"Before they were nominees"

Most of these Oscar-nominated actors gave it 110 percent in some cheesy roles.

Published February 23, 2007 8:25PM (EST)

This week, leading up to Sunday's big Academy Awards show, The Daily Reel has been running the series: "Before They Were Nominees," in which this year's Best Actor and Best Actress nominees (and some supporting) are presented in lesser roles before their present prestigious glory. Each actor/actress gets a quick write-up along with an accompanying YouTube clip of hilarity/shame, which we, in turn, are presenting below. The Daily Reel will be adding nominees through Sunday. For a list of all the Oscar nominees, click here.

Leonardo DiCaprio ("Blood Diamond")

DiCaprio has acted beside a lot of big-time actors throughout his film career. Here he is, back in his TV days, acting alongside one of the biggest TV stars of that era: Kirk Cameron. Real life growing pains are seen within the veneer of this "Growing Pains" clip.

Mark Wahlberg ("The Departed" (supporting))

Well you probably already know about Marky Mark. It's still pretty astounding Wahlberg was able to overcome the following clip and become a top actor. Vanilla Sherbet in the howse!

Jennifer Hudson ("Dreamgirls")

Before "Dreamgirls," Hudson appeared on "American Idol." If she wins the Oscar -- we wonder if she'll thank Simon for helping her realize she needed to control her voice?

Helen Mirren ("The Queen")

Here's Mirren doing it, "Excalibur"-style.

Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland")

We didn't see "Battlefield Earth" because the John Revolta-vehicle looked horrible and it got terrible reviews. We hope Whitaker got a hefty check for his participation.

Meryl Streep ("The Devil Wears Prada")

The Daily Reel author points out that this clip from the film "Death Becomes Her" is a bit different from the other actors' clips because Streep won Oscars before and after making this arguable clunker of a flick (although you'd probably win your argument if you stood on the clunker side). Regarding the major makeup and heavy reliance on other effects seen in this video, the author writes: " ... did Ms. Streep look down at the shovel with which she was dueling, and wonder if this was the choice Sophie might have made."

Will Smith "The Pursuit of Happyness"

Here's Smith, when he was a Fresh Prince -- in Bel-Air, Calif. This is a big-time performance -- Joey Lawrence never came close to touching this, even when he was peaking on "Blossom."

Kate Winslet ("Little Children")

Before she was in every movie made, Winslet was a kid who played a kid on a British children's TV show. The guy in this clip is clearly the British answer to at least one of the Coreys.

By David Puner

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