When Marvel Studios knocks on your door and invites you to join their Cinematic Universe, it must be a stroke of luck. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I suppose. We implore you to rejoice and begin sobbing aloud. Actors with the good fortune to receive excellent offers and secure their parts in Marvel include Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, and Zendaya. Many have received Oscar wins and nominees for their flawless performances, going on to become well compensated performers, box office favorites, rising stars, and even symbols of bygone eras.
Before playing superheroes like Spider-Man, Iron Man, or Captain America, these people were simply regular Hollywood actors and actresses. Along the process, they took on the roles of well-known Marvel comics characters and developed into superheroes who fought evildoers for the greater good.
Today, let’s take a journey to discover what our favorite actors and actresses looked like before stepping into the Marvel world.
#1 Tom Holland (Spider-Man)
Tom Holland appeared as Peter Paker, a high school student, who turns out Spider-Man.
#2 Zendaya (Mary Jane Watson — MJ)
Zendaya portrayed MJ in “Spider-Man: No Way Home”, in which comic lore stands for Mary Jane, who has been the main love interest of Peter Parker.
#3 Chris Evans (Captain America)
Chris Evans made his appearance as the patriotic superhero in 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger” and played the role in seven MCU titles.
#4 Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff)
Elizabeth Olsen gained international recognition for her portrayal of Wanda Maximoff in the MCU media franchise.
#5 Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, has officially entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the character appeared alongside “Avenger: Endgame”’s Korg.
#6 Brie Larson (Captain Marvel)
Larson’s starring role in “Captain Marvel” marked the MCU’s first woman. She reprised the role in 2019’s “Avenger: End Game”.
#7 Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
When it comes to Robert Downey Jr., you’re likely to think of his portrayal of Tony Stark. The actor played the character in seven movies. Both he and the character are so closely linked that it’s hard to disentangle.
#8 Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow)
Scarlett Johansson is a common staple of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The actress made her debut as Natasha Romanoff in 2010’s Iron Man 2, helping Robert Downey Jr.’s titular hero against Whiplash. Since then, the actress had made her mark in the MCU.
#9 Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Hemsworth started playing Thor in the 2011 film of the same name and most recently reprised the role in “Thor: Love and Thunder” (2022), which established him among the world’s highest-paid actors.
#10 Mark Ruffalo (Hulk)
Ruffalo gained international recognition for playing Bruce Banner / Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. Mark first played the green monster in the 2012 MCU Avengers and then reprised the role in several others including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and more.
#11 Tom Hiddleston (Loki)
#12 Natalie Portman (Jane Foster)
#13 Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man)
#14 Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane Watson — MJ)
#15 Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
#16 Zoe Saldana (Gamora)
#17 Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Pots)
#18 Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange)
#19 Evangeline Lilly (Wasp)