AGodAmI AIIsACrapshoot AbusiveParents AccidentalInnuendo ActionDad ActorAllusion AffablyEvil AffectionateParody AfterTheEnd AlphaBitch AlternativeCharacterInterpretation AlternativeForeignThemeSong AlternativeForeignThemeTune AmusingInjuries AndIMustScream AndTheFandomRejoiced Angrish AntiVillain Anvilicious AnyoneCanDie ArsonMurderAndJaywalking ArtEvolution ArtifactTitle AscendedExtra AssholeVictim Awesome AwesomeButImpractical AwesomeMcCoolname AwesomeMusic AxCrazy BLAM Badass BadassAdorable BadassBoast BadassCreed BadassNormal BalloonBelly BerserkButton BetterThanItSounds BettyAndVeronica BewareTheNiceOnes BeyondTheImpossible BigDamnHeroes BigNo BigOlEyebrows BlessedWithSuck BlindIdiotTranslation BodyHorror BondOneLiner BookEnds Bowdlerise BreakingTheFourthWall BrokenBase BunnyEarsLawyer CameraAbuse CaptainObvious CardCarryingVillain CarnivoreConfusion CatchPhrase CelebrityParadox CentralTheme CerebusSyndrome ChainedHeat CharacterDerailment CharacterGush ChekhovsGun 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EyeBeams EyeScream FaceHeelTurn FakeAmerican FakeBrit FamilyUnfriendlyDeath FamousLastWords FanDisservice FanFic FanNickname FanPreferredCouple Fanon FantasticRacism Film FireBreathingDiner FirstNameBasis FiveBadBand FiveManBand FlameWar Flashback FoeYay FollowTheLeader FourPhilosophyEnsemble FourTemperamentEnsemble FreudWasRight FreudianExcuse FreudianTrio Fridge FridgeHorror FromNobodyToNightmare FrombadToWorse FunWithAcronyms Funny FunnyAneurysmMoment FurryConfusion GenreDeconstruction GenreSavvy GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff GetAHoldOfYourselfMan GondorCallsForAid GoofyPrintUnderwear GratuitousEnglish GroinAttack GrowingTheBeard GrumpyBear Gush Hammerspace HarsherInHindsight HaveAGayOldTime Headscratchers Heartwarming HellIsThatNoise HeroicBSOD HeroicSacrifice HeterosexualLifePartners HilariousInHindsight HoYay HoistByHisOwnPetard HonorBeforeReason Horrible HotBlooded HumanlikeFootAnatomy HumansAreTheRealMonsters HumiliationConga HypercompetentSidekick Hypocrite HypocriticalHumor 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Star Making Role:
Making it big in the film world isn't easy, but a stellar performance on the silver screen
can do wonders for one's career
Amy Adams in . She had already received an Academy Award nomination for her role in Enchanted Junebug, but it was the live-action Disney princess film that put her on the map.
Ben Affleck in . He became Armageddon That Guy in and Mallrats in his own right after Shakespeare in Love but it was Good Will Hunting Michael Bay's Summer Blockbuster that provided his SMR.
This seems to be one of Judd Apatow's specialties:
Christian Bale and Cillian Murphy in . While Bale had been acting for a long time since he was a kid in films like Batman Begins , Empire of the Sun and American Psycho , it was the Batman reboot that gave him some major star power.
Equilibrium Sandra Bullock in
Speed Gerard Butler in
300 Bruce Campbell in
The Evil Dead 1981 Denzel Washington in , where he also won an Academy Award for best supporting actor.
Glory Jim Carrey in , Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask , all of which were released the same year (1994).
Dumb and Dumber Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller in .
Theres Something About Mary Michael Cera, Jonah Hill and Emma Stone in .
Superbad would be an even bigger qualifier for Emma, as it was her first top-billed role.
Easy A made Rumble in the Bronx Jackie Chan an international star, while made him a US movie star. He'd been huge in Asia for years.
Rush Hour Sean Connery as James Bond in .
Dr. No Later followed by Roger Moore (though he had also done ), The Saint Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig (but not Pierce Brosnan; see Live Action TV)
Most of the Bond Girls as well. Specifically, Ursula Andress, Jane Seymour, Kim Basinger, Maryam D Abo, Famke Janssen, Sophie Marceau, Rosamund Pike, Eva Green, Gemma Arterton and Olga Kurylenko.
Tim Curry in
The Rocky Horror Picture Show Russell Crowe and Djimon Hounsou (coupled with ) in Blood Diamond
Gladiator Don Cheadle in .
