Exclusive Supercut: The Early Roles of Your 2017 Oscar Nominees

A look at this year's 20 nominated actors, before they were stars.

For many an actor, an Academy Award nomination (and, even better, a win) is the culmination of a career of very hard work — and often thankless work at that, doing bit parts and one-liners, background players in someone else’s scenes, dreaming of the day when they’ll be front and center. So on this, the eve of their celebration, we offer up a tribute to all that hard work: a brief glance at the first film and television appearances of the twenty acting nominees. Some (Dev Patel, Lucas Hedges) are brief and recent; some (Jeff Bridges, Isabelle Huppert) stretch clear back to the 1970s; some (Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Viggo Mortensen) spent more than a decade grinding it out as day players, before finally landing on the role they were waiting for. Here’s our toast to that grind.

Edited by Jason Bailey

Songs:

“We Belong”
Written by David Eric Lowen and Dan Navarro
Performed by Emma Stone / Pat Benatar

“City of Stars”
Written by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul
Performed by Ryan Gosling

“End Credits Suite (from Moonlight)”
Written and Performed by Nicholas Britell