Many of Hollywood’s favorite actors are now enjoying an illustrious career that adheres to no playbook anyone could have contrived a decade or so ago. Let’s take a look at some of our famous actors, how their careers began, and when they first got their big break in these R-rated movies.
The Poker House (2008) There are some who would guess that Lawrence’s first R-rated movie would be Winter’s Bone, but the truth is it’s the movie The Poker House. She plays the role of a young girl based on the autobiography of actress turned film director Lori Petty, a period drama set in Iowa portraying the difficult childhood of Petty.
Lawrence’s movies have grossed over $5.7 billion globally, and she was the highest-paid actress in the world from 2015 to 2016. She appeared in Time’s 100 List of most influential people in the World in 2013 and on the Forbes Celebrity list in 2014 and 2016. In her younger years, she would perform in school musicals and church plays. A talent scout spotted her at the age of 14 while she was in New York City. She started making guest appearances on TV, then the role in X-Men and Hunger Games came along, and as they say, the rest is history.
Dazed and Confused (1993) Matthew was an unknown who was plucked from nowhere by Director Richard Linklater and cast in his first R-rated role in the coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused. The film showcases a huge ensemble of actors who would later become famous, like Ben Affleck, Jason London, Milla Jovovich, Cole Hauser, Adam Goldberg, Parker Posey, Joey Lauren Adams, Nicky Katt, and Rony Cochrane. The film is about a bunch of Texas teens during the last day of school in 1976.
McConaughey was known for his roles in romantic comedies in the 2000s, films like Failure to Launch, The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Fool’s Gold, and Failure to Launch were all hits during that decade.
Léon: The Professional (1994) Portman was born to act, as shown in her first R-rated film Leon in 1994. This was her feature film debut as Mathilda, a young protegee of a hitman (Jean Reno). Being 11 years old at that time, Portman was able to give a great performance as an orphan who has her family killed by a corrupt DEA agent, played by Gary Oldman.
We all remember Natalie Portman for her role as Padme Amidala in Star Wars Episode 1- The Phantom Menace. She was still in high school during this time when she played this role which gave her international recognition. Being part of such a huge production as Star Wars was only the start of bigger success for Portman. In 2004, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and eventually won a Golden Globe Award for a role in the drama film Closer.
48 Hrs. (1982) Murphy was a huge Hollywood star in the ‘80s, he was already appearing on Saturday Night Live at the age of 19. He eventually made the leap into film, and his first R-rated role was in the movie 48 Hrs. The movie starred Nick Nolte and Murphy, who teamed up as a cop and convict duo to catch two cop killers. Eddie was nominated for a Golden Globe for his portrayal of convict Reggie Hammond, who teams up with Nolte’s character Jack Cates who needs to solve a crime case in 48 hours.
48 Hours was said to be the first film that had the “buddy cop” theme, which then gave way to the release of subsequent films of the same genre, like Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon, and Rush Hour. Murphy is a comedian who started out as a stand-up comic before bringing his talents to the silver screen. He also writes, sings, and produces films for a living.
Hard Candy (2005) Page’s appearance in the thriller Hard Candy was a coming-out party for him. he gives a great performance as a teen who is able to turn the tables on a predator played by actor Patrick Wilson. he was only 18 years old during that time but looked years younger due to the short hair cut he had back then. The movie was directed by David Slade and written by Brian Nelson. This was the first feature film for Slade, who was known for directing music videos.
Page is an actor and producer, he began her career in Canadian TV, which included shows like Pit Pony, ReGenesis, and Trailer Park Boys. he won the Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress for Hard Candy. For the movie Juno, he was nominated for An Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) Sean Penn was not the only star to make his R-rated debut in director Amy Heckerling’s teen flick classic. Cage was barely in the film, but he manages to bring it the only way Nicolas Cage can. Cage has been awarded a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his classic performance as an alcoholic Hollywood writer in the film Leaving Las Vegas.
He has also ventured into film directing and has been nominated for a Grand Special Prize at the Deauville Film Festival for the movie Sonny. Cage also owns the film production company Saturn Films, which has produced the likes of The Life of David Gale and Shadow of the Vampire. He was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998 with a Star for motion pictures which can be seen at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard.
