Before they were famous: 8 brilliant celebrity ads

You can’t expect your first gig in show business to earn you an Oscar nomination. But, where do you start?

For most actors it’s in the world of television commercials. Quick to shoot, easy to get, and occassionally cringeworthy to watch, television commercials. Here are 8 stars who began their careers in hilarious 80’s and 90’s ads:

To begin, let’s look at Leonardo Di Caprio. Before he was trying to find out what was eating Gibert Grape, he was chowing down on Bubble Yum bubblegum. Skip to 0:15 for Leo’s bit (or, watch the whole thing to see a Galapagos tortoise… really):

Next, check out Mila Kunis in this “awesome” commercial for 1990’s cult girls’ stationary brand, Lisa Frank. It’s so “awesome” how she manages to say “awesome” so frequently. In fact, it’s surprising that she managed to fit in any other words at all:

It’s easy to be upstaged by a doll that grows it’s own hair, but Kirsten Dunst still manages to own her role as an adorable little mum in this ad for ‘Baby Dolly Surprise.’

Lessons learnt from this 1988 Pringles advertisement starring Brad Pitt: 1) You can use your tube of Pringles as a periscope 2) Brad Pitt has ALWAYS been good looking:

In this 1980’s advertisement for Burger King, Ben Affleck takes a call from a girl he fancies. Nothing special. But – wait for the plot twist – the girl thinks that she’s calling Burger King! Affleck plays the romantic lead in this thirty-one-second thriller:


While Steve Carell is best known for playing Michael Scott, the regional manager of Dunder Miffin Inc. on The Office, this clip reveals his little known stint playing the manager of chicken shop, Brown’s Chicken. Make sure you watch until the end for a high quality visual gag:

Jack Black features in this 1982 television advertisement for ‘The Adventures of Pitfall Harry.’ Complete with a safari hat and Steve Irwin style hand gestures, Black gives a thrilling recount of his experience in what is dubbed “the year’s most incredible video game adventure.”

Final- Hold it! I just have to tell you about Meg Ryan’s performance in the ‘”Aren’t You Hungry for a Whopper?” Game’ ad for Burger King. In the clip, Ryan interrupts the stock footage of onions being cut and lettuce being tossed for a cute public service announcement about the burger chain’s new promotion. They should really show this ad at drama schools, to show that no matter how small or cringeworthy your first gig is, there’s nothing to say that you won’t end up receiving a Golden Globe nomination for showing Billy Crystal how to fake an orgasm in a restaurant.