We have all been kids once. And even though it can be hard to think about, superheroes were once where we were as well. Yes, that's right; men and women behind our favorite heroes with supernatural powers, including Iron Man, Batman, Wolverine, Mystique, and Wonder Woman, used to be little boys and girls years ago. They were children with cute smiles, they went to schools, and dreamed of a big future. It's interesting that most of these people knew from the very beginning of their lives that they wanted to become actors. Some of these actors, however, didn't even consider acting as a full-time job at first, but eventually all of them realized that it was their calling.
Now it's very amusing to look at the childhood photos of all these actors and actresses who play tough superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Extended Universe, as well as other superhero franchises. And, on the other hand, it kind of brings them closer to us. I mean, hey, here they are, Earth's mightiest heroes, mutants, and other superheroes, looking as completely normal human beings!
So let's take a trip into the past and take a look at the funny and sweet childhood photos of our favorite superheroes!
15 Robert Downey Jr.
The man behind Iron Man was born on April 4, 1965 to a family of actors living in Manhattan, New York. His father, Robert Downey Sr., was an actor, filmmaker, writer, and director, while his mother, Elsie Downey, was an actress. Having this background from the very beginning of his life, RDJ became involved in acting in his early childhood. His first appearance occurred in his father's film Pound, back in 1970.
Not only did little Rob's acting career began with his father's help, but so did his story with drug addiction. Downey Sr. introduced his son to marijuana when he was only 6 years old. Needless to say, it didn't take long for an addiction to develop. Recalling his childhood, Downey Jr. says that he liked drugs, because they helped him communicate with his father. "When my dad and I would do drugs together, it was like him trying to express his love for me in the only way he knew how," the actor explained once.
Years of struggle with drug abuse followed. RDJ has always been a talented actor, so his roles were critically acclaimed from the beginning of his career. However, the drug issues almost destroyed it. Downey Jr. was arrested several times for the possession of drugs, and filmmakers started to think that he was unreliable.
Due to the efforts of his friends and, especially, his wife, Downey Jr. managed to overcome the addiction and deserve the status of one of the best and highly paid Hollywood actors. Thank God, he made it!
14 Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson was born on November 22, 1984 in New York. In her early days, she lived in a humble environment and her family had limited means. However, the girl still had a chance to develop her talents. Little Scarlett liked to sing and dance. She took tap dance lessons and dreamed of becoming a famous actress.
At first, Scarlett began looking for a job in commercials, but soon she stopped doing that, because, as she said later, "I didn't want to promote Wonder Bread." For this reason, she shifted her attention to theater and films right away.
Her first role consisted of only a few lines in a play, where Ethan Hawke had the main role. In 1994, Scarlett made her first film appearance in the movie North. Even though the movie wasn't well-received by the critics, it gave rise to the young actress' career.
Eventually, Scarlett got roles in Lost in Translation and Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003), Match Point (2005), The Prestige (2006), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), and many other films. In 2010, the actress became the member of the MCU, playing Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, in Iron Man 2.
Now this gorgeous actress is acclaimed in Hollywood for both her acting talent and her beauty.
13 Hugh Jackman
Looking at the photo of young Hugh Jackman, who could guess that he was going to become such a tough guy, playing Wolverine in the X-Men franchise?
Jackman was born on October 12, 1968 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The boy had two older brothers and two older sisters, as well as younger half-sister from his mother's remarriage (his parents divorced when he was 8 years old).
When Hugh was a little boy, he enjoyed spending time outdoors and dreamed of traveling all around the world. "I used to spend nights looking at atlases," he recalled in one of his interviews. "I decided I wanted to be a chef on a plane. Because I'd been on a plane and there was food on board, I presumed there was a chef. I thought that would be an ideal job." It was a good dream, wasn't it?
Hugh started acting back in his school days. His first role was in a play My Fair Lady in 1985. However, he didn't think of acting as of a full-time job in those days.
"It wasn't until I was 22 that I ever thought about my hobby being something I could make a living out of," Hugh said. But, fortunately for all of us, he eventually "found the courage to stand up and say, 'I want to do it.'"
The role of Wolverine in 2000s X-Men film became the actor's breakthrough. At the moment, Hugh Jackman's career includes a large number of movies, theater plays, as well as Broadway musicals.
12 Gal Gadot
What a sweet little girl! Could she ever imagine that she'd grow up and become Wonder Woman? I don't think so!