Idle Hands (1999) Alba was a relatively unknown TV actress who broke into feature films with a horror role which a lot of young actresses do at the beginning of their careers. She stood out in her role in Idle Hands, her first R-rated film. The story revolves around the life of a lazy teenager whose hand becomes possessed and goes on a killing rampage, even after being cut off from his arm.
Alba is an actress and businesswoman. She started her movie and TV appearances when she was 13 in The Secret World of Alex Mack and Camp Nowhere. She became popular at age 19 as a lead actress in the TV series Dark Angel where she received a Golden Globe nomination. She became an established Hollywood actress after her big-screen breakthrough in the movie Honey in 2003.
Wet Hot American Summer (2001) Aside from Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper was also making his first R-rated film debut in Wet Hot American Summer. He was by Amy’s side for most of her scenes but will be remembered for his highly sensual make-out scene in the woodshed with Michael Ian Black.
Cooper has been a nominee for many awards, like seven Academy Awards and a Tony Award. He won a Grammy and a BAFTA award. He was also included in Forbes Celebrity 100 two times and Time’s list of 100 most influential people in the world for 2015. His movies have grossed over $7.8 billion globally, and he has been listed as one of the world’s highest-paid actors for three years.
Just Cause (1995) Before her popular role as Black Widow in Marvel’s Avengers series of films, a 10-year-old Scarlett made her R-rated film debut in 1995 in the thriller Just Cause with veteran actors Sean Connery and Ed Harris. She gets kidnapped near the end of the movie and was going to loos her life but was saved in the end. Scarlett must have enjoyed R-rated films because her next two roles were rated R as well ( If Lucy Fell, Manny, and Lo).
Many forget that Scarlett is not only an actress but a singer as well. She is one of the world’s highest-paid actresses and has her own star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She always wanted to be an actress as she appeared on stage in an Off-Broadway play as a young child. She debuted in the comedy fantasy film North and got nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Manny and Lo.
The Hollywood Knights (1980) Pfeiffer was only 21 when she was chosen to star as a high schooler in the 1980 frat house comedy, The Hollywood Knights. It was her first feature film that also had an R-rating. She played a small role as Tony Danza’s girl named Suzie Q.
The story of the film takes place on Halloween night when members of a drag racing club known as the Hollywood Knights learn that their favorite Beverly Hills hangout, Tubby’s Diner, is being demolished to give way for the construction of an office building. The club’s leader vows to fight for the diner while the police try to do their job and shut the diner down. The film is known to be a rip-off of American Graffiti but is also noted for the debut performances of many famous actors.
My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) Some critics consider him the greatest living actor in the history of cinema. He started off in television and had his first major supporting role in The Bounty (1984), which was followed by an independent film and his first R-rated film for Lewis, My Beautiful Laundrette. The latter has now become a landmark film for gay cinema. A British comedy-drama film directed by Stephen Frears and released by Working Title Films.
My Beautiful Laundrette opened in New York City, and it showed his astounding acting skills to audiences and critics alike, which established him as a major talent in the business. The New York Film Critics cited him as Best Supporting Actor for his performance.
The Deer Hunter (1978) Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep had an astounding debut on the R-rated arena, with the film The Deer Hunter, in 1978. It was an epic American war and drama film about a trio of Russian American steelworkers whose lives were forever changed after fighting in the Vietnam War. The three soldiers were played by famous actors Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and John Savage.
Streep was already 28 at the time, which saw her transition into film late after being a successful stage actress. This film marked Streep’s first Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress. She is known to be the most nominated actress in film history.
Taxi Driver (1976) This American thriller directed by Martin Scorsese was Jodie Foster's first debut in an R-rated movie. Foster, who was only 12 years old during the shoot, plays an underage night girl who had famous actor Harvey Keitel as her pimp. There were instances where Foster’s sister, Connie, who was 19 at the time, had to be used as her body double for explicit scenes.
The film became a critical and commercial success upon release and was nominated for Academy Awards, including Best Actor, Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actress for Jodie Foster. It also generated a lot of controversies, mostly due to its depiction of violence and the casting of the 12-year-old Foster as a night girl.
This Boy's Life (1993) We can argue that DiCaprio’s first R-rated role was in the film Poison Ivy, the problem is he only appeared in it for about a second, so this brings us to This Boy’s Life as his first role in an adult rated film. He plays a writer in the film Tobias Wolff, which tells a story about the author’s childhood.
