This Year’s Oscar-Nominated Roles And Their Actors’ First Onscreen Appearances

This year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Leading and Best Supporting performances make up a wide array of long and not-quite-as-long careers.

One thing they have in common is, like every actor, they all got their start somewhere. Take a look at this year’s Oscar-nominated actors in their first onscreen roles:

Javier Bardem

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Javier is up for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Being the Ricardos.

Here he is in his first role.

Television Española

He played Alonso in an episode of the Spanish TV series El picaro in 1974.

And here he is in Being the Ricardos.

AmazonPrime

Starring as Ricky Ricardo earned him his fourth Oscar nomination.

Jessie Buckley

Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Jessie is up for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Lost Daughter.

Here she is in her first role.

Acorn Media

She played Emily in the British miniseries Rosamunde Pilcher’s Shades of Love in 2010.

And here she is in The Lost Daughter.

netflix

Her performance as the younger version of Olivia Colman’s character, Leda, earned Jessie her first Oscar nomination.

Jessica Chastain

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Jessica is up for Best Actress in a Leading Role for The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

Here she is in her first role.

NBC

She played Dahlia Taslitz, a patient’s daughter, in an episode of RE in 2004.

And here she is in The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

Searchlight Pictures

Starring as evangelist and TV personality Tammy Faye earned her her third Oscar nomination.

Olivia Colman

Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Olivia is up for Best Actress in a Leading Role for The Lost Daughter.

Here she is in her first role.

BBC Two

Olivia starred in the BBC Two sketch comedy show bruising in 2000.

And here she is in The Lost Daughter.

netflix

Starring as the troubled Leda earned her her third Oscar nomination.

Penelope Cruz

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Penélope is up for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Parallel Mothers.

Here she is in her first role.

Television Española

She played La Bella Durmiente in an episode of the Spanish TV series The worlds of Yupi in 1990.

And here she is in Parallel Mothers.

SONY Pictures

Starring as mother and photographer Janis in the Spanish drama earned her fourth Oscar nomination.

Benedict Cumberbatch

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Benedict is up for Best Actor in a Leading Role for The Power of the Dog.

Here he is in his first role.

BBC

He played tabloid reporter Jeremy in the BBC miniseries Fields of Gold in 2002.

And here he is in The Power of the Dog.

netflix

Starring as rancher Phil Burbank earned him his second Oscar nomination.

Ariana DeBose

Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Ariana is up for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for West Side Story.

Here she is in one of her earliest roles.

CBS

Ariana has been acting onstage for over 10 years and made her onscreen debut as Sophie a 2016 episode of Blue Bloods. (She also appeared as herself in a 2009 episode of So You Think You Can Dance.)

And here she is in West Side Story.

20th Century Studios

Her performance as Anita earned her her first Oscar nomination.

Judi Dench

John Sibley / Reuters

Judi is up for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Belfast.

Here she is in one of her earliest roles.

Sapphire Movies

She first starred as the title character in a 1959 BBC adaptation of Hilda Lesswaysfollowed by a few more TV roles before appearing in an episode of The Four Just Men in 1960 (seen above).

And here she is in Belfast.

Universal Pictures

Her performance as Granny earned her her eighth Oscar nomination.

Kirsten Dunst

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Kirsten is up for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Power of the Dog.

Here she is in one of her earliest roles.

NBC

Her very first onscreen appearance was as one of Lisa’s daughters in New York Stories in 1988. That same year she popped up on Saturday Night Live as George Bush’s granddaughter, and then again in 1990 in a fake commercial (seen above).

And here she is in The Power of the Dog.

Netflix/courtesy of the Everett Collection

Her performance as Rose Burbank earned her her first Oscar nomination.

Aunjanue Ellis

Ringo Chiu / Reuters

Aunjanue is up for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for King Richard.

Here she is in her first role.

fox

She played Claudia in an episode of New York Undercover in 1995.

And here she is in King Richard.

Warner Bros. /courtesy Everett Collection

Her performance as Oracene “Brandy” Price earned her her first Oscar nomination.

