Like most things, it started with a tweet. A retweet, to be exact, but an effective one at that. A few nights ago, a friend retweeted somebody quoting the theme song of Disney Channel Original Movie, Life-Size, “Shine bright, shine far, don’t be shy, be a star!” From that alone, I was inspired to re-watch some of my favorite retro TV flicks. To my surprise, I discovered some seriously famous actors had roles in made-for-television films before making it big. Behold, the buried TV movie pasts of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
10. and 9. Drew Barrymore and Keanu Reeves
These two performers have been in the business for decades, and in 1986, they starred alongside each other in Babes in Toyland, which was broadcast on NBC right before Christmas of that year.
8. Katherine Heigl
Who didn’t want to be Alexia Wheaton in Wish Upon a Star? Growing up, I wanted to look just like teenage Katherine Heigl in this adorable Disney Channel Original, but similar to her onscreen sister Hayley, I lacked her towering presence and untouchable confidence. Plus, she had a pretty amazing wardrobe for a high school student. Wish Upon a Star is charming no matter how old or young you are, and it proves that Heigl has always had star quality.
7. and 6. Elisabeth Moss and Erik von Detten
Before Elisabeth Moss was Peggy Olson, she was an orphaned twin with magical powers, in the remake of Escape to Witch Mountain. Her twin brother was portrayed by Princess Diaries heartthrob Erik von Detten, and they made quite an adorable pair of siblings!
We all know her from That’s So Raven, but she was also the super cool BFF in Zenon. I may have liked sassy Nebula just as much as I liked main character Zenon Kar.
4. Tyra Banks
The inspiration for this list! Tyra Banks was the fun Barbie doll-turned-human in Life-Size, which also starred a young Lindsay Lohan. Speaking of LiLo…
3. Lindsay Lohan
Before Mean Girls, there was Get a Clue, and Lindsay Lohan sure rocked the heck out of that TV movie. Fun fact: New Girl guest star Brenda Song was in it as well!
2. and 1. Kathy Lee Gifford and Justin Timberlake
Model Behavior had many hilarious one-liners, some of which were uttered by N’Sync leading man Justin Timberlake and TV host Kathie Lee Gifford. I wonder why we never heard much from the leading actress Maggie Lawson after that, but at least she can say she’s kissed JT!