The film also stars award-winning actor Robert De Niro, who stars as Wolff’s violent stepfather. The plot revolves around the relationship between a rebellious teenager and an abusive stepfather. When things start to get too violent for the young author, he plots to make his escape. Both De Niro and DiCaprio turn in remarkable performances that showcased the hatred conveyed by both of their characters bordering on being downright scary.
Mystic Pizza (1988) Who can forget megastar Julia Roberts of the Pretty Woman and My Best Friend’s Wedding fame? The queen of romantic comedy movies also has Runaway Bride and Notting Hill as part of her blockbuster hits. Roberts is now also a producer and not just an actress.
The Pretty Woman sweetheart had her first R-rated appearance in the coming-of-age drama movie Mystic Pizza in 1998. Upon showing, film critic Roger Ebert said that the movie ”may someday become known for the movie stars it showcased back before they became stars.” This statement did come to pass as another cast member is also featured in our list of famous stars who made their first R-rated movies…
Mystic Pizza (1988) Damon is known for his collaboration with Ben Affleck in writing the blockbuster movie Good Will Hunting. The film won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Damon and Affleck, opening the door for the duo to become bankable stars in the industry. The late comedy great Robin Williams also won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The film made over $225 million from a measly $10 million budget during its run. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards.
Matt made his film debut in an R-rated film Mystic Pizza along with another of our famous stars Julia Roberts. He appears as Robert’s rich new boyfriend’s younger brother. He was only 17 years old during the filming. The movie charts the lives and loves of three amazing waitresses in a small town called Mystic.
Jungle Fever (1991) Berry’s first R-rated role came in Spike Lee’s classic hit Jungle Fever in 1991. She plays the role of Vivian, the love of crackhead Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Gator. Gator gets killed by his father while ransacking their home for dirty money.
Berry would go on to win an Academy Award in 2002 for Best Actress for her portrayal in the romantic film Monster’s Ball in 2001. As of the year 2018, she is the only African American who has won the award. She is one of the highest-paid actresses during the 2000s and is also a Revlon spokesmodel. She started out as a model and even entered a beauty contest where she finished 1st runner up in a Miss USA Pageant. She is also popular for her role as Storm in the X-Men string of movies.
S.F.W. (1994) Reese appeared in her first R-rated film back in 1994 in the comedy-drama film S.F.W. This forgettable film has a current score of 12 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, which makes it something the famous actress would want to forget. She stars with Stephen Dorff, whom she falls for in the film while they were being held hostage. The hostage crisis ends in violence, and this is where the characters of Dorff and Witherspoon bond together as they navigate through the path of having celebrity status after the hostage crisis was caught on camera.
Reese has won an Academy Award and is now a producer and an entrepreneur as well. She began her film career in 1991 as a teenager with her film debut in the movie The Man in the Moon, which got her a nomination for Young Artist Award. She eventually got her break when she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the black comedy Election in 1999.
Havoc (2005) Anne started out with an image of being wholesome with her roles in Princess Diaries and Ella Enchanted. This image was quickly discarded when she appeared in the critically acclaimed film Havoc in 2005. Anne plays the role of Allison, who has several nude scenes and talks using profanity as her character ventures deeper into the crime world with gang members and dealers as their sphere of influence.
Anne was one of the world’s highest-paid actresses in 2015 and has garnered multiple awards, which include an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Primetime Emmy, and a British Academy Film Award.
Love Is All There Is (1996) Jolie was 20 years old when she made her R-rated film debut in the 1996 romantic comedy Love Is All There Is. The movie is based on the story of Romeo and Juliet while having the Bronx as the setting. The film was not that good, but Jolie stood out among the cast of unknown actors.
This modern retelling of the William Shakespeare classic was filmed at the Greentree Country Club in New York and in City Island, Bronx, New York. Jolie has been in the limelight due to her widely publicized split with famous actor Brad Pitt. She has received an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award. She has also been one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood today.
1969 (1988) Ryder appeared in her first R-rated film in the coming-of-age indie film 1969. The film stars Robert Downey Jr. and Kiefer Sutherland as two friends trying their best to avoid the Vietnam War. Ryder plays Downey’s sister, and Kiefer falls in love with her.
