If you browse through the IMDB profile of almost any A-list actor, you’re likely to find some amusing roles. It can be all too easily forgotten that no matter how big a movie star has become, he or she almost never started that way.
A few may have had some luck in achieving instant stardom, but plenty of others started (or even ended) their movie careers by appearing in movies they would prefer to remain hidden from their respective fanbases. Here are fifteen A-list appearances in some truly awful B-movies
Mazes and Monsters (1982) Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks’s first major role and just six years before the movie that made him Big. Hanks’ Robbie falls deep into the fantasy world of Dungeons and Dragons. Experiencing a psychotic break and believing himself to be “the cleric Pardieu”, he makes his way through the game’s world trying to find his dead brother.
Somehow, back in the real world, this means he has to stab homeless people due to their resemblance to orcs and attempt to enter a pocket dimension by trying to jump right off the World Trade Centre. Not Tom’s best work. That came much later.
Dark Tide (2012) Halle Berry
Starring in one of the worst movies of your career is perfectly legitimate when working your way up. A decade after an Academy Award for Best Actress, however, is just an all-around bad move. Enter Halle Berry. The actress played a character who referred to herself as “the shark whisperer” on her way to “shark alley”. The rumour is that there are sharks there.
That’s what happens after 10 years’ worth of flops (both financially and critically). Her run had been so poor that, X-Men aside, her starring roles since her Oscar-winning performance in Monster’s Ball have resulted in an average score of 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. Dark Tide managed to score an impressive 0%.
Death Wish (1974) Jeff Goldblum
Okay, you could do worse than Death Wish being your first appearance in a feature film. So maybe this one is an exception. Goldblum’s role saw him play the apparent leader of a gang of thugs who rape the wife of Charles Bronson’s character. That started him on the path to murderous vigilantism. This was a fine-looking appearance based on his outfit alone. The man famous for The Fly wore a fealty, crown cap hat, looking like a Jughead Jones gone wrong.
Critters 3 (1991) Leonardo DiCaprio
Leo won a wealth of praise as a child performer after starring in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape in 1993. Two years prior, however, he starred in his first role in the not-so-classic Critters 3. The movie about alien monsters running wild was famous among 80’s horror fans, much like in that other franchise, Ghoulies. DiCaprio played Josh, the son of a corrupt and abusive landlord father.
Revenge of the Creature (1955) Clint Eastwood
The biggest living legend in Hollywood wasn’t even credited for this one, The movie was Clint’s first appearance on screen and a follow-up to Creature from the Black Lagoon. It’s only a very small role as a not-too-bright scientist, but the film itself was immortalised after being made fun of on Mystery Science Theater 3000.