By the time the 87th Academy Awards are over this Sunday, two men and two women will have joined the elite ranks of those actors to have won an Oscar for Best Performance (in either a leading or supporting role). Regardless of what the predictions might be, we all have our favorites. Maybe you think someone’s overrated. Or your friend just doesn’t get the hype. Or you know in your gut the best performance will lose out to the more “Oscar bait” role. But you’re still going to fill out your ballot for the office pool, or root along with whomever you want to win the coveted statuette, because that’s half the fun of watching, no?
Well, let’s take a brief, seven-minute break from speculating who might win to take a look at some of the earliest roles these 20 nominees had (we recently highlighted 20 Great Underrated Early Performances From The 2015 Oscar Actor Nominees). Flavorwire just put out a compilation video, dutifully edited by Jason Bailey, with music by David Holmes, which does just that. The supercut opens with Julianne Moore (up for her leading role in “Still Alice”) slapping Madonna 22 years ago in “Body of Evidence.”
Bet you wouldn’t have guessed so many of the nominees got some of their earliest work doing horror films and shows. (Well, maybe you did, after all, it makes sense. The genre is easy to fill with low-budget — yet often quite entertaining — material that doesn’t rely on incredibly well known talent to fill out the casts.) Patricia Arquette’s (supporting, “Boyhood”) first credit was for “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors,” and three years later she returned to horror in an episode of “Tales from the Crypt.” One of Mark Ruffalo’s (supporting for “Foxcatcher”) first films was “Mirror Mirror 2: Raven Dance.”
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Of course, comedy is as good a place to kick off a career as any genre. Take, for example, Emma Stone. Some of her earliest work was on “Lucky Louie,” and she then won hearts everywhere for her portrayal of Jules in “Superbad.” Let’s not forget Bradley Cooper as the closeted (and then not so closeted) camp counselor in “Wet Hot American Summer.”
We’ve barely even scratched the surface. Watch the full supercut below, and thanks again to Flavorwire, Jason Bailey, and David Holmes for this great recap of some of Hollywood’s most talented’s earliest screen credits.