Ryder is now a film producer, aside from being an actress. She has received a Golden Globe Award and has been nominated for two Academy Awards. She made her film debut in Lucas in 1986, then came into the limelight for her supporting role in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice in 1998. She became popular for starring roles in films like Heathers, Mermaids, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Edward Scissorhands.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Before he became Jack Sparrow and sailed the seven seas aboard the Black Pearl, Depp made his first R-rated film in the horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. He got the part when his friend Nicolas Cage pushed him to act and sent him to his agent. Depp heeded Cage’s advice and auditioned for the part in Nightmare. Director Wes Craven was the one who hired him on the spot.
Depp is an actor, musician, and producer. He has been nominated for ten Golden Globe Awards and won one for Best Actor for the film Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in 2008. He has also been nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Actor. He gained popularity on the 80s tv series 21 Jumpstreet. He is the third highest-grossing actor globally, with films grossing over $10 billion worldwide.
Primal Fear (1996) Norton is famous for one of the best movie debuts in film history. Primal Fear is a cult classic where the actor plays an accused killer with an identity disorder. The film has become a fan favorite due to its twist at the end. Norton is credited with a stunning performance that makes all the twists in the plot a masterpiece. This acclaim led to his Oscar nomination in 1997 for Best Supporting Actor. He won a Golden Globe Award for Primal Fear.
Norton is not only an actor but a social activist and an environmentalist. He is a member of the board of trustees of a non-profit organization that develops affordable housing called Enterprise Community Partners. This was founded by his grandfather James Rouse. He is active in raising money for charity through Crowdrise, a social networking community for volunteers.
My Summer of Love (2004) Blunt’s first film was an R-rated film that shows two girls’ infatuation with one another over the course of their summer vacation. My Summer of Love showcased Blunt’s authentic and brilliant performance, even at the young age of 20. The story revolves around the two women, one from the upper class and the other from the working class, who are drawn to each other. Even if they come from different levels of society, they find common ground when it comes to their dysfunctional families.
Blunt has become an award-winning actress which includes a Golden Globe Award and a nomination from the British Academy Film Awards. She also has a Screen Actors Guild Award. She stars in the latest sequel to the classic American musical Mary Poppins Returns.
Animal House (1978) Bacon was fortunate to make his film debut in what others claim to be one of the greatest comedies ever, Animal House. This R-rated film had Bacon starring alongside John Belushi, Karen Allen, and Tim Matheson. He plays the role of a snobby pledge who leaves the good guys to run with the rich fraternity.
Kevin will always be remembered for his role in the drama dance hit film Footloose. Bacon plays Ren McCormack, a teen from Chicago who moves to a small town where rock and dancing are banned due to the efforts of a local preacher. The movie was loosely based on the story that took place in the small and rural community of Elmore City, Oklahoma.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) Penn’s first R-rated film turns out to be one of the most beloved teen flicks of the ‘80s. The movie garnered Penn the Best Actor Award at the Oscars for portraying Jeff Spicoli, a burned-out surfer dude with big dreams despite his situation. The coming-of-age comedy film is an adaptation of a 1981 book written by Cameron Crowe as he went to Clairemont High School in San Diego and shared his experiences there.
The film marked the directorial debut of Amy Heckerling and shows a school year in the lives of freshmen and older schoolmates who believe that they are wiser in the ways of love than their younger counterparts. In 2005, the film was chosen for preservation in the US National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) Eric was another future star who made his R-rated film debut in Fast Times. He had the role of Spicoli’s shirtless surfer buddies in a bit role for the teenage classic. He will always be remembered for being cast and consequently fired from Back to the Future. He was supposed to be the original Marty Mcfly. Five weeks into the filming, he was replaced by Michael J. Fox, and scenes that featured Eric had to be shot again, this time featuring Fox.
Stoltz is also a producer and director. He became a regular director with the TV series Glee. In 1985, he got a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Rocky Dennis in The Mask. In 2014, Eric was the producing director of the CBS political drama series Madam Secretary. He became one of the four Executive Producers of the TV series the following year.
The Believer (2001) Gosling gained the attention of many critics with his first R-rated role as a conflicted Jewish Nazi in the film The Believer. Now discarding his Tiger Beat image, Gosling bulked up, shaved his head, and issued many violent beatings while delivering an acclaimed performance. The film is loosely derived from the true story of Dan Burros, a member of an American extreme party.
