Who knew that some of the biggest celebs in the world today were once music video stars? Not a lot of us, apparently.
It turns out that before getting their big break, several of Hollywood’s finest made ends meet by taking roles (both big and tragically small) in music videos. We’re not talking tiny videos either. These were hugely popular ones that you’ve probably seen a billion times. And there’s a good chance you never knew these stars were in ’em.
Here’s a look at 21 music videos featuring celebs before they were famous. Prepare to be floored, people!
Matthew McConaughey in Trisha Yearwood’s ‘Walkaway Joe’ (1992)
Before his days of driving Lincolns and winning Oscars, a young Matthew McConaughey once played the bad boy love interest in this Trisha Yearwood country video. Look at that fresh face!
Angelina Jolie in The Rolling Stones’ “Anybody Seen My Baby” (1997)
It’s true, Angie once did music videos. And for the Rolling Stones, too! She played Mick Jagger’s elusive love interest in “Anybody Seen My Baby” from the late ’90s. Before that she also starred in Meatloaf’s “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through” video from 1993. The Stones was a much better look.
Zooey Deschanel in The Offspring’s “She’s Got Issues” (1998)
When Zooey Deschanel was a ‘new girl’ in the acting world, one of her very first gigs was playing the lead in The Offspring’s video for “She’s Got Issues.” Gotta love the punk pink hair!
Courteney Cox in Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’ (1984)
Courtney Cox got her first big break on Family Ties thanks to playing the short-haired super-fan that got on stage with the Boss halfway through his video for “Dancing In The Dark.” In a way, Springsteen is responsible for Monica.
Hugh Laurie in Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass” (1992)
Yes, that was Hugh Laurie wearing a powder wig and some silly make-up in Annie Lennox’s video for “Walking On Broken Glass.” In the video, Annie just wasn’t that into the goofy Hugh. If only she knew he’d become House.
Jeremy Renner in Pink’s ‘Trouble’ (2003)
Before becoming an action movie mega star and an Avenger, Jeremy Renner once took a role in a Pink music video. He was the black-clad bad boy sheriff in “Trouble.” Y’all don’t mess with Jeremy, ya hear?
Christina Hendricks in Everclear’s ‘One Hit Wonder’ (1996)
Yep, that’s a young Christina Hendricks long before her Mad Men days playing the lead in ’90s alt-rock band Everclear’s video for “One Hit Wonder.” Ironically this video came long after Everclear’s one big hit.
Jennifer Lopez in Janet Jackson’s “That’s The Way Love Goes” (1993)
Back in J-Lo’s early dance days, she once starred as a back-up dancer in Janet Jackson’s video for “That’s The Way Love Goes.” Not a bad dancer to cast, right? Also…does J-Lo ever age?
Benicio del Toro in Madonna’s “Isla Bonita” (1986)
Don’t blink. Benicio del Toro was an extra in Madonna’s video for “Isla Bonita.” Del Toro is the background kid in the leather jacket leaning against the cream-coloured car during the street scenes. Do you recognize him?
Eva Mendes in Will Smith’s ‘Miami’ (1998)
Before her big screen success as an actress, Eva Mendes was once a Will Smith video girl. She stars briefly in “Miami” as one of two singing sports car babes. Ironically, Smith and Mendes starred together in Hitch several years later. And thankfully Smith stopped making music.
Patrick Swayze in Toto’s “Rosanna” (1982)
Before getting his first big role in The Outsiders, the late Patrick Swayze danced dirty in Toto’s video for “Rosanna.”
Aaron Paul in Korn’s “Thoughtless” (1999)
Jesse Pinkman once did music videos! In his early acting days, Aaron Paul played the lead in metal band Korn’s video for “Thoughtless.” Just a warning, you’ll probably want to mute the audio on this video because it’s terrible.
Matt LeBlanc in Jon Bon Jovi’s “Miracle” (1990)
Did you know that
Joey Matt LeBlanc played the lead in Bon Jovi’s “Miracle” before his Friends days? What a young stud. In a less popular role, he also starred in Alanis’ “Walk Away” video from 1991, when she was still trying to be a pop star.
Katy Perry in Gym Class Heroes “Cupid’s Chokehold” (2005)
Yep, Katy Perry was in an emo video before her “I Kissed A Girl” launching pad. While she was dating Gym Class Heroes frontman Travis McCoy last decade, she starred as the perfect girlfriend in his band’s video for “Cupid’s Chokehold.” If you want to see her and avoid most of the song, skip to the halfway point.
Elijah Wood in Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl” (1988)
Aw. That’s an 8-year-old Elijah Wood wearing a tiny suit in Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl” video. Look at that little guy!
Jack Black in Beck’s “Sexx Laws” (1999)
Big movie star-comedian or not, Jack Black can always be counted on to bring the goofiness. He delivered in Beck’s video for “Sexx Laws” from the late ’90s, before he was a household name.
Channing Tatum in Ricky Martin’s ‘She Bangs’ (2000)
Do you recognize that bartender’s abs? Yup, those are Magic Mike’s. In perhaps the worst music video role of all time, Channing Tatum played the shirtless barkeep at the aquatic club in Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs.” We’re guessing the pay wasn’t great.
Zach Galifianakis in Fiona Apple’s “Not About Love” (2005)
What’s weirder, the fact Zach Galifianakis was in a music video, or that he hung out with Fiona Apple? Before he became a household comedy name with The Hangover, ZG laid around with Fiona in her “Not About Love” video. Spot on lip syncing, sir!
Alicia Silverstone in Aerosmith’s “Cryin'” (1993)
Alicia Silverstone actually did three Aerosmith videos in the ’90s that helped launch her acting career. Her most popular was “Cryin'” which co-starred multiple music video “star” Steven Dorff. “Cryin'” was so big that it won the 1994 MTV VMA for Video of the Year. You go Cher Horowitz!