Andrew Garfield

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Andrew is up for Best Actor in a Leading Role for tick, tick…BOOM!

Here he is in his first role.

Hermit & Company Films

He played Simmo in a short film called Mumbo-Jumbo in 2005.

netflix

Starring as Jonathan Larson in tick, tick…BOOM! earned him his second Oscar nomination.

Ciaran Hinds

Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Ciarán is up for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Belfast.

Here he is in one of his earliest roles.

Warner Bros.

He first appeared in an episode of out of the past in 1977, as well as a TV movie called The Long March in 1980. in 1981 he appeared as the knight Lot in Excalibur.

And here he is in Belfast.

Universal Pictures

His performance as Pop in Belfast earned him his first Oscar nomination.

Nicole Kidman

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Nicole is up for Best Actress in a Lead Role for Being the Ricardos.

Here she is in her first role.

Barron Films/Umbrella Entertainment

She played Helen in the Australian movie Bush Christmas in 1983.

And here she is in Being the Ricardos.

AmazonPrime

Starring as Lucille Ball in the biopic earned her her fifth Oscar nomination.

Troy Kotsur

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Troy is up for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for CODA.

Here he is in his first role.

Lifetime

He played Lars on an episode of the medical drama StrongMedicine in 2001.

And here he is in CODA.

AppleTV+

His performance as Frank earned him his first Oscar nomination. He and his CODA costar Marlee Matlin are the only two dead actors to receive nominations.

jesse plemons

Momodu Mansaray/WireImage/Getty Images

Jesse is up for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Power of the Dog.

Here he is in one of his earliest roles.

Paramount Pictures

He had a small role in a movie called Finding North in 1998, but unfortunately I couldn’t find any images or footage of him in that. The following year he played Tommy Harbor in Varsity Blues (seen above).

And here he is in The Power of the Dog.

Netflix/courtesy Everett Collection

His performance as George Burbank earned him his first Oscar nomination.

JK Simmons

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

JK is up for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Being the Ricardos.

Here he is in his first role.

NBC

He played a police officer in the TV movie Popeye Doyle in 1986.

And here he is in Being the Ricardos.

AmazonPrime

His performance as William Frawley (the actor who played I Love Lucy character Fred Mertz) in Being the Ricardos earned him his second Oscar nomination.

Kodi Smit McPhee

Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Kodi is up for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Power of the Dog.

Here he is in his first role.

Ronin Movies

He played Teddy in the 2006 indie movie Stranded.

And here he is in The Power of the Dog.

netflix

His performance as Peter Gordon in the cowboy drama earned him his first Oscar nomination.

Will Smith

Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

Will is up for Best Actor in a Leading Role for King Richard.

Here he is in one of his earliest roles.

New Line Cinema / courtesy Everett Collection

Not accounting for music videos and guest spots as himself (like in a 1990 episode of Blossom), Will’s first role was technically in an episode of ABC Afterschool Specials in 1991, where he played a character named Hawker.

That episode appears to be lost to the sands of time, though, so I included his second role, as Manny in the 1992 movie Where the Day Takes You.

And here he is in King Richard.

Warner Bros. /courtesy Everett Collection

Starring as the titular Richard Williams earned him his third Oscar nomination. (He also received one as a producer on the film, which was nominated for Best Picture.)

Kristen Stewart

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Kristen is up for Best Actress in a Leading Role for spencer.

Here she is in her first role.

disney

Her character didn’t have any lines (or a name) but the 1999 Disney Channel original movie The Thirteenth Year was her screen debut.

And here she is in spencer.

Neon / courtesy Everett Collection

Starring as Princess Diana in the biopic earned her her first Oscar nomination.

Denzel Washington

Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

Denzel is up for Best Actor in a Leading Role forThe Tragedy of Macbeth.

Here he is in his first role.

Cappy Productions

He played Robert in Wilmathe 1977 TV movie about Olympic gold medalist Wilma Rudolph.

And here he is in The Tragedy of Macbeth.

A24 / AppleTV+

Starring as Macbeth earned him his tenth Oscar nomination.

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