He took his life when a New York Times reporter revealed that he was Jewish. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. The Believer got an 82% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 90 reviews. Some commend Gosling for a raw and electrifying portrayal, while some consider the film a late contender for one of the year's best films.
Death Wish (1974), Charles Bronson’s signature classic, also starred a young star who made his debut in the R-rated films as a New York City hoodlum. Jeff plays a crucial role as one of the young thugs who terrorize Bronson’s family. An American actor and musician, Jeff has starred in some of the highest-grossing movies of his era, namely Independence Day and Jurassic Park, including their sequels.
Jeff got the attention of the film industry when he earned a Saturn Award for Best Actor for his portrayal in The Fly. He has also tried his hand in film directing, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for Little Surprises. He has made TV appearances in the eighth and ninth seasons of Law and Order.
The Safety of Objects (2001) Stewart started her film career as a child actor in a bevy of R-rated films like Panic Room, Undertow, and Cold Creek Manor. Her first credited role, however, was in Rose Troche’s The Safety of Objects. She was only 11 years old when the film was released and had already tried her first smoke.
Stewart is an actress, director, and model who we all remember as Bella Swan from the Twilight Saga film series. She is one of the highest-paid actresses in 2010 and 2012. Her films have grossed over $4.3 billion globally. She is the first American woman to win a Cesar Award for Best Supporting Actress, a national-level award for French cinema.
Dazed and Confused (1993) Ben appeared in his first R-rated movie as part of an ensemble cast of actors who would become famous in the film Dazed and Confused. His previous roles before appearing on Dazed were in films like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and School Ties.
Ben, an actor, and filmmaker, has won two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and two BAFTA Awards. He gained international fame when he teamed up with childhood friend Matt Damon to write Good Will Hunting, for which they won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Screenplay.
Dazed and Confused (1993) Another one of those stars who had their first R-rated film in the movie Dazed was Renee Zellweger. She was picked for a bigger role but was mostly cut out in the final cut, save for a couple of scenes. Her more prominent scenes in the film were when she was holding the funnel for Darla at the Moontower.
Renee is not only an actress but a producer as well. She has received an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, a BAFTA award, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. She became one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood in 2007. In 2019, she has been cast to portray the role of Judy Garland in the film Judy, this is after she went on a six-year hiatus from the silver screen.
Blood Simple (1984) Frances won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2018, and she started out in one of the great crime films ever written, Blood Simple. Her first R-rated film also marked the debut of her husband and writer/director Joel Coen plus his brother Ethan. The Coen brothers were not as famous yet, but they were on their way to stardom, with Frances being one of the reasons why.
Critics have given the consensus that the film was violent and brutal but shockingly funny. A great early sampling of the Coen brothers’ filmmaking prowess and twisted sensibilities. The first film of the Coen brothers is well written and directed, their trademark and style, as showcased in the film, would continue in their forthcoming movies.
Our Song (2000) Kerry made her film debut in an R-rated film, considered one of the best but least noticed films in 2000, Our Song. The movie was set in Brooklyn, where three teenage friends share their lives amid different family, moral and romantic interests. They also have individual dreams of their own.
Washington received critical acclaim for her role, which led to her next movie that becomes a hit, Save the Last Dance. Time magazine included Kerry in its yearly Time 100 list. She was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for the TV film Confirmation, where she plays the role of Anita Hill.
Evan Rachel Wood
Thirteen (2003) Wood appeared in her R-rated debut as a 16-year-old with a role as a 13-year-old in the coming-of-age drama flick Thirteen. She stars as Tracy, an honor student who transforms into a teenager with a destructive lifestyle when she becomes friends with the most popular girl in school.
Evie, played by Nikki Reed, convinces Tracy to try illegal substances, explore her own personal self, and pickpocket to fund their shopping sprees. Eventually, the mom steps in and tries to stop her daughter from ruining her life. Wood is not only an actress but a model and a musician. She started out on TV in the 1990s before moving into the big screen.
Thirteen (2003) Catherine Hardwicke directed Thirteen and cast Reed as one of the lead actors. Reed also co-wrote the script with Hardwicke, her “surrogate mother.” In the film, the young actress is exposed to intimacy, illegal substances, and larceny while playing her character Evie, loosely based on her life struggles.
