A lot of big name Hollywood stars got their start in horror films.
Most horror fans know that Tom Hanks was in He Knows You’re Alone or that Jennifer Anniston was in Leprechaun and that Kevin Bacon cut his teeth on Friday the 13th.
But, the aforementioned stars are certainly not the only Hollywood big shots that did horror films early in their career. Many actors that got their big break in Hollywood wading through a low-budget horror feature would probably like to forget it, but we are not about to let them off the hook that easily. There are plenty of actors that wear their genre work proudly and think back on it fondly. We think more performers should share that attitude.
These days, working in horror typically doesn’t carry a stigma and is no longer just a springboard to "better" things. These days, working in genre film is a destination for a lot of aspiring thespians. For your reading pleasure, we present to you a batch of fifteen celebrities that you may not have known got their start in the genre film arena.
Ben Affleck in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Affleck didn’t play a pivotal role in the film; in fact, his appearance was uncredited and is listed on IMDb as Basketball Player #10. Though he was just a member of the basketball team, he does have a pretty noteworthy scene where a member of the opposing team transforms into a vampire on the court and Affleck’s character just hands him the ball out of sheer terror and or disgust.
Also worth mentioning, Thomas Jane made an early appearance in the film version of Buffy as Zeph.
Brad Pitt in Freddy’s Nightmares, Cutting Class, and Tales from the Crypt
It isn’t necessarily a huge secret that Brad Pitt made a low-budget slasher film called Cutting Class early in his career. The plot is pretty standard: The film takes place in a high school with an unknown crazed killer on the loose. The film is average at best. But Cutting Class was made slightly more tolerable thanks to an appearance from genre favorite Jill Schoelen (Popcorn). What you may be surprised to learn is that Mr. Angelina Jolie also appeared on the short lived Freddy’s Nightmares television series as well as the Tales from the Crypt TV show before becoming a world renowned heartthrob and parent to 600 children and counting.
Charlize Theron in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest
Now a highly respected Oscar-winning actress, Charlize Theron once appeared in the low-budget killer kid film Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest. Theron had nearly no screen time in the film. In fact, if you aren’t looking for her, you will miss her appearance all together. She played the uncredited role of "Young Woman" in this Children of the Corn installment where members of the corn cult are let loose on the streets of Chicago to wreak terror on the city’s citizens.
Bradley Cooper in My Little Eye
This little known film centers on a Big Brother reality show-style competition gone terribly wrong. This was an early appearance for Bradley Cooper (seven years before he became a household name with the release of The Hangover). Cooper plays a stranger named Travis that arrives on the houseguest’s doorstep one day. As a side note, the film isn’t half bad. It isn’t a classic, but it is worth 90 minutes of your time should you have the occasion to seek it out.
Chloe Grace Moretz in The Amityville Horror (2005)
Chloe Grace Moretz is a rising star in both genre film and mainstream cinema. She is the new face of Carrie White in the upcoming re-adaptation of the Stephen King novel "Carrie." Before Moretz was well on her way to becoming a household name, she played Chelsea Lutz, daughter of George and Kathy, in the 2005 Amityville Horror remake. Amityville was Moretz’s second feature film role.
Henry Cavill in Hellraiser: Hellworld and Blood Creek
Not all that long ago, Henry Cavill – the newest incarnation of Superman – starred in Hellraiser: Hellworld (the installment where Pinhead and his band of misfits take their particular brand of mischief to the Internet to conduct their evil doings). Cavill stars as Mike, one of Pinhead’s unfortunate victims. After that, Cavill also landed a starring role in the Joel Schumacher helmed Nazi horror film Blood Creek. Cavill plays Evan, who upon his brother’s return from a mysterious absence teams up with him to battle the malevolent forces involved with his older brother’s disappearance. [Editor's note: Blood Creek also featured Michael Fassbender!]
Leonardo DiCaprio in Critters 3
Academy Award-nominee Leonardo Dicaprio starred in Critters 3 years prior to becoming a regular fixture in Teen Beat Magazine or playing opposite Claire Danes in Romeo + Juliet 1996. Young Dicaprio plays Josh, a young boy whose stepfather is a bit of a tyrant and a slumlord in Critters 3. The film continues the story of the cute, but mischievous Crites trying to take over the world. Critters 3 was Dicaprio’s first feature film role.