You know them now for their critically acclaimed roles and award-worthy performances, but did you know that all of these stars started their careers by hiding from ghosts, serial killers, and even killer leprechauns in horror movies? Here are 13 celebs who got their start in scary movies.
1. Paul Rudd in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
He won our hearts in Clueless and takes a superhero turn in this summer’s Ant-Man, but his first role came in the forgettable and widely-panned sixth Halloween movie.
2. Mila Kunis in Piranha
Mila’s debut as an adorable wide-eyed child afraid of what could be lurking in the water came in the 1995 made-for-TV remake of Piranha.
3. George Clooney in Return to Horror High
George is now known as an A-list actor, but his early career was less-than-stellar with parts in campy movies like 1987’s Return to Horror High.
4. Jennifer Aniston in Leprechaun
Just a year before her breakthrough role as Rachel Green on Friends, Jennifer played a teenager on the run from a leprechaun who would do anything for his pot of gold. Yikes!
5. Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation
An early starring role for both actors, this was the fourth sequel in the popular horror franchise but was largely panned by critics.
6. Johnny Depp in A Nightmare on Elm Street
Johnny’s feature film debut in this horror classic unfortunately ended in a (spoiler alert!) very bloody way, but it began his trajectory to one of the most beloved actors of our time.
7. Leonardo DiCaprio in Critters 3
Just as Leo was cementing his teen heartthrob status in Growing Pains on TV, his debut on the big screen came in this sci-fi/horror/comedy about alien creatures from outer space.
8. Charlize Theron in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest
Charlize had an uncredited, non-speaking role as a cult follower in this 1995 movie about kids in a rural Nebraska cult.
9. Brad Pitt in Cutting Class
Long before he was half of the most famous celebrity couple, Brad played a popular high schooler on a mission to save his girlfriend from a creepy classmate. Aw!
10. Demi Moore in Parasite
Demi attempts to stop a deadly parasite from wiping out the population in this 1982 horror/sci-fi hybrid.
11. Tom Hanks in He Knows You’re Alone
We know him now for his lovable, happy roles, but early in his career, Tom had a small role as a psychologist in this 1980 slasher flick.
12. Kevin Bacon in Friday the 13th
Kevin is one of the most well-connected actors (surely there are more than six degrees in this list alone!) but he got his movie career in motion by playing a camp counselor with bigger problems than the mess hall food that summer.