The film gave Reed an Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance plus several nominations. Producers had a hard time casting for the role in Thirteen due to the sensitive role that was required by the script. This led to Reed being considered for the role, and the rest is history. Nikki Reed is also well known for her role as the vampire Rosalie Hale in The Twilight Saga.
Thirteen (2003) Hudgens also appears in a bit role in the movie Thirteen, which is her first R-rated movie. She plays the role of a great friend who gets left behind. She would move on to land a role in High School Musical a few years after the film, leading to her stardom. An actress and a singer, Hudgens shot to fame for her role as Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical film series.
She was able to bag a recording contract with Hollywood Records, where she would go on to release two albums, V in 2006 and Identified in 2008. A title role in the Broadway musical Gigi is another feather in her cap. She also played roles in two of Fox’s live musicals, Grease: Live and Rent: Live. Hudgens was also known for her relationship with fellow High School Musical co-star Zac Efron, they would be together for five years before calling it quits in December 2010.
Wet Hot American Summer (2001) In 2001, a comedy film had an ensemble cast that starred young actors like Elizabeth Banks and Paul Rudd. A lesser-known cast member was making her debut in an R-rated film, Amy Poehler plays the role of one of the camp’s talent show producers. Amy would go on to become not only an actress but a director, writer, and producer. She became popular for her role as Leslie Knope in the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation. Amy won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Musical or Comedy Series in 2014.
The movie takes place at a fictional summer camp in 1981 and tries to spoof the intimate comedy films aimed at teen audiences during that era. Other notable cast members were from MTV’s sketch comedy group The State like Ken Marino, Bradley Cooper, Zak Orth, Michael Ian Black, and AD Miles.
Witness (1985) Viggo made his silver screen debut as an Amish farmer named Moses Hochleitner in the R-rated film Witness. The 1985 thriller by Peter Weir also starred Harrison Ford and was a big hit during that time. The movie was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two for Best Film Editing and Best Original Screenplay.
Viggo rose to international stardom for his role as Aragorn in the epic film trilogy Lord of the Rings in the early 2000s. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, and three BAFTA awards. He is not just an actor but also a producer, director, author, musician, poet, photographer, and painter. He founded Perceval Press in 2002, known for publishing works of less-known artists and authors.
Mimic (1997) Reedus became known for The Walking Dead horror drama series and is credited for having some sort of reverse career that saw him starting in the movies before settling into television. His first R-rated film was a movie by Guillermo Del Toro Mimic in 1997. He played the role of Jeremy in Mimic in his first major film debut.
In the case of The Walking Dead, his character Daryl Dixon was not part of the original comic book series, but it was created specifically for him after his audition. The show has evolved to become the highest-rated show in cable history, breaking all previous records. Reedus was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor.
I Heart Huckabees (2004) Hill made his R-rated film debut in David O. Russell’s 2004 comedy film as an adoptive brother to Stephen, who plays an African doorman. The movie is about a couple of detectives hired to find out the meaning of life of their clients. This was Hill’s first role of any kind, and he was just 20 years old when he bagged the role. He would go on to become a star with films like Superbad and Moneyball to his credit.
He has received nominations for the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film The Wolf of Wall Street. Aside from being an actor and comedian, he also went into directing, producing, and writing. He was 28th on the Forbes list of highest-paid actors for 2015. As a screenwriter, he has written stories for 21 Jumpstreet, 22 Jumpstreet, Why Him?, and Sausage Party.
Luke and Owen Wilson
Bottle Rocket (1996) The Wilson brothers appeared in the first feature film of director Wes Anderson, Bottle Rocket. Owen also co-wrote for the film that was released in 1996. The two brothers play best friends who come up with a scheme to rob a factory. The film is known for the hilarious performance of Owen as Dignan.
Owen earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the movie The Royal Tenenbaums. He starred in the comedy action film Shanghai Noon with Jackie Chan. The movie earned close to $100 million globally. His popularity continued to rise after starring with Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell in the film Zoolander. Younger brother Luke is slated to appear in the upcoming DC Universe flick Stargirl.
Mumford (1999) Deschanel made her first R-rated film in the 1999 American comedy-drama film directed by Lawrence Kasdan, Mumford. This was her first role in a feature film, and it came almost a year before her memorable performance in Almost Famous. The movie is set in a small town where a new psychologist gives his advice to the neurotic residents of that town. Deschanel is also a model and a singer-songwriter.