Hotel Rwanda Tom Cruise in
Risky Business Robert Townsend in Hollywood Shuffle.
Matt Damon in
Good Will Hunting is an even better example. The Bourne Series Matt Damon has mentioned that despite getting wildly critical acclaim for previous movies, it wasn't until proved to have enough Box Office clout that film offers really started to show up for him.
The Bourne Identity Though made Edward Scissorhands Johnny Depp a bit of a cult/indie film favorite, it wasn't until that he really became a big Hollywood 'star'.
Pirates of the Caribbean Keenen Ivory Wayans in .
I'm Gonna Git You Sucka Shawn and Marlon Wayans put themselves on the map with , but Dont Be A Menace would be their star making film.
Scary Movie Scary Movie also made stars out of Anna Faris and Regina Hall.
Edward James Olmos in .
Blade Runner Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in
Titanic Michael Douglas in
Romancing the Stone Chow Yun-fat in .
A Better Tomorrow In the US put him on the map. He never quite fleshed out as a star there, but it did lead to many of his older films gaining cult status there, particularly The Replacement Killers .
Hard Boiled Billy Dee Williams (coupled with ) in The Empire Strikes Back Lady Sings The Blues. The film also showed what a powerful actress music icon Diana Ross could be. She was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress.
Terrance Howard in Hustle & Flow.
The saga has made stars out of many of its lead actors:
Star Wars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford (coupled with ) in Raiders of the Lost Ark .
Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) Warwick Davis and Ian McDiarmid in .
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, and Ray Park in .
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Hayden Christensen in .
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones Several other cast members rose to cult stardom, such as Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Ahmed Best, Temuera Morrison, Daniel Logan, Jay Lagaaia and Matthew Wood.
Michael J. Fox in
Back to the Future made stars out of The Hangover Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms (coupled with ), and The Office (US) Zach Galifianakis.
Mel Gibson in .
Mad Max Danny Glover in .
Lethal Weapon Wesley Snipes in .
New Jack City Kirsten Dunst in as a child star. She later established her adult career with Interview with the Vampire .
Spider-Man Paul Giamatti in .
Sideways Hugh Grant in
Four Weddings and a Funeral Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah in .
Splash Anne Hathaway in .
The Princess Diaries Audrey Hepburn in .
Roman Holiday Dustin Hoffman in .
The Graduate Joseph Gordon-Levitt in .
(500) Days of Summer , which came out a year after 500 Days Of Summer, helped boost JGL's star power even more and also made Inception Tom Hardy a star.
Jeff Bridges in .
The Last Picture Show Olivia Wilde in (although some may argue that her role in TRON Legacy helped her quite a bit as well).
House Jennifer Love Hewitt
I Know What You Did Last Summer Hugh Jackman and James Marsden in
X-Men Samuel L. Jackson in Jungle Fever and (the latter of which reestablished Pulp Fiction John Travolta's career).
Scarlett Johansson in .
Lost in Translation Angelina Jolie in .
Girl Interrupted Dwayne Johnson in . He was, however, a very well established star in The Scorpion King WWE at the time.
Milla Jovovich in .
The Fifth Element Vladimir Kulich in .
The 13th Warrior Bruce Lee in , the last film which would be fully completed before his untimely death.
Enter the Dragon Jennifer Lopez in . This was before her music career began, by the way.
Selena Rooney Mara and Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander in their respective versions of .
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo James McAvoy (coupled with ) and X-Men: First Class Anna Popplewell in
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Malcolm McDowell in .
A Clockwork Orange Marilyn Monroe in Niagara.
Demi Moore in .
Ghost Rick Moranis in Film/.
Little Shop of Horrors Eddie Murphy in .
48 Hours Ellen Page in .
Juno Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson and Harold Ramis (as an actor) in .
Ghostbusters Peter O'Toole in .
Lawrence of Arabia Paul Newman and Piper Laurie in .
The Hustler Claude Rains in .
The Invisible Man Christopher Reeve in
Superman Julia Roberts in .
Pretty Woman Adam Sandler in
Billy Madison Sylvester Stallone in .
Rocky Sharon Stone in .
Basic Instinct Meryl Streep in .
Kramer Vs Kramer Hilary Swank in .
Boys Don't Cry Patrick Swayze in .
Dirty Dancing Charlize Theron in
Two Days In The Valley John Travolta in .
Saturday Night Fever Kevin Spacey and Benicio Del Toro in .
The Usual Suspects Kathleen Turner in .
