Home Arts & Entertainment Making a killing: celebrities you didn’t know got their start in Horror

Making a killing: celebrities you didn’t know got their start in Horror

A column straight from the unorthodox mind of Jamie Miller. Often written during the middle of the night, Miller provides reviews of TV shows and movies, books, and details life through from his perspective (artwork by Abby Haywood/The Collegiate).

By Jamie Miller – 1 a.m.

Greeting readers, the witching hour is once more upon us which can only mean one thing: it’s time for yet another issue of Night Light. Once again I, the warrior of weird ideas Jamie Miller, am here to bring it to you. 

To start I want to ask you a question: what is your favorite scary movie? Now some of you may say the “Scream” saga. Some may say, “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Maybe a few favor “Halloween” and, heck, some of you may even think of a lesser known movie like “House of Wax” or “My Bloody Valentine.” You all know your favorite. However, what you might not know is many actors got their start in humble roles in these types of movies, and in similar shows. Tonight I’m here to dig up these forgotten roles and rip them from the darkness and bring them into the light… the Night Light. 

Jennifer Aniston is seen by many as Hollywood royalty. She has been in many movies and TV shows, from “Friends,” to “Marley & Me,” to “Horrible Bosses.” Aniston’s career has been a long one. However, do you know what her first major role was? It was Tory Reding, the female heroine in “Leprechaun” which is a – dare I say – “ridiculous” movie which tells the tale of a leprechaun who, after being freed from a crate, begins killing people while looking for his stolen gold. “Leprechaun” was released in 1993, a year before “Friends” catapulted Aniston to mega stardom.

Paul Rudd… you may know him as the comedic but powerful Ant Man. However, what you may not know is one of Rudd’s first movie role was in “Halloween: the Curse of Michael Myers.” It was the sixth “Halloween” movie and in the eyes of many the black sheep of the franchise. Rudd plays Tommy Doyle, a character originally seen in the very first Halloween movie as a child that the protagonist was babysitting. In “Halloween 6” Tommy had grown up to be a paranoid, borderline obsessed man who would seek to save the protagonists and stop Michael once and for all. This was back in 1995.

Yet another example of a well-known actor who starred in a horror movie before they were a star is Amy Adams. Adams has been in quite a few movies, from “Catch Me if You Can,” “The Fighter,” and “American Hustle.” You may be interested to know that one of her earliest roles was in a little-known horror movie called “Psycho Beach Party.” The movie is in your standard slasher movie format: a group of teenagers arrive at a location to party, start dying one by one in brutal ways, and the dwindling group of survivors fight to live to see another day. This movie was released back in 2000.

One of the most interesting examples, in my mind at least, has to be that of mega star Johnny Depp. Depp, who is known for such roles as Captain Jack Sparrow and the Mad Hatter actually got his start in the original “ A Nightmare on Elm Street” playing the role of Glen Lantz. And unlike a lot of early acting roles in horror movies, these were not small parts in an obscure movie. Lantz is finally killed just before the climax of the movie, and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is a well-known and popular movie to this day. People just forgot that Captain Sparrow himself was in it. 

However, horror films aren’t the only format that well known actors starred in before they were stars. Brad Pitt, who has been in far too many movies to name, is beloved by many a person, and is a celebrity “sex symbol,” has had a very great career. However long before “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” or “Fury,” Pitt was in a TV anthology  called “Freddy’s Nightmares,” a spinoff of the “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies. As is often the case in anthologies, Pitt was only in one episode.

However, I would not be a true horror fan if I didn’t briefly mention some other celebrities who were in horror films. Chester Bennington, who was known for being the lead singer and frontman of the rock band Linkin Park, had a role in “Saw 3D” as a racist skinhead named Evan. Paris Hilton was in “House of Wax” in the role of Paige Edwards. And on a sad note the singer Aaliyah’s final role was Queen Akasha, the “mother of all vampires” in the horror film “Queen of the Damned.” Aaliyah was robbed of her promising career when she was killed in a plane crash in 2001, a year before the movie would be released, at the age of 22.

So there you have it, those were just a few actors and actresses who got their start in horror movies. I hope you enjoyed it. And a little tip, if you see a burned man in a fedora in your dreams, run.


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