4. Jennifer Aniston – Leprechaun
While the tagline to the film Leprechaun might be “Your luck just ran out,” starting her film career in this classic B-movie turned out to be a pot of gold for Jennifer Aniston.
In Leprechaun, Aniston plays Tory, a teenage girl who finds herself trapped in battle for her life when an evil imp begins terrorizing her family in search of his stolen pot of gold.
Watching Aniston’s debut film performance, you can see all of the traits that would eventually make her a huge star. Beyond her obvious acting chops and undeniable charisma, the young actress’ unwavering commitment to the scene, even in absurd circumstances, nicely foreshadows the comedic chops she’d eventually bring to her career-defining role in the hit TV show Friends.
While there’s no denying Leprechaun leans toward the silly side, it’s become an absolute classic for the midnight movie crowd. Even so, Aniston claims she was “mortified” when then fiance Justin Theroux stumbled across the film on TV.
Comedy only lands when an actor commits to taking the stakes seriously without weighing down the bit. It’s one of the hardest challenges an actor can pull off, and Aniston does it flawlessly every time. And there’s no reason to be ashamed of that.
3. Angela Bassett – Critters 4
Although Angela Bassett’s recent genre contributions in American Horror Story are well known among modern horror fans, some may be surprised to learn that the actress has horror movies to thank for helping start her impressive career.
While A-List legend Bassett had been appearing on TV for years, she had only been cast in four other films when she won the role of Fran in Critters 4.
The fourth installment in the Critters franchise takes place in 2045 aboard a spaceship that discovers the last two critter eggs in existence. Bassett plays the ship’s pilot Fran, a hardworking woman whose day job turns into a nightmare when she and her crew mates decide to try to earn some fast cash by selling the eggs to the highest bidder. Of course, the critters have other ideas.
While the movie is, in classic Critters fashion, undeniably zany, Bassett breathes life into her character, balancing the outrageous circumstances of the script with grounded, real life reactions, highlighting the talents this actress would bring to the dozens of films she would help bring to life in the years to come.
Catch Critters 4 on VUDU, You Tube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Netflix and iTunes.