Body Heat Max von Sydow in .
The Seventh Seal Christopher Walken in . Though he actually played a supporting part, it won him more recognition than the high-profile starring roles he took in the following years.
The Deer Hunter Ken Watanabe in .
The Last Samurai Naomi Watts in .
Mulholland Dr. Sigourney Weaver in .
Alien Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman in . Rickman would later gain further fame as Snape in the Die Hard adaptations.
Harry Potter Vin Diesel in and Pitch Black .
The Fast and the Furious Salma Hayek, whose striking turn as the vampire stripper in - and her striking bikini - instantly catapulted her to stardom.
From Dusk Till Dawn Jack Nicholson in .
Easy Rider Marlon Brando in and A Streetcar Named Desire .
On the Waterfront Al Pacino in
The Godfather Robert De Niro in and The Godfather Part II .
Taxi Driver Robert Redford in .
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Julie Andrews in .
Mary Poppins Humphrey Bogart in .
The Maltese Falcon Lauren Bacall in her debut film, To Have And Have Not.
Arnold Schwarzenegger in , solidified considerably by Conan the Barbarian , easily his signature role.
The Terminator Gene Hackman in .
The French Connection Brad Pitt in .
Legends Of The Fall Matthew McConaughey in .
A Time to Kill John Wayne in .
Stagecoach Kevin Costner in and The Untouchables .
No Way Out Clint Eastwood in , although Eastwood was already known as a TV star ( A Fistful of Dollars ) by that time.
Rawhide Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Tom Felton, and Evanna Lynch (and pretty much all the child actors) in although in Harry Potter, Robert Pattinson's case fits this better.
Twilight Peter Sellers in .
The Pink Panther Heath Ledger in although you could argue that Brokeback Mountain, fits this better (despite that his role as the Joker was his last role that he played before his untimely death due to accidental overdose).
The Dark Knight Julia Stiles in .
10 Things I Hate About You Kate Hudson and Zooey Deschanel in .
Almost Famous Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis, Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom in
The Lord of the Rings Mark Strong was in movies before, but after , his career of playing villains Stardust really seemed to take off.
Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana (Tied with , which came out the same year) and Karl Urban (tied with Avatar ) in The Lord of the Rings .
Star Trek Though she did receive an Oscar nomination for Winter's Bone one year before, and was a part of the successful X-Men: First Class, Jennifer Lawrence never became a superstar until
The Hunger Games. Michael Fassbender in .
X-Men: First Class William Holden in .
Sunset Boulevard Matthew Broderick in and WarGames
Ferris Bueller's Day Off Michael Caine in the original , though many younger audiences may only recognize him from Alfie
The Dark Knight Trilogy James Earl Jones in The Great White Hope.
Cate Blanchett in .
Elizabeth Anthony Hopkins in .
The Silence of the Lambs Catherine Zeta Jones in .
The Mask of Zorro Morgan Freeman in and Driving Miss Daisy .
Se7en Bela Lugosi in .
Dracula (1931) Boris Karloff in .
Frankenstein (1931) Amanda Seyfried in .
Mamma Mia! Hugo Weaving in . He's now one of the highest-grossing actors of all time thanks to The Matrix three blockbuster trilogies ( , The Matrix , and The Lord of the Rings ) plus Transformers .
Captain America: The First Avenger Abbott and Costello in Buck Privates.
Robert Downey, Jr. in (his career Chaplin resurrected 16 years later with ).
Iron Man Jeremy Renner in and The Hurt Locker .
The Town Isabelle Fuhrman in and Orphan .
The Hunger Games Liam Neeson (coupled with ) and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Ralph Fiennes in .
Schindler's List Ralph would also gain more notability for his role as Voldemort in the film adaptations.
Harry Potter Michael Clarke Duncan in
The Green Mile. Brigitte Bardot and Jean-Louis Trintignant in .
And God Created Woman Shirley Temple in .
Bright Eyes Betty Grable and Carmen Miranda in .
Down Argentine Way Sissy Spacek in .
Carrie Andrew Garfield in and The Social Network .
The Amazing Spider-Man Christoph Waltz in .
Inglourious Basterds Ryan Gosling in .
The Notebook Jason Statham in .
The Transporter Keanu Reeves (coupled with ) in The Matrix .
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure Nicolas Cage in .
Raising Arizona Henry Cavill in . Though he did have lead roles in Man of Steel and The Tudors , the Superman reboot put him under everyone's radar.
Immortals Haley Joel Osment in .
