When you’re young, hot, and your acting range includes taking bites of things, wearing things, or holding things, these gigs can pay at least two months' rent or buy you some new acid wash jorts. A shirtless Brad Pitt hoovering Pringles? Glorious. Morgan Freeman dangling from a power pole talking about how hardcore Listerine is? Listen up. And when Bryan Cranston tells you how Preparation H can shrink your hemorrhoidal tissue, he’s not just wearing fake glasses for giggles. He means business.
Some celebrities in old commercials showed their talent early on. Ben Affleck in a strange Burger King spot shows us early signs of his performance in Good Will Hunting. Just kidding. It’s just a weird spot. Paul Rudd looks the same in his Super Nintendo ad from 1991 as he does today.
These videos of actors in commercials before they were famous will make you feel good about the awkward stage of a career, doing jobs you don’t believe in, and why the Internet is sometimes a cruel mistress. But one thing is for certain: Bruce Willis looked cool shilling Seagram’s wine coolers.
In 1995, Jordan Peele was on a mission to fight Big Tobacco. Along with some other students, Peele starred in a PSA that aimed at making the class of 2000 smoke-free.
While Peele wasn't successful at completely eliminating tobacco - or anticipating how the tobacco industry would pivot to vaping to target teens - 16-year-old Peele's argument is earnest, and, given that he sits backwards in a chair, pretty cool, too.
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Musician, Screenwriter, Lyricist, + more
Credits: Key & Peele, Little Fockers, Mad TV, Wanderlust, Chocolate News
Also Rankedsee more on Jordan Peele
In 1987, just as Bruce Willis was about to blow up, he had it all. A starring role in Die Hard the following year, all of the ladies, and the ability to get away with singing into a Seagram's wine cooler bottle and not look like an idiot.He also manages to pull off another ad for Seagram’s, in which he wears a white suit and appears with a few of the models from the "Addicted to Love" video. He played harmonica at the end in a sleeveless t-shirt because Bruce Willis doesn’t care what anyone thinks.
Birthplace: Idar-Oberstein, West Germany
Profession: Businessperson, Television producer, Musician, Film Producer, Actor, + more
Children: Scout LaRue Willis, Rumer Willis, Tallulah Belle Willis, Mabel Ray Willis
Credits: The Sixth Sense, Die Hard, The Fifth Element, Armageddon
#17 on The Coolest Actors Eversee more on Bruce Willis
Birthplace: Chernivtsi, Ukraine
Profession: Model, Actor, Voice acting
Children: Wyatt Isabelle Kutcher
Credits: Black Swan, That '70s Show, Ted, Friends with Benefits
Also Rankedsee more on Mila Kunis
Birthplace: Shawnee, Oklahoma, United States of America
Profession: Television producer, Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting
Children: Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt, Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, + more
Credits: Inglourious Basterds, Fight Club, World War Z, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
#24 on The Coolest Actors Eversee more on Brad Pitt