Oscars: A Look Back at the Best Actress Nominees' First Feature Film Roles

11:43 AM 2/17/2016

by Christina Schoellkopf

See how Jennifer Lawrence, Brie Larson, Cate Blanchett, Saoirse Ronan and Charlotte Rampling got their start on the big screen.

Cate Blanchett in 'Paradise Road'
Fox Searchlight/Photofest

Ahead of the 88th annual Academy Awards on Feb. 28, The Hollywood Reporter is taking a look back at each best actress nominee's humble beginnings. This year's contenders — Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room) and Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) — have come a long way since their first feature film credits. 

  • Saoirse Ronan

    At the young age of 13, Saoirse Ronan had her first feature film credit in the 2007 romantic comedy I Could Never Be Your Woman. The Irish-American actress played Michelle Pfeiffer's daughter and starred alongside Paul Rudd. That was a lucky year for the Hollywood starlet; she also earned a best supporting actress Oscar nomination for her performance in Atonement, which was released the same year. 

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    Only 25, Jennifer Lawrence has already racked up four Oscar nominations, but when did she have her first brush with fame? Years before playing Mystique in X-Men, Katniss in The Hunger Games or one of David O. Russell's dramatic characters, she made her feature film debut as a cigarette-smoking teenager named Tiff. In 2008, Lawrence had a small role in the drama Garden Party. Check out the Joy star's early acting style in the clip below, when she was 18 years old:

  • Cate Blanchett

    Cate Blanchett landed her first feature film credit when she was 28 years old. Alongside co-stars Glenn Close and Frances McDormand, the Australian actress played the role of Susan Macarthy in the 1997 historical drama Paradise Road. Skip to 1:08 in the video below to watch her cry, "Take cover!" 

  • Brie Larson

    Brie Larson, who has already won a Golden Globe, Critics' Choice award, Screen Actors Guild award and BAFTA award for her Oscar-nominated performance in Room, has had a long history on the big screen before earning her first best actress Oscar nomination this year. Back in 2004, when she was only 15, she earned her first feature film credit as one of the sassy "six chicks" in 13 Going on 30. Take a look at her opening scene at 2:15 below.

  • Charlotte Rampling

    Best actress nominee Charlotte Rampling's career on the big screen spans an incredible five decades. The 45 Years star began her journey in film at the age of 19 with the 1965 comedy Rotten to the Core, in which she starred alongside Anton Rodgers.

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