She has played the role of Jessica Day on the Fox sitcom New Girl, where she received an Emmy Award nomination plus three Golden Globe Award nominations. Besides singing, she also plays banjo, ukulele, percussion, and keyboards. She is also co-founder of the female-focused website HelloGiggles.
Spring Breakers (2012) Disney sweetheart Gomez joins a cast of 4 gals who are short of cash for a spring break trip. They decide to rob a diner and head down to Florida. The police catch up with them, and they get arrested. They are bailed out by a dealer and rap artist known as Alien. 3 of the four girlfriends decide to join Alien on a path of criminality.
Gomez was a surprising addition to the cast of director Harmony Korine’s film about crime and intimacy in sunny Florida. Her decision to join the film was based on doing something more adult. The film earned $31 million worldwide, which is considered a huge success given its small budget of $5 million. It was chosen to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival.
Spring Breakers (2012) Benson, like Gomez, was another inexperienced young actress when she decided to accept a very adult role in Spring Breakers. Her first R-rated film shows her taking part in robbery, crime, illegal substances, and intimacy. She is also known for her part as Hanna Marin in the popular teen-mystery drama TV series Pretty Little Liars.
She started performing at a young age, at age 3, she studied jazz, ballet, hip hop, and tap dancing. She began singing in musicals and choirs when she was 4. At eight years old, she signed with Ford Models and was featured in a number of print ads. She received a Young Hollywood Award for her work in Pretty Little Liars.
Deuces Wild (2002) Franco appeared in his first R-rated debut in the film Deuces Wild. An American crime drama film set in 1958 Brooklyn, New York. During this era, there is little firearm violence, and most of the fighting is done hand-to-hand. Franco is an actor, filmmaker, and college instructor. He was nominated for an Academy Award for best actor in the film 127 Hours.
He won a Golden Globe award for best actor in the film The Disaster Artist. He is known to appear with fellow actor Seth Rogen, appearing in 8 films and 1 TV series with him. He played the lead role in the TV biofilm James Dean where he won a Golden Globe Award.
Confession (2005) Pine’s first role in an adult film was in this Catholic school thriller about a student who frames a priest for violent crime. Due to the seal of confession, a Catholic priest is wrongly accused of taking someone's life and prevented from pointing at the real killer. Pine plays bad boy Luther Scott, who runs a black market for students that sells contraband such as booze and cigarettes.
His lawless acts are exposed, which led to an act of revenge with dire consequences. In a moment of panic, Scott confides with one of his teachers, a good priest who now knows secrets about his past. Pine appeared in the film The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement before he bagged this R-rated role in Confession.
Troy (2004) Hedlund plays the role of Achilles’ younger cousin Patroclus in the big-budget film adaptation of Homer’s The Iliad. The epic shows the battle between the ancient kingdoms of Sparta and Troy. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen, the movie features an ensemble cast including the likes of Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, and Eric Bana. It tells the story of the Trojan War, where the Greek army invades the historical city of Troy to face the Trojan Army.
Hedlund was said to be a bright spot when the film was largely given the thumbs down by critics. He was thrust into the spotlight as an actor to watch out for in Hollywood. He also recorded a few songs for the film Country Strong, making it in the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. His performance was well-received by critics.
The Paperboy (2012) The former Disney heartthrob did ten movies before making his R-rated film debut in The Paperboy. He plays the lead character who falls for an older woman while doing an investigation with his journalist brother in a death row case. The film competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival but bombed at the box office. Despite the film's poor performance at the gates, Nicole Kidman got a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nomination.
Efron is famous for his leading role as Troy Bolton in the highly successful High School Musical series. He also appeared in the comedy film 17 again after his stint with High School Musical. He recently got a role in The Greatest Showman alongside Hugh Jackman. The film got a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
The Piano (1993) Apart from Orson Welles, many would argue that Anna Paquin might have the greatest acting debut of all time. She became the second youngest Oscar winner after her splendid performance as a daughter of a mute woman in the R-rated film The Piano.
The film was a commercial and critical success making almost $140 million worldwide with a $7 million budget. The movie won three Academy Awards out of the eight nominations it got in 1994. Paquin was 11 years old at the time she won the Oscar. It was a remarkable achievement for her despite having little acting experience then. She became a great child actress receiving multiple Young Artist Award nominations.