We look at the horror beginnings of 10 Hollywood heavy hitters — some of whom still pay respect to the genre while others we can only hope will return.
Hello Ghoulies and Goblins, and welcome back to Morbidly Beautiful! My name is Miss J, and this week I am bringing you part 2 of before they were famous (check out part 1 here). This list has many actors and actresses that have either started their career in horror and never returned the genre, or have stared in a horror movie before the became famous and went on to become a shiny star in the Hollywood universe.
Some of the actors and actresses have re-visited horror throughout their careers, and I’ll be making sure to point those ones out. Now sit back, get snuggled in under the blankets, and let’s see if you’ve spotted the famous celebrities in these horror movies.
10. Emilie De Ravin – The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
This beautiful Australian native’s first horror role was actually in Carrie (2002) as Chris Hargensen, the infamous bad girl who pours blood on poor Carrie. But nobody watched that remake, including myself, and that’s why we are going with her role in The Hills Have Eyes — because this remake is legendary amongst the horror community, and Emilie only stared in small tv rolls after playing Chris.
Playing Brenda in The Hills Have Eyes really helped in launching her career; she stared alongside Robert Pattinson in the movie Remember Me and has been playing the character Belle on the hit tv show Once Upon A Time (which is ironic because the German Shepards in The Hills Have Eyes are named Beauty & Beast).
Emilie gives quite the dramatic and intense performance, despite how hot it was on set. She said in an interview that she found it quite scary knowing that this film was based off the Sawney Bean Family. If you are unsure of the story, check out our top ten movies inspired by true crimes list for all the gory details.
9. Matt Bomer – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)
If you forgot about this hunk being in the prequel to the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, you are not the only one. Matt is well known for his roles on the hit TV Show White Collar and American Horror Story, as well as for playing Ken, a male dancer in the Magic Mike movies.
Matt said in the documentary for the film that the first time he saw Leatherface it scared the shit out of him. He was afraid that his mother wouldn’t be able to watch the movie because of the things that happen to him — including the scene where Sheriff Hoyt, played by the late and very talented R. Lee Ermey, wraps the Saran Wrap across his face.
You wouldn’t think this would be a traumatic scene, but they actually had to wrap his face up to get the shot, and a lot of times he couldn’t breathe or was actually struggling to breathe. For the Director to cut, Matt had to shake his knees together to signal that he could no longer breathe. They had tried to make a hole at the bottom, but it didn’t do much for the actor while he was pretending to fight for his life; I would say it was all worth it in the end.
8. Noomi Rapace – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2009)
Many of you might not consider this a horror movie, but I sure as hell did. I find that sometimes thrillers or mysteries can be a lot more horrifying — because in their stories, the humans are always the monsters. If you haven’t seen these films, or even the 2011 remake with Daniel Craig, I highly suggest them and the books.
Noomi really dedicated herself to the character, went on a strict diet and took boxing classes. She even went as far as piercing her nose and eyebrow because the character has them pierced in the script/book. She also got her motorcycle license, and even Noomi’s mother had a small role playing her character Lisbeth’s mother in the movie.
The Swedish actress has gone on to star in many movies since, including Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Prometheus and Whatever Happened to Monday? I hope to see her dive into a full-blown horror film in the future, but I’m fine with watching her in the action-packed thrillers until then.
7. Justin Long – Jeepers Creepers (2001)
It’s weird to think that this awkward and hilarious comedian started out in horror, but he did, before going on to do movies like Waiting and Dodgeball. Justin hasn’t kept horror completely off his resume. He was in Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell, After.Life, and Tusk. But back to the movie at hand.
I’ve previously had this movie on lists before, and it is one of my all-time favorite horror movies, despite the director tainting it with his crimes. Justin has said that he’s always been a long-time horror fan and was surprised that he couldn’t finish reading the script because he was so frightened by it — having to wait for the sun to come up to finish it.
He and his co-star Gina Phillips, who plays his sister in the movie, weren’t allowed to see The Creeper until the first scene they are introduced to him because the director wanted a genuine reaction. Justin was hired for the part based on his awkwardness and ability to be frightened when it called for it. Justin has also gone on record to say that there is no way he would have gone to inspect the tunnel or the creepy church, which is what any horror fan would have done.
6. Jared Leto – Urban Legends (1998)
Jared Leto is one talented actor and musician. He has been in countless movies and has won many awards for his hard work. This was one of the first movies that he did before he became famous, and it is well known around the horror community. Jared plays Paul, a student Journalist who is after the truth to these murders that are happening on campus.
