Before They Were Famous: Meryl Streep & Jesse Eisenberg

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.


On August 15, 1965, almost fifty years from today, The Beatles made music history by playing a show at New York's Shea Stadium to a crowd of 56,000 fans. This marked the first ever major stadium concert. And little did they know, future nineteen-time Academy Award nominee Meryl Streep was also in the crowd. In this CBS news clip, fifteen-year-old Meryl makes her on-screen debut, proving that with all of her accolades, she is clearly just a fangirl at heart. Perhaps this is where she drew her inspiration for RICKI AND THE FLASH.

Wearing a fashionable hat, and making her love of The Beatles known, the three-time Oscar winner gave serious side-eye and attitude to the trolling reporter, who dared ask whether The Beatles had staying power. Not to mention, he pulled a total dick move and made a male fan feel bad for liking the band. Rude!

Ms. Streep recalled that night in a 2013 interview with Access Hollywood:

I can’t tell you what that night was like. Nancy Meyers and I were both at Shea Stadium that night. We were both fifteen years old, and I had a sign that said, "I love you Paul!" And last week I shot a video with Paul McCartney and then his daughter gave me this shirt! My life is perfect now… it was an amazing [night]. You can’t tell people what it was like because it was the first stadium concert. Nobody had ever done that before. They flew in helicopters. It was unbelievable! Normally, you would go hear people in a club or concert hall. They thought, in New York, no one would come, but there were 75,000 [sic] screaming fifteen-year-old girls.

Jesse Eisenberg (AMERICAN ULTRA)

Following his stint on the short-lived series GET REAL, Jesse Eisenberg, or “Butt Naked Boy”, took a page out of his little sister’s book (remember the adorable Pepsi girl?) and starred in this commercial for Dr. Pepper’s “What’s the worst that could happen” ad campaign (2001). In the commercial, Jesse’s character is in a grocery store and decides to grab a Dr. Pepper while wondering, "What's the worst that could happen?" Unsurprisingly, it doesn't take him long to find out. When he closes the glass door of the refrigerator, the glass shatters and products fall on top of him. For some reason, in order to save Jesse, the paramedics have to cut him out of his pants and underwear and carry him out of the store, buck naked, to a crowd of on-lookers and a news crew flying overhead. If I’m not mistaken, it also looks like Michelle Monaghan was one of the featured extras in the crowd.

But fear not, the butt in the commercial is not really Jesse’s. An article about the spot described the process of finding the right double for their star:

The star of the spot is, himself, a teenager; at the end of a long day of shooting, the creative team couldn't bring themselves to ask him for a butt shot. A body double was not exactly in the budget, so CW Yan Elliot took one for the team. "Everyone around the table looked at me and said, `You've got the youngest-looking ass,'" he shrugs, remarkably blasé for a guy who went bare-assed in Brooklyn in February. As Waites puts it, "You have to go the whole hog with an idea like that or forget it."

I wonder if this guy also provided his ASSistance for Jesse’s film THE DOUBLE? Thank you, I’ll be here all night.


Have a suggestion for Before They Were Famous?

E-mail us at: [email protected] with anyone you'd like to see featured in future columns!


About the Author