Anyway, Gal Gadot was born on April 30, 1985, in Rosh HaAyin, Israel. Her father was an engineer and her mother was a teacher. As the actress stated in one of her interviews, she was growing up in a "very Jewish, Israeli family environment."
At school, Gal majored in biology and was also interested in basketball. When she was 18, Gal won a beauty pageant and became Miss Israel 2004. While these things from the actress' biography don't really make anyone surprised, there's something that literally surprised all her fans. When Gadot was 20, she went on to serve in the military. Being a combat instructor there, she became much more self-disciplined and learned a lot of things about weapons. I'm sure that it helped her turn into Wonder Woman later in her life.
Interestingly, in her Sunday Today interview, the actress admitted that she wanted to quit acting just before landing the role of Wonder Woman. Gadot was tired of getting rejections and planned to go back to law school and focus on her family instead of pursuing the acting career. What can I say, this superhero role came her way just in time!
11 Chris Evans
Even though this little boy looks completely different to Chris Evans as we see him today, there's something in his appearance that makes us realize that it's actually him, the man behind Captain America. What I'm talking about is his sincere ear-to-ear smile. It was adorable back then, and it's still adorable now.
The man who was destined to become Captain America was born on June 13, 1981 in Boston, Massachusetts. His father was a dentist, and his mother was an artistic director at the Concord Youth Theater. Of course, his mother's profession was one of the things that influenced little Chris' choice to become an actor.
Interestingly enough, Evans' career began with becoming a model for "Tyler" in Hasbro's board game Mystery Date back in 1999.
Even though it might seem to be a small beginning, it still brought him a chance to get roles in TV series and movies. Finally, he received his first major role in Not Another Teen Movie in 2001.
It was followed by several other films and, eventually, Evans was offered a role of Captain America in the MCU. At first, the actor refused, because he thought he wasn't ready for such a long commitment to one role. However, filmmakers persistently called him to offer the role, so he agreed at some point.
10 Elizabeth Olsen
Elizabeth Olsen, known to her friends as Lizzie, was born on February 16, 1989 in Sherman Oaks, California. Her elder sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen became famous actresses in early childhood, and soon Elizabeth followed their lead. When she was 11, she appeared in a small role in her sisters' movie How the West Was Fun and in the TV series The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley.
In 2004, Elizabeth almost quit acting due to the media outburst around Mary-Kate's health scare. However, she only took a break to come back with her breakthrough role in Martha Marcy May Marlene in 2011. Her performance in this movie was critically acclaimed, since she excellently portrayed the main character, who suffered from paranoia and delusions. This role won her several awards, including New Generation Award from Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Special Mention from the Ghent International Film Festival, and Most Promising Performer from Chicago Film Critics Association.
In 2014, Elizabeth landed the role of Wanda Maximoff (aka the Scarlet Witch in the MCU). Her first appearance was in the post-credit scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, this beautiful young woman and a talented actress became a full-fledged member of the cast.
9 Christian Bale
Before playing Batman in Christopher Nolan's trilogy, Christian Bale was up to many things. He was born on January 30, 1974 in Haverfordwest, Wales. His mother was a circus performer, and his father was a mix of things. He was an entrepreneur, working as a commercial pilot and talent manager.
From his childhood, Bale wanted to become an actor. His first roles were in the commercials of fabric softener, Lenor, and Pac-Man cereal. His stage debut occurred in 1984, when he played in a comedy The Nerd starring alongside Rowan Atkinson (also known as Mr. Bean). In 1986, he played his first TV role in Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna, where he portrayed Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich of Russia.
The roles in American Psycho (1999), Equilibrium (2002), and The Machinist (2004) made him a famous actor, though.
In 2005, Bale landed the lead role in Nolan's Batman trilogy, and it was a huge success for the actor. All the three movies had a huge box office presence, while Bale's performance as the superhero was widely acclaimed by critics.
Throughout his career, Bale won a number of awards for his roles, including National Board of Review: Best Juvenile Performance Award for Empire of the Sun and People’s Choice Award for the role of Batman.
8 Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence was born on August 15, 1990 in Indian Hills, Kentucky. Her father was a construction worker, and her mother was a summer camp manager. Little Jennifer was into cheerleading, softball, field hockey, and basketball as a child, where she played on a boys' team. Not being able to fit in with her classmates, the future actress developed hyperactivity and social anxiety disorders. However, both of them were gone as soon as she got to the stage for the first time.
