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.
- Age: 36
- Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
- Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Musician, Screenwriter, Lyricist
- Credits: Key & Peele, Little Fockers, Mad TV, Wanderlust, Chocolate News
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.
- Age: 60
- Birthplace: Idar-Oberstein, West Germany
- Profession: Businessperson, Television producer, Musician, Film Producer, Actor
- Credits: The Sixth Sense, Die Hard, The Fifth Element, Armageddon
- Verging on sounding like a 13-year-old Fran Drescher, cute as a bug Kunis gushes over all of the Lisa Frank stuff in 1996.
- Age: 37
- Birthplace: Chernivtsi, Ukraine
- Profession: Model, Actor, Voice acting
- Credits: Black Swan, That '70s Show, Ted, Friends with Benefits
- Before he became the golden god of the big screen, Pitt was just like you. Getting the munchies after surfing and only cramming Pringles in his mug would do. This is exactly what people did every day in SoCal in the ‘80s.
- Age: 56
- Birthplace: Shawnee, Oklahoma, United States of America
- Profession: Television producer, Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting
- Credits: Inglourious Basterds, Fight Club, World War Z, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button