Stranger Things: 10 Projects Cara Buono Did Before The Hit Show

With the new season 3 trailer of the hit show Stranger Things hitting the internet with full force, fans everywhere are losing their minds. And while there is plenty to dissect in the recently released trailer, it's not enough to quench the thirst for anything related to the show.

As such, a good place to start is taking a closer look at the cast of Stranger Things, and what they were up to before they joined the dream team that makes up the show. One of the main characters, Karen Wheeler, mother to Nancy, Mike and Holly, is played by actress Cara Buono.

While many of our favorite heroes on Stranger Things had their first acting gig on the hit series, many others are veterans of the acting business. Cara Buono is one of them, having taken part in a bunch of other cool projects before she landed the role of Karen. Check out ten of her coolest parts!

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10 Gladiator (1992)

Before there was Russel Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix, there was James Marshall and Cara Buono. While the 1992 film didn't quite harness the same popularity as its 2000 counterpart, it was still a pretty entertaining movie. With flaws and virtues of its own, Gladiator follows two young men while they travel through the world of underground boxing.

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Cara was only 21 years old when she starred as Dawn, the girlfriend of the main character, Tommy. This was her first serious role in a major movie, setting the stage for a successful career spanning movies and TV, that lasts until this day.

9 Hulk (2003)

Eric Bana's interpretation of everyone's favorite angry green monster is always worth a watch. The 2003 version of the movie tends to be lost in our collective memories, thanks to the release of the 2008 movie starring Edward Norton and, later, to Mark Ruffalo's amazing performance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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However, the movie in itself shouldn't be doomed to complete oblivion, since it was one of the first serious attempts to bring Hulk to life. Cara Buono plays Bruce's mother, Edith Banner, in a considerably small role. But, given that being a part of any superhero universe is always a neat box to tick off the list, it definitely deserves a place here.

8 The Sopranos (2006)

The Sopranos will probably go down in history as one of the best shows to ever air on television. There's mobsters, crime, love, betrayal, drama, and pretty much everything we need to be hooked. A lot of well-known actors and actresses stepped foot on the show, whether in long-lasting, recurring, or guest starring roles.

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Cara was one of the lucky ones to score a part in the show, as Kelli Lombardo Moltisanti, wife to Christopher Moltisanti, and mother to his baby daughter Caitlyn. After the death of her husband, Kelli was deemed by Tony Soprano himself as the Jacqueline Kennedy mourning type. A double take for Buono, no doubt!

7 Law & Order (Several Years)

Law & Order SVU Benson Stabler

The thing about Law & Order is that it ran for so many years, and there are so many spinoffs of the show, there's a big chance everyone you know, and their mother has probably appeared in one or more episodes. Well, maybe that's a little far fetched, but it's a solid point.

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And in this case, nothing drives the point home quite like actress Cara Buono herself. Over the course of her career, Buono has played five - yes, five - different characters on the original Law & Order as well as on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Kudos for the chameleon power.

6 Mad Men (2010)

Cara Buono also made a pretty unforgettable appearance on everyone's favorite 1960's drama, Mad Men. Documenting the life of Donald Draper, a talented and mysterious executive for a top-notch ad agency in New York, the show won our hearts due to more than Jon Hamm's irresistible charms.

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During the fourth season of Mad Men, Buono played Dr. Faye Miller, a beautiful strategist for a consumer-research firm who has an affair with Don Draper and helps him through a tough time in his life and career. The last time we see Faye, she hopes his fiancee will realize Don only likes "the beginnings of things." Swiftly tragic.

5 Let Me In (2010)

Every actor worthy of the title needs to have at least one solid movie credit that falls into the spectrum of horror. Let Me In haunted many of us growing up, especially when a young, dainty and beautiful Chloe Grace Moretz turned out to be a flesh-eating vampire halfway into the movie.

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Cara Buono lends her wonderful acting skills to what can't be described as anything less than a brutal, and a little nauseating, cinema piece. She plays Owen's concerned mother, the boy who befriends the vampire child herself. Although the movie is a remake of a Swedish one, both are based on the same novel and take a cold, sinister approach to their source material.

4 Person Of Interest (2011)

Person of Interest is a cult favorite for AI and crime fanatics everywhere. Since its premiere in 2011, it harnessed a massive following and some impressive reviews and sent a couple of chills down our veins.

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The series came to an end in 2016, but not before tapping Cara Buono to play a recurring role throughout its fourth season. Buono snatched the part of Martine Rousseau, an alias used by a Samaritan operative, whose main goal was to end any threat to the survival of the artificial superintelligence. With her role in Person of Interest, Cara ticked yet another genre off of her acting list.

3 Castle (2013)

Castle went on for eight seasons, and fans all around the world found solace and comfort in the complicated, yet charming relationship of mystery novels writer, Richard Castle, and NYPD Detective Kate Beckett. Every new episode was a delight, and sometimes the plot took some interesting liberties. However, the formula seemed to work just fine.

RELATED: Where You Recognize The Stranger Things Cast From

In the fifth season of the show, fans are invited to take a closer look at the undercover past of one of the detectives in NYPD, Ryan. Cara Buono appears as his former flame, Siobhan O'Doul, bar owner and reluctant member of an Irish crime family.

2 The Carrie Diaries (2014)

The Sex and The City prequel was cute, frilly, and had just the right touch of Carrie-esque charm and wit to keep some of the old audiences while attracting new. Following the adventures of a young Carrie became a religion of sorts for many fans of the show. Whether this was due to AnnaSophia Robb's talent or the wacky bright outfits, that's another story.

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Cara Buono jumped on the SATC bandwagon as a special guest on the eleventh episode of the second season of The Carrie Diaries. She played a romantic interest slash one-night stand to Carrie's father, Tom.

1 Paper Towns (2015)

After The Fault in Our Stars mania took over the world and crushed our hearts time and time again over the course of almost two hours, the hype for another adaptation of a John Green novel was intense. Enter Paper Towns, the movie that follows Quentin Jacobsen's, or Q, during his search for his childhood love Margo after she goes missing.

Cara Buono made sure to leave her mark as an actress in such a high profile, anticipated project, getting the part of Connie Jacobsen, Q's mother. While the part was small, since the main focus were the younger characters, it's still worthy of note getting the Hollywood stamp on her resume.

NEXT: 9 Sci-Fi Movies To Watch If You Like Stranger Things

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