This movie is filled with horror cameos from Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) and Brad Dourif (Chucky) and has been notoriously accused for ripping off many of the scenes from the movies Scream 1 and 2; The movies were a big success back then, and everyone was trying to cash in on it. Jared has said that the he played such a straight guy in this film that he wishes he had more of a fun part and wanted to act a little crazy. He went on to say that Robert Englund is a very lovable guy and that, despite playing one of the most frightening characters in horror history, everyone wanted to meet him and talk with him.
Apparently, Jared acted like quite a Joker on set and made sure to scare all his co-stars and prank them any chance he got. He also mentions in an interview that The Shining is his favorite horror movie of all time and that Jack Nicholson’s performance is inspiring.
5. Kristen Stewart – The Messengers (2007)
Kristen was actually in the movie Panic Room, but nobody knew who she was by the time she did The Messengers because she had aged so much. So that’s why this film made it to the list instead. After this horror flick, she went on to do five terrifying films called The Twilight Saga: Just kidding, I actually don’t mind them.
Kristen has said she is very proud of the bruises she acquired doing her own stunts in this film. She was committed to making the movie look as good as possible and knew it would be better to see her running then a stunt double. In an interview during the press junket for the movie, Kristen said that she had read a lot of horror scripts and that none of them interested her until this one; she also really wanted to work with the Pang Brothers who directed the movie.
Kristen has not stopped working since making this movie but hasn’t really revisited the horror genre; maybe one day she will make her return.
4. Henry Cavill – Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)
We all know this hunk as Superman, but before he was wearing the red cape and saving the world with the greatest superhero of all-time, Batman, he was in this horror flick. This particular Hellraiser is the eight in the series and not one of the worst ones; this was Doug Bradley’s last film in the franchise before he sadly retired his pins.
Henry is so unlike his character, who is a total player and only has one thing on his mind. He did have one thing in common with his character, Henry really does love playing World of Warcraft and Video Games; he’s really just an all-around big nerd.
Hopefully we will see him revisit the horror genre now that he’s quit playing Superman; come back to the dark side Henry, we have such sights to show you.
3. Chris Pratt – Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Chris played the character Officer Roman Duda in this horror flick. He didn’t have much screen time and was more talked about then shown. His character quickly dies off in a tragic fire that burns down the towns local bar. Chris had been in a few things previously, but his career really launched after this.
He hasn’t returned to the horror world, unless you count him being chased by ginormous dinosaurs as horror; I know Jurassic Park was always on that line of “is it a horror movie or not?”
Chris has been known for his comedic side and his role as Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy. He barely had a role in this film but that didn’t stop him, and he was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. See Ghoulies and Goblins, nightmares really do come true.
2. Scarlett Johansson – Eight Legged Freaks (2002)
I know this movie is more of a comedy than a horror movie, but Arachnophobia is a real thing, and they even made a horror movie about it with that as their title; this almost seems to be a spoof of the 1990 movie. They were originally going to go with the title “Arac Attack,” which I’m glad David Arquette improvised the title they went with instead.
Scarlett said in an interview that she originally didn’t think she was afraid of spiders until someone approached her with one. When she was offered to hold it, she found that she couldn’t and realized she was afraid. She went on to say that it was really not fun to do the scene with David where they get stuck to the wall by the spider’s web. She said they were stuck there for hours and hours with everyone running around them and not paying attention to them.
She hasn’t done anything horror related since. She did however star in a movie called Hitchcock about the famous director and master of horror. And she hasn’t given up on spider movies yet. It has been announced that she will be getting her own Black Widow movie, a superhero character she has been playing since 2010. I can’t wait to see how venomous she is in her own movie.
Before we get to our number one celebrity on the list, let’s take a look at some important Honorable Mentions: Salma Hayek in From Dusk till Dawn (1996), Jessica Alba in Idle Hands (1999), Julia Roberts in Flatliners (1990), and Adam Scott in Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996).
1. Norman Reedus – Mimic (1997)
How lucky was Norman to land his first role in a Guillermo Del Toro film? I’d say pretty darn lucky because he went on to have a role in his movie Blade 2. Norman has always spoken very highly of Del Toro, and they even have a video game coming out together. Norman only had a small role in Mimic, but he was a key character in a main scene.
His character is Jeremy, a bass player who knows Remy, the best friend of Dr. Susan Tyler. He’s convinced what they have found in the sewer is a lobster, but it is something much more frightening. If you haven’t seen Mimic, it is my favorite horror movie of all-time, and I highly suggest it.
We all know that Norman went on to have a very successful career, and horror is the main part of his job. He plays Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead and has to face zombies every single day. Norman has made a career in all types of genres, but he’s never forgotten where his career came from.