbad, Zombieland, and Easy A but has moved up even further in Hollywood.

She snagged the role of Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man movies and even won an Oscar for her role in the almost Best Picture winner La La Land.

While she has made quite the name for herself in Hollywood, this picture was taken fourteen years before she was nominated for her Academy Award. This photo from a 2004 Mardel Catalog showcases a sixteen-year-old Emma Stone in the educational section of the catalog.

Emma Stone’s looks have changed a lot over the past several years but her wonderful smile has always been a constant in her appearance.

14 George Clooney

If someone told you that this young lad would one day be Batman and win People’s Sexiest Man Alive Award twice, you would think they were crazy.

While the image does not have a specified date, this childhood yearbook photo is no doubt, George Clooney.

Appearing to only be about fourteen or fifteen-years-old, George Clooney still had a distinct look to him.

Clooney has always had a strong jawline and even in his young age, he had a chin that would look great underneath a Batman cowl.

Despite his distinct physical appearance, that haircut and those glasses were not doing Clooney any favors. Clooney may not have been the most handsome young adult but he certainly grew up to be a heartthrob winning the most attractive man alive wward in 1997 and 2006.

Clooney has also won two Oscars in his lifetime one of which was shared for the film Argo but he also won the award for "Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role" for the film Syriana in 2006. 

He also played Batman in Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin. Thankfully, the movie came out the same year that he won the most attractive man award so the film did not completely ruin his year, but it was still a low point for Clooney.

13 Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner has been all over Hollywood ever since 1995. Jennifer Garner has been in an abundance of titles but is probably most known for her roles on the TV show Alias and the movies 13 Going on 30 and Daredevil.

While starring in the atrocious superhero movie Daredevil and the even worse solo spin-off movie Elektra certainly put a damper on her career, she has continued to act and is still doing so to this day.

While she has been in some memorable roles over the years, a lot of people mostly remember her longtime marriage to Ben Affleck.

The couple was wed on June 29, 2005, but sadly divorced in April 2017. Both actors have moved on with Ben Affleck now dating SNL producer Lindsay Shookus and Jennifer Garner focusing on her career.

Jennifer Garner has recently starred in the drama/romance Love, Simon but will also be starring in the film Peppermint this year and the American adaptation of the British TV show called Camping.

While her career today is acting, she seems to have enjoyed band class in high school.

As these photos from her yearbook show, Jennifer Garner was on her high school marching band and played the saxophone.

While she mainly acts today, she did suit up in her marching band outfit and play the happy birthday song for Reese Witherspoon a few months back.

12 Jamie Foxx

Eric Marlon Bishop may not be a familiar name but Jamie Foxx certainly is. Foxx was born Eric Marlon Bishop on December 13, 1967, in Terrell Texas. Foxx was raised by adoptive parents in a racially segregated part of Texas.

In high school, Jamie Foxx did not study theatre like many actors do, but instead, he played basketball, football, and the piano.

Jamie Foxx began his musical career around the same time as his acting career. Foxx has recorded five studio albums, his last being “Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses” in 2015.

While he starred in many titles prior to 2004, his career hit one of its high points when he won an Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the movie Ray.

Jamie Foxx has proven to be a very diverse actor starring in dramas, comedies, and even superhero flicks. Back in 2014, Jamie Foxx played Max Dillon, aka . Electro, in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Foxx has also been a part of Oscar-bait movies like Django Unchained and Baby Driver. Foxx has no doubt been in some big titles but his yearbook photo would make you think differently.

School picture day photographers often have to pose children in unnatural ways for the camera. Jamie Foxx seems to have chosen a pose where his jacket is thrown over his shoulder.

The photo may not be that embarrassing, but that perm is something that Foxx probably wants to forget.

11 Will Ferrell

Everybody has their own sense of humor, but most people will agree that Will Ferrell has starred in some of the funniest comedies in the past decade.

Whether he is playing a race car driver, an anchorman, or a stepbrother, Will Ferrell always knows how to bring on the laughs.

He started his acting career in 1995 and was a main cast member on Saturday Night Live. Ferrell was on SNL for seven years before he moved on to star in bigger things. SNL is often a stepping stone to bigger and better acting gigs and Will Ferrell was no exception to this.

While he had starred in some comedies during his SNL journey, many more doors were opened for him when he left the show in 2002.

Ferrell has starred in many films that were written by former SNL writer Adam McKay including Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and Step Brothers.

With as funny of an actor as Will Ferrell can be, this picture from his senior prom makes a lot of sense. Will Ferrell can be seen sporting a tiara while being photographed with his date.

Not many guys would have the guts to wear a tiara to a big school dance, but then again Will Ferrell is not like many guys.

10 Krysten Ritter

Krysten Ritter began acting at the age of twenty in 2001. She has been in titles such as Breaking Bad, in which she played Jesse Pinkman’s girlfriend, as well as the movie Big Eyes alongside Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams.

In 2012, she got her own show from ABC called Don’t Trust the B---- In Apartment #23, but unfortunately, it was canceled after two seasons.

While she was definitely known prior to Jessica Jones, her inclusion in the Marvel show shot her into the spotlight.

