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The Breakthrough Roles Of Famous Actors

October 24th, 2013 by Marc Comments

Captain Phillips sees some incredible performances from not just Tom Hanks but also in the breakthrough performances by Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed and Mahat M.Ali who play the Somali pirates. Here, we take a look at some of the best breakthrough roles which really propelled the actors and actresses towards Hollywood stardom…

Hailee Steinfeld

The LA born actress auditioned with 15,000 others for the role of Mattie Ross alongside Jeff Bridges in the Coen Brother’s adaptation of classic Western, True Grit. Her performance saw her seek to avenge her father’s murder and earned an OSCAR nomination for the portrayal. The 16 year old then went on to play Juliet in the Julian Fellowes adapted version of Romeo and Juliet with future roles also in Enders Game, Hateship, Loveship and The Homesman.

Dustin Hoffman

Since he uttered those immortal lines, “Mrs Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?” Dustin Hoffman has become a Hollywood legend. It was his performance as the awkward graduate Benjamin Braddock that first caught everyone’s attention as he fell for the mother of his girlfriend. Hoffman has gone on to star in some of the greatest films ever made such as Rainman, Tootsie and Kramer vs Kramer.

Emma Stone

All together now, “I got a pocket, got a pocketful of full of sunshine!” Emma Stone was the leading lady in the brilliant high school comedy, Easy A. She was a sweet girl with a flawless reputation who loved Natasha Bedingfield but then she started telling lies and that flawless reputation was destroyed. Stone has since starred in the Academy Award winning, The Help, as Gwen in The Amazing Spider-man and has various exciting films currently in production.

Quvenzhané Wallis

Born in 2003, Wallis stunned audiences with her Academy Award nominated performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild. The child actress has since gone onto star in the hotly tipped 12 Years a Slave and is currently filming as the title character in Jay Z’s remake of classic musical, Annie.

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster is perhaps most well known for her OSCAR winning turn as Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs. Nonetheless, it all began for Foster alongside one of the modern greats, Robert De Niro, in Taxi Driver. She plays a twelve year prostitute who is saved from her pimp by vigilante, Travis Bickle. Foster’s next role was rather different as she played the glamorous Tallulah in splurge filled kid flick, Bugsy Malone.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Before Romeo and Juliet, Titanic and The Beach Hollywood A-lister, Leonardo DiCaprio stole the show with his performance in the 1993 film, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. The Great Gatsby actor played Arnie Grape, who has severe learning difficulties providing a challenge to his teenage brother, Gilbert, played by Johnny Depp. DiCaprio’s prowess shone in the film and acting as perfect launchpad to become one of today’s hottest actors.

So, who’d we miss? Is there anyone you think show be on the list? Let us know in all the usual ways…

Captain Phillips is playing in cinemas now!


Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….