Skip To Content

    24 Actors From Music Videos Who Went On To Become Super Famous

    I didn't know I needed to see a red-headed Zooey Deschanel in a '90s pop punk music video until today.

    1. You probably know Taye Diggs from Rent, or Private Practice, or All American.

    Taye on a red carpet

    But his first role? He played a poker player in 2Pac's "Temptations" music video wayyy back in 1995.

    Taye shirtless in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    UMG Recordings, Inc. / Via youtube.com

    2. Rosario Dawson had already starred in Kids (her first role), but it was wayyy before all her iconic roles when she starred in her first music video.

    Rosario Dawson

    The year was 1999, and the music video was "Out of Control" by The Chemical Brothers.

    Rosario looking over her shoulder in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Virgin Records Ltd / Via youtube.com

    3. Matt LeBlanc's fame skyrocketed when he began starring in Friends...but that wasn't his first role.

    Maat LeBlanc on Jay Leno

    He was in a few different music videos in the '90s, but I think my favorite one has got to be starring in Alanis Morissette's 1991 music video for her hit "Walk Away."

    Matt in the video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    MCA Records / Via youtube.com

    4. Friends costar Courteney Cox famously appeared in a major '80s music video.

    Cox on a red carpet

    This was, of course, Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" 1984 music video.

    Cox in a concert crowd in the music video

    View this video on YouTube

    Columbia Records / Via youtube.com

    5. Zooey Deschanel became an indie darling in 500 Days of Summer, but is perhaps best-known for starring in the sitcom New Girl.

    Zooey on a red carpet

    However, wayyyy before that, Zooey starred in The Offspring's 1999 "She's Got Issues" music video — only her third role!

    Zooey in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Round Hill Records / Via youtube.com

    6. Jeremy Renner is likely best known for his role as Hawkeye in the Avengers films (and now TV show), as well as his role in the award-winning The Hurt Locker.

    Renner on a red carpet

    Well, before all that, he appeared in P!nk's 2003 music video for "Trouble."

    Jeremy in the video in a cowboy hat

    View this video on YouTube

    LaFace Records / Via youtube.com

    7. We all know fellow Marvel star Sebastian Stan is a heartthrob, but I only just recently learned he's been a heartthrob since wayyy back.

    Sebastian on a red carpet

    He starred in Hayden Panettiere's music video for her song "Wake Up Call" in 2008. This was three years before he played Bucky Barnes — though he had appeared on Gossip Girl twice for brief guest appearances.

    Sebastian in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Hollywood Records / Via youtube.com

    8. Alexander Skarsgård is now a critically acclaimed actor, but back when he was filming the first season of True Blood — the role that would make him famous — he accepted a role in a strange music video with a new artist.

    Alexander on a red carpet

    The artist was Lady Gaga, and the music video was 2009's "Paparazzi."

    Alexander next to Lady Gaga with an eye patch in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Interscope Records / Via youtube.com

    9. Robert Downey Jr. has been famous for decades, but I'm still mentioning him here because it was before his Iron Man-level superfame.

    Robert at an event

    The throwback music vid he was in is Elton John's "I Want Love." More like "I Want Love 3000," amirite?

    Robert in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    The Rocket Record Company / Mercury Records / Via youtube.com

    10. Maybe not a huge star, but still — you likely know Timothy Granaderos Jr.'s face from 13 Reasons Why.

    Timothy on a red carpet

    Years before, he had a blink-and-you-miss-it role in Selena Gomez's "Love You Like a Love Song" video in 2011. It was his first role.

    Timothy in the music video with a sombrero and lightsaber

    View this video on YouTube

    Hollywood Records / Via youtube.com

    11. X-Men actor Lucas Till has a very long resume — it's almost impossible you've never seen him onscreen, even if you don't immediately recognize him.

    Till on a red carpet

    Allow me to refresh your memory — back in 2009, he appeared in Taylor Swift's iconic music video for "You Belong with Me."

    Till next to taylor swift on a bench in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Big Machine Records / Via youtube.com

    12. Miranda Kerr was already a successful model in 2006, but she wouldn't rise to mega-fame until she became a Victoria's Secret Angel in 2007.

    Miranda at the Victoria's Secret fashion show

    A year before, she had actually appeared in the music video for "Number One" by Pharrell ft. Kanye West.