With any Marvel title, fans are bound to go crazy, except for Inhumans. That show just kind of fizzled and went away. Jessica Jones, on the other hand, is regarded as one of Netflix’s great Marvel television shows.

Alongside Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders, Jessica Jones stacks up nicely compared to these other superhero shows.

While Jessica Jones seems to be filling up most of her time, Ritter has also signed on for a movie called Fuddy Meers which is about a woman with short-term memory loss who relives the same events every day. This movie will also reunite her with her Jessica Jones co-star David Tennant.

Ritter may be sporting a leather jacket and ripped jeans in Jessica Jones, but her younger self looked, let’s say, a lot more timid.

Krysten Ritter posted the picture on the left to Instagram thanking her parents for the awful bowl-style hair do. At least she seems happy with her Glo Worm pajamas, though.

9 Tom Hiddleston

Tom Hiddleston today may be a Hollywood heartthrob, but that was not always the case. Hiddleston attended two colleges when he was younger including Eton College and Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge. He also attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

While his career mainly involved TV shows and TV movies for the beginning part of his career, he turned into a Hollywood A-lister after Thor came out in 2011.

Since then, his character of Loki has appeared in four other Marvel movies, including this year’s Avengers: Infinity War. 

Whenever someone is added on to a Marvel movie in a lead role, their career usually blows up because of Marvel’s fanbase.

Since appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tom Hiddleston has landed roles in blockbusters like Muppets Most Wanted, Crimson Peak, and Kong: Skull Island.

While his career has seemingly peaked with his MCU career, there is no telling what Hiddleston could do next. Right now he is even a front-runner to play the next James Bond after Daniel Craig’s departure.

For the time being, we will just have to admire these pictures of a young Tom Hiddleston rocking some bright red hair in this unknown theatre production.

8 Robert Downey Jr. 

Robert Downey Jr. may have been famous by the time this photo was taken, but for all the wrong reasons.

From 1996-2001, Robert Downey Jr. had a massive problem with substance and alcohol. His father apparently was also addicted to substances when Downey Jr. was a child which led to him trying marijuana when he was only six-years-old. 

He was arrested multiple times, taken in and out of prison on more than one occasion, and lost multiple acting gigs, but thankfully he was able to turn his life around.

Downey Jr. had certainly seen fame before his substances and alcohol abuse, however. He had starred in a handful of movies including Chaplin, in which he was nominated for the Academy Award for best actor in a leading role.

After he became sober in 2003, Robert Downey Jr. started to turn his career around starring in movies such as Gothika in 2003, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in 2005, and Zodiac in 2007. 

While he had had some big roles in the past, his biggest one would come in 2008 when he played Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man in Jon Favreau’s Iron Man. The movie not only made him one of Hollywood’s A-listers but also kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

7 Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence quickly became a Hollywood sweetheart almost as fast as everyone turned on her. One minute everyone was loving her for her comments on pizza and the next they were criticizing her for the way she acted when she was out and about in public. 

She used to be one of the most beloved actresses in Hollywood because of her quirky and relatable sense of humor. Lawrence always seemed to be making people laugh during interviews and award ceremonies by making a fool of herself usually by being clumsy. 

Besides her personality, there was, of course, her movies that gained her a lot of fans. Jennifer Lawrence was the face of The Hunger Games franchise as well as being a part of the X-Men series playing the young version of Mystique.

Lawrence was also nominated for four Oscars and won in 2013 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her work in Silver Linings Playbook. 

Her popularity eventually begun to spiral downwards after she continually showed a disregard for other people’s feelings and beliefs.

One of her most disgraceful moments came when she scratched her behind on a set of sacred rocks in Hawaii. It was incredibly disrespectful for the natives who worshipped the stones, but she also jokes that she almost hurt one of the sound guys and destroyed their equipment. 

Whether you like Jennifer Lawrence or not, there is no doubt that this is one goofy picture of the actress.

6 Tom Cruise

Now we know this image is from the movie The Outsiders but hear us out. While Tom Cruise’s look for the film was still picked out by the costume and wardrobe department, his teeth are 100% real.

He may have a stunning smile today, but thirty-five years ago, this was his smile and let’s just say it was less than perfect. 

Cruise actually had a cap covering his chipped tooth prior to being cast in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders but decided to have it removed to make his character seem more authentic. He also refrained from showering for long periods of time which his coworkers were probably less than thrilled with.

Today, Cruise has a bright smile but it was quite the opposite before he had dental work done to realign and whiten his teeth. 

Tom Cruise is mostly known for his movies Risky Business, Top Gun, and Minority Report. Cruise has also been in the long-time franchise Mission Impossible which started in 1996 and is currently still going.

Mission: Impossible- Fallout will be hitting theaters at the end of July which will allow you to not only see his bright smile, but him performing his own incredible stunts as well. 

5 Jennifer Aniston 

You may know Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green from friends but she wasn’t always someone who was instantly recognized on the streets.

This photo of Jennifer Aniston from 1987 shows her as a Freshman attending prom at Rudolf Steiner School with a boy named Clemens Wust.

