Before They Were Famous: Aaron Paul, Reese Witherspoon & Melissa McBride

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Welcome to “Before They Were Famous“, where we take a look at some of the past exploits of today's biggest stars, be it from movies, television, Broadway, competitions, etc.! The more embarrassing, the better. Our memories are long, but the internet's memory is forever, so jump back in time with us to witness some of our favorite stars before they were marquee names.


In one of my favorite “before they were famous” stories, pre-fame Aaron Paul (then going by Aaron Sturtevant) was a contestant on THE PRICE IS RIGHT (2000). Screaming, “You’re the man, Bob! You’re my idol!”, Aaron bolted down to Contestant’s Row and was the perfect enthusiastic competitor. Something you may not know about THE PRICE IS RIGHT is that before the show begins, producers screen audience members to find animated people they can choose to “come on down!”. It isn’t as random as it looks. Clearly Aaron fit the bill.

Aaron went on to win the first “One Bid” he competed in, guessing closest to the price of a desk. But unfortunately, Aaron’s luck soon ran out. After losing the last part of the dice game, he narrowly missed out on winning a brand new car! And, in one of the most disappointing Showcase Showdowns I’ve seen (and I have watched many PRICE IS RIGHT episodes when home “sick” from school), Aaron guesses over the price of his showcase by a mere $132. But hey, at least he got to touch Bob Barker!

Reese Witherspoon (WILD)

In 1991, a fifteen-year-old Reese Witherspoon starred in her first movie, THE MAN IN THE MOON. In the coming-of-age film, Reese plays a young girl named Dani, who falls in love with her older neighbor, Court (Jason London). At first, Court doesn’t return Dani’s affections, but he soon comes around and the two share a kiss. Relationships change, however, when Court meets and falls in love with Dani’s older sister Maureen. Dun dun dun.

In one of her very first interviews (above), Reese looks like herself, but sounds a lot different; her voice is a lot lower than it is today. Not only that, I love how dated the interview is. First, Reese says she doesn’t sing very well, while we know she will go on to win an Oscar for singing and acting as June Carter Cash in WALK THE LINE (2005). Then, she talks about how cool it would be, in thirty years, to go rent her own movie at a video store to show her kids (little did she know that in the future there would no longer be mass video stores!) Thankfully Netflix has THE MAN IN THE MOON on DVD… you know, just in case she didn’t keep a laserdisc machine lying around.

Melissa McBride (THE WALKING DEAD)

Just when you think Melissa McBride (aka Carol) can’t get any cooler, I am about to drop a bomb on you. She was on WALKER TEXAS RANGER (1997). Yep, the zombies from THE WALKING DEAD aren’t the only walkers in her life. In a two-part episode (“Lucas"), Melissa plays Lucas' (Haley Joel Osment) doctor, who monitors his health after he is diagnosed with AIDS. You may be familiar with this episode. The clip of Haley’s character announcing that Walker told him he has AIDS went viral after being shown on Conan.

Spoiler alert: Haley’s character dies, and in part two of the episode, Melissa is in the presence of Chuck Norris tears. Do you think that is why she is able to kill zombies so easily? Did the tears make contact with her and produce the ass-kicking woman we know and love today?

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