The Sixth Sense is responsible for introducing American audiences to Lethal Weapon 4 Jet Li. In fact, it was one of the few things people seemed to universally enjoy about the widely-panned film.
Forest Whitaker in .
The Crying Game Angela Bassett for .
What's Love Got to Do with It Greg Kinnear in .
As Good As It Gets Matthew Lillard in either or Scream (1996) .
Scooby-Doo Alexa Vega in .
Spy Kids Whoopi Goldberg in .
The Color Purple Ice Cube (as an actor) and Cuba Gooding, Jr. in .
Boyz n the Hood Robert Englund in .
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Jeff Goldblum in and The Fly .
Jurassic Park Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, and Brittany Murphy in .
Clueless Antonio Banderas in .
Desperado Chris Tucker in .
Friday Anna Kendrick in and Up in the Air .
Pitch Perfect Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Lucas Grabeel and Monique Coleman in .
High School Musical Demi Lovato in .
Camp Rock Chris Evans (coupled with ) and Captain America: The First Avenger Ioan Gruffudd in .
Fantastic Four Chloe Moretz and Aaron Johnson in .
Kick-Ass Anna Paquin in . She won the 1993 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role.
The Piano Michael Madsen and Steve Buscemi in .
Reservoir Dogs Abigail Breslin and Paul Dano in .
Little Miss Sunshine Mark Wahlberg (as an actor) and Heather Graham in .
Boogie Nights Jake Gyllenhaal and his sister Maggie in .
Donnie Darko Channing Tatum in .
Step Up Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne (coupled with ) in X-Men: First Class .
Brides Maids Ian McKellen (as a film actor) in .
Richard III Jamie Lee Curtis in .
Halloween (1978) Sacha Baron Cohen had , a movie based on a character from his previous series, Borat , to international audiences. He was well-known in his native UK for a long time before Da Ali G Show Borat.
Winona Ryder (coupled with ) and Beetlejuice Christian Slater in .
Heathers Michael Keaton in and '' Night Shift BATMAN.
Richard Gere in and American Gigolo .
An Officer and a Gentleman Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong'o in .
12 Years a Slave Jack O'Connell in .
300: Rise of an Empire Monica Keena in .
Freddy vs. Jason Reese Witherspoon in and Election .
Legally Blonde Gwyneth Paltrow (coupled with Se7en and Emma) in Shakespeare in Love''.
Dakota Fanning in .
I Am Sam Mary Elizabeth Winstead in and Sky High .
Final Destination 3 AnnaSophia Robb (coupled with ) in Bridge to Terabithia .
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Freddie Highmore (coupled with ) in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory .
Finding Neverland Laura Dern in .
Jurassic Park Rachel McAdams (coupled with ) in The Notebook . Mean Girls Amanda Seyfried may also count, but gave her more boost than this film.
Mamma Mia! Mia Wasikowska (coupled with ) in In Treatment Tim Burton's .
Alice in Wonderland Emily Browning in .
A Series of Unfortunate Events Peter Weller in .
RoboCop John Cusack in .
Say Anything Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, and Devon Bostick in . Karan Brar and Diary of a Wimpy Kid Peyton R. List are more associated with , and Chloe Moretz gained more from the aforementioned Jessie Kick-Ass.
Saoirse Ronan in .
Atonement Ryan Reynolds in .
Van Wilder Dudley Moore and Bo Derek in
10 Kevin Bacon in .
Footloose Andie Mac Dowell in .
sex, lies, and videotape Sean Penn in .
Fast Times at Ridgemont High Goldie Hawn in , which won her in Academy Award.
Cactus Flower Kurt Russell in .
Escape from New York Elizabeth Banks in the one-two punch of and Spider-Man , both released one year after the other. She would also find fame later with Seabiscuit Invincible.
Meg Ryan in .
When Harry Met Sally Edward Norton in .
Primal Fear Eric Bana in .
Chopper Guy Pearce in and L.A. Confidential .
Memento Neve Campbell in .
Scream Isla Fisher in .
Wedding Crashers Robin Wright in either or The Princess Bride .
Forrest Gump Carey Elwes and Mandy Patinkin in .
The Princess Bride Kate Beckinsale in .
Underworld Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook in .
She's All That Oscar Isaac in .
Inside Llewyn Davis Lindsay Lohan as twins in . The fireworks fly in the opening credits when "Introducing Lindsay Lohan" appears.
The Parent Trap Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain in .
The Help Rachel Weisz in .
The Mummy Trilogy The Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to have a knack for giving actors big breaks: