Before They Were Famous: Jack Black, Tom Hiddleston & Sandra Bullock

Last Updated on August 2, 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.


Just look at that face. There is no denying that the star of this 1982 commercial for the Atari 2600 video game “Pitfall!” is a young Jack Black. Wearing his best pith helmet (yes, that is what those hats are called), thirteen-year-old Jack talks about maneuvering “Pitfall Harry” through such obstacles as quicksand, scorpions, and crocodiles to collect treasures. Game developer David Crane claims these treasures were the first video game achievements.

Pitfall! went on to become the second best-selling Atari game of all time. And even now, Black can still summon up his line from the commercial. He recited it for a recent interview with The New Yorker, and on the podcast “The Indoor Kids”. At around the 41:31 mark, he recites his line and explains, “I did a Pitfall Harry commercial. That was my first job. I still remember all of my lines. I was so excited. They didn’t give me free anything, but the gig paid well! I was only thirteen-years-old so I didn’t get to spend any of it.”   

But, the rudimentary graphics aren’t the only things that make the game stand apart from those today. In Pitfall!, you only had 20 minutes and 3 lives to beat the game. If you want to try your hand at beating Pitfall! yourself, check it out online here. Let us know your high score in the comment section below!


Leave it to Tom Hiddleston to bring some musicality and humor to the otherwise tragic Shakespearean play, CYMBELINE. I don’t know what I love more, Tom hitting that “arise” high note, or his killer dance moves. Well, who am I kidding, of course it’s gotta be the dance moves.

This Cheek by Jowl theater company production of Cymbeline took place in 2007 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Harvey Theater. Tom starred as both Posthumus and Cloten in the show. Fun fact, GAME OF THRONES and upcoming STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS star Gwendoline Christie also appeared in the production, playing the part of the treacherous Queen (video here).   

Too bad this wasn’t the version of CYMBELINE that was theatrically released earlier this year, which starred Penn Badgley as Posthumus. As our review shows, it could have used some body rolling dance moves from Hiddleston.

Sandra Bullock (OUR BRAND IS CRISIS)

Combining the looks of the bouffant-loving Amy Winehouse and Snooki, this 1991 clip shows 27-year-old Sandra Bullock auditioning for an unknown movie/television show. Obviously the best part of the clip is the end, where Bullock, who is rocking a Jersey accent, calls out a man for thinking she would ever be interested in a “loo-zuh” like him.

In an interview with the AP, Bullock described how she developed an ear for accents, “I learned a lot of accents as a bartender. A lot of girls came in looking for rich husbands. I learned to imitate them.” I wonder which (un)lucky loozuh gave Bullock the inspiration for this performance?

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