    Kerr in the video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Virgin, Star Trak, Interscope / Via youtube.com

    13. Kim Kardashian is now one of the most recognizable faces in the world.

    Kim on a red carpet

    But that wasn't the case back in 2007, when her reality TV show had only just started. In fact, you may have even missed her in Fall Out Boy's music video for "Thnks fr th Mmrs."

    Kim and Pete Wentz in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    The Island Def Jam Music Group / Via youtube.com

    14. Angelina Jolie is another SUPER recognizable face — but this wasn't so back in the early '90s.

    Jolie on a red carpet

    Her second role, all the way back in 1991, was in Antonello Venditti's music video for "Alta marea."

    Angelina reading something in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Heinz Music Srl / Via youtube.com

    15. It's hard to avoid Chrissy Teigen now, but she wasn't always this famous.

    Chrissy on a red carpet

    She was a successful model, but not as famous as she is now, when she starred in John Legend's "Stereo" music video in 2007. Of course, the two met on set, and ended up getting married and raising a beautiful family.

    Chrissy and John

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Columbia Records / Via youtube.com

    16. Evan Rachel Wood is famous for so many films and shows, most recently Westworld.

    Evan on a red carpet

    But way back when, she also appeared in Green Day's 2005 music video for "Wake Me Up When September Ends." (Okay, this is two years after her role in Thirteen, but it was so long ago and before her mega-fame that I'm still counting it!)

    Wood in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Reprise Records / Via youtube.com

    17. Ana de Armas recently starred alongside then-boyfriend Ben Affleck in the flick Deep Water, as well as appearing in major blockbusters No Time to Die, Blade Runner 2049, and Knives Out in the last five years, catapulting her into fame.

    Ana de Armas

    But way back in the day, she was in the music video for the Sidecars' 2009 song "Mundo Fragil."

    Ana in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Allison Music, S.L./SBME España, S.L. / Via youtube.com

    18. Eva Mendes is known for her many TV and movie roles (and marriage with Ryan Gosling), but she was also in multiple music videos back in the day.

    Eva Mendes

    The second was in 1997, for Aerosmith's "Hole in My Soul."

    Eva Mendes in the music video.

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Columbia Records / Via youtube.com

    19. Another Aerosmith darling was Alicia Silverstone, best known for her role in 1995's Clueless.

    Alicia in Clueless

    She appeared in four Aerosmith music videos before her starring role in Clueless. The first was 1993's "Cryin'."

    Alicia in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    UMG Recordings, Inc. / Via youtube.com

    20. Most of the examples on this list are of stars in music videos as young adults, but Labyrinth star Jennifer Connelly was still a kid in her first music video role.

    Jennifer on a red carpet

    The video — which was also her first acting role overall — was Duran Duran's "Union of the Snake." The year was 1983, and Jennifer would've been around 12 when it was filmed.

    Jennifer in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Sony ATV Publishing / Via youtube.com

    21. Zach Galifianakis skyrocketed to fame in 2009's The Hangover.

    Zach on a red carpet

    But before that, in 2005, he was in Fiona Apple's "Not About Love" music video.

    Zach in bed in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Epic Records / Via youtube.com

    22. Bobby Moynihan is a famous comedian and actor that was on SNL for almost a decade.

    Bobby in a red carpet

    But back when Bobby Moynihan was in his first season of SNL as a featured player, he starred as the love interest in Colbie Caillat's 2009 hit "Fallin' for You."

    Bobby Moynihan in "Falin' for You."

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Universal Records / Via youtube.com

    23. ER, Love, Victor, and Divergent actor Mekhi Phifer has definitely been around the block — he has a ton of roles and credits.

    Mekhi on a red carpet

    But some of his first roles were in '90s music videos. These include "Don't Let Go (Love)" by En Vogue and "Nobody" by Keith Sweat — but most iconic is Brandy and Monica's "The Boy Is Mine" from 1998.

    Brandy and Mekhi

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Atlantic Records / Via youtube.com

    24. And finally, you probably know Adrian Grenier from Entourage or as the annoying boyfriend from The Devil Wears Prada.

    Adrian on a red carpet

    But even before those roles, he had a more important one — in Britney Spears' 1999 "(You Drive Me) Crazy" music video.

    Adrien in the music video

    Watch the video here:

    View this video on YouTube

    Jive Records / Via youtube.com