While Aniston still looks pretty in the photo, her hair-do gives the 80s time frame away. Most people also find their prom pictures to be embarrassing so even if fans don’t see it as embarrassing, Aniston probably does. 

It may not happen with a lot of celebrities but Jennifer Aniston has only gotten more attractive as time has gone on. She was once married to Brad Pitt for five years in the early 2000s and then to Justin Theroux for two years but neither marriage lasted. 

Brad Pitt also divorced Angelina Jolie a few years back and rumors are starting to circulate that Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt are actually back together.

It may just be a rumor for now, but it is exciting news for anybody who was cheering for them back in the 2000s. 

Aniston has developed her acting ability a lot since she started acting in 1988, but her appearance has had an even more drastic change. 

4 Matt Damon

Before he was winning Oscars and making awful Thor: Ragnarok cameos, Matt Damon was starring in high school theatre productions and making adorable photos for his future fans to enjoy. 

This specific example comes from 1989 when Damon was starring as Humpty Dumpty in a school theatre production.

Damon may not be instantly recognizable underneath the big costume, but his intense gaze is something straight out of a Jason Bourne movie. 

Matt Damon has been longtime friends with Ben Affleck, whom he wrote and starred in Good Will Hunting with. Damon actually wrote one of the first drafts of Good Will Hunting in his English class while attending Harvard. 

His hard work with his writing paid off and in 1998 he won an Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. He was also nominated that year for Best Actor in a Leading Role but ended up losing to Jack Nicholson for his role in As Good as It Gets.

Besides his one Oscar win, Damon was also nominated for his acting in 2010 for Invictus and  2016 for The Martian. Needless to say, Matt Damon has come a long way from playing Humpty Dumpty. 

3 Russell Brand

Russell Brand may be just as much of an A-lister in England as he is in Hollywood. Brand had been acting in many English productions until 2008 at which time he started staring in more American movies.

Through the years, Brand has starred in many movies and television shows as well as hosted many stand-up comedy sketches. 

While he was well known in England for quite some time, he was relatively unheard of in the United States until 2008.

In 2008, Russell Brand starred in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a comedy starring Kristen Bell and Jason Segel. The film was relatively well received and even got a spin-off titled Get Him to the Greek, which starred Russell Brand as rock legend Aldous Snow as well as Jonah Hill. 

Brand may be known for his acting and comedic abilities, he was also thrown into the spotlight when he started dating, and eventually married pop star Katy Perry.

The two were divorced two years later but it none the less got them publicity. 

Russell Brand also has a history of substance and alcohol addiction; the worst of which being heroin. Brand is currently sober and is often on radio stations talking about serious political and cultural issues. 

Out of anybody on this list, Brand may have the most dramatic transformation. His appearance has always changed throughout the years, but this image of a teenage Russell Brand is almost unrecognizable to the Russell Brand we all know and love. 

2 Halle Berry

Halle Maria Berry was born in Cleveland Ohio as Maria Halle Berry. She was raised by her mother after her father left the picture. Berry has commented on her father many times, explaining how her father would harm her mother on a daily basis. 

Her childhood was rough growing up but that did not seem to affect her school life. Berry was a cheerleader for Bedford High School as well as an honor student and prom queen.

The photo that can be seen above features a young Halle Berry doing the splits and raising two large pom-poms above her head. 

Halle Berry began her acting career journey in 1989 for the TV series Living Dolls, but not before she ran out of money and had to live in a homeless shelter. Since 1989, Berry has been in a number of hit franchises including the X-Men and 007 films. 

Halle Berry plays Ororo Munroe better known as Storm in four of the X-Men movies. She also played the Bond girl Jinx Johnson in Die Another Day which also marked Pierce Brosnan’s last movie as 007.

She also starred in the horrible Catwoman movie by Pitof but also earned an Oscar in 2002 for Monster’s Ball, so it all equals out in the end. 

1 Gwyneth Paltrow

If you are a fan of Marvel movies, you know of Gwyneth Paltrow. Paltrow, of course, plays Pepper Potts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

She first appeared in Iron Man as Tony Stark’s personal assistant, but later evolved into his love interest as well as the Chief Executive Officer of Stark Industries.

Paltrow started acting when she was seventeen-years-old. Her first role was in a TV movie called High but her first feature film was Shout, which starred John Travolta as an enthusiastic music teacher named Jack Cabe.

Gwyneth Paltrow was also one of the many women who accused Harvey Weinstein of misconduct. In Paltrow’s case, Weinstein apparently asked her up to his hotel room and attempted to massage her but Paltrow left before things escalated.

Reports have also come out recently stating that Brad Pitt threatened to hurt Weinstein when he found out what he did to Paltrow since they were dating at the time. 

On a lighter note, here is an old photo of Gwyneth Paltrow acting goofy. Not only does she have a giggly look on her face but she is also wearing braces. Paltrow’s smile today could light up a whole room but there was a time when a young Gwyneth Paltrow was in need of braces. 


Do you know of any other embarrassing photos of celebrities before they became famous? Sound off in the comments!

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