Immediately getting a desire to become an actress, Jennifer started talking about it with her parents. However, her parents allowed her to pursue this career only after she finished high school. This condition motivated her to finish school two years in advance and finally start acting.
Lawrence played several roles in TV series. Her breakthrough in movies was in 2010, when she got a role in Winter's Bone. Her performance in this film was critically acclaimed and even brought her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Back then she didn't receive the award, but it was awaiting her in 2013, when she won an Oscar as Best Actress in Silver Linings Playbook.
Another one of Jennifer's successful and well-acclaimed role was Mystique in the X-Men franchise.
At the moment, the actress is on a break from acting, and we're looking forward to her return!
7 Henry Cavill
The man who played the lead role in the highest grossing Superman movie of all time was born on May 5, 1983 in England. Henry Cavill's father was a stockbroker, and his mother was a housewife. In an early age, Henry started showing interest toward becoming an actor and played in school plays.
However, back then acting wasn't Cavill's first career choice.
The young man wanted to join the military and serve his country. But eventually, he shifted his focus to acting and turned it into a full-time job.
Cavill's first movie appearance occurred in 2002, when he received a role in The Count of Monte Cristo. It was followed by a number of other roles, such as those in Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005), Red Riding Hood (2006), and Tristan & Isolde (2006).
In 2011, it was announced that Cavill had signed a contract to play Superman in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. He became the first actor (after Christopher Reeves), who played this character more than once and the first non-American actor to perform in this role. Cavill gave us a very good performance in the film, and Man of Steel quickly became an international success to be later followed by other appearances of Superman in Batman Vs. Superman: The Dawn of Justice and Justice League.
6 Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana was born on June 19, 1978 in Passaic, New Jersey. Her parents fluently spoke both English and Spanish, and they brought their daughter up as a bilingual. Most of her childhood, Zoe lived in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York. However, when she was only 9, her father died in a car accident, and the family relocated to the Dominican Republic, where Zoe and her two sisters lived with her mother's parents.
Soon Zoe realized that dancing was her passion and joined the ballet. However, it turned out that the girl didn't have the "right" feet for this art, and all she could do as a ballerina was to perform in the corps de ballet. Saldana had too much pride and ambition to do it, so she started looking for something else to do.
Zoe turned to acting, and it was where she finally found her voice. Her acting debut was made on TV in Law and Order. It was followed by her roles in movies Center Stage (2000), Crossroads (2002), The Terminal (2004), and others. In 2009, Saldana played major roles in Star Trek and Avatar, and in 2014, she landed the role of Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy, thus joining the MCU.
5 Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth was born on August 11, 1983, in Melbourne, Australia to a family of a social-services counselor and an English teacher. Chris has two brothers, Liam and Luke, and both of them are also actors and gorgeous men. It seems that talent and great looks are in their blood!
Little Chris lived with his parents and brothers in Melbourne, and then the family relocated to Outback, Bulman, Northern Territory of Australia. In one of his interviews, Chris shared memories about his childhood, saying, "My earliest memories were on the cattle stations up in the Outback, and then we moved back to Melbourne and then back out there and then back again. Certainly most of my childhood was in Melbourne but probably my most vivid memories were up there in Bulman with crocodiles and buffalo. Very different walks of life."
Early in his life, Hemsworth understood that he was interested in acting. His first role was in a TV series Guinevere Jones in 2002, where he played King Arthur. Quite a nice shot for the first role, isn't it?
Later Chris appeared in other Australian series, the most well-known of which was Home and Away, where he worked from 2004 'till 2007. In 2009, the actor moved to the USA to pursue the acting career and eventually land the role of the Norse God of Thunder in the MCU.
4 Brie Larson
Next year we're going to see the first appearance of Captain Marvel in the MCU. The lead role in this film was given to Brie Larson, a young actress with a very good reputation. This talented woman was born on October 1, 1989 in Sacramento, California to a family of chiropractors who were both working together under their own practice.
Brie was home-schooled by her parents, until she went to study acting at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco at the age of six and became the youngest student there. Her career began on TV when she appeared in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 1998 at just 8 years old. Then Larson had minor roles in several movies, including 13 Going on 30, Sleepover, and Hoot.
Brie's most critically acclaimed roles were in Short Term 12 (2013) and Room (2015). She received a number of awards for both of them especially for Room. This film brought her an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and Golden Globe for Best Actress. What a talented young woman!
