Straight to the Top: 5 Breakout Performances That Bolstered Acting Careers

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When acting seems effortless and easy, that’s probably a good performance you’re watching. Some people might think acting is just showing up, saying some words, and looking sexy, but it’s a grueling, difficult, and rigorous job. Unless you’re Schwarzenegger or Steven Seagal or something and you do actually just show up and say some lines. Sometimes actors toil on the sidelines for years waiting for their big break. The big break being that breakout role that will take them from actor/waiter to full on professional actor. Sometimes you know it when you see it. “Who is that?” you might think as you’re watching this crazy person on screen. “Where did they come from?” Here are five breakout roles that took the actor from “Who?” to “Ah they got another Oscar.” Of course there are more than five in the history of film but – we’re sticking to five.
Straight to the Top: 5 Breakout Performances That Bolstered Acting Careers

2Leonardo DiCaprio

Once upon a time the name Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t conjure up images of Oscars, fat paychecks and model girlfriends. Once, no one knew who this skinny kid was. It wasn’t Titanic that broke him out, although that did break him out on a gigantic international scale and make him basically like a national treasure. It was the movie What’s Eating Gilbert Grape directed by Lasse Hallstrom in 1993 that made people take notice. He played the younger brother of Johnny Depp and it’s a pretty amazing performance. Check it out.
Honorable mention

Jack Nicholson

Well, everybody started as an unknown, even the man himself, Mr. “courtside seats at the Lakers” Nicholson. He didn’t just spring out of nowhere as a successful, iconic, Oscar winner. He’d worked before the classic 1969 movie Easy Rider but it was his small but memorable part in that as a goofy Southern guy named George Hanson that took him a big step further to being… that man. He’s hilarious as a preppy guy who suddenly gets drunk and high with the hippies. Check it out – you can’t miss that grin.


There are a lotmore great breakout roles – let us know some of your picks.


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