Before They Were Famous: Zac Efron, Pedro Pascal & Elisabeth Moss

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.


Sometimes I forget FIREFLY (2002), the short-lived, yet shiniest cult TV show, premiered thirteen years ago. Seriously, does Nathan Fillion age?! Well, that is, until I get to episode 5 (“Safe”) and notice 14-year-old Zac Efron playing the part of a young Simon. In the flashback, we find out more about the backstory of brother/sister duo, Simon and River. Taking his father’s advice to heart, we discover what prompted Simon to become a “brilliant doctor” (:ahem: medic) on the decks of the Serenity.

In a 2012 interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Efron talked about his experience on FIREFLY, which was his first on-screen gig, “I must have been twelve or thirteen. I was fresh off the stage and did not know what I was doing. My first paying job was for a show called FIREFLY. I had, like, five lines on this little TV show called FIREFLY.” Kimmel asked how much Zac was paid to be on the show and he replied, “It was a couple thousand bucks, and it was a lot of money at that time. I think I had a total of $800 in my bank account – life’s savings… I freaked out. I was holding [the check] on the way home. My dad was going, ‘Man, that is real money. Maybe you should keep doing this.’ I hadn’t really heard that from my dad before.  He was the most skeptical, but he was very impressed by it. He said, ‘Maybe you should keep doing this for a little while because your college funds aren’t exactly in line. If you keep doing this maybe you could go to a nice school.’

So I guess we have Joss Whedon to thank for Zefron. Bets on if we will ever see him at a Browncoat Convention?

Pedro Pacal (NARCOS)


A video posted by Erin Whitney (@cinemabite) on

Speaking of Whedonverse cult classics, it seems like at least once a year I notice another famous actor who got his/her start on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Today's guest of honor is none other than GAME OF THRONES star Pedro Pascal. In the season 4 premiere, "The Freshman" (1999), Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is starting her freshman year at college. After not having a good first day, she meets another student named Eddie (Pascal) who relates to her feeling of not belonging. But of course, Buffy can't have nice things and the next day she finds out her new friend is missing. The only thing left in his empty dorm room is a note saying he went home due to stress. The ever suspicious Buffy can tell something is not right and encounters her now vamp'ed out friend during her next patrol. She is forced to turn him to dust.

Pedro might not have lasted long in the Whedonverse, but on the bright side, at least he got to flirt with Sarah Michelle Gellar, wear vampire makeup, AND was staked by Buffy. And hey, he didn't lose any eyes in the process!

Elisabeth Moss (QUEEN OF EARTH)

Elisabeth Moss may have made a name for herself on a television show about advertising (MAD MEN), but before she was Peggy Olson, she starred in a national advertisement for Excedrin (2005). I still see this commercial on TV today! It looks like this aired sometime during Moss’ run (1999-2006) on THE WEST WING, where she played President Bartlet’s daughter, Zoey.

In an interview with the New York Times, Moss spoke about the ad, “It was a good ad and a good performance, but if the person becomes recognizable, I would think that would work against you, because you want a normal person…I’m sure Peggy would get lots of headaches, yeah. Are you kidding? Both physical and emotional — but I think that Peggy also would have thought that was a great ad.”

What do you think? Would Peggy have approved of this commercial? I think she would have given it a little more flair… maybe hire a couple of actors to fight over the Excedrin tablets like she did Sugarberry Hams?


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