From scream queen to screen queen: big-name stars with horror roots

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Boo! Did I scare you? No, well,

fine. But I do know a scary secret. Lean close, I’ll tell you. Closer.

A bit closer. Boo! OK, come on, that time I had to scare you, just a

little. Actually, this news is probably only truly terrifying to the

actresses whose dirty little secrets I’m about to spill. You see, before

they were screen queens, these ladies were all scream queens. Sure,

they’re all big Oscar winners, A-listers and TV stars now. But at

the start of their careers, they were just glorified bait. Here’s a look at

10 actresses’ horrific early careers.

Jamie Lee Curtis

(Halloween, 1978): Like mother, like daughter. Jamie Lee followed

in her mom Janet Leigh’s bloody footprints by squaring off with a

Psycho
killer. But at least Jamie got to live to fight another day,

albeit two decades later in Halloween H20.

Holly Hunter

(The Burning, 1981): I think Holly is the one in the blue, and

the one screaming. But it’s hard to tell since it’s so hard to find images from

Holly’s first-ever film role, a summer camp slasher. Who is the happy camper, now?

Demi Moore

(Parasite, 1982): When Demi was battling giant mutant killer

bugs, her future hubby Ashton Kutcher was enjoying naptime in preschool.

But, hey, she’s still doing better than Trump. At least when she

was 20, her current spouse had been born.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

(Troll, 1986): A wood nymph? Uh, this is a horror movie, right?

Jennifer Connelly

(Phenomena, 1985): Jennifer plays a young woman who can communicate

with insects in this fantasy thriller. It’s like Dr. Doolittle meets

Gil Grissom.

Patricia Arquette

(A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, 1987): Before she

was a Medium, Patricia was a Freddy fighter. Though here’s a tip,

Dream Warriors: Even if you think he’s dead, he’s not. Trust me.

Angela Bassett

(Critters 4, 1991): Critters in space. Like Aliens, but really,

really not.

Jennifer Aniston

(Leprechaun, 1993): No, it’s not the Dennis Kucinich story.

Instead, it’s the ugly side of what happens when you go after a little

fella’s pot of gold.

Renee Zellweger

(The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1994): My, what a

big gun you have, Renee. The better to fight chainsaw-wielding, skin

mask–wearing psychopaths with, my dear.

Hilary Swank

(Sometimes They Come Back … Again, 1996): I bet when she was

making this screen gem, Hilary never dreamed that one day two shiny,

gold Oscars would be sitting on her mantle.

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