I'm sure that we shouldn't worry for her performance as Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel). There should be no doubts that she's going to be great! I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see her in Captain Marvel next year.
3 Jason Momoa
Oh, this languishing gaze! It turns out that he has had it since childhood!
Jason Momoa, who's considered to be one of the most attractive actors of our time, was born on August 1, 1979 in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother was a photographer and his father was a painter. Little Jason eventually lived in Norwalk, Iowa with his mother.
When Momoa was in college in Florida, his major was marine biology (what a nice coincidence — I bet he couldn't guess that he was going to play Aquaman in the future!), and then he went to study wildlife biology in Colorado. At some point, he moved back to Hawaii to create a better relationship with his father.
Jason also liked to travel a lot. Among other travels, he went to Paris to study painting and visited Tibet to learn more about Buddhism.
Due to his good looks, Jason started modeling in 1998 and soon after, he started getting roles in TV series'. He played on Baywatch Hawaii in 1999–2001, as well as North Shore in 2004–2005, and other shows and films.
In 2011–2012, Momoa became especially famous due to playing Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones. The role of a brutal warlord who turned out to be a kind and loving husband brought him several award nominations and love of the audience.
2 Evangeline Lilly
Evangeline Lilly was born on August 3, 1979 in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada. The future actress spent her childhood in British Columbia, where she graduated from school and was into playing soccer. To pay for her college tuition, Lilly worked as a waitress and a flight attendant for Royal Airlines. Her major in college was International Relations, because the future actress was interested in global development and humanitarian causes.
One day, the Ford Modeling Agency discovered Evangeline and offered her to become an actress. Even though she took the agent's business card, she didn't make a decision to become an actress immediately. When she decided to try, the agency landed her several first roles.
Lilly's breakthrough in Lost occurred partly due to one of her friends, who encouraged her to try and audition for the series. Since she didn't get to see the entire script at first (none of the actors did) and couldn't assess the scale of the series, Evangeline thought that it was a mediocre show. However, it turned out to be huge and made her famous.
In 2015, Lilly got to play Hope van Dyne in Ant-Man, who later became the Wasp, a superhero who fought alongside Ant-Man. This summer, we're going to see her in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and we're sure she's not going to disappoint us.
1 Ben Affleck
Another Batman on our list, Ben Affleck was born on August 15, 1972 in Berkeley, California. His father was a photographer and his mother was a school teacher. His brother, Casey Affleck, also became an actor. When Ben was 12, his parents divorced and he moved to Massachusetts along with his mother and brother.
Since his early childhood, Affleck was interested in acting. His mother encouraged him and his brother to pursue acting and even helped them make home plays.
Ben's first acting job was in an advertisement for Burger King.
In 1984, he started appearing on TV. When he was at school, Ben met Matt Damon, who became his best friend for life. Together, they were dreaming of success in acting.
Eventually, Affleck landed minor roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, School Ties, and a major role in Dazed and Confused. Successful roles in a number of movies followed, and the young actor quickly gained popularity among critics and general public. Many roles he played were critically acclaimed and Affleck received two Oscars, three Golden Globe Awards, and two BAFTA Awards, among others.
In 2016, Affleck started playing Batman in the DCEU and appeared in several movies as one of the most famous superheroes.
Sources: The Famous People (Robert Downey Jr), Wikipedia (Robert Downey Jr), The Famous People (Scarlett Johansson), Wikipedia (Scarlett Johansson), The Famous People (Hugh Jackman), Wikipedia (Hugh Jackman), The Famous People (Gal Gadot), Wikipedia (Gal Gadot), The Famous People (Chris Evans), Wikipedia (Elizabeth Olsen), IMDB (Elizabeth Olsen), Wikipedia (Christian Bale), The Famous People (Christian Bale), Wikipedia (Jennifer Lawrence), The Famous People (Jennifer Lawrence), Vogue (Jennifer Lawrence), Box Office Mojo, The Famous People (Henry Cavill), The Famous People (Zoe Saldana), Wikipedia (Zoe Saldana), The Famous People (Chris Hemsworth), Wikipedia (Chris Hemsworth), Wikipedia (Brie Larson), Wikipedia (Brie Larson - Awards), Wikipedia (Jason Momoa), Wikipedia (Evangeline Lilly), Wikipedia (Ben Affleck), The Famous People (Ben Affleck)