First jobs: How Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf and others got their start in the industry

Sunday, March 04, 2018 04:43PM
Very few people are lucky enough to wake up rich and famous - we've all got to start somewhere, and you might be surprised about how some of Hollywood's biggest stars began their careers.


LOS ANGELES - Very few people are lucky enough to wake up rich and famous - we've all got to start somewhere, and you might be surprised about how some of Hollywood's biggest stars began their careers.

Saoirse Ronan first made a splash ten years ago in the film "Atonement."

At the time, she said it was the first film she'd like to be recognized for - which was fitting, considering it was the first of her films to be released, she added.

Recognized she was, landing a best supporting actress nomination for her portrayal of Briony Tallis.

Her "Lady Bird" co-star Laurie Metcalf made her big-screen debut in "Desperately Seeking Susan," which starred Madonna.

"I remember playing a role that was not exactly in my comfort zone," Metcalf said. "I was all gussied up in fake fingernails. I played a couple of those until I found my niche."

That movie, though, is special to "Lady Bird" director Greta Gerwig, who called it a "big flashpoint movie."

"I love that movie, and it makes so much sense that Laurie was in it and then we found each other. It all comes full circle," Gerwig said.

Australian native Margot Robbie made her United States acting debut in the short-lived ABC series "Pan Am." Woody Harrelson started off as an extra in the 1978 Barbara Eden classic "Harper Valley PTA." Sally Hawkins was also an extra in a massive crowd seen in "Star Wars: Phantom Menace."

And Allison Janney took the soap opera world by storm as a maid on "Guiding Light" in the early 90s.

"Ginger in Guiding Light was one of my first paying jobs as an actress in New York City. I was so thrilled with that job," Janney said. "I could pay my rent for the first time."
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