Throwback: When The Avengers Cast Members Were Just Little Ones

Manny & Lo (Sony Pictures Classics) / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

Once upon a time, Scarlet Johansson was a child actress, Samuel L. Jackson was bullied and Jeremy Renner was broke. I don’t think any of those actors could have ever known what the future held for them. Some of Marvel’s cast members came from rough times of poverty and broken families. Others had their start in acting before they were even old enough to begin school.

It certainly didn’t happen overnight, but the following actors have signed themselves up to be a part of the largest grossing franchise in history, according to Forbes. From the yet to be fully introduced, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, all the way to Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, this cast makes up the globally-popular Marvel Avengers.

Take a look at some of the Avengers cast members when they were just little ones. Before the fame, before the fortune and before landing roles in record-breaking blockbuster films.

Brie Larson/Captain Marvel: This award-winning actress got her start as a Disney star. She played Courtney Enders in the 2003 Disney Channel Original Movie, Right on Track. She had her major breakthrough role in 2015’s Room which won her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Today, she’s gearing up for the release of her first Marvel film, Captain Marvel, which is set to be released in 2019.

Disney Wikia / Shutterstock

Samuel L. Jackson/Nick Fury: Samuel L. Jackson grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee during the 1950’s. In an interview on Live! With Kelly and Michael, Jackson revealed he learned to read by the age of two. He used to get beat up at school for being so smart. Today, he has the last laugh by being one of the most celebrated actors of all time. He plays Marvel character Nick Fury.

Twitter:@SamuelLJackson / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

Chris Pratt/Star-Lord: Upon the release of Avengers: Infinity War, Chris Pratt tweeted out an interesting story from his childhood proving just how crazy things can work out. He told his followers that when he was 12, he bought $300 worth of baseball cards and comic books. He’d hoped they might be worth more one day. In a stack of his old comics, he found “The Infinity Gauntlet.” “Little did I know … baseball cards would end up being pretty worthless, and [the] same with comics. If I were to buy an island, it would have to be the old-fashioned way. (Like playing a character that existed in the comics),” his hilarious tweet read.

Instagram: @PrattPrattPratt / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

Zoe Saldana/Gamora: In an interview with Ocean Drive magazine, Zoe Saldana revealed she was bullied as a child. She insisted the struggles she went through made her fearless. “I’ve been called everything, I’ve been told everything. And yet, the moment you realize [bullies are] coming from a place of complete fear because they knew that you were the one who was going to get away, you’re free,” she said. “Get away” is right. Today, Saldana plays Gamora in one of the highest grossing franchises of all time.

Instagram: @ZoeSaldana / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

Elizabeth Olsen/Scarlet Witch: You’ve been living under a rock if you don’t know how Elizabeth Olsen got her start. She’s the little sister of the famous Olsen twins actresses, Mary Kate and Ashley. While she did live in her sisters’ shadows for quite some time, Elizabeth eventually got her own start in acting. She landing her first major role in 2011’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene”. She got the role of Marvel’s Scarlet Witch in 2014 and it looks like her career is going nowhere but up from here.

Instagram: @ElizabethOlsenOfficial / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

Mark Ruffalo/The Hulk: Mark Ruffalo didn’t just fall into acting. It took a lot of hard work for him to make a name for himself. In an interview with Moviemaker magazine, Ruffalo revealed he had attended over 800 auditions before landing a big role. Today, that’s all in the past. He’s been in major films such as Shutter Island and Spotlight. And, he’s been playing the major role of The Hulk since 2012.

Instagram: @MarkRuffalo / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

Scarlet Johannson/Black Widow: Scarlet Johannson had her first movie role in the film North at the young age of nine. In an interview with James Lipton, Johannson said her childhood was no walk in the park. Her parents had four children to take care of living in Manhattan, New York. They had to rely on welfare and food stamps. Today, that’s all changed, “ScarJo” is an A-list actress and plays the wicked Black Widow.

North Castle Rock Entertainment, New Line Cinema) / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

Tom Hiddleston/Loki: It’s hard to believe the Tom Hiddleston on the left could ever play a villain looking that cute. Growing up in England, his mom instilled a love of film in him at a young age, according to Biography. He started out acting in theatre and slowly transitioned into film, eventually making a name for himself. Today, he plays Thor’s villainous brother Loki.

Twitter: @TwHiddleston / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

Chris Hemsworth/Thor: Arguably the biggest heartthrob of all Marvel movies, Chris Hemsworth grew up in a farmland in Australia with his parents and two (also incredibly good-looking) brothers. According to E! News, he had his small screen start on an Australian soap opera. He got big enough down under to appear on Dancing With The Stars Australia. He eventually made the move to the silver screen and today he charms audiences as the hunky Thor.

Instagram: @ChrisHemsworth / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

 Chris Evans/Captain America: Chris Evans had his start in show business in the early 2000’s, landing roles in films like Not Another Teen Movie and Cellular. However, his big break came in 2011 when he got the leading role in Captain America: The First Avenger. He’s since gone on to play Captain America in seven other films along with Avengers 4 coming out in 2019.

Twitter: @ChrisEvans / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

Tom Holland/Spider-Man: Tom Holland, only 21-years-old, can still be considered a little one. He told PEOPLE about his rough start in the acting world. At the age of 12, he starred in a London run musical of Billy Elliot. “There were times when I was bullied about dancing and stuff,” he said. “But you couldn’t hit me hard enough to stop me from doing it.” On he pushed, on the left we see him in the 2011 film, The Impossible. On the right, he’s Spider-Man, starring in biggest reboot ever according to Forbes. The film grossed an estimated $870 million worldwide.

The Impossible (Summit Entertainment) / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

Robert Downey Jr./Iron Man: On the left, we have a five-year-old RDJ with a small role in the film Pound, which was directed by his father. On the right, we have one of the highest paid actors in the world. With a father in the film industry, it’s no wonder he became an actor. Following years of controversy in the media and addiction issues, RDJ made a major comeback. He took on the role of Iron Man in 2008 and has continued living a sober, stable life.

Pound (United Artists) / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

Jeremy Renner/Hawkeye: Like most actors trying to make it in the industry, Renner started out his career completely broke. He told Business Insider that he and a friend would actually buy, live in and renovate homes in Los Angeles to keep a roof over their heads. In 1995, he made his debut in National Lampoon’s Senior Trip at the tender age of 24. Fast forward to 2018, he plays Hawkeye in one of the most successful movie franchises ever.

National Lampoon's Senior Trip (New Line Cinema) / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

Chadwick Boseman/Black Panther: Chadwick Boseman made history when he became the titular hero in Marvel’s Black Panther. The gravity of his role had special meaning to him. During press for the film, he revealed he was the victim of racism as a child growing up in South Carolina. Today,  Black Panther has gone on to break records, it became the third film ever to earn more at the North American box office than Titanic, according to Forbes.

Anderson Independent Mail / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

Dave Bautista/Drax The Destroyer: Though the photo Dave Bautista tweeted is a little blurry, no amount of blur will hide those rock hard muscles. The photo on the left is him during a bodybuilding competition at the age of 18. Bautista had his start in the mixed martial arts world. He’s a six-time world wrestling champion who went on to pursue acting. It’s no wonder he landed the role of Drax the Destroyer, who else could fit that massive (in more ways than one) role?

Twitter: @DaveBautista / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

Baby Raccoon/Rocket Raccoon: Now we had to throw this one in just for fun. How cute are baby raccoons! The adorable (yet pesky) critters found in dumpsters at night has been recreated into the genetically enhanced Rocket Racoon for “Guardians Of The Galaxy.”  

Wikimedia Commons / Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

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